Testing controllers to ensure they work on Windows

I’ve been playing Star Wars: Squadrons and getting the ThrustMaster Warthog HOTAS configured for it has been something of a bear. The hardest part is that some buttons and hat positions on the stick do not seem to be recognized by the game and I’m not certain why that is. It made me wonder if my super-expensive flight stick was faulty in some way.

It took me a bit to figure out how to test controllers under Windows but here’s how:

  1. Launch the Joystick control panel:
    1. Press Win+R
    2. Type in joy.cpl to the dialog
    3. Press Enter
  2. Select the controller you want to test in the list
  3. Click the “Properties” button
  4. In the dialog that comes up, select the “Test” tab

You’ll see an array of controls and lights that will allow you to test all axes, POV hats, and buttons on your controller. Keep in mind that some hats are implemented as a series of buttons and not as hats as far as the OS is concerned. For example, the lower-left hat on the head of the Warthog stick is buttons 7-10 going clockwise starting from the top. So up on the lower-left hat is button 7, right is button 8, and so on.