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Handheld Game System Controls: Clicky vs Squishy


16 members have voted

  1. 1. Which do you prefer in a handheld game system?

    • Clicky (microswitch) D-pad and buttons
    • Squishy (membrane contact) D-pad and buttons
    • Buttons? Who needs buttons? I play all my portable games with a touchscreen!

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Here's something I've been pondering for a while and curious to find out people's opinions on: For handheld game systems, do you prefer them to have a clicky microswitch D-pad and buttons or a squishy membrane contact D-pad and buttons?


Personally I love squishy membrane contact controls like the ones in the original Game Boy and Game Boy Color but don't care at all for the clicky microswitch controls of the Game Boy Advance SP and New 3DS systems. They just don't feel comfortable to use to me.


How about you?

Edited by Jin
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Prefer squishy, but can use both, just squishy better when it comes to d-pads. I have a NGPC and that click stick is both a boon and a curse depending on the game. Even Namco knew that much because with every new copy of Pac-Man on NGPC came with a snap ring that locked the stick into the 4 compass directions as loose it got you kind of killed in the game.

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I know what you mean ... clicks are satisfying, but I don't care for the noise. The otherwise excellent Nvidia Shield had noisy buttons that I wish were more like the Xbox One controller. Squishy, but firm would be my preference.


I voted for touchscreens, though. You can do so much more when you can have context sensitive controls that transform into whatever you need. The iPhone is my favorite gaming device by far, and I have a lot of game devices. I'm sorry if you disagree.



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I kind of like halfway in between squishy and clicky. If I had to pick one it would be clicky. That is something I really don't like about the Lynx II, the buttons are very squishy. Feels cheap to me. Is the Lynx I the same way? I've never played one. The original Gameboy controls were about right if I remember correctly.

Edited by briwayjones
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Like briwayjones I like my buttons somewhere in-between the two. Not hard-plastic clicky, but not mush either. The Gamecube and Xbox 360 controllers are good examples of pretty much perfect buttons to me.

Edited by TPA5
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I generally like tactile feedback. I like my 3DS d-pad pretty well. But the PS Vita d-pad blows it away; that's probably the best handheld d-pad I've ever used and it's super-clicky. I actually don't mind the AtGames d-pads (they remind me of the Sega Saturn 3D controller d-pad, which is my favorite of all time).


My favorite handheld controller ever is the Neo Geo Pocket Color, which had a microswitch-based *thumbstick*. If you've never used it, imagine a typical modern analog thumbstick, but clicky. It was wild. But it felt really good.


In terms of buttons, I like them super clicky but also really snappy and of course they need to be 100% reliable. Cheap clicky buttons have a way of binding up and not snapping back properly. I really like the Switch's buttons - they're among the snappiest and clickiest Nintendo has made, much moreso than the Wii U gamepad that the Switch itself was obviously patterned after. And they're obviously very reliable; Nintendo doesn't really make unreliable controls. But they do go back and forth between mushy and clicky pretty often. Right now they seem to be in a clicky phase, which I like.

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Can use either, but prefer squishy. Its not just a brand thing either, among GBA systems I prefer the original buttons to the SP's more clicky buttons (though I don't think their actually micro switches)


Loved the feel of the ngpc though, but that was in part due to shape which made it feel like a stick.

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