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A couple of newbie questions


bikeguychicago

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Hey all, 

 

I'm a new VCS owner as of the Black Friday sale.

 

I've flashed, updated, got the console working, and even bought a few games today. That said, I still have a few questions that I hope the community can answer:

 

  1. Is it possible to hot-swap controllers (or shut a controller 'off')? For example, I started the console with the joystick and wanted to play Black Widow with the modern controller. I connected the latter and started the game. I was able to select items in the menu and start the game with the modern controller. However, I wasn't able to actually play the game with the controller as it only wanted to recognize the joystick movements. Is there a way around this?
  2. Is there a way to use the 'apps' without a mouse or keyboard? I installed the Disney+ app and couldn't enter anything in the fields with the joystick/gamepad. I had to connect a keyboard and mouse in order to use it. 
  3. Are there any other hints or tips users may have that I haven't discovered yet?

 

Thanks!

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I can answer the first one. Yes, you can certainly switch back and forth between the classic joystick and modern controller. All you have to do is turn the first controller you had connected off by holding the Atari button until the controller shuts off. Then you'll be able to use the other controller you had connected with no issues. I do this quite frequently as I also like to switch back and forth between the classic and modern controllers for certain things.

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Not sure about the first one, I thought I've swapped over controllers in the past - but I'm not sure as I don't use the classic controller if I can avoid it.

I'd say you need a keyboard/mouse with the VCS if you're going to do anything other than just play games. It is a regular PC-compatible after all and the Chrome browser (and therefore 'apps' that run in it) need a keyboard/mouse.  I recommend something like the Logitech K400.

Edited by THX-1138
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2 hours ago, The Helper said:

Get the VCS Companion App for your phone to emulate a keyboard.  

 

 

If you got that app to work properly, my hats off to you.

 

At the very least you need a mouse for the VCS especially if you’re going to use Antstream and media apps (like before mentioned Disney +). I’d just go to a Target or Walmart and buy the least expensive mouse. It should work perfectly fine.

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1 hour ago, Flyindrew said:

If you got that app to work properly, my hats off to you.

 

I've been using it with mine, and got a second unit in yesterday.  Connected right to it with no issue.  Didn't even have to do anything to add the second unit.  What's the problem you're having with it?

 

2 hours ago, Flyindrew said:

At the very least you need a mouse for the VCS especially if you’re going to use Antstream and media apps (like before mentioned Disney +).

 

Anstream does work with a game controller.  It's the only app to my knowledge that does.  Typing with a controller is a pain, and every once in a while, it asks me to reenter my login info, but other than that, I have had no problem with that app.

 

2 hours ago, Flyindrew said:

I’d just go to a Target or Walmart and buy the least expensive mouse. It should work perfectly fine.

 

I prefer to use a mouse/keyboard combo, wireless with a USB receiver.  One to cut down on the number of ports you're using (though I find I need a 4-port hub anyway if I'm using PC mode), and two, so it connects automatically in case I want to enter the BIOS on startup.

 

Unfortunately, they still have not fixed mouse input on Atari OS, so don't expect to actually play any games this way.

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29 minutes ago, MrTrust said:

 

I've been using it with mine, and got a second unit in yesterday.  Connected right to it with no issue.  Didn't even have to do anything to add the second unit.  What's the problem you're having with it?

 

 

Anstream does work with a game controller.  It's the only app to my knowledge that does.  Typing with a controller is a pain, and every once in a while, it asks me to reenter my login info, but other than that, I have had no problem with that app.

 

 

I prefer to use a mouse/keyboard combo, wireless with a USB receiver.  One to cut down on the number of ports you're using (though I find I need a 4-port hub anyway if I'm using PC mode), and two, so it connects automatically in case I want to enter the BIOS on startup.

 

Unfortunately, they still have not fixed mouse input on Atari OS, so don't expect to actually play any games this way.

1.) The VCS companion app is a hot mess. Im glad it’s working for you. I have not had that experience and gave up on it entirely.

 

2.).You can navigate on Antstream with a controller, I just find it very sluggish. It’s so much easier and very smooth navigating ANstream with a mouse as opposed to keyboard.

 

3.) I have a direct USB mouse and keyboard setup so I cant comment on wireless. WHile I never used a mouse with the Atari OS, I have found it helpful in very very rare instances on Atari apps (ie:5200 Star Raiders in vault 2).

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On 12/3/2023 at 8:58 PM, bikeguychicago said:

Hey all, 

 

I'm a new VCS owner as of the Black Friday sale.

 

I've flashed, updated, got the console working, and even bought a few games today. That said, I still have a few questions that I hope the community can answer:

 

  1. Is it possible to hot-swap controllers (or shut a controller 'off')? For example, I started the console with the joystick and wanted to play Black Widow with the modern controller. I connected the latter and started the game. I was able to select items in the menu and start the game with the modern controller. However, I wasn't able to actually play the game with the controller as it only wanted to recognize the joystick movements. Is there a way around this?
  2. Is there a way to use the 'apps' without a mouse or keyboard? I installed the Disney+ app and couldn't enter anything in the fields with the joystick/gamepad. I had to connect a keyboard and mouse in order to use it. 
  3. Are there any other hints or tips users may have that I haven't discovered yet?

 

Thanks!

To answer your first question, yes, you can hot swap controllers with the VCS.  As @scifidude79 has stated, you just need to turn the first one off.

 

All of the apps are just Chrome links with the exception of Antstream, which is a native app.  The VCS companion app works great for a keyboard/track pad option, however I find it to be a little cumbersome to use (I have to wake and unlock my phone for each use).  For instant gratification when the need to type something arises I use one of THESE.

 

The VCS has a fairly simple OS to navigate and there aren't really any tips or tricks that I can think of off the top of my head.  There should be a new OS update perhaps as early as this week to address some nagging concerns and expand functionality of the interface.  

 

I hope you enjoy your VCS and have many good years with it.

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I use this mini keyboard with my VCS to deal with keyboard/mouse issues:

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07QNPX8C2/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

It's inexpensive,   wireless (USB),  keys can be back-lit, has touchpad for mouse,  small and compact, fits in drawer next to sofa when not in use.

 

Another option, if you have any PS4 controllers laying around-   if you pair them with the VCS, the touchpad can be used for mouse input.   Might work with PS5 Dual-sense controller too, but I haven't tested.

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On 12/4/2023 at 11:55 AM, MrTrust said:

*snip*

 

Anstream does work with a game controller.  It's the only app to my knowledge that does.  Typing with a controller is a pain, and every once in a while, it asks me to reenter my login info, but other than that, I have had no problem with that app.

 

*snip*

Plex also works with a controller!

 

To answer the OP's questions.

 

1. Yes, I hot swap frequently sometimes. I tend to find that I don't have to power off the first connected controller to use a newly-connected controller, but I do need to do it from the AtariOS Home screen rather than from inside of a game, and I find that the controller I use to launch the game - usually - prioritizes the controller used to launch, with a few exceptions like the Recharged games which tend to be a bit flaky about it.

 

2. Yes, you can use the VCS Companion App. Has always worked great for me. Initial registration has a UI issue where the field to enter your email address is hard to see, so just make sure to enter both your email and OS pin when registering. 

 

3. Hmm, probably quite a bit to mention:

- You can hold down A on a game card in AtariOS then move it to where you want it to be, easy way to make the game you are playing currently be the first displayed when launching the system.

- You can connect Bluetooth speakers and such easily as well, although there is no independent volume control in AtariOS.

- You can swap a wired controller you have connected to your PC between AtariOS mode and Xbox controller mode by holding down the Back and Menu buttons until the Fuji flashes then turns on/off.

- The VCS default storage is relatively small, but it's easy to store your library on a USB stick.

- If you set your VCS console as the "Home" console in the system settings of AtariOS then any other user on the system will be able to access your library, otherwise they can't.

- Don't try to connect your VCS to a Wifi network that requires an interstitial sign in page, like Hotel Internet, as the VCS will not be able to launch the Chrome browser to complete the connection and you will then be stuck unable to access the Home screen, as it will try to connect to the not-working hotel wifi when you boot up or reboot the console. If you try and fail to connect to wifi like this, make sure to turn wifi OFF before rebooting.

- However, the VCS pairs nicely with your cell phone set as a Wifi Hotspot, and at least on my Android phone there's no interstitial screen.

- You can set up your VCS to be a Plex server easily if you want to, to store your music library, home videos, etc.

- Don't sleep on the cloud gaming options on the VCS, it offers numerous services including Antstream and Xbox Live, and works great.

- You can rename your VCS if you want to under Preferences in the system settings.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 12/6/2023 at 1:29 AM, Mockduck said:

Plex also works with a controller!

 

To answer the OP's questions.

 

1. Yes, I hot swap frequently sometimes. I tend to find that I don't have to power off the first connected controller to use a newly-connected controller, but I do need to do it from the AtariOS Home screen rather than from inside of a game, and I find that the controller I use to launch the game - usually - prioritizes the controller used to launch, with a few exceptions like the Recharged games which tend to be a bit flaky about it.

 

2. Yes, you can use the VCS Companion App. Has always worked great for me. Initial registration has a UI issue where the field to enter your email address is hard to see, so just make sure to enter both your email and OS pin when registering. 

 

3. Hmm, probably quite a bit to mention:

- You can hold down A on a game card in AtariOS then move it to where you want it to be, easy way to make the game you are playing currently be the first displayed when launching the system.

- You can connect Bluetooth speakers and such easily as well, although there is no independent volume control in AtariOS.

- You can swap a wired controller you have connected to your PC between AtariOS mode and Xbox controller mode by holding down the Back and Menu buttons until the Fuji flashes then turns on/off.

- The VCS default storage is relatively small, but it's easy to store your library on a USB stick.

- If you set your VCS console as the "Home" console in the system settings of AtariOS then any other user on the system will be able to access your library, otherwise they can't.

- Don't try to connect your VCS to a Wifi network that requires an interstitial sign in page, like Hotel Internet, as the VCS will not be able to launch the Chrome browser to complete the connection and you will then be stuck unable to access the Home screen, as it will try to connect to the not-working hotel wifi when you boot up or reboot the console. If you try and fail to connect to wifi like this, make sure to turn wifi OFF before rebooting.

- However, the VCS pairs nicely with your cell phone set as a Wifi Hotspot, and at least on my Android phone there's no interstitial screen.

- You can set up your VCS to be a Plex server easily if you want to, to store your music library, home videos, etc.

- Don't sleep on the cloud gaming options on the VCS, it offers numerous services including Antstream and Xbox Live, and works great.

- You can rename your VCS if you want to under Preferences in the system settings.

the part about the companion app helped me a lot thanks!

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