Choosing the Right Gamepad

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Choosing the Right Gamepad_BlackBerry

As mobile computing drives forward, so does the potential to create a compelling experience by connecting with end-users in more meaningful ways; be it via heart rate monitor, finding lost items, or one of today’s most common accessories: gamepads.

The catalog of supported gamepads on the BlackBerry 10 platform is ever growing as our teams aim to support a wide variety of devices for the benefit of both developers and end-users.

However, the Bluetooth landscape can resemble the Wild West at times with proprietary implementations being chosen in favor of industry standards. This is why when developers ask us “Can you implement support for Gamepad XYZ?” sometimes the answer has to be “No.” It isn’t that it can’t be done, but targeting non-standard implementations requires resources for integration and maintenance, and leads to uncertainty whether that gamepad will work with specific OS builds and, if broken, when the implementation will be fixed.

What BlackBerry Looks For In a Gamepad

We wanted to share our criteria with developers so you can focus on those gamepads that will provide an A+ experience on our platform, helping to achieve both Built For BlackBerry and Gamepad Enabled status. This information will also be useful for end-users who are looking to purchase gamepads to complement their BlackBerry 10 devices.

There are two supported ways to connect a gamepad to a BlackBerry 10 device. The first is over Bluetooth using the Bluetooth Human Interface Device (HID) profile. Gamepads that leverage this profile can be paired to a BlackBerry 10 device running BlackBerry 10 OS version 10.1 or later, including:

  • BlackBerry Z30 smartphone
  • BlackBerry Z10 smartphone
  • BlackBerry Q10 smartphone
  • BlackBerry Q5 smartphone

The second connection method is using a direct USB connection that follows the USB On-The-Go (OTG) specification. In most cases this will require a Micro USB OTG to USB 2.0 adapter, in addition to a BlackBerry 10 device running BlackBerry 10 OS version 10.2 or later, including:

  • BlackBerry Z30 smartphone

For consistency, we are also focusing our efforts on gamepads that have analog Joystick controls. Gamepads that have only a Directional Pad (D-pad) may be supported, however for the full BlackBerry 10 experience analog joystick integration is the recommendation.

Supported Gamepads

Based on the criteria above, there are a number of gamepads today that enable the full BlackBerry 10 experience out-of-the-box.

Bluetooth HID Supported Gamepads

USB OTG Supported Gamepads

For more information on gamepad support for BlackBerry 10, criteria, and integration information please refer to our gamepad documentation.

If you have any questions, let us know in the comments below or reach out directly to: eoros@blackberry.com.

About Erik O.

HTML5 Application Development Consultant at BlackBerry.

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