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What is a Hall Effect controller?

You might be seeing Hall Effect used as a feature in PC controllers more frequently, but what is the tech and why is it so important.

Hall Effect Joysticks

What are Hall Effect controllers? The implementation of Hall Effect joysticks – and more recently, triggers – has been a huge leap forward when it comes to the performance and longevity of PC game controllers. This comes down to the use of magnets and electrical conductors as opposed the the traditional electrical resistance.

Some of the best PC controllers have now adopted Hall Effect joysticks as a key feature because they offer greater precision and responsiveness while also being designed to last longer. Nacon has recently released the Revolution 5 Pro, which also features the first-ever Hall Effect triggers.

What are Hall Effect joysticks?

Hall Effect joysticks use magnets and electrical conductors to detect inputs and movement and with there being no contact between the components, the possibility of wear and stick drift is reduced, while the overall longevity is increased.

The reduced chance of stick drift also means that Hall Effect joysticks have no dead zones. A dead zone is the central area surrounding the joystick’s starting position, where no input or movement is detected when you move it. These are common in analog joysticks to account for the possibility of stick drift over time. The idea is that if you implement a dead zone, the drift is harder to detect until it becomes so drastic that the dead zone can’t contain it, this is when you start to see ghost movements in your gameplay.

As mentioned, there are no parts in contact with each other in a Hall Effect joystick, this significantly reduces the chances of wear and tear, thus removing the need for a dead zone, and increasing the responsiveness and precision possible with a Hall Effect controller.

Are Hall Effect joysticks better than analog?

Yes, in a side-by-side comparison, Hall Effect joysticks are always going to come out on top. The ability to be more accurate and precise is a natural win, but the long-term benefits mean they’re also better value for money.

There is quite a discernible difference in the feel of a Hall Effect joystick compared to an analog one. Analog sticks tend to feel stiffer and your thumb has to put in a larger push or pull to get it moving. With Hall Effect, this movement flows much more naturally, making for a cleaner overall experience.

Do Hall Effect controllers cost more?

No, just because a controller has Hall Effect joysticks, this doesn’t mean it should automatically cost more, or be more expensive than analog controllers.

While some manufacturers will put Hall Effect as a front-and-center feature, this doesn’t mean the controller suddenly has to inflate its price to become unreasonable. Realistically, if a controller is advertising Hall Effect joysticks, but is 3x the cost of a similar option, there would need to be other features to justify its cost, otherwise it’s just not worth buying.

Controllers with Hall Effect joysticks/features

Here are some of the controllers currently on the market with Hall Effect joysticks:

  • Nacon Revolution 5 Pro (PC, PS5, PS4)
  • Gamesir G7 SE – (PC, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One)
  • Gamesir T4KA (PC)
  • Beitong Asure 2 Pro+ (PC)
  • Gamesir T4 Cyclone (PC, Switch, Mobile)
  • Gamesir T4  Cyclone Pro (PC, Switch, Mobile)
  • GuilKit KinkKong 2 (Switch)
  • 8Bitdo Ultimate Bluetooth (Switch, PC)
  • Gamesir T4 Kaleid (PC, Switch)
  • NexiGo Hall Effect Controller (Switch)
  • Terios Wireless (Switch)

Should you buy a Hall Effect controller?

Yes, if you are worried about stick drift, or the overall longevity of a controller, opting for a Hall Effect is a worthwhile choice.

Many of the current market options are targeted towards the Nintendo Switch thanks to the inherent stick drift issue that plagues joy-con controllers to this day, but there are plenty of options for PC, and a few for Xbox and PlayStation too.

Slowly, more brands are realizing the benefit of Hall Effect and adding it – as a bare minimum – to their controller joysticks, but some manufacturers are looking at new ways to implement the technology e.g. Hall Effect triggers on the Nacon Revolution 5 Pro.