Joystick sensitivity?

Sometimes the Picade joystick seems unresponsive and flakey. Like if I’m going “up”, if I go straight to “left” it won’t respond, but if I go to “center” first, “left” works fine. Things like that. It’s not the wiring because this behavior is consistent.

Anyone else have this issue?
Are there are joystick tests or sensitivity settings I can fool with anywhere?

It seems to happen mostly on games like Dig Dug and Pac Man. Any of the shooter or fighting games are fine!

Those are switch joysticks aren’t they, not potentiometer ones?
Best guess is as you go from Up to left at the 45 degree point both the up and left switches are made, and the software gets confused.
Going to center first opens the up switch before the left is closed.
Some joysticks are gated so that can’t happen.
See if the games with that issue have options for those inbetween joystick positions. If they do make sure they are not set or disabled if possible.

Thanks Alpha, I think you’re 100% correct based on some experiments:

  1. Joystick at Down position.
  2. Slam joystick to Left, without returning to center, now 2 switches are made.
  3. Now the Game is confused, so keeps doing down.

The only way to avoid this is to return to center first.

How do people deal with this? Getting a gated stick? Switching to analog?

Two switches made should only happen at the 45 degree spots. Once your fully down etc it should only be that one switch closed.
I’ve seen gated sticks mentioned a few times here, not 100% sure it was just because of this issue though.
I don’t own a Picade by the way, that was just my best guess based on my understanding of how the joystick works. Four switches that can detect eight positions.

Oddly enough, while hunting around in RetroArch (God so many settings!), I found a setting for “treat 8-way joystick as 4-way” that seemed to help (counter intuitive, I know).

I’ve also ordered an 8-way joystick with gates that can be set to 4 or 8 to experiment with.

I was hoping there would be a software setting to adjust.

(addendum for those poor souls like me searching in the future)

Ok, the 4-way physical gate position works great for Pac-Man, Dig-Dug, etc.
Terrible for Robotron (or any game that’s 8-way.

And the “treat 8 way as 4 way” is a tiny bet better, but no the same as a dedicated 4 way.

This is supposed to be a multi game machine, so tearing apart the console to switch between 4 and 8 when changing games is ridiculous.

So I’m getting this bad boy:
Mag Stick Plus from Ultimark.