Yes, there are video game controllers that use Hall effect sensors to detect the position of the joystick or thumbstick.
Hall effect sensors were typically used in high-end controllers/joysticks, such as those used in industrial applications or flight simulators, but slowly they’re making their way into gaming.
They offer several advantages over traditional potentiometer-based joystick controllers, including increased durability and longer lifespan, greater accuracy and precision, and the ability to withstand harsh environments.
Hall Effect vs analog joysticks
Hall effect sensors and analog joysticks are both commonly used in game controllers, but they function differently and have their own set of advantages and disadvantages.
Analog joysticks, also known as ALPS and potentiometer-based joysticks, use a variable resistor to detect the position of the joystick. The joystick is connected to a set of potentiometers, which are electrical devices that can be used to measure the position of the joystick by measuring the resistance. Analog joysticks are relatively simple and inexpensive to manufacture, which is why they are commonly found in standard game controllers. They also provide a good level of precision and control for basic gaming needs.
Hall effect sensors, on the other hand, use the Hall effect phenomenon to detect the position of the joystick. A small magnet is attached to the joystick and a Hall effect sensor is used to measure the voltage generated by the magnetic field. Hall effect sensors are more durable and have a longer lifespan than potentiometer-based joysticks, and they are also more accurate and precise. They are also more resistant to harsh environments.
GuliKit Hall Effect Sensing Joystick – KingKong 2 Pro
- [New Patented Stick-No Drifting Ever] GuliKit is the first wireless controller with hall sensor joystick. New Patented Electromagnetic Stick without any drift. Exclusive FPS mode, 100% No Dead Zone. Solving the general painpoint of joystick, and is comprehensively ahead of other mainstream gamepad. Very sensitive and smooth thumbsticks, supported stick sensitivity adjustment. The best alternative switch controller compatible with Nintendo Switch/ Switch OLED, Windows PC, Android IOS and macOS.
GuliKit is a company that specializes in making gaming accessories, including controllers and joysticks. The GuliKit Hall Effect Sensing Joystick is a gaming accessory that utilizes their own patented Hall effect sensors to detect the position of the joystick and it re. This technology allows for precise and accurate control of the cursor or character on the screen, making it suitable for gaming applications where high precision is required.
What sets this controller apart is this patented technology Hall sensor that eliminates stick drift:
- Exclusive FPS mode, 100% No Dead Zone on a stick, especially fits FPS games on Windows PC for fast aiming.
- The use of permanent magnet materials and electromagnetic linear Hall technology effectively eliminates joystick drifting.
- A new patented button has been introduced, featuring a special steel ring on the joystick for excellent conductive rubber feel.
What’s interesting is that Gulikit has collaborated with the 8bitdo company, allowing them to use their patented Hall Effect sensors in their 8bitdo Ultimate Bluetooth controller. Both are excellent options if you’re seeking a Hall Effect controller, with the primary differences being the design and feel in the user’s hand.
The KingKong 2 Pro Wireless joystick is designed to be compatible with a wide range of devices, including Switch, PC, Android, MacOS and IOS devices. It connects to the device via Bluetooth and has a built-in rechargeable battery which can be charged via a USB cable. It also has a working time up to 20 hours.
The joystick also has a number of buttons, including a D-pad, four face buttons, two shoulder buttons, and two triggers, which can be customized through the accompanying software. The software allows the user to adjust settings such as button mapping, vibration intensity, and the Hall Effect Calibration.
The controller isn’t compatible with Xbox consoles unfortunately, but you can fix that with a rather costly ($45) Brook Wingman XB Converter. It makes the controller compatible with Playstation consoles too.
There is also a $10 cheaper alternative: non-Pro version of the controller, named just KingKong 2. What’s included in KingKong 2 Pro, but not in KingKong 2?
- Amiibo on Switch mode
- Stick sensitivity setting
- ZL-ZR sensitivity setting
- Auto-Pilot Game (APG) recording for 10 minutes instead of 10 seconds
- PC/Android motion sense aim assist
If you don’t need these features, then it’s worth to pick up that regular version.
8Bitdo Ultimate Bluetooth Controller with hall effect
- Compatible with Switch and Steam Deck via Bluetooth/2.4g adapter/USB Cable, Windows with a 2.4g adapter/USB Cable.
- Ultimate Bluetooth Controller is compatible with Steam Deck now
- Multifunctional Charging Dock – Stable connection and controller will be automatically switching ON/OFF while it is undocked/docked.
- Hall Effect Sensing Joystick
- Ultimate Software on PC and mobile (Android/iOS)
8Bitdo’s Ultimate Bluetooth is a wireless controller that utilizes the exact same Hall Effect sensors as Gulikit for precise joystick positioning. The controller is designed with a retro style, it is compatible with a wide range of devices, including Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, Steam Deck and Nintendo Switch.
The Ultimate Bluetooth controller uses Bluetooth technology to connect to devices wirelessly, which eliminates the need for a USB cable. It also has a built-in rechargeable battery which can be charged via a USB cable, and it has a battery life of up to 18 hours.
The controller features a Hall effect joystick which provides high precision and durability. It also has a number of buttons, including a D-pad, four face buttons, two shoulder buttons, and two triggers, which can be customized through the 8Bitdo Ultimate software. This software allows the user to adjust settings such as button mapping, vibration intensity, and the Hall Effect Calibration.
To make it compatible with Xbox or Playstation consoles you need to additionally buy a $20 8Bitdo Wireless USB Adapter 2.
In summary, 8Bitdo Ultimate Bluetooth controller is a wireless controller that utilizes Hall Effect sensors for precise joystick positioning, it is designed with a retro style, it is compatible with a wide range of devices, and it can be customized through the 8Bitdo Ultimate software.
8Bitdo Hall Effect Calibration
8Bitdo also have a product called the 8Bitdo Ultimate software, which allows users to customize the settings of their 8Bitdo controllers. The Ultimate software includes a feature called Hall Effect Calibration, which is specifically designed for controllers that use Hall effect sensors to detect the position of the joystick or thumbstick.
The Hall Effect Calibration feature allows users to adjust the sensitivity of the Hall effect sensors in the controller, which can be useful if the controller is not responding correctly or if the user wants a more precise level of control. With this feature, users can adjust the joystick dead zones, adjust the joystick response curve and adjust the joystick center point.
The 8Bitdo Ultimate software also allows users to customize other settings such as button mapping and vibration intensity, as well as update the firmware of the controller. The software is compatible with a wide range of 8Bitdo controllers, including the 8Bitdo SF30 Pro and the 8Bitdo SN30 Pro+.
SteelSeries Stratus+ Bluetooth Gaming PC Controller with Hall Effect
- Connect to an Android(TM) device or Chromebook via Bluetooth LE or to PCs via USB-C to A connectio
- Included slim phone mount adjusts to fit nearly any Android phone and detaches for travel
- Extra-long 90-hour battery life with fast charging, with a 15-min charge giving you up to 12 hours of gameplay
- Designed to give maximum control, the ALPS analog thumbsticks have clickable L3/R3 buttons for more input options across a wide variety of games.
- New Hall Effect magnetic sensors offer a better trigger feel for a lifetime of precision and consistent smoothness.
That’s the third option, but it’s only PC and Android compatible controller. It’s lower in price than the two alternative controllers above and it has a great battery life. It comes with a handle for smartphone and works well with Nvidia GeForce Now.
But the quality is not that great. Reviewers on Amazon often mention problems with L3/R3 drifting and connectivity issues when on Bluetooth.
Upgrade your Steam Deck or Switch Controller
Gulikit also produces Switch and Steam Deck controller joystick replacements with hall effect sensors.
These are great if you want to upgrade your old joycons. Because they have hall effect sensors instead of potentiometer there is no wear, because no physical contact occurs and they should last a lot longer than all the standard joysticks.
- 【 Gulikit Electromagnetic Hall Effect Sensor Joystick】 Gulikit Hall Sensor Joystick made specifically for Switch 2017, Switch OLED Model 2021 Joycon, Switch Lite; Works for Left or Right joycon controller. Gulikit joystick can solve wore, out of control, insensitive and drift analog joystick.
- 【Hall Effect Sensor Joystick】Higher Sensitivity Hall Effect Sensor Joystick is different from ALPS joystick. Hall joystick solves the drift problem of ALPS joystick from the root, more durable than ALPS joystick. Especially for FPS shooter games. Hall joystick allows players to experience the game better.
- Gulikit Type A Joystick Module: This model is designed for Steam Deck Type A Stick. Which replacement thumbsticks you need, navigate to Settings → System → Steam Deck Controller ID. If the Controller ID starts with “MEDA”, that device uses a Type A thumbstick, then this joystick is perfect for you. If your Controller ID starts with “MHDA” , DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT. “MHDA” uses a Type B thumbstick. Type B Joystick is still under development, stay tuned.
- GuliKit Electromagnetic Joystick Module is designed to replace the joystick of a Steam Deck controller. This is an economical way to repair worn, out-of-control, insensitive and drifting joysticks.
4 thoughts on “Game controllers with hall effect joystick sensors”
I have KingKong 2 Pro and it’s a pretty neat, I upgraded from a xbox one controller and you can feel the difference. But the input calibration on steam is a pain in the ass. Quality is great though, I love the grip.
8Bitdo Ulimate is pretty good for me, but make sure to get the Ultimate Bluetooth version, because the Ultimate 2.4G or Ultimate Wireless version on amazon doesn’t have the hall effect sticks. It’s pretty confusing.
I have the Gulikit controller for some time and here are my thoughts. The Nintendo Mode has significant thumb stick calibration issues in Steam, causing overshooting of the 0,0 coordinate. However, the Windows (X-Input) mode works fine but lacks native gyro support in Steam. In X-Input mode, the error rate is impressively low at 0.6% in the circularity test.
My model didn’t include replacement ABXY buttons for the standard PC/Xbox layout, so I had to order them separately from Walmart. It would be great if Gulikit sold their button kit on Amazon.
The English translation of the manual is poor; fortunately, the online version is better. Their website for downloading firmware and manuals is problematic, with frequent CAPTCHA issues.
Updating firmware can be confusing and requires a Windows PC for some updates. There are two separate firmware updates needed for the most up-to-date device: “CPU1 V1.16” and “NS09 V4.7”.
A significant drawback is that the controller doesn’t remap the Nintendo Share button to the Xbox Share button for Steam detection, which could be highly useful for PC users.
Despite these issues, the controller has an excellent feel and weight. It features a textured grip, rubberized surface, smooth thumbsticks, and a polished steel ring. It’s also great that Gulikit sells “Pro” type replaceable thumbsticks and requires no additional software for configuration.