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Gamepad vs. Joypad: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Updated on November 11, 2023
"Gamepad" is a general term for a handheld controller for video games, while "joypad" often refers specifically to gamepads with a prominent joystick feature.

Key Differences

A "gamepad" is a type of input device for video games, characterized by a set of buttons and typically one or more directional pads. While, "joypad," a term sometimes used interchangeably with gamepad, often highlights the presence of one or more joysticks in addition to buttons.
Gamepads are universally used across various gaming platforms and are known for their ergonomic design. Whereas, Joypads are particularly noted for their joystick component, which may offer more nuanced control in certain game genres.
The evolution of gamepads has seen the incorporation of features like wireless connectivity and haptic feedback. Joypads, while similar, may place more emphasis on the joystick mechanism, often preferred in flight simulators or 3D games.
Gamepads are essential for most modern gaming consoles, offering a standardized control scheme. Joypads cater to a more specific audience, with their joystick feature being a defining element.
In terms of usage, gamepads are versatile and used in a wide range of games, from action to sports. Joypads, with their joystick control, are often favored in games requiring precise directional movements.

Comparison Chart


A handheld controller with buttons and directional pads
A gamepad with a prominent joystick feature

Key Feature

Diverse control options with buttons and D-pads
Emphasis on joystick for nuanced control

Preferred Usage

Used in a wide variety of game genres
Often favored for flight simulators, 3D games

Design Focus

Ergonomic, with an emphasis on accessibility
Ergonomic, with a focus on joystick maneuverability


Suitable for general gaming audiences
Preferred by gamers needing precise joystick control

Gamepad and Joypad Definitions


A gaming accessory that typically includes action buttons, triggers, and a D-pad.
The new gamepad featured customizable buttons for advanced gameplay.


A gamepad variant that includes one or more joysticks for enhanced gaming.
Her joypad was essential for playing complex action games.


A handheld controller used for video games, featuring buttons and directional controls.
He used his wireless gamepad to play the racing game.


A controller for video games, often emphasizing its joystick for 3D movement.
He preferred a joypad for playing 3D adventure games due to better maneuverability.


A controller that allows players to interact with games on consoles and PCs.
She connected her gamepad to the PC for a better gaming experience.


A type of gamepad with a distinct joystick or thumbstick for directional control.
The joypad's joystick provided precise control in the flight simulation game.


An electronic device designed to control video games through physical inputs.
The gamepad's haptic feedback added realism to the game.


An input device for gaming, offering joystick-based control for precision.
The wireless joypad allowed him to play his favorite games from a distance.


An input device for gaming consoles, offering a variety of control options.
The gamepad's ergonomic design made long gaming sessions comfortable.


A handheld gaming controller featuring a joystick in addition to standard buttons.
The joypad's ergonomic joystick design made it perfect for racing games.


(video games) A type of game controller held in both hands and controlled with the thumbs.


(video games) A type of game controller held in the hand, where the digits (especially thumbs) are used to provide input.


What defines a joypad?

A joypad is a type of gamepad that includes a joystick for directional control.

What is a gamepad?

A gamepad is a handheld controller with buttons and directional controls for video games.

Are gamepads compatible with all gaming consoles?

Most gamepads are designed to be compatible with specific gaming consoles.

Can gamepads be wired or wireless?

Gamepads can be either wired or wireless, depending on the design and console compatibility.

What games are best played with a joypad?

Joypads are best for games requiring precise joystick control, like flight simulators.

Are joypads good for all types of games?

Joypads are versatile but may be better suited for games that benefit from joystick control.

Do joypads offer more precision than standard gamepads?

Joypads can offer more precision in certain games due to their joystick component.

Is there a difference in response time between gamepads and joypads?

The response time can vary based on the model and technology used but is generally similar.

Do professional gamers prefer gamepads or joypads?

Professional gamers' preference between gamepads and joypads depends on the specific game and personal comfort.

What features do modern gamepads have?

Modern gamepads may feature wireless connectivity, haptic feedback, and customizable buttons.

How do gamepads enhance the gaming experience?

Gamepads enhance the gaming experience by providing an ergonomic and intuitive control interface.

Are joypads suitable for casual gaming?

Joypads are suitable for casual gaming, though they are often preferred by more dedicated gamers.

How long do gamepads typically last?

The lifespan of a gamepad depends on its build quality and usage, but they generally last several years.

Can a gamepad be repaired if it's damaged?

Some gamepad damages can be repaired, especially if they involve replaceable components like buttons or sticks.

Can a joypad be used for PC gaming?

Yes, many joypads are designed to be compatible with PC gaming.

Do all video games support gamepad use?

Not all video games support gamepad use; some may require a keyboard and mouse.

Are gamepads and joypads ergonomic?

Most modern gamepads and joypads are designed ergonomically to reduce strain during long gaming sessions.

Is it easy to learn to use a gamepad?

Yes, most gamepads are designed with intuitive layouts, making them easy to learn.

What makes a joypad different from a traditional joystick?

A joypad combines the features of a traditional gamepad with a joystick for additional control.

Can gamepads be customized?

Some gamepads offer customization options like remappable buttons and adjustable triggers.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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