Assessing User Preference of Video Game Controller Button Settings

William Ellick, Pejman Mirza-Babaei, Sharon Wood, Duncan Smith, and Lennart E. Nacke. 2013. Assessing User Preference of Video Game Controller Button Settings. In Proceedings of CHI EA 2013. Paris, France. ACM, 1107-1112. doi:10.1145/2468356.2468554


Only very few studies exist linking preference in controller usage to physiological effects and user experience (UX). While many games already feature different controller layouts, there is a lack of research on whether giving control to participants over their button choices affects their UX in the game. In our study, participants were given two predetermined button configurations for playing FIFA 12. Their preferences were assessed through electroencephalography (EEG) and a Game Experience Questionnaire (GEQ). Our results show no significant difference in EEG intensity between participants using their preferred or non-preferred button settings. Preference also appears to have no significant effect on subjective feelings assessed by the GEQ. We have identified three distinct factors that may have potentially compromised this study. These findings could help to structure future research in this area.