Microsoft Sidewinder Dual Strike in the test: A controller especially for action games

Microsoft Sidewinder Dual Strike in the test: A controller especially for action games


The configuration of the GamePad is very simple: You can either use ready-made schemes or you can assign individual or multiple key combinations to each key. Our version already had schemes for the following games:

  • Battlezone
  • Delta Force
  • Duke Nukem 3D
  • Half Life
  • Heretic 2
  • Jedi Knight
  • Monster Truck Madness 2
  • Motcross Madness
  • Quake II
  • Rainbow Six
  • Shogo
  • Sin
  • Spec Ops
  • Test Drive 4
  • Thief The Dark Project
  • Tomb Raider III
  • Unreal
  • SideWinder Freestyle Pro (.swy, .swx)
  • SideWinder Game Pad (.swg)
  • SideWinder Game Pad Pro (.swz)

But that's not all. For example, you can program each key as Mouse1, Mouse2 or Mouse3. This then has the effect that when the said button is pressed, it does soappears as if you were pressing the appropriate button on the mouse. You can also program a button with “Precision Aiming”. If you now hold the button, the sensitivity of the 3D control is reduced and you can aim better.

However, this is rather unsuitable for fast games such as Unreal Tournament or Quake 3, as it gives you a lot of mobility is restricted. Ultimately, the DualStrike can also be operated in joystick mode, which means that, as the name suggests, it works like a joystick. The right side serves as the X and Y axis controller, but the sensitivity can no longer be changed in this mode, only the 'dead zone' and the area in which the movements are perceived can be defined. The individual buttons can also be freely programmed here.

Microsoft Sidewinder Dual Strike


Anyone holding the DualStrike for the first time will probably think that using the DualStrike is very simple. Strictly speaking, it is, only the familiarization phase is very long. So you have to practice a few days before you really know how to deal with it. And even then, you may not be entirely satisfied. One drawback is particularly negative: While you can “drag” the mouse if you want to turn around again in the game, the 3D control of the DualStrike is fixed and cannot be dragged. TheTurning process, when you have reached the limit of movement, is usually very slow. Therefore, to turn around, you have to turn the 3D control in the other direction and punish with the control pad. This process is also not very useful for faster games such as UT or Q3. For this purpose, racing games such as Need for Speed ​​or Midtown Madness can be controlled very precisely with the DualStrike, since here the range of motion of the 3D controller is completely sufficient to carry out precise driving movements. Pinball can also be played quite nicely thanks to the two triggers.


The DualStrike cannot really convince when used with 3D shooters, which according to Microsoft it was actually designed for. The mouse-keyboard combination is still the best solution. But for your money you get a good GamePad, which is particularly impressive in the area of ​​racing games and simulation. The DualStrike is just as innovative as other members of the series, e.g. the Strategic Commander or the Force Feedback joysticks, but, as I said, it is not really convincing.

Microsoft Sidewinder Dual Strike
  • Good GamePad
  • (none)

This article was interesting, helpful or both? The editorial team is happy about any support from ComputerBase Pro and deactivated ad blockers. More about Ads on ComputerBase .