Unity 5 How To Display A Joystick Input Being Pressed

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In the world of mobile gaming, the joystick has always been a quintessential element that enhances the player’s control and immersion. Whether it is navigating through a fast-paced racing game or strategically maneuvering in a thrilling combat game, the joystick plays a vital role in providing a seamless gaming experience.

In this article, we will delve into the Unity 5 engine and explore how to display a joystick input being pressed. With Unity 5’s powerful features and flexibility, you can create immersive gaming experiences for various platforms, including mobile devices.

Join us as we guide you through the steps to implement and showcase a responsive joystick input within your Unity 5 game. From setting up the joystick to capturing input data and visualizing it in real-time, we will cover all the essentials to bring your game’s controls to life. So, let’s dive in and unlock the potential of joystick input in Unity 5!

Inside This Article

  1. How to Display a Joystick Input Being Pressed
  2. Displaying Joystick Input
  3. Handling Input Events
  4. Creating a GUI for the Joystick
  5. Customizing the Joystick Appearance
  6. Conclusion
  7. FAQs

How to Display a Joystick Input Being Pressed

Joysticks are a popular input device used in many video games to control character movement and gameplay. In Unity 5, you can easily implement a display that shows when a joystick input is being pressed. This article will guide you through the steps of setting up the joystick input and implementing the display in your Unity 5 project.

Setting up the joystick input

The first step is to set up the joystick input in your Unity project. Start by connecting the joystick to your computer and ensure that it is recognized by the operating system. Once connected, open Unity and go to the Input Manager settings.

In the Input Manager, create a new axis for the joystick input. Give the axis a name, such as “JoyStickX” and “JoyStickY”. Assign the appropriate joystick axis to each axis (e.g., “X axis” for the horizontal input and “Y axis” for the vertical input). Set the sensitivity and gravity values according to your preference.

Next, create a C# script that will handle the joystick input. Attach the script to the desired game object in your scene. In the script, use the Input.GetAxis() method to retrieve the joystick input values for both the X and Y axes. You can then use these values to determine if the joystick is being pressed in a certain direction.

Implementing the display for the joystick input

To display when the joystick input is being pressed, you can use a UI text element or an image in your Unity project. Create a UI canvas and add a text element or an image to it. Position the element in a suitable location on the screen.

Back in the C# script, you can reference the UI text or image element using the GetComponent() method. Create a method that will update the text or image based on the joystick input. For example, if the joystick input is positive on the X axis, you can display a message like “Joystick is being pressed right”.

In the update method of your script, call this display method to update the UI element based on the current joystick input value. You can use conditional statements to check for various joystick inputs and update the display accordingly.

Testing and troubleshooting the joystick input display

Once you have implemented the joystick input display, you can test it in the Unity Editor. Play the scene and move the joystick in different directions to see if the display updates correctly. Make sure that the display reacts as expected to the joystick input.

If you encounter any issues, check your joystick input settings in the Input Manager and verify that the joystick is connected properly. You can also print debug statements in your script to see if the joystick input values are being retrieved correctly.

With a little bit of setup and implementation, you can display when a joystick input is being pressed in your Unity 5 project. This adds an extra layer of visual feedback for the player and enhances the overall gameplay experience. Have fun experimenting with different ways to display the joystick input and take your game to the next level!

Displaying Joystick Input

Joysticks are a popular input method for gaming, providing precise control and a more immersive experience. In this article, we will explore how to display joystick input being pressed in Unity 5. By following these steps, you can enhance your game’s user interface and provide visual feedback to players as they interact with the joystick.

To begin, you need to set up the joystick input in your Unity project. First, make sure you have a joystick connected to your computer or device. Then, open the Unity editor and navigate to the Input Manager. Here, you can define the axes for your joystick input. Assign the appropriate input names and set the joystick axes to match the physical setup of your joystick.

Once the joystick input is set up, you can proceed to implement the display for the joystick input. Start by creating a new UI canvas in your scene. This will serve as the parent object for your joystick display elements. Within the canvas, you can add various UI elements such as images, buttons, and text.

Next, create a script that will handle the joystick input and update the display accordingly. Attach this script to the parent object of your joystick display elements. Inside the script, you can access the joystick input values using the Input.GetAxis method. This method returns a float value between -1 and 1, representing the position of the joystick along each axis.

Now, you can use these input values to update the position or rotation of your joystick display elements. For example, you can move an image representing the joystick handle based on the input values. You can also rotate or scale the handle to provide visual feedback to the player.

To enhance the visual feedback, you can add animations or effects to the joystick display elements. For example, you can animate the transition of the joystick handle from its default position to the position dictated by the input values. This will create a smooth and responsive visual representation of the joystick input.

Once you have implemented the display for the joystick input, it’s important to test and troubleshoot your implementation. Run your game or simulation and ensure that the joystick input is correctly reflected in the display. Test different joystick movements and directions to verify that the display responds accurately to the input.

Handling Input Events

When developing a game or interactive application in Unity 5, one crucial aspect to consider is handling input events. These events allow users to interact with the game through various input devices, such as keyboard, mouse, and touch screen. In this section, we will explore how to handle input events specifically for joystick inputs.

Joysticks are a popular input device, especially for console games. They provide analog input, allowing for smooth and precise control. In Unity 5, handling joystick input events is straightforward and can greatly enhance the gameplay experience.

To begin, you need to set up the joystick input in Unity. This involves connecting the joystick to your computer or gaming device and configuring it within Unity’s Input Manager. You can access the Input Manager by navigating to Edit -> Project Settings -> Input.

Once in the Input Manager, you can define axes for the joystick inputs. An axis represents a specific direction or movement, such as horizontal or vertical. You can specify the sensitivity, dead zone, and gravity of each axis to fine-tune the joystick input. For example, you can set a dead zone to ignore small movements around the joystick’s center.

After setting up the joystick input, you can start implementing the display for the joystick input being pressed. This can be done through visual indicators or on-screen feedback to let the player know their input is being registered. This feedback is crucial for user engagement and immersion.

In Unity, you can utilize the Input class to detect joystick input events. The Input class provides a variety of methods, such as GetButtonDown, GetButtonUp, and GetAxis, to handle different types of input events. You can check the documentation or Unity’s scripting API for more information on how to use these methods.

Once you have detected the joystick input event, you can then update the display accordingly. This could involve changing the color of a button when pressed, displaying a progress bar for an analog input, or animating a joystick graphic to mimic the player’s input.

It is essential to test and troubleshoot the joystick input display to ensure it functions properly. You can use Unity’s Play mode to simulate user input and observe the display changes in real-time. Additionally, consider testing the input with different joystick models to ensure compatibility and responsiveness.

By effectively handling input events, specifically for joystick inputs, you can create a more immersive and interactive experience for players. Implementing a dynamic and visually engaging display for joystick input can greatly enhance the gameplay and user satisfaction.

Creating a GUI for the Joystick

When it comes to displaying the joystick input being pressed in Unity 5, creating a graphical user interface (GUI) is an essential step. The GUI will visually represent the joystick’s movement and allow users to easily see the input being registered.

To create a GUI for the joystick, we need to consider the visual elements that will accurately depict the joystick’s position and movement. This can be achieved using Unity’s built-in GUI functions and tools.

First, we need to design the graphical representation of the joystick itself. This can be done by creating a texture or image that resembles a joystick. This image will serve as the base for the GUI element that will be manipulated based on the input received from the joystick.

Next, we’ll need to script the behavior of the GUI element to respond to the joystick input. This involves mapping the joystick’s movement to the position and rotation of the GUI element. When the joystick is moved, the GUI element should update accordingly to reflect the new input data.

In Unity 5, you can accomplish this by writing a script that reads the joystick’s input and applies the corresponding changes to the position and rotation of the GUI element. This can be done using Unity’s Input class and accessing the appropriate joystick input axes.

Once the script is in place and the GUI element is properly mapped to the joystick input, you can test and refine the GUI’s behavior. Make sure that the GUI accurately reflects the movement and position of the joystick. Adjustments may be necessary to achieve a smooth and responsive UI experience.

It’s also important to incorporate visual feedback to indicate when the joystick is being pressed or released. This can be done by adjusting the color, transparency, or texture of the GUI element to provide a visual cue to the user.

Remember to consider the aesthetics of your GUI design and ensure that it aligns with the overall style and theme of your game or application. A well-designed and intuitive GUI will enhance the user experience and make the joystick input more engaging.

Customizing the Joystick Appearance

When it comes to user experience, the appearance of a joystick can play a significant role. Thankfully, with Unity 5, you have the flexibility to customize the appearance of a joystick to match the overall theme and style of your game. Here are some ways you can customize the joystick appearance:

1. Changing the color: Unity allows you to easily change the color of the joystick. You can choose a specific color or use a gradient to create a more dynamic look. Experiment with different color combinations to find the one that best suits your game.

2. Adding textures or patterns: If you want to give your joystick a more textured or patterned appearance, Unity makes it easy to add custom textures or patterns to the joystick. You can import your own images or use the built-in textures and patterns provided by Unity.

3. Adjusting the size and shape: Unity gives you the ability to adjust the size and shape of the joystick to fit your game’s requirements. You can make it smaller or larger, circular or square, depending on your design preferences.

4. Animating the joystick: To make the joystick more visually appealing, you can add animations to it. Unity supports various animation techniques, such as scaling, rotating, or fading, which can add a dynamic element to the joystick.

5. Adding visual effects: To enhance the overall visual impact, you can apply visual effects to the joystick. This can include adding particle effects, glows, or shadows to make the joystick stand out and give it a more polished look.

6. Customizing the button appearance: In addition to customizing the joystick itself, you can also customize the appearance of the buttons associated with the joystick. You can change their color, size, shape, or even add additional visual effects to make them more engaging.

By customizing the appearance of the joystick, you can create a more immersive gameplay experience for your users. Whether you want a sleek and modern joystick or a retro-inspired one, Unity provides the tools and flexibility to bring your vision to life.


In this article, we have explored how to display a joystick input being pressed in Unity 5. By utilizing the Input Manager and scripting, we were able to capture the input from the joystick and visually represent it in the game. This not only enhances the player experience but also adds a level of immersion.

By following the step-by-step instructions and understanding the code snippets provided, developers can easily incorporate joystick input detection into their Unity games. Whether it’s for controlling characters, vehicles, or any other interactive elements, displaying joystick input being pressed can greatly enhance gameplay mechanics and make it more intuitive for players.

Remember to test your games on different devices and utilize cross-platform controls to ensure compatibility. With the knowledge gained from this article, you now have the tools to create immersive and engaging experiences using joystick inputs in Unity 5.


Q1: Can I use the same joystick for both mobile and PC gaming?
A1: Yes, many modern joysticks are compatible with both mobile and PC gaming platforms. However, it is essential to check the compatibility of the joystick with the specific device or operating system you plan to use it with. Some joysticks may require additional adapters or software installation to function properly on different platforms.

Q2: How do I connect a joystick to my mobile device?
A2: To connect a joystick to your mobile device, you will typically need a compatible joystick model and a mobile adapter. Follow these steps:

  1. Ensure that your joystick is Bluetooth-enabled.
  2. On your mobile device, go to the settings and enable Bluetooth.
  3. Put your joystick in pairing mode by following the instructions provided by the manufacturer.
  4. In your mobile device’s Bluetooth settings, look for the joystick’s name and select it to pair the devices.

Once the joystick is successfully connected, you can start using it for gaming on your mobile device.

Q3: Are there any advantages to using a joystick for mobile gaming?
A3: Yes, there are several advantages to using a joystick for mobile gaming. Here are a few:

  • Precise Control: Joysticks offer more precise control compared to touch controls, allowing for better accuracy and responsiveness in games.
  • Enhanced Gaming Experience: The physical feel of using a joystick can enhance the immersive gaming experience, especially for action and racing games.
  • Ergonomics: Joysticks are designed with ergonomic considerations, providing a comfortable grip and reducing strain during long gaming sessions.
  • Multi-Functionality: Many modern joysticks come with additional buttons and features, allowing for customization and mapping of different functions.

Q4: Can I use a joystick to play all mobile games?
A4: While most games can be played using a joystick, not all mobile games are compatible with joystick input. Some games are specifically designed for touch controls and may not have support for external controllers. It is recommended to check the game’s compatibility and controller support information before purchasing a joystick for mobile gaming.

Q5: Are there any specific mobile accessories that complement the use of a joystick?
A5: Yes, there are a few mobile accessories that can complement the use of a joystick for mobile gaming:

  • Phone Mounts: These accessories allow you to securely attach your mobile device to the joystick, providing a more integrated and comfortable gaming experience.
  • Gaming Controllers: Some joysticks come as part of a larger gaming controller package, which may include additional buttons, triggers, and pads for enhanced gaming control.
  • Power Banks: As gaming can be battery-intensive, having a reliable power bank can ensure extended gameplay sessions without worrying about running out of battery.