This page is for owners of the Microsoft SideWinder 3D Pro. If you have any tips or trouble spots to avoid for fellow owners, please send them to us and we will post them here.
Which way do I have to set the switch on the bottom?
There are pros and cons to each method. As background, the switch on the bottom can be set to one dot or two dots. The one-dot position supports the CH button protocol and the two-dot position supports the ThrustMaster button protocol. For easy reference, we've scratched a CH near the one-dot position and a TM near the two-dot position on our joysticks.
The one-dot position supports the 8 buttons on the handle, the two handle axes, the rudder and the throttle. However, you can only press one button at a time. Two simultaneous presses will not be detected.
The two-dot position supports the 8 buttons on the handle, the two handle axes and the rudder. The throttle is not supported. Additionally, any of the buttons can be pressed simultaneously.
You need to select the desired switch setting before running the joystick calibration program (assassin.exe) as it needs to know what protocol the joystick is using. And, if you change the switch setting you will need to rerun assassin.exe.
The advantage of the CH button protocol is that the throttle can be used for all the games for switching between walk and run mode (also called medium and fast speed). The advantage of the ThrustMaster button protocol is that you can be simultaneously firing and moving your ship upward (via pressing a hat button) in Descent II.
Note: Microsoft did not support the lower 4 buttons on the base while in analog mode (would have worked only with the CH button protocol). We don't know why and wish they did. Maybe they will in a future version.
When I am running assassin.exe, it requests moving the throttle and rudder. Where are those?
The SideWinder 3D Pro throttle is the green tab on the base on the left side of the handle. Move this forward and backward to its extremes when requested by the assassin.exe program. You will notice the Throttle numbers on the lower right-hand side of the screen changing as you move the throttle.
The SideWinder 3D Pro rudder is activated by twisting the handle left and right -- not moving the handle left and right. If your wrist doesn't feel good performing the twisting, you have found the rudder control. Twist the rudder left and right to its extremes when requested by the assassin.exe program. You will notice the Rudder numbers on the lower right-hand side of the screen changing as you twist the joystick handle.
My SideWinder 3D Pro likes to strafe when I'm moving forward and it's frustrating!
The SideWinder 3D Pro mechanism uses optical technology rather than potentiometers for tracking handle movement. Hence, it doesn't have a bias for North/South and East/West movement. This makes it difficult to go directly forward without drifting to the left or right. This can be compensated for by editing your <game>.ini file and adding in the line 'RDZ = 22'. This increases the Roll Dead Zone (RDZ) from 15 to 22 (6% of full-range to 9% of full-range). Now, incremental minor left/right movement will be ignored. If the change is not significant enough, experiment with slightly larger numbers.
Does the Assassin 3D support the four base buttons on the SideWinder 3D Pro stick?
No, unfortunately the four extra buttons on the SideWinder 3D Pro do not work while the SideWinder 3D Pro is in analog mode (the mode that the Asssassin 3D uses).