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USB controller detection fail/loss
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I have read some of the info and bugs reported about flight joysticks disappearing during play. The blame is in many places Windows, mods, power management, etc..

Would it be possible to produce some hard code as a patch for those who suffer from the issue or an alternative fix.

if a config file can fix local issues can we have a howto guide or if a service could be run on a local machine again a howto or default config file would be nice.


Legacy ID
Steps To Reproduce

configure a USB joystick, get the setting just right, get annoyed when the controller is no longer recognised by arma 3 (in game or especially if paused respawned or trying to reconfigure) repeat the whole process after closing arma, closing steam rebooting if required.

Additional Information

A working flight joystick you would think would be possible in this day and age. DLC helicopters would be preferred to be played on with a working joystick.
My flight stick is a Thrustmaster USB joystick with throttle control it works fine with other games just ARMA3 is a fail.

Event Timeline

PabloTheGreat1 edited Additional Information. (Show Details)
PabloTheGreat1 set Category to Settings.
PabloTheGreat1 set Reproducibility to Always.
PabloTheGreat1 set Severity to None.
PabloTheGreat1 set Resolution to Open.
PabloTheGreat1 set Legacy ID to 35746627.May 8 2016, 11:46 AM
Adam added a comment.Mar 31 2015, 2:28 PM


Please if you encounter this issue again DO NOT save your controls configuration. This could be the cause of your issues.
If it happens again without saving your controls try saving your profile file before it happens and save it once again after it happens and attach the files here so we can identify the issue. Thank you.

You can find the profile file here:
C:\Users\<Name>\Documents\Arma 3 - Other Profiles\<Name>\<Name>.Arma3profile

A forced load workaround work be nice how can I tell arma 3 to go look at my working config in DIR? X and keep it loaded (or define and (you better bloody keep) on start up)

Hurry up with some code dude I can test it with your directive and relay what info/Shite you need (Priority 1 you sleep at the weekend if your lucky)

Up voted because I can! Still waiting its been Ten minutes and still no resolve, get to it soldier!

had issues getting two files that are not the same, i diffed them with linux diff, the latest is @profile-latest

and just to be clear
'DO NOT save your controls configuration'

does this mean clicking ok to exit the config as save is not an option?

'If it happens again without saving your controls try saving your profile file before it happens and save it once again after it happens'

is this with arma still running or quiting arma then saving?

T-Bone added a subscriber: T-Bone.May 8 2016, 11:46 AM

could this be related to the save option briefly appearing as an option before greying out.

i.e. play game and all is well, press escape to configure/abort/continue effectivly pauseing the client. notice save is a selectable option breifly before the white text greys out to become un-selectable (could this still trigger a save event or re-initialise some thing loosing scope on the USB controller)

Is there i process catcher for win 8.1 that i can attach to the process tree/stack to gather data
1.when the USB works after a configure attempt
2.when the configure attempt looses the USB controller

Which version of Windows are you using?

rogerx added a comment.May 2 2015, 5:30 AM

Please refer to Bug #14924, "Opening joystick config in game results in joystick disappearing as input option"

This bug you reported as well as the supposedly duplicate bugs reported by T-Bone within his Comment #92012 (ie. Bug #14924, Bug #20950, Bug #21856) may also be duplicates of Bug #14924, "Opening joystick config in game results in joystick disappearing as input option"

T-Bone added a comment.May 2 2015, 8:28 AM

PabloTheGreat1, don't bother messing with your profile, power options for your USB device (it won't help) simply because that's not your job, that's the job of developers. F.... no swearing, yeah, trying to stop

rogerx added a comment.May 3 2015, 5:08 AM

Within Windows 8/8.1, it's mostly futile trying to reconfigure power options as this bug with the USB controller is unavoidable. The only fix is to upgrade to Windows 10 or downgrade to Windows 7. Due to the amount of time this bug has been open and the fact this bug is supposedly an upstream bug, I do not ever expect this bug to be fixed for Windows 8.

I'm using Windows 7 for production, even though I also do have Window 8.1 installed. However most, if not all of my work is performed using Linux, including Wine if needed.

k thx,? would dissabiling search or charms be useful ? as some times when i tab out of arma these wonderful windows helper tools are displying

Actual cause and repro of this issue is #23956. No relation to power settings at all, it's a code issue with AFM enabled

rogerx added a comment.May 3 2015, 4:06 PM

As previously mentioned above within comment #92289 above: Please refer to Bug 0014924, "Opening joystick config in game results in joystick disappearing as input option"

All of these bugs appear to be duplicates of Bug #14924. Bug #14924 is already acknowledged with BI developer feedback and Bug #14924 already has 94 votes.

ok if a 'keep usb joystick alive' check box can't be put into the launcher. Could the joystick config be put in a separate file that can symbolic link to the profile. This lose of operation in my opinion is caused by some process as the escape key is hit to respawn/reconfigure that arma or windows is handling. A helper service app with the sole purpose of keeping this usb connection visible could be run as a service on CPU's like mine where this problem exists. Does anyone know exactly what happens to the engine when ESC is pressed on the keyboard? in terms of writes/file operations/client and server comms/location and loadout info/steam overlay/windows OS listeners/third party software.

rogerx added a comment.May 6 2015, 8:20 PM

PabloTheGreat1: You are slightly incorrect assuming the only time this bug occurs is when people enter the ESC Configure panel, or press ESC.

On my Windows 8.1 platform, this bug can occur at anytime while flying the simulated aircraft without pressing the ESC key or entering the Configure panel.

And the only method currently able to reproduce this bug, is by pressing the ESC key or entering the Configure panel. However, DarkWanderer has stated he also now has reproduced this bug within a memory debugger under Windows, and needs further testing from Windows 10 users. (ie. See DarWanderer's previous comments for testing instructions.)

Just for kicks, I've seen an issue where TrackIR controller is also lost, but only when not using the ARMA 3 Launcher and just prior to logging into the 3D world of a multiplayer server game.

It might be worthwhile to see, if starting ARMA 3 from the ARMA 3 Launcher, instead of the arma3.exe executable. To do so, make sure Steam is not running and/or stop steam.exe. Launch ARMA 3 using the ARMA 3 Launcher. (ie. arma3launcher.exe)

I really doubt this will workaround this issue, but it's worth.

I got a USB game controller and the same result. The problem is still the same so is it my rig, windows 8.1 or arma 3. both controllers work on other games. This has got to bean an arma3 bug, plz fix or provide a workaround. merry xmas

Update - Window 10 fixed the issue. Until day when it auto updated last night. As I first launched the game I was given a prompt about how to enable (Game Bar), with Win key + G. This seams to be a xbox app feature to record game footage similar to Nvidia Shadowplay. As the prompt box appeared there was a check box on the prompt allowing you to not display this message again which I moved the mouse to select it and it disappeared. I searched win setting to disable this GameDVR feature of xbox app, which did not work. I also tried to uninstall xbox app to no avail. So my USB controller problem has been reintroduced by windows 10 update. The controller loss is different and is almost instant. weirdly I can view, operate none flight assigned buttons, but when I hit the gas and climb it goes wonky as soon as I get off the ground. if I don't crash immediately and just hover a few seconds or so the controlled comes back for a second or two. I will try a few more settings and disable windows stuff and retest. I can not believe I just lost flight controls again.

The direct motherboard USB ports at the rear of my PC seam to work still, the front panel USB ports have the problem described above? So currently windows 10 has still fixed the USB problems

dedmen closed this task as Resolved.May 18 2020, 11:02 AM