Steam Deck - Massive drifting issues

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Steam Deck - Massive drifting issues

Post by chestbreaker » Mon, 28. Mar 22, 10:16

Hi X community,

I just bought X Rebirth to play it on the Steam Deck.
While the controls work fairly well after a bit of tweaking, I have massive issues with drifting.

Both in Space and on foot. This makes it pretty frustrating to steadily aim during looting or scanning.
After letting go the stick it seems that some of the angular velocity is still applied and so the ship or Ren keeps moving.

After some googling I found the workaround with disabling gamepad mode. Alas, it did not resolve the issue.
Also there is no additional Input device plugged into the Deck.

Is there any chance to otherwise fix this? - Is there any chance the game receives some sort of update after all these years?

Thanks for listening.

Alan Phipps
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Re: Steam Deck - Massive drifting issues

Post by Alan Phipps » Mon, 28. Mar 22, 12:00

I think there is very little hope of an update to X Rebirth any time soon, but there may be hope that other Steam Deck users may be able to come to your aid with some suggestions to try.

Drifting is almost always the result of the game receiving a continuous input signal that it is not expecting (such as from poor calibration, dead-zones, or stuck buttons/throttles, etc on input devices). If you can identify the input element that is the problem then that input could perhaps be disabled or corrected.
A dog has a master; a cat has domestic staff.

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Re: Steam Deck - Massive drifting issues

Post by chestbreaker » Fri, 1. Apr 22, 08:56

So. I did try some things, some desperate, some not so desperate and I'm pretty much convinced now the issue is somewhere in the input handling of the game.

After analyzing this, I could get every analog axis to "stick". And that's what causes the drifting.
Imagine the shoulder button used for throttling. If I trigger it all the way and let go suddenly, so that the spring pushes it to it's resting position quickly, the forward throttle will stick to a random value between full and zero in maybe 7/10 cases.
The same happens with the joysticks. If they are reset by the spring, the game will also stick in 7/10 cases to some value on the way back.

Things I tried:
I actually thought about the continuous input you mentioned, because it felt the game is not getting "enough" input events to be notified when the axis reaches zero.
So I activated the Gyro sensor of the Deck to continuously contribute a very small amount of input to the joystick axis. - With this, the pitch and yaw axis would no longer stick.

Another thing I noticed was, that X: Rebirth ships with it's own version of the SDL2 lib. So I renamed it so that X uses the version shipped with SteamOS. My hope was, that it's maybe just a bug with the IO library used by the game. - The game started and ran fine and I could verify with 'pldd' that it was indeed picking up the system lib. But the axis sticking is still a thing.

I also connected a XBox360 controller. It was considerably harder to get the axis to stick. But with the shoulder button it still worked 5/10 times, while the joysticks now only stuck in 2/10 times.

So. In essence: I think it's a polling/event frequency issue. The game misses some input events or maybe the are handled asynchronously so that they sometimes, if many events happen very fast (axis gets reset by a spring), are processed in the wrong order and thus the value will stick to the last one processed.

Speaking about this, I'm pretty much convinced it would come down to a concurrency / race condition if somebody would indeed take a look at this.

Thanks for your time.

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