Wireless controller input lag


Has anybody test the input lag on wireless controllers vs wired controllers?

The reason that I ask is that I have built several controllers and went the wireless route. I have always heard the discussion of wireless input lag and I wondered how much lag I was seeing with my wireless controller. To test input lag I used Rock Band lag compensation (I know it isn’t perfect but it is suggestive) and compared my wireless stick to a wired stick.

I performed tens reps and got an average difference of 23ms. 1 frame equals ~17ms and the result is ~1.35 frames of input lag. This is all very rough and would change depending on the accuracy for the Rock Band test and how Rock Band determines the average input lag. Although it suggests that there is a significant amount of lag and could easily be bigger than what I measured.

I realize the implication of worrying about ~1.5 frames of input lag but in a game where reaction time is critical, I think it important to eliminate all forms of input lag possible. Any thoughts?


Toodles, I think, did lag testing and came up with a number that was small enough to be considered insignificant. Can you describe your set-up? There are other places were 23 ms of lag could come from.


Thanks for the response. I used Rock Band’s nifty audio and video syncing system to do some rudimentary measurements of input lag. The controllers that I used are both custom builds of my own without any fanciness that would change affect input timing to the best of my knowledge. One controller is wired and the other is wireless. It should be an even comparison between the two. So, with the wireless controller I had an average of ~53ms and the wired controller had an average ~30ms. So then the comparison would be ~23ms.

I know that this is far from conclusive but suggests that wireless controllers do have a relevant amount of input lag. I would love to see some better data than mine and see how relevant wireless input lag is.


What kind of PCBs are you using? What kind of display? How is it hooked into your PS3 or Xbox360?


I have Xbox360 common ground PCB in my wireless and an madcatz PCB for the wired one. If you need to exact model I can supply it. My Display is a Sony Bravia KDL-42V4100. I know it isn’t the best low lag TV. The Xbox360 is directly connected via HDMI.


Here’s the thread with testing information. Toodles knows what he’s doing…

It’s quite strange to see you have such a different result. I’m not sure what I can tell you – maybe your neighbor has a baby monitor that’s making interference?


Thanks for your help Rufus. I think I will be picking up a ChImp for my PS3 and Xbox 360 dual mod. My only worry is if there are some laggy controllers, I don’t want to build my new hitbox with a crap controller. I asked Toodles about it and he didn’t know anything on specifics for the Xbox360 controllers.