Difference between a joystick and a trackball

Difference between a joystick and a trackball

Difference between a joystick and a trackball

Difference between Trackballs and Joysticks is that Trackballs are stationary pointing devices that are equipped with a ball. The pointer can be moved with a trackball by rotating it using your thumb, fingers, or hand palm. In contrast, a joystick is a horizontal lever on a base that is held in your hand. To control the simulated player or vehicle, you press buttons and move the lever in different directions


There is a ball on the top or side of a trackball, which is used as a pointing device. A trackball’s pointer can be moved by rotating the ball with your thumb, fingers, or palm. Trackballs usually also have one or more buttons that behave like mouse buttons in addition to the ball.


The joystick or wheel is commonly used to control an airplane, vehicle, or player in game software or flight and driving simulation software. Joysticks are levers that are held vertically on a base. You control the simulated vehicle or player by moving the lever and pressing buttons. Input devices, such as steering wheels, are devices you turn to simulate driving a car, truck, or other vehicle. In addition to turning the wheel, the pedal often acts as an accelerator or brake. Games are typically played with joysticks and wheels attached to a computer or console via a cable.

Read more about difference between a trackball and a mouse

How a joy works

A joystick is an electronic device that translates plastic stick movement into electronic information that can be interpreted by a computer. Among the types of machines that use joysticks are the F-15 fighter jets, backhoes, and wheelchairs. We’ll be discussing computer joysticks in this article, but the principle applies to other types as well.

It is primarily the amount of information they pass on that makes the different joystick technologies different. Early game consoles used simple joysticks consisting of specialized electrical switches.

Sticks and bases are connected by flexible rubber sheaths and a flexible plastic base. The plastic base contains an electronic circuit directly underneath the stick. Several “printed wires” run through the circuit board, connecting to several contact terminals. These terminals are connected to the computer by ordinary wires.

An electrical circuit is formed by several smaller circuits connected by printed wires. Basically, these circuits are just conduits for transferring electricity. There is a complete breakdown of all but one circuit when the joystick is in neutral — when you’re not pushing in any direction. As a result, the conductive materials in the wire do not completely connect, so the circuit cannot conduct electricity.

A small metal disc is contained in each plastic button that covers each broken section. Each button pushes down on the metal disc, pushing it against the circuit board when the stick is moved in any direction. As a result, the circuit is closed – the two wire sections are now connected. Electricity can flow through the printed wire, which connects the computer (or game console) to another wire that returns to the computer.

How a trackball works

Inside the mouse is a track ball with two roller sensors. Changes in the X axis are read by one, while changes in the Y axis are read by the other. When the ball rolls against the desk, the sensors also detect it as it rolls. During rotation, the sensors measure how many degrees the sensor has rotated and then send the information to the computer. Based on the amount of degrees that each roller has rotated, the sensitivity setting of your OS determines how many pixels the cursor will move.