Mathematica supports using joysticks, gamepads, 3D mice, and all other controller devices that follow the HID specification. In fact, in many cases, there is zero setup needed to control Mathematica with one of these controller devices. You can use the interactive examples below to try out some simple applications of using gamepad support in Mathematica. However, watching the screencast will give you a much more thorough walk-through of using a variety of devices to control interactive output in Mathematica.
You can control Manipulate outputs and typical 3D graphics with a gamepad. The inputs are very simple, and do not mention anything about controller devices.
To control a 3D graphic or Manipulate output with a gamepad or other controller device, simply plug the device into your computer and then select the cell bracket of the object you wish to control.
You should now be able to rotate the 3D graphic using your controller device. If this is not working, first check to make sure you have the proper device drivers installed for the device you are using. In many cases, the device drivers install automatically when the device is connected to your computer.
It is impossible to predict exactly which buttons or axes of a controller device will correspond to a particular variable or set of variables in Mathematica. However, this can be controlled by the commands used to create a Manipulate object.
In the Manipulate here, there are two variables that by default are assigned to the and axes of a single analog joystick on a gamepad: