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A game profiler is a type of game control software. It organizes the process of assigning commands to video game controllers, and other peripherals such as game pads, joysticks, racing wheels, gaming keyboards and mice. While this may sound unnecessary or complicated to a casual gamer, it can be a lifesaver for hard core gamers that regularly play several different games. Additionally, the profiling tool also allows users to actually modify the way a controller functions within a particular game.
Game profiler programs are traditionally used on PCs. However, there are also examples of this type of software that work with game consoles, like Xbox® 360, or PlayStation® 3. Some programs are generic and work with multiple types of platforms and controllers, while others work with only one brand of controller.
In any case, the game profiler allows a gamer to program all the commands for an individual game in one place using a single interface. The resulting file, or "profile," can be saved and loaded at will. The big advantage of this type of software is that the user can create profiles for every game he or she plays; this helps make it possible to switch between games easily, without having to reprogram all the commands.
Another advantage of a good game profiler, is that it allows the user to actually reprogram the way a particular control works. Thus, a knob or slider can easily be made to function as an axis, and vice versa. Indeed, one might even reprogram a joystick to function as a mouse. In many cases, this would be impossible to do directly through the game interface. This ability can also help with games that have trouble recognizing a particular type of controller. The game profiler can create a sort of "back door" in order to force commands through to the game.
Game control software of this type can offer the gamer a big advantage, and is particularly useful for those who play a lot of different games, or very complex games. However, there are also some disadvantages. If one regularly plays only one or two games, the task of creating a profile may be more tedious and time consuming than it is useful. Additionally, using a game profiler means that yet one more application will be running in the background during the game, using up valuable hardware resources. Thus, if the user's computer is only marginally powerful enough to run a particular game, it may not be worth the trade off in computer resources to use it.
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