Controlling PTZ Cameras with a USB Joystick

Turn a USB Joystick or Gaming Joystick into a professional PTZ Camera Controller

PTZJoy PTZ Camera Controller Software lets you use any wired USB joystick, wireless Bluetooth joystick, or gaming joystick to control PTZ Cameras. Connect up to four Joysticks* to your computer or production system and use them to control your PTZ cameras. With simultaneous pan/tilt/zoom, 3 joystick performance modes, and custom button mapping (preset call, zoom, lower/raise exposure, etc.), the result smooth and reliable camera control.

*Depends on Edition





Before getting started, you must first calibrate your joystick. Calibrating your joystick controller will help the joystick to work more accurately with the PTZJoy application by finding the exact zero points and peripheral borders of the controller.

  1. Make sure your joysticks(s) are connected to the computer and are being recognized.
  2. Open Control Panel > Open Devices and Printers
  3. You should see a screen showing all available devices
  4. Find your Joystick Controller and right click on the icon. Select Game Controller Settings. Highlight the controller you wish to calibrate and select Properties.
  5. To start the calibration process, select Calibrate under the Settings tab to initiate the Device Calibration Wizard.


  1. Click on the USBJoy Button.
  2. Move your USB joystick in the desired direction to control your camera. Regulate the speed of the pan and tilt movements by the movement of the joystick relative to its center point, or zero point. The further you move the joystick away from the zero point, the quicker the camera will rotate.
  3. You can switch between your joysticks in the Settings panel (the cog towards the bottom of the PTZJoy interface).


Each button on each joystick can be configured to do a different task.

  1. Open the Settings tab (the cog towards the bottom of the PTZJoy interface)
  2. Select which joystick you'd like the configure
  3. With USBJoy activated, press a button on your joystick to learn which button number it is. The color of the corresponding button will change in the settings panel
  4. Click the drop-down arrow and choose what action you'd like that button to complete. Click Set. Note: you do not have to click Set each time. Clicking Set saves ALL of the button configurations at once.
  5. Repeat this process for any other joysticks you'd like to configure

If using a gaming joystick with a zoom lever, you can use this lever for controlling the zoom function with variable speeds. Since gaming joystick levers do not have a center, or zero, position like professional joysticks do, they will not return to the zero position when you release the lever – it has to be done manually.

Always start the program with the zoom lever in the middle position. By doing this, you will have full zoom control with the variable speed of your camera.

  1. Start PTZJoy with the joystick lever in roughly the middle position.
  2. Move the zoom lever up and down to zoom in and out to find the point where you can completely stop the zoom. This is your zero point.
  3. Restart PTZJoy with the lever in the middle position. Your joystick will be calibrated to use the zoom lever with a zero point.
  4. You can now regulate the speed of the zoom by the movement of the zoom lever relative to its zero point. The further you move the lever away from its zero point, the quicker the camera will zoom in and out. To stop the zoom, move the zoom lever back to the zero point.


PTZ Camera Controller Software has 3 joystick performance modes available that come in handy when broadcasting, live streaming, or recording with your PTZ Cameras.


  • This mode allows for slower, more precise movements of the camera while using the Virtual or USB joystick. This mode limits top joystick speed by expanding joystick travel between speed level changes. This is great for when you want the precision of control and to move the camera at a slower speed range. Click on the Slow Mode button to switch to Slow Joystick Mode. There are three Slow modes available that you can cycle through.


  • This mode allows for gradual speed acceleration of the camera while using the Virtual or USB joystick. This mode increases the speed of camera movement steadily as you move the joystick for a flying camera effect. Soft mode eliminates any quick speedups in movement. Click on the Soft Mode button to switch to Soft Joystick Mode.


  • This mode limits camera movements to the X-axis only while using the Virtual or USB joystick. This is great for camera shots where you want to pan from left to right only. Click on the X-Joy button to switch to X-Joy Joystick Mode.


Need to Control Your IP or VISCA PTZ Cameras? 

Check out our line of professional PTZ Camera Controller Software products for IP or Serial port VISCA PTZ Cameras.

IP PTZ Camera Controller Software


VISCA PTZ Camera Controller Software


Need a USB to VISCA Control Cable? We also make PTZ Gear.

Check out our selection of Serial RS-232, Serial RS-422, and Serial RS-485 to USB Control Cable sets for both single and multi-camera configurations: