The Missing Titanic Sub Uses Video Game Remote As A Steering Wheel

Oceangate's Titanic exploration sub used a Logitech controller as a steering wheel.

By Sckylar Gibby-Brown | Updated


Earlier this week, a submarine went missing in the North Atlantic Ocean on its voyage to see the wreckage of the historic Titanic ship. Five passengers were aboard the Titanic sub, and all are now presumed dead after pieces of the imploded submarine were found. Now, a new report from states that the remote used to operate the submarine was actually a gaming controller that is known to frequently disconnect, which could have had something to do with why the tragedy happened.

On Monday, the Titanic sub was reported missing. After days of searching the Atlantic waters for signs of survival, the wreckage of the submarine was found, and earlier today, OceanGate, the company in charge of the submarine voyages, announced that all five passengers on the sub are presumed dead. Now, the company is under fire as it was discovered that the missing vessel was piloted using a wireless gaming controller.

The fact that a gaming controller was controlling the Titanic sub raises concerns about the safety of the vessel and the reliability of those operating it, especially in a high-risk underwater environment. However, it’s not as unusual as it sounds. Gaming controllers have become an integral part of modern culture, influencing the gaming industry and various other sectors like film production and the military.

Tools such as the Unreal Engine, originally designed for game development, have found applications in diverse fields, from piloting submarines like the Titanic sub, as well as operating drones and tanks for official organizations like the military. Younger generations’ familiarity with gaming controllers has played a significant role in their adoption for official use, as they offer a shorter learning curve for operators. 

The Logitech controller used by Oceangate

Because of this, Xbox controllers, known for their compatibility with Microsoft’s Windows operating system, are frequently utilized in military applications. Notably, unlike the Titanic sub, military-grade controllers are typically wired to ensure uninterrupted connection, reducing the risk of disconnection unless intentionally unplugged. However, in addition to using a wireless controller, the Oceangate vessel apparently used a Logitech controller that is known for frequently disconnecting while in use. 

According to reports from 2022, the specific controller used to operate the Titanic sub is a modified 2011 Logitech G-F710 controller. Logitech, a renowned manufacturer of gaming hardware, generally produces high-quality products; however, no matter how much gamers love using this controller, reports from both ends of the spectrum have claimed they’ve dealt with random disconnectivity issues. Obviously, dealing with disconnection is not something you want to be facing when operating a submarine full of live people.

It is entirely possible that in the last year, OceanGate has updated its tech and is no longer using a 12-year-old gaming controller to operate its Titanic tour subs. However, no updated reports have been released.

Whether the controller played a significant role in the Titanic’s sub’s disappearance or if other factors contributed to the incident remains to be seen. In any case, this incident serves as a reminder that the safety and reliability of technology must always be paramount when entrusted with human lives in high-stakes environments.