This overview describes the functions and messages that support joysticks, as well as other ancillary input devices that track positions within an absolute coordinate system, such as a touch screen, digitizing tablet, and light pen. Extended capabilities also provide support for rudder pedals, flight yokes, and other devices that use up to six axes of movement, a point-of-view hat, and 32 buttons.

The multimedia joystick API has been superseded by DirectInput, which has more capabilities for today's input and force-feedback devices. For more information, see the DirectX documentation.