USB Gamepads interfaced into Arduino

I'm making what can be described as an rc submarine. To control it I need to have some sort of tethered control system. The arduino controller is onboard and tethered to my laptop so I need to connect usb gamepads to my laptop via usb and be able to control my thrusters (controlled via pwm signals) which are to be determined by the feedback from my usb gamepads. I'm more mechanically inclined so I have little know how on how to accomplish this.

I've found a few templates on how to get readings from usb HID devices. generic_hid_vb is working and I can see value changes but I don't know how to interface it to arduino. Help?

Doesn't sound that hard. I did something similar, but I used LabVIEW and that is probably too expensive. All you want to do is connect the USB gamepad to the Arduino, not send back any data, right? Try looking for a library for Java that can input from joysticks, then use Processing to relay the data to the serial port. Just write a header character, then each joystick value separated by a comma or something. You will probably want to scale the joysticks to 8-bit and then send a single byte for each.