This paper investigates the many complications arising when controlling a digital displacement hydraulic machine with non-smooth dynamical behavior. The digital hydraulic machine has a modular construction with numerous independently controlled pressure chambers. For proper control of dynamical systems, a model representation of the systems fundamental dynamics is required for transient analysis and controller design. Since the input is binary (active or inactive) and it may only be updated discretely, the machine comprises both continuous and discrete dynamics and therefore belongs to the class of hybrid dynamical systems. The study shows that the dynamical system behavior and control complexity are greatly dependent on the configuration of the machine, the operation strategy, and in which application it is used. Although the system has non-smooth dynamics, the findings show that simple continuous and discrete approximations may be applicable for control development in certain situations, whereas more advanced hybrid control theory is necessary to cover a broader range of situations.