Some programs exist to allow you to use game console controllers (such as the Xbox 360 controller, or my usb-connected SNES pads and dual-shocks) to play games that don't support controllers natively. This can really help if the keyboard and mouse give you RSI, or the game was originally designed for use on a console.

I'm currently using ControlMK. It works (mostly), although sometimes one of the analog sticks and/or some of the buttons will not work once you are actually inside the game, and the configuration can be very complicated. Plus it doesn't work with every controller, nor every game (probably the game's fault, to be fair)

I'm trying out joytokey and considering getting xpadder, which at least has pictures to help figure out what maps to what, at least for supported controllers.

So to summarise, How can I easily setup different game controllers to work for multiple games by emulating the keyboard/mouse?

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    I've edited the question to make it less recommendation-y, as per close voter feedback above, and to avoid close votes. Although, IMHO, I don't think this is necessary as per the meta discussion: meta.gaming.stackexchange.com/q/6828/4797 - "Judge questions by the problem being posed instead of the presupposed answer." "Recommending solutions from a large number of possibilities is the core of a wide swath of questions." – galacticninja Oct 24 '13 at 4:15
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    Use soft recs SE to do this kind of question. Or the Chat – Michel Feb 20 '14 at 13:57
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    Another con of ControlMK is that it does not recognize the "POV hat" (D-pad) input on the X360 controller (at least this is the case in my environment). – wip Jun 12 '14 at 14:16
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    I made an application using XNA 4.0. It's open source and available at github.com/KapitanH/PlusPad. It's available for Windows. Currently it has just one fixed control scheme, but you are welcome to extend it. – Kai Hartmann Mar 27 '15 at 7:19


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You've stated you're interested in xpadder, which I highly recommend. I've used it and it works wonderfully; it has a great user interface and makes setting up a controller a breeze.

Easy configuration
The ability to import a picture of your controller and configure each button in the right place on-screen makes it really, really easy to configure. You can see exactly what you're doing.

No configuration
Usually, though, you won't have to configure anything, unless you have a really, really obscure controller and/or really, really obscure game. You can simply google e.g. "xpadder mass effect" or "xpadder bioshock 2" or "xpadder 360 controller" to find controller images, controller config files, and game config files already carefully created by somebody else to work with your controller and the default key/mouse settings for your game.

There are a huge amount of useful options for what each button can do, including all possible key combinations and sequences, mouse movements, etc

Free version
If you want to try xpadder before buying it, you're in luck. There exists an older version (v5.3) that the author has stated will remain free because it was the last release that supported Windows 2000. (Source)

However, it is over two years old (came out in 2008 I believe), so it will not have any of the bug fixes or some controller support that xpadder has gotten over the last couple of years.

You can download it here.

  • Thanks. I've now bought xPadder, very happy. For people finding this later: xPadder is much easier to use (thanks to the controller images allowing you to see which button is where) and for some reason works on games where controlMK fails or only partially works. Most people can probably make do with the free version above. – MGOwen Jan 5 '11 at 2:29

AutoHotkey is a fantastic program that will meet most of your needs. It takes a little bit of effort to understand how it works, but once you do it can be insanely powerful. It has support to map up to 32 joystick/gamepad buttons, as well as the POV controls and XY axes. You can even set it up to target a specific gamepad or joystick if you have more than one connected to your computer.

Unfortunately, it doesn't meet all of your criteria (easy to setup), but the power it gives is worth the setup time. It has worked for every game I have tried.


Here's another (non-free) one that looks pretty heavy on features, Pinnacle Game Profiler:


If xpadder can't do what you need, try this (there's a 30-day trial available).

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