World of Warcraft (WoW), which is still the most popular multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) in the world, is gearing up for its eighth expansion. While WoW continues to make strides in storytelling, combat, and class identity, fifteen years later it’s still happy with its archaic approach to how the game plays out.
Unlike newer, more modern MMORPGs that have found it worthwhile to add a gamepad option, World of Warcraft remains stubbornly traditional in its keyboard and mouse interface. This is not surprising since the game is focused on using PC peripherals.
However, at times, choosing a comfortable sitting on the couch is preferable to the back pain that occurs when you play for hours at the table. Luckily, ConsolePort is here to help you play World of Warcraft with a controller.
How to play World of Warcraft with Console
ConsolePort is a World of Warcraft add-on that supports PlayStation DualShock4 (DS4), Xbox 360 and Xbox One, and Steam controllers. This add-on is not officially endorsed by the WoW development team at Activision-Blizzard, but it works just like any other add-on available to the WoW community.
Setting up is surprisingly simple and requires nothing more than the ConsolePort add-on, one of the aforementioned controller options, WoWMapper, and World of Warcraft itself.
Configuring your controller for use with World of Warcraft
Set up a console for use with World of Warcraft
Connecting your chosen gamepad is the first step. Xbox and Steam controllers connect seamlessly to your PC as they can be connected using a dongle (Xbox) or Bluetooth (Steam). DS4 requires additional download as DS4Windows
Setting up the Steam Controller
To use a Steam controller with ConsolePort, you will need to set up your Steam desktop or overlay profiles. You will also need to download the ConsolePort Original add-in.
- After adding -on has been downloaded, place the .vdf file in your Steam folder. It should look something like C: Program Files (x86) Steam controller_base templates.
- Once hosted, start or restart your Steam client.
- After starting Steam, go to Settings> Controller> Desktop Configuration> Browse Configurations> Templates.
- Find and select ConsolePort Official from the list.
- Go back to Settings> In Game and uncheck the Enable Steam checkbox. Overlay while playing to avoid conflicting keyboard shortcuts.
- Exit preferences and your desktop profile is now configured for ConsolePort.
Another way to enable the Steam controller for ConsolePort is through the overlay.
- Add the WoW client, WoW-64.exe or WoW.exe, to the Steam client as a non-Steam game.
- You can do this from your Steam library by clicking + ADD GAME located in the lower left corner of the window and selecting “Add a non-Steam game
- Go back to Settings> Controller> Big Picture Configuration and find World of Warcraft.
- Select Manage Shortcut> Configure Controller> Browse Configurations.
- On the Templates tab, select ConsolePort. Officially.
WoWMapper is a free and easy-to-use executable file that you need to download before entering World of Warcraft. It will look for the game, controller and ConsolePort add-on and articulate the interactions between them.
All you have to do is download the .zip from GitHub, extract it, and run it in the background while you play. Make sure to launch the app from the browser dialog and you should be fine.
Download the ConsolePort add-on for free from CurseForge.com. Unzip it and add it to your WoW add-ons folder. It can usually be found at C: Program Files World of Warcraft Interface AddOns. Drag the unpacked version of ConsolePort directly into the AddOns folder.
ConsolePort Calibration and Layout
You can now launch World of Warcraft.
- In the lower left corner of the character select screen, click the Add-ons button.
- Make sure all check boxes for ConsolePort are selected EXCEPT the advanced option.
- Advanced options are only recommended after you access the add-in using the default options.
- Enter the game with one of your characters.
- Now you need to calibrate the ConsolePort using your controller. It takes several button clicks to map the controller to the default button layout.
- The default layout will give you direct control over your character with the left analog, while the camera can be controlled with the right.
From here, you can customize the rest of the buttons on your controller to match the most intelligent use of abilities in the game. The location of the key bindings will depend on your playing style and what suits you.
ConsolePort offers a more versatile approach to the world’s most successful MMORPG. It is limited due to Blizzard’s lack of built-in controller support, but still does a great job with its default calibration. The add-on can be easily enabled or disabled directly from the Add-ons menu, and your settings will remain whether it is active or not.