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Play Any PC Game with a Gamepad Using JoyToKey

There was a time when “hardcore” PC gamers looked down on the idea of ??using a gamepad to play PC games. Mouse and keyboard reigned supreme, especially in the golden age of first-person shooters.

In truth, joysticks and gamepads have a rich and legendary history on PC, with genres like racing and flight simulators practically demanding to be playable.

The problem is that for a very long time, gamepads on PCs weren’t standardized. Lacking a clear idea of ??what the players would be using, many developers simply didn’t bother with supporting gamepads for their games.

Now, thanks in large part to console ports, the Xbox controller has become the de facto standard for PC gaming as well. What’s more, since so many games are also being developed for the Xbox, it’s easy for developers to simply turn on the control scheme.

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The end result is that if you plug your Xbox controller into a modern Windows PC, modern games will switch seamlessly, even changing the in-game UI to reflect controller controls. This is the best time for those of us who love to play with a gamepad on PC, especially from the couch.

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However, there are thousands of older PC games that only support keyboard and mouse. Which leaves us with a little problem. Fortunately, JoyToKey provides an affordable solution.

How to use JoyToKey

JoyToKey is a small application sold for a few dollars that takes input from a gamepad and converts it to keyboard and mouse output. It is fully customizable for each game and will open up a wide variety of games for you.

The first thing you need to do is download the software, which you can do from the JoyToKey downloads page. This download is shareware with a fixed trial period. You can purchase a permanent license key from JoyToKey

The file will be in a Zip archive. Unzip JoyToKey and run JoyToKeyexe.

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This is the main window of the program, all action begins here. On the left side of the window, you will see profiles. You can have a profile for each game. Here we are going to create a real classic – Quake for ID software.

While Quake does have built-in support for joysticks, we found that this was not the case, so a more robust solution needs to be found. Let’s get started, okay?

First, just click Create and name the profile. Then click OK.

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Now select a profile by clicking on it. In the right pane, you will see two “joystick tabs”. Since we have one gamepad connected, we will only use Joystick 1. On this panel, you will see a list of inputs under the Buttons section.

The first and second joysticks are the left and right analog sticks. The POV inputs are the directions on the crosspiece. The buttons are listed in numerical order, so it is difficult to know which number corresponds to which button. Fortunately, if you press any button on your controller, the corresponding control will turn yellow.

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To assign a keyboard control, simply double-click the control in the right pane. This window should appear.

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This is the configuration for the left stick moved to the left. In Quake, the “A” button moves to the left. Therefore, we enter “A” in the first field under “Keyboard emulation”. If we need a combination of buttons, you can add up to four. Click “OK” to close this window.

So, you can repeat this process for each keyboard key you want to assign. However, the version of Quake we are using here allows you to look around with your mouse. So how are we going to assign mouse or button movement?

Let’s assign a Right Stick Up to simulate vertical mouse movement. Double click Stick 2 Up. Then click the Mouse tab.

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As you can see, here is a graphical representation of the mouse movement. We want the computer to think that we are moving the mouse up when the right stick is moving forward. To do this, set the vertical cursor movement to 100 as shown above.

The numbers represent movement speed, so you may have to tweak it until in-game movement has the desired sensitivity. Click OK when finished.

Now we just repeat this process for every button related to our game. Just remember that Joy2Key must be running and the correct profile must be selected for it to work.

Now that we have a profile set up for Quake, we can start with classic fragmentation.

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Of course, you can’t tell from the picture, but it works great, playing games from the mid-90s with a 2018 gamepad is cool. Enjoy!

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