How to Bind Keys to a Gamepad Controller


In the early days of gaming, you only had one way of playing--the way the programmer decided. That could be cumbersome and unwieldy if the key layout was strange or counter-intuitive. Game designers and peripheral designers, however, have caught on to gamers' wishes. For years now it's been possible to bind keys to any game controller you were using, whether a joystick, keyboard or gamepad.

Things You'll Need

  • Gamepad controller
  • Drivers
  • Configuration program
  • Video game
  • Start the game you wish to play by accessing its shortcut on the desktop or by locating it in your Start Menu. Once it loads the main menu will typically appear.

  • Access the "Options" or "Configuration" menu from the main menu of the game. This typically redirects you to a second menu including features like "Audio," "Video," "Graphics" and "Controls."

  • Select "Controls." The Controls section includes all of the key bindings, as well as control sensitivity.

  • Choose "Look Inversion" to change the Up-is-Down/Down-is-Up setting. This is a throwback to flight simulators, in which pulling back (or down) on the control would make the plane pitch up. Many gamers still play with Look Inversion enabled.

  • Click on a current key binding, either on the name of the action or the setting. This should highlight it a different color to let you know it's selected.

  • Press the button that you wish to bind to that function. For example, if you want to map "Jump" to Button 1 you would press Button 1. It should then appear in the key bindings list.

  • Click the "Apply" or "Accept" option once you've finished your new key bindings. This will enable your choices for the next time you play the game.

Tips & Warnings

  • Try to bind keys consistently from game to game so you don't confuse yourself. For example, if you play a lot of shooters, keep the "Reload" and "Crouch" buttons the same from one shooter to the next. The more you keep your key bindings similar the less steep your learning curve will be.
  • Be aware that, even though most games today do allow you to bind keys however you want, some do not. Flight, driving and military simulators typically allow you to re-map keys, but some strategy games or traditional wargames (or even older titles) will not.
  • Most console games do not allow you to fully map your gamepad controller. They instead offer a selection of preset key bindings. As such, you're going to have to remember the bindings from one game to the next.

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