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Custom controller working with Xpadder, including nudging

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  • Custom controller working with Xpadder, including nudging

    I'm running this on my virtual pinball cabinet that uses a Pinball Wizard joystick kit, but this should work for anyone with a controller other than an Xbox 360 controller.

    Using the program Xpadder, I can map the buttons to the keyboard keys that the game is expecting. I even got left/right/forward nudging working! For that, set up a stick and manually set it to the correct X and Y axis. Somewhere there's a test screen that shows the current output on the fly so you know the right one to pick from the dropdown. I also had to adjust the deadzone on the stick, since the board that registers the tilt/force is always registering a little movement. It's not analog nudging, but it seems that I have it at a good threshold where a reasonable, non-accidental nudge will trigger the keyboard key nudge.

    You should be able to find the last free version of Xpadder on the web (5.3). Run the exe in XP compatibility mode on Win 7.

    Until better controller support is added, this works pretty well. I'll definitely be playing all weekend.

    Edit: The only thing I don't have working is the analog plunger. I think there's only support for that using an Xbox controller; using keyboard keys it just supports holding the Enter key to pull it back. Makes skillshots really hard, especially when they are integral to missions (Biolab).
    Last edited by Roo5676; 05-11-2013, 01:51 AM.

  • #2
    And don't be afraid to support the Xpadder dev man. He still updates software it only 10 bucks. Great stuff and it has helped on plenty of things. 5.3 is SUPER OLD.

    Also, you don't need Xpadder. Get Motioninjoy drivers. Emulate 360 pad and done.

    It can have bugs but I use the .00065 version offline from the forums. It the one that works for me and my PS3 pad. Once the PS4 hits I hope this thing goes open source. They need help and it could be done in a month or so. Awesome app but a little buggy.
    Last edited by Khronikos; 05-11-2013, 08:26 AM.


    • #3
      Real analog plunger now working

      Ok, thanks to jujohnso's post here, I now have my real analog plunger working as well! If you are just using a regular controller, just use that utility and I don't imagine you'll have a problem configuring the analog sticks.

      (Edit: don't forget to check out the requirements for x360ce on the site. I had to install Visual C++ runtime.)

      Here's the long version on how I got my cabinet working. I messed around for hours with the x360ce program. It was quite buggy for me. It crashed about 90% of the time I tried to start it to do the configuration. It does always seem to work when launching the game, though. I also had one point where the D-pad got stuck in the up position and wouldn't stop sending that input no matter what I did (resetting the input, clearing all inputs, deleting the ini file, etc). I ended up modifying the ini file and manually deleting the D-pad lines.

      Also, you have to restart PBFX2 each time you make changes in x360ce, or they won't take effect. You can't just alt-tab to it like Xpadder.

      So it took a lot of trial and error, but with the Pinball Wizard controller, the plunger is Axis 3 (Z), the left/right nudging is Axis 1 (X) and the up nudging is Axis 2 (Y). I couldn't get the plunger working correctly on the right stick due to there being no way to have it centered when the plunger is at rest. I ended up assigning Axis 3 to the right trigger and switching the setting in the game to use the right trigger instead of right stick (with flippers as LB/RB to avoid interference).

      I then tried to get nudging working on the left stick X and Y axis. The problem is the tilt board is very sensitive and always registering some movement (and your mileage may vary depending on how you have it configured in Windows game controllers). The other problem is there's no way to physically shove the cab so that it registers a full (or at least strong) analog stick push. So I tried make the deadzone big enough to ignore small accidental pushes and the anti-deadzone big enough to register a strong push on a "weak" nudge. But I couldn't get it to work. The closest I got was with it working, but giving too small of nudge force in-game (not enough to do a nudge pass, for example).

      So it dawned on me to use both Xpadder and x360ce together. My existing Xpadder setup handles all the buttons and nudging via keyboard presses, and x360ce handles just the analog plunger via the Xbox 360 right trigger. It's working well now. Hopefully this helps anyone with a cabinet or standalone Pinball Wizard controller.

      EDIT: the plunger works ok, but still has issues sometimes. Sometimes there is a big delay between releasing it and having it go (varies a lot). On Empire Strikes Back, it had a strange issue where I'd pull it back and it would pull the visible plunger mechanism back all the way (lighting all the lights or whatever), but it would fire the ball so weakly that it wouldn't even leave the plunger lane. I was able to get it to work by pulling the plunger back and manually moving it forward quickly with my hand, rather than letting it fly on it's own via the spring.

      Edit 2 (Jul 15 2013): The plunger has been really flaky for me for the last couple months. I just realized it seems like the game has a max speed at which it recognizes plunges or something. I posted about it here in the bug thread. I was half tempted to order one of the new (allegedly better and more accurate) plunger kits from VirtuaPin, but that would be a lot of work and expense and I don't know that it will fix anything considering this plunger works perfectly when pulling it back, just not when firing.
      Last edited by Roo5676; 07-15-2013, 09:00 PM.


      • #4
        Got my Nanotech kit to work, too. Thanks for the hints!

        I found that the Plunger works on Axis 6 better for me - needs some more testing, but it seems to work best.


        • #5
          The same can also be done using the freeware joytokey