Xbox 360 Controller workaround for PC version
I recently found out via these forums that there was no Xbox 360 controller support in Bioshock 2. I find this more than a little disheartening considering the original game supported the controller out of the box and there exists an Xbox 360 version of this game. Yes I know, mouse and keyboard are more precise, etc. but some of us enjoy using the controller as the comfort vs. precision tradeoff is one we're willing to accept.
According to 2K, native gamepad support will never be added to the game. As unfortunate as this decision is, there is certainly a workaround to be had!
The solution is mouse and keyboard emulation through a program called JoyToKey. This program is free to download and use. It is only about 380KB in size, so even users with very slow internet connections should have no problem obtaining it. You'll need a custom config to use it with Bioshock 2, but I'll be providing that further down below. To get Xbox 360 controller support via JoyToKey, complete the following:
1. Download the JoyToKey Version 3.79 program from the following link: http://www.idiombox.com/oneswitch/JoyToKey_(v3_79).zip
Note that this website is not within the 2K webspace, nor is it a website that I personally run or maintain. I have downloaded and used this program myself and can assure that the file linked was free of viruses and spyware when I obtained it. Nevertheless, you should always test files you download from the Internet with your own tools.
2. The JoyToKey_(v3_79).zip file is compressed, so you will need to extract it into a folder. In Windows XP, Vista or 7, you can simply right click on the file, left click the "Extract All..." option, and follow the prompts to extract the contents into a folder on your hard drive. No installation is necessary.
3. Navigate to the same folder that you extracted the zip file to (where the JoyToKey.exe file resides) and create a new text file. You can do this by right clicking anywhere in the whitespace of the folder, hovering the mouse cursor over the "New" selection, and left clicking "Text Document" from the options presented. Name the file you're creating "Bioshock2.cfg" (without the quotes).
4. Open the Bioshock2.cfg file in Notepad. To do this, click Start - All Programs - Accessories - Notepad. In Notepad, click File, then Open, and navigate to the folder where the Bioshock2.cfg file resides. Change the file view option near the bottom from "Text Documents" to "All Files" and double click on the Bioshock2.cfg file to open it. It should be blank.
5. Highlight and copy the following information below and paste it into the open Bioshock2.cfg file in Notepad:
***File Copy Begins Below. Do NOT copy this line***
Axis1n=1, 41:00:00, 0
Axis1p=1, 44:00:00, 0
Axis2n=1, 57:00:00, 0
Axis2p=1, 53:00:00, 0
Axis3n=2, 0, 0, 0, 1, 0, 0, 0
Axis3p=2, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1, 0
Axis4n=2, -50, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0
Axis4p=2, 50, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0
Axis5n=2, 0, -50, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0
Axis5p=2, 0, 50, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0
Axis6n=1, 33:00:00, 0
Axis6p=1, 34:00:00, 0
POV1-1=1, 31:00:00, 0
POV1-2=1, 33:00:00, 0
POV1-3=1, 34:00:00, 0
POV1-4=1, 32:00:00, 0
Button01=1, 20:00:00, 0
Button02=1, 51:00:00, 0
Button03=1, 46:00:00, 0
Button04=1, 45:00:00, 0
Button05=2, 0, 0, 20, 0, 0, 0, 0
Button06=2, 0, 0, -20, 0, 0, 0, 0
Button07=1, 09:00:00, 0
Button08=1, 1B:00:00, 0
Button09=1, 43:00:00, 0
Button10=1, 11:00:00, 0
***File Copy Ends Above. Do NOT copy this line***
6. Save the file in Notepad by clicking File, Save and then close Notepad. Now, plug in your Xbox 360 controller. Start JoyToKey by double clicking the executable in the folder you extracted to.
IF YOU ARE RUNNING VISTA, make sure to set the compatability mode to Windows XP SP2 by right clicking on the JoyToKey executable, left clicking Properties, Compatability, check the "Run this program in compatibility mode for" checkbox and select "Windows XP Service Pack 2" from the dropdown." Click Apply then Ok. XP and Windows 7 seem to work "out of the box."
In the left pane of JoyToKey, you should see an entry labeled Bioshock2. Left click this once and then minimize JoyToKey. Start the game. You should now be able to use the Xbox 360 controller to move, shoot, and do all the other functions that the keyboard and mouse would normally supply.
I've set the configuration file up how I like the Xbox 360 controller to work in the game. That said, there's nothing stopping you from manipulating the provided configuration using the functions provided by the JoyToKey program. Note that JoyToKey MUST be running for the Xbox 360 controller to work in the game. Note that the program will drop down to the task tray when minimized.
Here is a quick rundown of how I've set the buttons/analog sticks up using the default control configuration on a U.S. keyboard and what they do:
Left stick: Move (W,A,S,D)
Click Left Stick: Toggle Crouch (C)
Right stick: Look (simulates mouse movements)
Click Right Stick: Melee (Shift)
A button: Action (F)
B button: Jump (spacebar)
X button: Reload (R)
Y button: Gather Adam / Harvest / Quick Hack (B)
Left Trigger: Use Plasmid (Right mouse button)
Left Bumper: Switch Plasmid (Q)
Right Trigger: Use Weapon (Left mouse button)
Right Bumper: Switch Weapon (Mouse scroll down)
Back button: Maps / Messages / Goals / Help (M)
Start button: Main Menu / Cancel / Pause (Esc)
D-Pad Up: Use First Aid Kit (Ctrl)
D-Pad Left: Iron Sights / Zoom (T)
D-Pad Right: Exit Scout Mode (J)
D-Pad Down: Play Newest Unread Diary (L)
Please note that JoyToKey provides mouse/keyboard emulation, not native gamepad support. This means that everything in the configuration file above is emulated keyboard strokes and mouse clicks. It was created using the default keyboard/mouse setup on Bioshock 2 without any changes or modifications to the default control scheme in the game. Additionally, this configuration file was created for use on a U.S. Keyboard. Other regions can and probably will vary. If the controls seem to not work correctly or do different things than stated above, chances are you have either modified the default keyboard/mouse mappings or you are using a non-U.S. layout keyboard. In either case, it will be necessary to go into the JoyToKey program itself and remap the the button presses to the correct keyboard keys for your specific control layout / region. It will probably help to use the above mappings as a guide.
Also note that this solution is far from perfect and is merely a workaround. Limitations of using JoyToKey for keyboard/mouse emulation in Bioshock 2 include:
1. The left control stick (move) tends to drift a bit to the left sometimes when moving. This seems to be an issue when using the Xbox 360 controller on games that were not designed for it. Need For Speed: Most Wanted on PC also had this problem.
2. The right control stick (look) also suffers from a similar issue. It's not game breaking, but it does tend to annoy even a patient player.
3. Moving via the left control stick still remains a hard W,A,S, or D movement. In other words, there is no concept of walking, sprinting, running, etc. depending on how much you move the stick in one direction. Moving it a little bit is exactly the same as moving it to its bounds.
4. The Xbox home button is not mappable via JoyToKey. Reports suggest that it will still bring down the Games For Windows Live menu as intended.
5. Rumble support cannot be emulated via JoyToKey, not that the game currently supports it anyway
I hope this helps all you guys and gals out there that are looking for a Xbox 360 controller fix. Happy gaming :-)
Last edited by neildittmar; 02-12-2010 at 05:49 AM.
Reason: Added that 2K has denied official gamepad support
Thanks for mentioning this idea. But for now, my choice was to return the game, complain that Bioshock 1 supported a controller and I had no reason to believe the Devs would make such a stupid decision time around, and fortunately I found a sympathetic gamer at Best Buy who allowed me to exchange the title (though opened) and get a title that allows me to decide how I wish to play my games.
Many of us over the age of 30 don't give a flying rat's butt about multiplayer, and in my case, I get carpal tunnel trying to play a long game with mouse and keyboard, hence my desire to use a gamepad, which does not give me those problems. And it's a shame I had to return it, since I really liked Bioshock 1.
Joy2Key doesn't work on Win 7 64 bit, so far as I know.
Given this unfortunate control decision in the Mass Effect games and here, is Microsoft intentionally paying developers to cripple PC titles in an effort to make us buy a 360? Like how nVidia does the PhysX thing to try to freeze us ATI customers out?
When you Devs finish the control programming in your game, shoot me an e-mail will ya? I'll go get a copy of Bioshock 2 then. For now, consider me a non 2K customer.
Last edited by QuiGonJ; 02-09-2010 at 03:22 PM.
It sure does. I'm running it with Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit with no issues. I didn't even need to turn compatability mode on like I did with Vista.
Originally Posted by QuiGonJ
Sorry to hear about your troubles though. I code software (not games) for a living so I can certainly sympathize with the whole carpal tunnel / hand cramps thing. That's where the whole comfort vs. precision compromise comes in for me when selecting a controller over a mouse and keyboard. I also don't get a whole lot of multiplayer in so being absolutely precise is usually not an issue.
Glad to hear that on joytokey, but I will still wait for 2K to finish their coding before I pay them $50 for the game.
Really? Your pulling the conspiracy card? For Bioware to support a controller in Mass Effect they would have to code an entirely different UI into the game. The UI in the PC version for both games was designed specifically for the PC using the mouse and keyboard.
Originally Posted by QuiGonJ
As for Bioshock 2....Who knows? Nothing about the UI screams "PC specific" to me. Looks like it wouldn't take that much to add controller support to it.
hey there. i just tried it and it works! sorta. i have some major bugs, but it works overall. anyway you can send me your config file and maybe that'll fix teh issues im having with mine? great work though man!
Probably wouldn't have, but I only tried Mass Effect a couple of weeks ago prior to that sequel coming out, and never would have thought AAA titles would skimp on control options. I hate WASD with a passion, always have, just never have been comfortable using em for game controls.
Please note that the configuration file I laid out above is complete and identical to what I have in my Bioshock2.cfg file in JoyToKey with no ommissions or additions. What the problem may be is that either a) you have changed the keyboard/mouse layout in the games control options to something other than the default or b)you are using a keyboard that differs from the U.S. layout.
Originally Posted by monkeypunchbaby
In either case, you'll need to go into the JoyToKey program itself and modify the keyboard keys to their correct values. Using the button layout I provided above will probably help in this. If you are using a U.S. keyboard, you could also just change your keyboard/mouse layout back to the default and the Bioshock2.cfg file should "just work."
I've changed the workaround instructions above to reflect what I just posted here so others may take note. Hope this helps.
i am still looking forward to the official support ,coz bioshock 1 did so well
I can't believe that the developers dropped Xbox 360 controller support when there are references to both the PS3 and Xbox 360 version of the game throughout the numerous configuration files. The first game had controller support built in as standard so it would have been very easy to have implemented it into the game especially since it was already working 100% fine in BioShock! Sure they can patch it in later but, really, it shouldn't have been left out in the first place.
Also the developers got a lot of flack for their lazy implementation of widescreen field of view in the first game and eventually released a patch allowing people to adjust it to suit their taste but they've totally ignored it AGAIN in the sequel! Geez... do these people have short-term memories or something?!?!?
Sometimes I wonder if developers do these things to deliberately annoy PC gamers and drive them to the consoles where they make more money out their games. Call me a cynic!
I sent messages to Kotaku and Shacknews. Hopefully it will get some coverage.
Crap - I meant to post this in the thread complaining about lack of support
Last edited by cstenger5; 02-10-2010 at 03:05 AM.
A work around is not a solution. 2K needs to patch 360 support into the game. Plain and simple. I can hardly bring myself to even play the game knowing I don't get to use my 360 controller.
I agree with this. Considering how "grounded" the game is in GFWL, lack of Xbox 360 controller support is quite conspicuous. This was an issue with the Midway game Stranglehold as well. That was a "Games For Windows" title that also lacked controller support. When I inquired with their customer service as to a gamepad being a requirement for the "Games For Windows" branding, they told me it was not. They were actually correct, no matter how strange that may seem.
Originally Posted by dvddxr3
That said, controller support was not promised before launch and in fact was denied outright by 2K. There may be a patch that adds it later due to community demand, however this is not a certainty. Therefore, for now (and possibly in the future) it is up to the community to create solutions to the problem until the time comes if/when 2K adds in controller support.
In my opinion something is a whole lot better than nothing and despite its flaws, the workaround I posted is definitely something useful. I've been playing the game like this for the last couple hours or so and it has worked fairly well, downsides and all.
I think it's great you posted a workaround but really the work should have been done by 2K.
They dropped controller support because they were unable to figure out how to do mouse + keyboard and controller properly at the same time. Bioshock 1 had hardcoded acceleration and smoothing (which are needed for pad support) but are terrible for using a mouse.
If you were skilled and knew how to program, you would have it automatically detect when a gamepad is connected and enable these functions.
Here is a Xpadder Version (5.3 i guess) including some rumble on plasmids and gunshots.
Medipacks are replaced by ammo selection, but you can change that easily.
Edit: Don't change bs2 config files. It won't work
all i can say its a PC game if you want to use a crapy game pad by a console and stop crying about it, its a shotter keyboard and mouse FTW
Originally Posted by QuiGonJ
the funny thing is the middle xbox (guide button) button works. It brings up the games for windows box just fine. And to the last dumb comment, we are asking for the OPTION, don't be a douche, this doesn't effect you what so ever. This game aint quake, it is a slow paced SHOOTER (see correct spelling) that was designed to be played with a controller. I am sure the majority of us are playing on a PC connected to a HDTV, none of us want to have a keyboard on our laps, we want to lounge on the sofa and enjoy the game with a simple controller in our hands, plus the benefits of it being on PC, $50 not $60, better graphics, better sound, better performance, mods, ect. Let alone the possibility of some of us being disabled and the controller is a better fit with their specific disability.
Last edited by Will12345; 02-11-2010 at 11:59 PM.
So in case you all didn't see it elsewhere, native gamepad support will never be added to the game via an official patch. Read it and weep:
At least the multitude of options on the PC affords us some workarounds. I haven't tried the Xpadder solution yet, but I probably won't considering the JoyToKey one is adequate enough for my needs.
Bioshock 2 is so screwed up on PC it does seem like they are trying to drive more console sales. I mean PC game $50 and console game $60. Few thousand pissed off customers, versus $100,000 plus in profits, not selling the PC title. which route do you think these money *****s went.
Originally Posted by Daz1967
Consoles have issues too.
The extra 10$ do not go to 2K but to MS, so no.
2K is not going to get my money untill they support gamepads.
I totaly agree and what I did was return my copy of BioShock 2 and I will never purchase another game that dose not support gampads. Dont these developers know that by not supporting gamepads in there games they are turning off many gamers towards buying those games That is not a good idea considering that with a little knowledge of the internet one can fine Bioshock 2 or just about any PC game for free on the internet.
Originally Posted by QuiGonJ
BTW I would not be surprised if Microsoft is pumping money behind the efford to remove gampad support from PC games. Thats is one of the reasons that actually make sense because the company line of how they wanted to focus on keyboard is pure BS.
I've never seen any console gamer requesting keyboard support for a console game so I can't really understand you guys who want to play a PC FPS with the gamepad. Maybe you should have bought a console in the first place.
Hey I'm a LONG time PC FPS player. And I ALWAYS without fail use mouse.
Originally Posted by doomed
Except in one case.
Because the game was designed for the consoles/pad. The mouse/kbd support in B1 was terrible. Yes it worked but it felt like crap. It was way too abstracted and 'floaty'.
I found using my wireless 360 controller actually added something to B1 because it was far too easy with M/KBD *AND* it gave it a sense of solidy that was lacking from the in game physics/gunplay (which were and still are terrible in both games).
That is one reason why a PC player may want to use the gamepad, esp with rumble (feeling a big daddy's footsteps was actually one of the few memorable moments for me in the first game). I agree completely that it would seem overzealous to get too angry about no controller support in a PC FPS game, but this game just seems to work better with controller.
Also you should factor in those who use a 'PC' as a game server, linked up to their living room HDTV. They don't always want to dig out a mouse kbd, esp when sitting 6 feet back from the TV. And it's not for you to decide if that is right or wrong, or whether they should 'just go buy a console', because normally the PC can push the graphics more (and is used for more things in the 'other room' when not being used as a game server).
Either way, the choice should be there. More importantly the fact it was in B1 and then removed in 2 is just stupid and I think anyone should be excused for assuming gamepad support would be in 2 as it was in 1. If their inclusion of gamepad support was their 'excuse' for bad m/kbd controls (code) then they should WORK HARDER and abstract the controls better, they don't have to share so much code. UE3 already has it built in anyway.
I give up with 2K anyway. They will never do PC games right and they barely do them right on consoles so from now on nothing will suprise me. My advice to anyone when looking at future 2K games is to WAIT a few weeks after release when user reviews/forums start filling with genuine complaints and NOT take the word of some highly paid 'pro reviewer' on a game review website who's dinner depends on exciting gamers into buying into the industry as a whole (and clicking on shiny adverts paid for by the very game companies the reviewer is reviewing the game for).
There is no independence when money is involved, you want the true opinion you look past the 10/10 fanboys and the 'pro game review sites' and you use search engines and forums and user reviews. And you bang on about it until game companies start realising that they can't treat us all like pathetic sheep who'll buy just anything that has enough hype behind it.
You want better games you start voting with your wallet!
Originally Posted by doomed
Many 'console gamers' ask for KBD/Mouse support for FPS games (esp on PS3) and some actually have it!
I'm a PC and Console gamer (they are all just computers; I don't have any snobbery towards either type of system) and all gamers should be given as much choice as possible if for some reason they prefer a certain control, or even need it for physical ergonomic reasons. Especially if already in previous games.
I absolutely agree, especially in reference to the PC platform. The PC is all about choice, particularly regarding hardware and peripherals. If 2K makes a business or technical decision not to support gamepads on one (or even all) of their PC titles, then so be it. As has been shown by my and others efforts, the community will figure out a way to workaround the limitations.
Originally Posted by greylantern
On a side note, I also don't understand all the bickering in this and other threads regarding the good/bad and right/wrong regarding the use of a gamepad on the PC in general. The topic here is a workaround for using an Xbox 360 controller for the PC version of Bioshock 2 since this was a feature 2K didn't provide. It is certainly not to wage the endless war of how somebody could ever possibly want to use a gamepad when mouse and keyboard is so much more exacting and precise.
We already know all the arguments, bullet points, and remarks that have been posted (spammed?) in nearly every thread regarding gamepad support in PC Bioshock 2. Quite honestly? It doesn't concern us, never did and probably never will. We've selected what we want to use based on personal preference and since 2K hasn't given it to us, we've devised our own way of getting it "in game."
Truthfully, it shouldn't bother people that much or at all. Those who are hardcore mouse and keyboard already have native support for that. Go have fun :-)
Last edited by neildittmar; 02-15-2010 at 01:14 AM.
while it is completley F'ed that 2k omitted support for the xbox360 controller, i do have to say the xpadder solution works very well, alot better than the joy2key option posted here. Thank you!
i cant get xpadder to work for me. Joy2Key was glitchy. but pinnacle is working really well for me. its still off a bit though.
This was a bummer, but I made it through with xpadder. From now on i will make zero assumptions about game features. With both controller support and 3D support. What the devs fail to realize is more and more people are building or buying HTPCs to connect to their larger 1080p hometheater systems. You can build a sub $600 device that does all your movie watching, internet TV watching, bluray, can even put a cable card in there, has better game performance than any console on the market, the games cost less ($50, and many more free and budget titles), usually more options (like 3D), and much much more. This one device is the center of my living room.
So wake up Devs, this type of hardware setup isn't for just the rich man anymore. Heck, my best buy employed younger brother has a $600 HTPC and an HDTV. Not everyone is playing these games huddled up 10 inches from a 19" 4:3 monitor with headphones on any more, yeah many are doing that, but some are on widescreen 27 inchers 3 feet away, and some on 67" 3D DLP screens 8 feet away on a sofa (me), some are on 100 inch projectors, some are deaf, some are color blind, some prefer a controller, some a keyboard and mouse. These differences can all be addressed with SIMPLE options so the games can scale to their needs. Every game shooting for main stream appeal really should have options for input methods, subtitles, and font size scaling. Plus any color based mini games should be tested for color blind issues. Its so simple sounding yet so few games do it.
Last edited by Will12345; 02-16-2010 at 01:18 AM.
I've tried Joy2Key and Xpadder. Honestly, I've given up to the point I'll either play through the single player with a keyboard and mouse, or won't play it at all. While both products work, it just feels like I'm taking a step backwards after playing 1 with great emulation.
Doesn't look like we'll get our wishes on Gamepad support, but the config file you posted was fun to play with.
Maybe they'll hear our cries and pull something off in the 11th hour.
It's unbelievable that 2K does not support controllers in the PC version of BS2!
I mean it's 2010 afterall. Almost all PC games have perfect controller support and lots of gamers are used to it and moved away from the uncomfortable and dated "hunched over my keyboard and mouse" control scheme. Many dont care if its less precise then kb/mouse. The comfy factor is much more important.
It's like a slap in the face of the customers . What did 2K think??
And by the way: Alone from the almost 3000 views of this thread 2K should see and understand how important controller support is in modern PC games!
Last edited by tomes23; 03-29-2010 at 07:03 AM.
what spoils all of the 3rd party workarounds is that you cannot turn off the press <keyboard letter> prompts which appear throughout the game, and are very confusing if you are using a controller.
When I was on Windows I used Pinnacle Game Profiler for my 360 pad. It is commercial so it has the drawback of costing money BUT it also means that it is actively supported and very well polished. It comes with a 30 day trial so you can see that it's actually worth it.
You can find Pinnacle here:
And a Bioshock 2 profile here:
The community is very well supported and pre-built profiles exist for pretty well any game.
yes, it's a great program, but in bioshock 2 you're still stuck with the keyboard&mouse specific in-game on-screen prompts, which cannot be disabled.
Originally Posted by headkase
hey dude i read through your guide and did everything you said to. only prob.. it didnt work to well so i was wondering if that file you said to copy to notepad was only for an xbox 360 controller ( i have a logitech pc controller)