#1 Posted by JoeyRavn (4964 posts) -

This is something that has always bothered me: the vast majority of game I've played don't allow the player to remap gamepad buttons to whatever they want, no matter if it's on PC or on consoles. At best, they will provide different button layouts, but seldom the chance to configure the layout to suit your preferences. It's even more jarring to me on PC, considering that, most of the time, any keyboard key can be assigned whatever function you want. I thought that maybe they didn't want the player to create a layout that makes playing the game impossible... but then again, a player can run into the same situation with a keyboard.

I know that this is not a problem for most games, but there are some particular situations in which remapping one or two keys could have been useful. I finally stated playing Darksiders II on PC yesterday and I just can't use abilities while I'm locked to an enemy. The modifier key to use abilities is LB, while the lock-on key is LT. Since there's no "sticky" lock-on, I would need to use one finger to press two buttons at the same time... pretty unconfortable. The same happens with shooters that don't put the reload button on X or RB, like Binary Domain (IIRC). It plays so similar to Gears of War that my muscle memory kicked in pretty heavily during the first few hours with that game. Being able to switch the Reload function from B to X or RB would have been nice.

So, yeah. Is there any logical reason why developers don't include the option of remapping gamepad buttons on their games?

#2 Posted by Terramagi (1159 posts) -

Because console developers have had their skills atrophy to the point where editing an ini file is beyond them.

#3 Posted by HarlequinRiot (1098 posts) -

Yeah I never understood this either. I don't know anything about coding or developing, but it really doesn't seem like that would be all that hard.

#4 Posted by FritzDude (2262 posts) -

Because a gamepad is much easier to adapt to even if you're unfamiliar to the buttons. There's no barrier for left & right handed people, as with keyboard & mouse.

#5 Posted by iFail (236 posts) -

@FritzDude said:

Because a gamepad is much easier to adapt to even if you're unfamiliar to the buttons. There's no barrier for left & right handed people, as with keyboard & mouse.

Even then, why not? Wasn't there a petition a while back about a disabled gamer who played with his mouth or something? Even if 99% of the population are fine with the default controls, why not have mappable buttons for the remaining people?

#6 Posted by JoeyRavn (4964 posts) -

@FritzDude said:

Because a gamepad is much easier to adapt to even if you're unfamiliar to the buttons. There's no barrier for left & right handed people, as with keyboard & mouse.

What kind of "barrier" is there with a keyboard and mouse? If anything, they are even more customizable than a gamepad.

#7 Posted by hughesman (312 posts) -

I agree 100%.

I was recently playing torchlight on the PC only to discover there is no in game tool for re-mapping keys. I shouldn't have to go into ini files to make minor control changes.

#8 Posted by monochromaticx (6 posts) -

To put players in an even playing field in multiplayer games? I dunno.

i do think developers should really make re-mappable button lay outs though for the sake of Quadriplegic players etc. 

#10 Posted by Humanity (9049 posts) -

I think it's only because then they'd have to QA all different control schemes and that costs more money.

#11 Posted by thedj93 (1237 posts) -

i bought a razr onza controller for fifty bucks and you can remap buttons on the hardware side. it's a pretty good controller too

#12 Posted by Pie (7078 posts) -

Maybe because nearly all the buttons on the PS3 gamepad are pressure sensitive? Gamepad buttons are also nearly always context sensitive which might cause problems.

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#13 Posted by JoeyRavn (4964 posts) -

@Pie said:

Maybe because nearly all the buttons on the PS3 gamepad are pressure sensitive? Gamepad buttons are also nearly always context sensitive which might cause problems.

If most buttons are pressure-sensitive, there it would make absolutely no difference to have a certain action in one or another button. Except, of course, that the player would be able to configure the gamepad to whatever feels more confortable. And if there's a button that just can't be replaced by another (because it's pressure-sensitive, because the developer wants to have a certain function or whatever the cause may be), well, just block it. But block just that button from being remapped, not the whole gamepad.

As for context-senstive actions, you are changing what button you press to perform an action, not the action itself. Pressing Square, Triangle, L1 or Select to vault over an object gives the same result: you vault over an object. Think about how a keyboard works with a game: you change the key assigned to a certain function, but the action keeps being the same. At most, the game will change GUI elements to reflect the change of the key you have to press.

#14 Posted by Pezen (1594 posts) -

Although I haven't encountered a game in recent years that had me wanting to alter the controls, I do agree that for a majority of games it seems like a silly thing to not allow.

#15 Posted by Brodehouse (9844 posts) -

Probably has to do with QA.

#16 Posted by dekkadekkadekka (732 posts) -

I guess a part of it could come down to manufacturer standards; I believe that in the US and Europe, X has to mean Confirm/OK and Circle has to mean Cancel, similar to A/B on an Xbox pad. This would still be fine for menus if the controls only changed in-game, but I guess the QA commitment just isn't there to test for every possible combination. Or it could be that manufacturers are more draconian and require that buttons do specified actions based on a wide-ranging template. I dunno, but it would be nice to be able to fully remap in certain games.

#17 Posted by Keavy_Rain (129 posts) -

I've wondered why we've never had a system-level control setup. Like, under "options" on the dashboard you set up your preferred control schemes. Like "Shooter game" control scheme has your preferred setup for that, "Driving game," "Action game," etc., then you just select the one you want.

It's proably something the hardware manufacturer would have to implement from day one and include in the dev kit, but it would be nice to know I can start a racing game and always have RT/R2 be the accelerator and LT/L2 be the brake with X/Square be the handbrake.

#18 Posted by Example1013 (4834 posts) -

Well speaking to Darksiders specifically you have more than one finger on your hand (I'm assuming, if not then i could see the problem).

But speaking more generally, I have no clue. I'd say it's most likely that the devs never really hear a huge demand for that on 80% of games (with some specific games, or types of games, drawing vocal support for that kind of thing), so they just don't take the time to implement it.

#19 Posted by Slab64 (1054 posts) -

This would be a good Bombcast/Jar Time question, since nobody here knows the answer.

#20 Posted by believer258 (11785 posts) -

@Keavy_Rain said:

I've wondered why we've never had a system-level control setup. Like, under "options" on the dashboard you set up your preferred control schemes. Like "Shooter game" control scheme has your preferred setup for that, "Driving game," "Action game," etc., then you just select the one you want.

It's proably something the hardware manufacturer would have to implement from day one and include in the dev kit, but it would be nice to know I can start a racing game and always have RT/R2 be the accelerator and LT/L2 be the brake with X/Square be the handbrake.

There is something like that on the Xbox but there aren't many options. I forgot what's there.

#21 Posted by JoeyRavn (4964 posts) -

@Example1013 said:

Well speaking to Darksiders specifically you have more than one finger on your hand (I'm assuming, if not then i could see the problem).

It's weird. I use my index finger to press both shoulder buttons (RB/RT and LB/LT, respectively). I would need to use my middle finger to press LT to lock on a target and my index to press RB to use my abilites... yeah, it's awkward and uncomfortable. If there was a lock-on toggle, like in Dark Souls, it'd be perfectly fine, though.

@Slab64 said:

This would be a good Bombcast/Jar Time question, since nobody here knows the answer.

You know what, I'll give it a try. I've never sent any question to the Bombcast. Might as well try it out. I'll even link to this thread.

#22 Posted by Erk_Forever (157 posts) -

I don't understand how changing an input key would cause any problems at all for a game.

#23 Posted by Cloudenvy (5891 posts) -

I just want every racing game to let me map acceleration to the right stick.

#24 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -

I, like, a billion times this. I can usually get used to a control scheme, but the Crysis (for example) gamepad controls are just ridiculous.

#25 Posted by Zacagawea (1589 posts) -

All Valve and Bethesda games let you

#26 Posted by Herocide (440 posts) -

@believer258 said:

@Keavy_Rain said:

I've wondered why we've never had a system-level control setup. Like, under "options" on the dashboard you set up your preferred control schemes. Like "Shooter game" control scheme has your preferred setup for that, "Driving game," "Action game," etc., then you just select the one you want.

It's proably something the hardware manufacturer would have to implement from day one and include in the dev kit, but it would be nice to know I can start a racing game and always have RT/R2 be the accelerator and LT/L2 be the brake with X/Square be the handbrake.

There is something like that on the Xbox but there aren't many options. I forgot what's there.

One of the options is exactly what makes an example of with the triggers being used for driving games, but the options beyond that are very limited and I'm not so sure those options (like many other background features on 360) really make a direct impact in the games/control schemes you play with.

#27 Posted by CookieMonster (2416 posts) -

Yeah I agree with you. I went back to playing halo 3 the other day and the controls are different enough from Reach to be very frustrating. I was reloading in front of people instead of melee-ing them, god dommot.