Playing The Old Republic with a PS3 Controller (Walkthrough)

#1 Edited by tekmojo (2300 posts) -

Hey guys, I've decided to show you all what a lot of people have overlooked as far as custom gamepad mappings go for MMOs.

I've always wanted a more immersive experience when playing an MMO, and this is a more comfortable, and adaptable solution. Tools used with The Old Republic are: MotionJoy (my custom config file here), and Xpadder(with custom config included for Toggle-Mouselook and right joystick as mouse axis). You may have to tweak some things like sensitivity and toggle options with Xpadder as I don't think it saved over but shouldn't be too hard to change. MotionJoy includes drivers for 32/64bit OS for the PS3 controller. So follow the directions on their site to install that program first, Xpadder to follow that.

*** UPDATE *** In MotionJoy, select Playstation 3 for mode and enable that. You won't need a custom config for MotionJoy, only Xpadder, which is included in the above link.

Make sure to calibrate the PS3 controller after you install the drivers and do reboots when they tell you to. If you have any questions you can try and ask them here (can be confusing at points), I'm running 64bit edition. When you get both key mapping programs reading off your PS3, that's a good sign, from there you can customize your settings. Xpadder may need to be run in Windows XP (Service Pack 3) compatibility mode, if you're having problems recognizing controls in-game. If you do download my profile configurations, check and see below what you need to change. Make sure to keep both running in the background when you start up SWTOR. Other than that, have fun and enjoy the new experience!

Changes to make to Input mapping in-game:

Targeting

Target next enemy = Shift + F6

Target nearest enemy = F6

Quickslot Bar 1

5 = Shift + 1

6 = Shift + 2

7 = Shift + 3

8 = Shift + 4

Quickslot Bottom Center Bar 1 (Make sure to enable first)

1 = Ctrl + 1

2 = Ctrl + 2

3 = Ctrl + 3

4 = Ctrl + 4

9 = Ctrl + 9

10 = Ctrl + 0

11 = Ctrl + (-)

12 = Ctrl + (=)

Should be a good start but definitely can be expanded upon. If it's too confusing just make up your own configurations but make sure to change your custom MotionJoy configuration to match in-game.

Made a video today of me showing off the features and custom mappings, and a basic interface walkthrough. First one, so don't be too hard on me, but it shows off a bunch of different features so do try to watch the whole thing if you do plan on watching it, thanks. :)

#2 Posted by Thor_Molecules (732 posts) -

I'm all for playing PC games with controllers, I have my gaming PC wired up to my TV for a reason.

But a MMO with a controller? Interacting with the plethora of menu's, UI elements and tiny interface items reliably without the pin-point accuracy and speed of a mouse would be complete torture to me. Sure it'll work, but I feel everything would take twice as long.

It does seem to work rather well for the simple combat though, maybe a cool alternative control scheme for simple/boring grind sessions?

Anyways, great video duder.

#3 Posted by tekmojo (2300 posts) -
@Buckfitches said:

I'm all for playing PC games with controllers, I have my gaming PC wired up to my TV for a reason.

But a MMO with a controller? Interacting with the plethora of menu's, UI elements and tiny interface items reliably without the pin-point accuracy and speed of a mouse would be complete torture to me. Sure it'll work, but I feel everything would take twice as long.

It does seem to work rather well for the simple combat though, maybe a cool alternative control scheme for simple/boring grind sessions?

Anyways, great video duder.

Thanks! Well here's the thing, I've always wanted more from my MMOs, this is a direct result on how I feel. In a market where game developers often overlook the potential new audiences, I often wonder why they don't try to appeal to everyone. I'm no game designer, I did this in about an hour of my time. Surely big budget MMOs can do better.
#4 Posted by subyman (595 posts) -

I'd say you can easily play 90% of an MMO from a controller, but you will always need a keyboard and mouse handy to do various tasks. I'd play with my 360 controller for combat and questing. Then I would switch to the kb/m for auction house, assigning points, and chat. If you use voice chat, the keyboard becomes even less relevant.

#5 Posted by tekmojo (2300 posts) -
@subyman said:

I'd say you can easily play 90% of an MMO from a controller, but you will always need a keyboard and mouse handy to do various tasks. I'd play with my 360 controller for combat and questing. Then I would switch to the kb/m for auction house, assigning points, and chat. If you use voice chat, the keyboard becomes even less relevant.

Here's my set up from the video and downloadable files:  
#6 Posted by White_Silhouette (472 posts) -

Wow that's really cool, when I get home I'll have to watch the vid and give it a shot. Since I'm pretty much playing the game solo, chat and a lot of other texting stuff is not needed.

#7 Posted by Floppypants (798 posts) -

Using a controller can be great if you can get used to the mapping quickly.  I've found the worst problem with switching control schemes is not being able to get used to it after playing with mouse & keyboard for 100+ hours.
 
I play SWTOR with a Razer Nostromo.  It gives me as close to controller comfort as I can get without giving up my mouse.  I've been using it with my Trooper character since launch and it feels awesome.  The greatest advantage of using it is how it allows my left thumb do more than just hit the spacebar.

#8 Edited by tekmojo (2300 posts) -
@Floppypants said:

Using a controller can be great if you can get used to the mapping quickly.  I've found the worst problem with switching control schemes is not being able to get used to it after playing with mouse & keyboard for 100+ hours.
 
I play SWTOR with a Razer Nostromo.  It gives me as close to controller comfort as I can get without giving up my mouse.  I've been using it with my Trooper character since launch and it feels awesome.  The greatest advantage of using it is how it allows my left thumb do more than just hit the spacebar.

Definitely a learning curve, brain has to adapt to new feel. It's not perfect, but last night I went through quite a bit of missions and I'm starting to feel more comfortable. Once I get my blutooth adapter I can play from afar, also will be able to pair my wireless PS3 keypad for typing and extra commands. 
 
I'll have to check out those Razer devices, that one looks nice.
#9 Posted by Fenris82 (36 posts) -

This seems... weird and wrong, but kind of cool. More power to you, man!

#10 Posted by PeepsMcJuggs (4 posts) -

My apologies for shamelessly self-promoting, but I've created a blog for this that I'm regularly updating, as there's a lot of quirks when it comes to configuring a controller for SWTOR: http://swtorpeeps.blogspot.com

The most important thing you need to know: whatever program you use to get your controller to talk to SWTOR (XPadder, PinnacleGameProfiler, etc, etc), you must set it to run as an administrator, or it will not work in SWTOR.

Right now, I'm recommending PGP over XPadder in terms of stability in SWTOR, though it's more of an pain to get set up.

#11 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@tekmojo:

Awesome work! I always said mutators is the way to go. Way to show all those lazy designers that it can be done.

btw. did you try SHIFT + CONTROL as a mutator yet? WoW allows for double mutators. Didn't need it yet in SW:TOR

#12 Posted by tekmojo (2300 posts) -
@PeepsMcJuggs: Yes, one of the main issues people have over on youtube. Thanks for pointing that out though. I'll have to check out those apps. 
 
@Seppli: Thanks man! I have been playing up to level 18 or so now, and have had a great time with it so far. I have yet to try Shift+Ctrl but yes if I need more skill buttons I can try that. However, I have recently received a blutooth adapter for Xmas, now I can play from afar, as well use my PS3 wireless keypad that snaps on. It's badass.
#13 Edited by devilzrule27 (1239 posts) -

This is great. As a person who is not a big computer gamer, I don't typically play anything other then the Sims, Civ, and Sim City, playing games with a keyboard is just so unnatural for me. I was at the point with TOR where I was going to go buy that razer keypad thing just because it seems like it would be easier for me to use. But I'll try this out first.

#14 Edited by Djratchet (669 posts) -

Strap the PS3 bluetooth keypad onto that DS3 and you have a controller that is even better suited for MMOs.

EDIT I see tekmojo has already said what I was thinking, haha

#15 Edited by granderojo (1778 posts) -

I'm going to modify this for a 360 controller and see how it goes. Never been a huge MMO guy so this might be cool for me.

#16 Posted by devilzrule27 (1239 posts) -

@thabigred: Keep us updated on how that goes. I'd prefer to use my xbox controller since I don't have a BT adapter for my computer nor do I own a long USB cable.

#17 Edited by granderojo (1778 posts) -

@devilzrule27: I can't seem to get it to run ingame. I can get it to run outside of the game but not in it.

EDIT: nevermind I got it.

#18 Posted by elasticaddict (1 posts) -

Ok so i came across this little bit ago right before i went out and got the game..and i was like cool cause I have not played many games on PC and the ones I have I HATED using the keyboard just cant get use to it for moving the characters around or fighting that kind of stuff. So when I was down at wal-mart getting the game an employee told me that I didnt have to order an expensive one (they didnt have any)..that an X~BOX 360 control with a cord would work fine.so thats what I bought (from-gamestop) .. don't have a clue yet if it will work.... i have not opened it yet.still gonna download the game and hope I can find out if it will work for sure or not before I open it and get stuck with it..ANY knowledge about this will be greatly appreciated!!!! Thanx yall!

#19 Posted by canucks23 (1087 posts) -

Dude... an MMO with a controller is just wrong. It's cool that you got it working, but games like this just are made for keyboards.

#20 Posted by jakeh (53 posts) -

No one should be playing in first person tho...

#21 Posted by tekmojo (2300 posts) -
@elasticaddict said:

Ok so i came across this little bit ago right before i went out and got the game..and i was like cool cause I have not played many games on PC and the ones I have I HATED using the keyboard just cant get use to it for moving the characters around or fighting that kind of stuff. So when I was down at wal-mart getting the game an employee told me that I didnt have to order an expensive one (they didnt have any)..that an X~BOX 360 control with a cord would work fine.so thats what I bought (from-gamestop) .. don't have a clue yet if it will work.... i have not opened it yet.still gonna download the game and hope I can find out if it will work for sure or not before I open it and get stuck with it..ANY knowledge about this will be greatly appreciated!!!! Thanx yall!

A 360 controller would definitely be supported better for Windows XP/VIsta/7. And you will probably be able to set up the controls fairly easily, just remember that it's all about comfort and adaptability. You must make sure it is a natural way for you to play the game. Since I have used a PS3 controller for a long time, it was a natural transition for me to play this way. The fine adjustments tend to be how many buttons should be added, and where to position them so that you can still manage to get attacks off as fast as a keyboard/mouse, if not faster. Also, sensitivity of the mouse emulation is an important aspect, how much should the X axis move in comparison to the Y axis. You should have a good balance on mouse speed for clicking prompt messages, and turn radius for when you have Mouse-look activated via toggle right mouse click. I'll try to help you out whenever I'm online though good luck researching. 
 
@thabigred: Good deal, let me know if you run into any problems, or have any feedback on how it should be set-up, refinements, etc. 
 
@canucks23 said:

Dude... an MMO with a controller is just wrong. It's cool that you got it working, but games like this just are made for keyboards.

Made for keyboards, sure, but more options for the user is always a plus.
#22 Edited by ywoodz (1 posts) -

Hey there, first of all this is awesome. I definitely prefer a controller when it is battle time, and keyboard when socializing. Can I trouble you for a detailed installation walkthrough? The you list MotioJoy, your custom config, and the xpadder. But I am a little confused. I don't ever see another reference to xpadder when/how to install/configure it. The only thing I can gather from this is that I need to install motionjoy, and somehow add your config. Well I suppose it doesn't need to be 'detailed' just written out in numbered steps perhaps?

#23 Posted by kishinfoulux (2277 posts) -

I'm actually playing with my 360 controller and once you get everything situated it's pretty great. Nothing wrong with having options.

#24 Posted by granderojo (1778 posts) -

@tekmojo: I didn't enjoy it. Sticking with mouse and keyboard.

#25 Edited by Nocall (353 posts) -

I've only recently (within the past year) came to understand just how much more fun playing an MMO with a controller can be. I used to scoff at the idea, like many others, but it can actually work pretty well and be far less stressful on your wrists (which is super important to me, since I'm at a keyboard all day long for work). I've tried STO, CoH, CO, and -of course- DDO and been very happy with those games.

Here's my questions (haven't yet bought the game, was probably going to wait until the rush stabilizes):

1) Picking up loot always seems to be the most "pain in the ass" part of using a controller. Most games require you to have the mouse cursor directly over the loot, which can be a major headache when you're using a controller. How is SWTOR in this respect? Also, I heard there was some kind of autoloot or quickloot function that is off by default--what exactly does that do and does it help in using a controller?

2) Do any classes stand over the others as far as "controller compatible". Things that tend to make poor "controller" classes is those with tons and tons of in-combat abilities (I tend to bind out-of-combat abilities to the keyboard, such as rest or open inventory, to save space) and those with ground-targeted AoEs. Also, it seems that ranged classes work better than ranged too because they don't have to do so many "quick 180 turns"--is this the case here as well?

#26 Edited by tekmojo (2300 posts) -
@Nocall said:

I've only recently (within the past year) came to understand just how much more fun playing an MMO with a controller can be. I used to scoff at the idea, like many others, but it can actually work pretty well and be far less stressful on your wrists (which is super important to me, since I'm at a keyboard all day long for work). I've tried STO, CoH, CO, and -of course- DDO and been very happy with those games.

Here's my questions (haven't yet bought the game, was probably going to wait until the rush stabilizes):

1) Picking up loot always seems to be the most "pain in the ass" part of using a controller. Most games require you to have the mouse cursor directly over the loot, which can be a major headache when you're using a controller. How is SWTOR in this respect? Also, I heard there was some kind of autoloot or quickloot function that is off by default--what exactly does that do and does it help in using a controller?

2) Do any classes stand over the others as far as "controller compatible". Things that tend to make poor "controller" classes is those with tons and tons of in-combat abilities (I tend to bind out-of-combat abilities to the keyboard, such as rest or open inventory, to save space) and those with ground-targeted AoEs. Also, it seems that ranged classes work better than ranged too because they don't have to do so many "quick 180 turns"--is this the case here as well?

Pretty much the same feelings over here. 
 
To answer number 1, the speed of picking up loot is determined by how sensitive you make your mouse emulation. There are certain things to do to make things easier when switching out of toggle right mouse click. Whenever I plan to move around freely, I try to center the mouse button around my character so whenever I'm ready to loot the cursor is already nearby. One of the downfalls of having no toggle free mouse look option means you have to make a workaround. But The Old Republic allows you to auto-loot and area loot which in my mind makes up for any awkward mechanics. 
 
For your second question, it really depends. Does that mean you are going to solo heal flashpoints in the near future? Probably not. The best classes are your classic shooters. I remember in Champions Online, I would become extremely powerful in PVP. Not necessarily because I could get attacks out the fastest, but because that game required you to move a lot with all those travel powers, and still pull off attacks at a consistent rate. I have yet to play a melee class in SWTOR, but I don't think turning will be a problem because I can always bump up the sensitivity.  
 
So far I have plenty of keys at my disposal, but also I'm supplementing that with my wireless keypad. Once you get past the learning curve, your fingers won't be so confused. 
 
@kishinfoulux: Working on a detailed update.   
 
@thabigred: Hey no big deal thanks for trying it out, anything in particular that you found completely unfun?
#27 Posted by Siepher (255 posts) -

Good job tekmojo! I'll have to try this out right away. I hope you're going to be updating this blog with further ideas and tweaks for this.

#28 Posted by Sooty (8082 posts) -

People doing this are everything that is wrong with the world.

#29 Posted by Siepher (255 posts) -

@Sooty said:

People doing this are everything that is wrong with the world.

And what makes you say that? It's nice to have the possibility. Sometimes I get tired of sitting in my desktop chair playing the game, then I can just switch the output to my TV, grab the controller and keep leveling from the couch. What's wrong with that? I won't be able to play my level 50 character this way, but for some relaxed leveling I think this is pretty good.

#30 Posted by Sooty (8082 posts) -

@Siepher said:

@Sooty said:

People doing this are everything that is wrong with the world.

And what makes you say that? It's nice to have the possibility. Sometimes I get tired of sitting in my desktop chair playing the game, then I can just switch the output to my TV, grab the controller and keep leveling from the couch. What's wrong with that? I won't be able to play my level 50 character this way, but for some relaxed leveling I think this is pretty good.

I was joking, although it would never work with the way I play MMOs, if I don't have direct access to my music with an alt+tab I don't think I'd enjoy leveling as much.

#31 Posted by Capt_Kirkland (2 posts) -

Hey bro, have motion/xpadder up and running, xpadder running in xp3 like you said. Both are recognizing the controller and I am running them in the background with swtor. Game doesn't recognize controller. Where do I go in game to switch the controls from mouse/keyboard to the dualshock? in settings right? preferences? Anyway, not sure what I'm doing wrong....

#33 Posted by Capt_Kirkland (2 posts) -

Help! Toggle Question! Somebody! Anybody? Is there anybody out there.....anybody care!!!!

By the way, thank you for your idea and help. I've gotten everything working except one little problem. It is a mouse/look problem. When I start the game I can look around fine, but if I right click to use the mouse (cursor, whatever), it stays like that and I can't look anymore, even when I click again. So then the only way I can look again is to actually hold the click on my left stick (L3)(left mouse click). What am I doing wrong? I have tried to load your profile on mij but it didn't work (worked on x), not sure that's what it is, and not understanding why that is needed. Everything else works and I finally understand it (new to this). Hope you can help. Wes

#34 Posted by connerthekewlkid (1817 posts) -

cool i might have to try that. :D

#35 Posted by Episcopal (1 posts) -

Thanks for the guide!

I enjoy playing PC games with a controller, using kb+m is so uncomfortable after a while...

Keyboard: designed and engineered for inputting text

Mouse: designed and engineered as a pointing device.

Controller: designed and engineered for gaming.

End of story. ;)

That being said, if kb+m is your thing, to each their own. :)

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.