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Jason FitzpatrickEditor in ~ Large

Jason Fitzpatrick is the Editor in chief of LifeSavvy, How-To Geek"s sisters site focused life hacks, tips, and tricks. He has over a te of endure in publishing and also has writer thousands of write-ups at evaluation Geek, How-To Geek, and Lifehacker. Jason served as Lifehacker"s Weekend Editor prior to he join How-To Geek. Read more...

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There are loads of great games obtainable on the Android platform, yet playing them with an onscreen interface isn’t much fun. Ditch the fake buttons and start enjoying your gamings with a comfortable gaming controller.


Why do I want to carry out This?

Modern Android phones are powerful little devices that deserve to play a wide array of new Android-specific games and also a huge number of emulators which in turn open the door to playing countless awesome vintage games.

The only problem, however, is that exterior of one or 2 niche Android phones designed v gaming in mind (and therefore a video game pad constructed right in), you’re left regulating the action with on-screen controls. While this could work for turn-based strategy games where the action is slow and you have plenty of time to poke roughly on the screen, the a terrible setup for anything that involves speed as the touch screen buttons are difficult to use and, worse yet, your fingers are blocking component of the screen at every times.

This indict outlines two different choices for overcoming this obstacle and unleashing the gaming power of the snappy little smartphone friend carry approximately with girlfriend everyday. The very first option offers the Wiimote, a maker that numerous of the millions of Wii owners have actually laying around. The second option supplies the MOGA gaming controller. If you on the fence about which course to take, wednesday strongly indicate reading through the entirety guide to see the benefits of every option.

Note: If she interested in linking a playstation Dualshock 3 controller to your Android device, it is feasible to do so. Since support because that linking the controller, phones that can do it, and also apps that space compatible through the controller room pretty limited, we have opted not to include it in this guide.


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If girlfriend would prefer to build ahead top top your very own we have the right to suggest looking right into the GameKlip to mount your maker on the Dualshock controller and also the Sixaxis Controller app to attach the controller (both wired or wirelessly) to your device.

What do I Need?

While us strive to keep expenses low for many of our projects, this certain project entails a few minor purchases. Examine out each suggested parts list and also the accompanying note to decide what friend need.

Before we proceed, there’s an essential consideration based upon what version of Android you’re running. The finest Android-based Wiimote control app on the industry right now has actually been in the interim disabled by Android 4.2 (it works fine on whatever from Android 2.0 to 4.1). Hope the developer is able come iron out the problems with the changes to Android’s interface system soon. In the meantime, however, that way that setting up the MOGA controller is a far better solution for Android 4.2+ customers as we don’t have actually to resolve using several of the flakier Wiimote control apps in the beat Store.

That said, this is what friend will require for each project:

For the Wiimote users: come follow along with the Wiimote section of the tutorial, friend will require the following items:

Wiimote Controller app (Free)

The classic Controller is one optional add-on however certainly a welcome addition for games that need more complex button mapping favor emulated N64 games. It’s yes, really nice to have actually something to hold the task all with each other (either in your hands prefer a tradition controller+screen gaming unit or via mounting come a nearby surface favor a desk or aircraft tray).


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To the end, we uncovered a smartphone clamp the works exceptionally well. That a little bit hefty in her hands yet it was the most versatile clip us found. It works perfectly come clip the phone come the Wii controller, come clip the phone to surrounding surfaces, and it’s sturdy sufficient that we were never afraid the our phone to be going to take a spill.

If you currently have an extra phone mount lying around, you have the right to experiment with modifying that. Girlfriend could additionally look at few of the clever ways world have created gaming mounts for your Android/Wiimote combos like this bicycle call mount/Wiimote mashup or this amendment Wii Mario Kart wheel turned call mount.

For the MOGA users: If you have opted to usage the MOGA cell phone Gaming System, girlfriend will need the complying with items:

The MOGA gaming system has a built-in smartphone holder so girlfriend don’t require an extra clamp or holder. That said, us really enjoyed using the global Smartphone Clamp described in the Wiimote ar to mount our phone wherever we want and also used it v the MOGA.

Once you have reviewed the components list, check out on to see just how to set up the Wiimote and also MOGA.

Configuring the Wiimote

Installing the controller app: The first step in setup up her Android maker to connect with the Wiimote is to install the Wiimote regulate package. Download Wiimote Controller here. Download the applications to her device.


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After you have installed the application but before you launch it, we need to take a minute to turn on the brand-new IME (Input method Editor) in ~ the Android system menu. There is a provision because that doing so in ~ Wiimote Control but in our experimentation we discovered that the Settings contact didn’t constantly launch smoothly, therefore we’re just going to execute it manually.

Navigate to setups –> Language & Input and then scroll under to the keyboard & intake Methods. Within that sub-section inspect the entry for WiiControllerIME. This permits the hardware crucial presses on the Wiimote, as translated by the WiiController app, to interface straight with Android.

Configuring the controller app: Once you have activated the brand-new IME, beginning WiiController. The first order of organization is merely linking the Wiimote to your device. Inside the Wiimote Controller’s main interface you’ll see 2 buttons in ~ the top of the screen. Press the first button Init and also Connect while additionally pressing the red Sync switch located inside the battery compartment of her Wiimote. Due to the fact that the Wiimote is a non-paired Bluetooth accessory it will certainly link automatically with no prompt because that a maker PIN.

After the machine is attached you can test out the link by pressing any of the buttons ~ above the Wiimote—you’ll check out the worths for those buttons show up on the screen.

Now that time come configure several of the behind the scenes stuff. If in the Wiimote Controller app, press the food selection button and also then select Preferences. In ~ the peak of the choices menu, inspect off “Switch after disconnect” in order to instruct the applications to instantly switch off the Wiimote IME when you’re done making use of the Wiimote. Under that, tap Target keyboard and also select her default Android keyboard. Go ahead and also keep the preferences food selection open for the next step.

Configuring crucial maps: Now the we have actually the Wiimote connected to our Android device, it’s time to look at just how we configure that to job-related with our games. There are two approaches for setup up the Wiimote: mapping the tricks in Wiimote Controller and mapping the keys in the game/emulator app itself.


In other words, in order for the Wiimote to it is in a viable controller choice for your gaming enjoyment, you either require a game or emulator that permits you to collection up custom vital maps within the application or you need a video game that you recognize the existing key map for (either by checking the in-game documentation or looking it increase online) so that you deserve to program a matching crucial map right into the Wiimote Controller app.

First, let’s look at exactly how to configure the crucial maps in Wiimote Controller because we currently have the open. Within the choices menu click on Mapping options –> 1st Controller mappings.

Here you have the right to reset the defaults, conserve your transforms as a profile, and load your changes from a conserved profile. Every crucial on the Wiimote (as well together the Nunchuk and Classic Controller) room listed. You have the right to press on any kind of of them and also select native the dozens of possible keys provided by your game from keyboard keys come hardware keys to whatever in between.

If girlfriend haven’t already checked the end your game, you definitely don’t want to start monkeying roughly in here yet—check i m sorry keys/buttons the video game uses before changing the vital map (and if you can set the key map straight in the game).

Because configuring in-application crucial maps is the very same for both the Wiimote and also for the MOGA controller, we’re going to go over setting up an emulator and also configuring in-app an essential maps as the last action in the tutorial. Go ahead and also jump down to that ar if you aren’t interested in configuring a MOGA controller.

Configuring the MOGA Controller

The MOGA controller is a nice fix for the whole physical-controller ~ above Android problem since the MOGA has actually two companion apps the really sheathe a lot of ground.


The an initial is the official app that renders it dead an easy to use your MOGA controller ~ above dozens of famous apps without any kind of configuration in ~ all. The 2nd is a third-party driver parcel that opens up up the MOGA for use on any kind of game that can be crucial mapped, contained emulators.

Let’s start off by installing the official MOGA app, MOGA Pivot. Launch the app and hit set Up. Strength up your MOGA controller with the power button (concealed in ~ the middle brace the pivots increase to host your phone). Once the blue irradiate starts blinking on your controller, hit the The Blue irradiate is Blinking to move forward in the setup. A box will pop up suggested the MOGA controller is requesting permission come sync with your Android device. Click Allow.

After the MOGA and also your Android machine start talking, the MOGA application will indicate you require a passkey. Click generate Passkey. Make certain you watch the following screen (or a variation there of) on her screen:

If girlfriend don’t see the over pairing display screen (and it skips appropriate to the following step) it will certainly fail to pair. Be ready to run with the pairing sorcerer’s again.

Once we’re paired up, MOGA offers us a complimentary download of Pac Man. The not cutting edge or anything, but it’s perfect for testing the MOGA controller. We’ll take it.

Everything works an excellent and we even controlled to get through the first level of Pac male without biting it too hard.


Now the we understand the MOGA controller is linked properly and we can manage a MOGA permitted game, that time to increase the usability of the MOGA controller by installing the MOGA universal Driver. This will allow use the MOGA controller with any kind of games.

Launch the MOGA universal Driver. The universal Driver can duty in one of two modes: IME setting (just prefer the Wiimote Controller app), or device Mode (which requires root on her phone). The wording in the settings food selection is a little bit unclear about the difference in between these two. If you usage IME mode the pleasure sticks on your MOGA remote will function in DPAD (or Directional Pad) mode, just like the directional pads on traditional controllers favor the NES and also SNES controllers.

In short, you must start off utilizing the IME interface unless friend come throughout an app that is not assistance by the official MOGA application but calls for analog input because that comfortable play. V that in mind, let’s begin off by configuring the IME.

Just like we walk in the Wiimote Controller section, friend will have to activate the new IME. Navigate to settings –> Language & Input and then scroll down to the key-board & intake Methods. Within that sub-section inspect the entry because that MOGA IME.

Return come the global Driver settings menu. Madness on select IME. Choose MOGA IME. After girlfriend have set the IME, scroll under in the settings menu to pick Device. Madness it and also select BD&A to connect the MOGA Driver v your MOGA controller.

Just like in the Wiimote Controller, we have the right to create key maps and crucial map profiles. If/when you require to develop a vital map friend can click on Configure to execute so. Remember, also like the Wiimote Controller, there room two means of using the controller v games. Friend either need to 1) map the secrets used by the video game or emulator in the MOGA universal Driver app or you should 2) set up your key maps, if possible, in the video game or emulator itself.


Now that we have actually learned just how to set the controller-app mappings because that both the Wiimote and MOGA controller, let’s take it a look at at exactly how easy the is to collection up key maps in renowned console emulators.

Setting Up vital Maps in Emulators

Whether girlfriend have set up the Wiimote, the MOGA, or both—you ambitious mobile gamer, you—it’s time to look at how to configure them outside of their certain control applications. Remember, friend can constantly create a profile within the manage apps, yet given how countless games and emulators support mapping in ~ the game/emulator itself, the is usually easier to map within the details application fairly than have to switch file in the controller app every time you switch in between games or emulation apps.

When you’re setting up emulation apps there are a couple of basic things, vital map related and otherwise, friend will want to execute for maximum enjoyment:

Switch the emulator to landscape mode.Turn off the onscreen controller/keyboard.Map the emulator’s controller keys to the physics controller.

Regardless the the emulator she using, those are the three steps you want to go through when configuring it.

We’re going to look at an essential mapping in the well-known SuperGNES SNES emulator. At the end of the emulator ar we’ll list off emulators with app-side key mapping you might wish to examine out.

First, fine install SuperGNES Lite—don’t forget to copy over part SNES ROMS to play with; if you’re brand-new to emulation us suggest checking out the “Locating video game ROMs” section of exactly how to beat Retro NES and SNES gamings on her Nintendo Wii.

After we have actually installed it and thrown a ROM or 2 on the SD card, it’s time come map the keys. For this section we’ll it is in mapping the MOGA controller, yet the instructions are the same for both the Wiimote and also MOGA.


Run SuperGNES, insanity the food selection button and select Preferences. In keeping with ours three steps outlined above, you’ll desire to tap ~ above the Orientation icon and also select Landscape. Tap top top the Touch Controls icon to rotate off the on display controller. Finally, tap ~ above Controller 1 come map her controller’s hardware secrets to the emulator’s keys.

When she in the controller menu, tap top top the Controller alternative at the top and select either MOGA or Wiimote, depending on which you’re configuring. To collection each button, simply tap top top the entry for that button (such together “A” or “Select”) and then press the hardware crucial on the controller you wish to map come it. Most apps will usage this press-the-key approach, though part apps will have actually you manually select the hardware button you want for that an essential map such as “Button 1” or “Left Trigger”.

After you’ve mapped out the keys, open up a ROM and also give that a whirl:

After a few minutes running around the Mushroom Kingdom, the poll was unanimous: making use of a physics controller rather of the onscreen controller is the only means to carry out it.

See more: Find The Diagonal Of The Rectangular Solid, Diagonal Of A Rectangle

If you room looking for much more easy-to-key-map emulators to round out your mobile gaming experience, the complying with emulators have in-app key mapping the makes setting up both the Wiimote and MOGA controller a snap:

NES Emulators:

SNES Emulators:

Gameboy Emulators:

Almost all of them have Lite versions which usually encompass all the major features sans the capability to develop custom save points. If she looking for more emulators in the beat Store, inspect the description for phrases like “hardware support”, “Bluetooth controllers”, and also “gamepads” come cue you right into whether or no the applications supports exterior game pads/key mapping.

If you’re fired up around mobile and/or retro gaming, we’ve gained a pile of tutorials for you to examine out. For an ext gaming funny you’ll desire to review over:


Have a gaming overview you’d love for united state to write? desire to learn how to play her favorite retro console gamings on a modern maker or otherwise get more gaming funny for your bottom dollar? Sound the in the comment or email tips

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Jason FitzpatrickJason Fitzpatrick is the Editor in chief of LifeSavvy, How-To Geek"s sisters site concentrated life hacks, tips, and also tricks. He has over a decade of experience in publishing and has writer thousands of articles at testimonial Geek, How-To Geek, and Lifehacker. Jason offered as Lifehacker"s Weekend Editor before he joined How-To Geek. Read full Bio »