Using a Gamepad on Linux

General tips and resources I’ve come across. I will update this page every now and then. If a section grows large enough, I will make a separate post for it.

Steam Big Picture

Launch games from Steam Big Picture. A controller you thought wasn’t compatible with a game may actually work. When you launch a game using that controller (via BigPicture), Steam will attempt to send an appropriate button mapping of that controller to the game when launching it. This worked, for example, with LIMBO. Of course, the game has to support this and your controller must be known or configured in Big Picture.

XBox One Controller

Support was added in Linux 3.17. I have yet to upgrade my kernel and try it, but I did pick up a controller when they were on sale with that intention. (I don’t have an XBox One, but the controllers are so nice….)

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Use a PS3 Controller on Linux (USB)

With Steam recently coming to Linux, and all the great humble bundles, it’s becoming more and more important to have a good gamepad to use on your Linux PC. If you’re a console gamer, you probably already have an XBox 360 or a PS3 controller. In fact, plug in your controller via USB and it probably already works. Unfortunately, many games (Hotline Miami, Super Meat Boy, Bastion, etc.) assume you have a 360 controller and the button mappings of a PS3 dualshock controller will be horribly skewed (the PS3 select button is 360’s A button). In some games, like Cave Story+, this is not a problem because they allow custom key mappings within the program. Some correctly detect the PS3 controller. However, many games just assume a 360 controller, so it simplifies things if you make the dualshock pretend to be a 360 controller. Luckily, there’s a program that does just this: xboxdrv.

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