A Step-by-Step Guide to Make Controllers Work in WINE

A couple of days ago, I was enquiring with a certain WINE developer the state of controller support in WINE. I was surprised they were actually working on a native solution, yet not shocked to hear that for now, a tool like x360ce.exe was probably one’s best bet. The thing is, there is a lack of a good tutorial out there on how to make things work from A to Z – sure, you can find piece-by-piece info across several sources, but I thought it may be useful to have the whole process detailed for everyone who’s interested to do that. I have replicated with success the same process three times on different machines, all running Ubuntu derivatives (Mint 17.3 and Mint 18) so it should probably work on any Ubuntu-based distro. So here we go.

Part A: Making this %!”# x360ce work in the first place

First, open a terminal and run the following commands to get the latest version of wine-staging. This may not be 100% required, but in my experience older versions of WINE like 1.6 cannot run x360ce properly (crash at startup, even with the required .NET libraries).

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:wine/wine-builds && sudo apt update
sudo apt install wine-staging winehq-staging

We also want to make sure we have a recent version of xboxdrv instead of using the generic xpad driver:

sudo apt-add-repository -y ppa:rael-gc/ubuntu-xboxdrv
sudo apt update
sudo apt install ubuntu-xboxdrv

At this stage xboxdrv should be up and running (automatically). Now plug your Xbox360 dongle in a USB port, and power up your Xbox360 pad. It should be recognized and assigned the first player’s pad.

Now on to the real stuff. The next step is about getting a 32 bits prefix where we will run x360ce.exe in the end.

WINEPREFIX="$HOME/prefix32bits/" WINEARCH=win32 wine wineboot
export WINEPREFIX="$HOME/prefix32bits/"

We are going to install .NET 45 in that particular prefix. This is required as x360ce needs this framework to create its windows and menus. Note that the last command below starting with the “bash” statement takes a long time (probably a good 10 mins) but it has the advantage to be fully automated and does not require any user input (you obviously need to be connected to the Internet). Easy. Just go grab a coffee.

cd $HOME/prefix32bits/
wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Winetricks/winetricks/master/src/winetricks
bash winetricks -q dotnet45 corefonts

Now on to getting x360ce and unzipping it:

wget http://www.x360ce.com/Files/x360ce.zip && unzip x360ce.zip

We are almost done!

You just need to run x360ce next:

wine x360ce.exe

If everything went as expected the window should now appear and let you edit the pad settings. It will first ask you for xinput1_3.dll, and kindly create it for you since you don’t have it. Awesome!

dllrequest

Next you may get some internet-based updates, accept them.

internet

Now on to the pad controls: just go ahead and edit each button and axis using the “record” dialog proposed on each menu item – that way you can just click on the button to have it mapped correctly.

x360ce-window

Once you think your mapping is correct, just try moving your analog pads in all directions and clicking the buttons – they should be highlighted on screen when you do so, to confirm everything is working as expected.

Once you are satisfied, hit the “save” button at the bottom. This will create a x360ce.ini file in the very same folder.

If you need to change the configuration again (any fix required for the mappings, for example…) note that in my case having the previous x360ce.ini file in the folder makes it impossible to edit the settings anew:

blankscreen

if this happens to you too, just rename the existing x360ce.ini file to something else or erase it altogether, and this will show the mapping editor again. No Big Deal.

Part B: Using it with WINE-based games

Go back to your prefix32bits folder, and now you just need to copy:

  • xbox360ce.exe
  • xbox360ce.ini
  • xinput1_3.dll

…into any WINE game folder where the game binaries are (the ones triggering the launch of the game). Make sure such games are on a 32 bits WINE prefix though, if not things will crash.

So let me give you an example with the GOG, Windows version of Enter the Gungeon here. Yes I know we have a Linux version of this game, but this is not the point – this is just a proof of concept.  You can use for example PlayOnLinux to install this version, and click on “Configure” – and then click on the “Miscellaneous” tab:

gungeon

As you can see you can directly open the program’s directory there, and this is where you will put the 3 files I mentioned above. Yup, just dump there in that folder.

Now you close that configuration window, launch the game, and lo and behold, the controller is recognized. This is me below playing the Windows client with the controller using x360ce. The framerate is shit because I run the game on my laptop and I recorded the video with OBS on top, so this looks much smoother in reality.

You can see the game recognizes the controller as the control hints use the xinput buttons instead of keyboard shortcuts. And yeah, obviously, there’s no point using this solution for EtG as there is already a perfectly working Linux client, but I wanted a game that my laptop can run correctly for such a demo.

Part C: Profit !? I mean… Enjoy!

Just repeat only the step B for any other game. Even if they are not installed under PlayonLinux. Keep the original prefix only for the times where you’d like to change the settings again. Otherwise you don’t have to worry about it, just copy the three files mentioned every time and you are good to go.

Let me know if this worked just fine for you, especially if you tried on non-Ubuntu-based distros (in that case you can’t use the ppa I refered to, but you may compile such libraries from source or find relevant packages for your distro).

 


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Guest
Lf

What about steam controller? Did you own one to test?

Guest
Martin

https://github.com/kozec/dumbxinputemu

You can also use dumbxinputemu, where you just paste a DLL into the game folder and you can use sc-controller to emulate xbox 360 controller, and everything should work.

https://github.com/kozec/sc-controller

Guest
Adam

There was one vital fact missing from these instructions: xinput1_3 needs to be set as “native” in winecfg (I set “xinput8” to native too but I’m not sure if that was necessary).

Guest
NRG

Yes I confirme what Adam written about “xinput1_3 needs to be set as “native” in winecfg” I used Wine for macOS (through Wineskin’s wrapper) with my 360 controller since various years with the x360ce.ini an xinput1_3.dll but since wine 1.9.23 was released, this method stopped to work…probably due to some change comming with the HID bus support for MacOS as you can read on the changelog: https://www.winehq.org/news/2016111101 Now thank to Adam and his comment I can run again my 360 controller also with lattest engines… PS: For MacOS user: the procedure for x360ce with wine is the same of this… Read more »

Guest
Amelia

I keep getting this error when using terminal:
-bash: wine: command not found

(I am also on MacOS)

Guest
NRG

Maybe the trick doesn’t work with all games… I just tried on my macOS wineskin’s wrapper of “Ori And The blind forrest” and gamepad doesn’t run with wine 2.0 (also if I set xinput1_3 as native through winecfg) while it works with previous wine engines and the same game…
I don’t know if depend that Ori is an Unity game…

Guest
NRG

new update:
the trick work again also with “Ori and the blind forrest” with wine 2.1 for developers… So it’s possible my previous faillure was determinated by wine-staging 2.0. I used to test xinput1_3 as native for Windows..

Guest
Adam Hirst

I’ve also have some issues based on whether or not I use xboxdrv, or the steamos-modified builds of xpad (for Arch users available in the AUR). Specifically, x360ce’s config tool happily detects a wireless 360 controller in all cases, but the resulting DLL/INI only actually worked when using xboxdrv (which makes no sense to me, as for other applications, using steamos-xpad looks exactly the same as with xboxdrv –mimic-xpad). Maybe I’ll investigate it later.

Guest
Dukenukemx

Using Wine Staging 2.1 and I’ve tried this guide and the games don’t see to see the xinput1_3.dll file. Nothing I configure in x360ce is showing up in games. I can configure it just fine but the games see what Wine sees. T

Guest
Steve

There is a native GTK3 app that I’ve used for 6+ months; I actually prefer it to the Steam UI config. It works for both running in Wine, Steam (without having to use the overlay), and I’ve also used it for Dolphin Emu. https://github.com/kozec/sc-controller I haven’t tested on anything other than Arch Linux, but there are packages from the OpenSUSE Build Service for other distros. Also, general PSA: (1) This specific site is listed with a warning on the Arch wiki https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Gamepad#Steam_Controller (also good tips on SC in general) (2) Piping some HTTP blob to unzip is probably not the… Read more »

Guest
Dukenukemx

Ok I’ve tried and tried to get this to work on Mint 18.1, and I finally got it to work, but for only 1 game and that’s DuckTales Remastered. I’m also using Wine Staging 2.2.

This doesn’t work on Rayman Legends or Origins. Doesn’t work on Sonic Generations, and doesn’t work for ICEY. I’ve tried copying and renaming the xinput1_3.dll to xinput1_1.dll, xinput1_2.dll, and xinput9_1_0.dll. I don’t get why I’ve only gotten one game to work?

Guest
Adam Hirst

The first two things I’d ask would be
* Are you sure that these games support xinput?
* Did you make sure that you set the appropriate DLL override rules in winecfg (check all the other comments)?

Guest
Dukenukemx

I really don’t know about xinput. I thought this was universal for all games? I Google’d to see if there’s any guides for the Rayman games with X360CE and they do exist. ICEY is a relatively new game so nothing there. Sonic Generations does have guides for x360ce as well. Here’s a link to someone who’s playing Rayman on Wine and having issues with x360ce. https://github.com/x360ce/x360ce/issues/479 I did do the xinput1_3.dll as native in winecfg. Not sure if there’s anything else to add? I also tested Dark Souls and Dark Souls 2. Dark Souls 1 doesn’t seem to work, but… Read more »

Guest
Dukenukemx

Did a little testing and I think some games are just going straight to the system32 folder for xinput1_3.dll, or whatever xinput version they use. BTW anyone tested Rayman Legends & Origins to see if their xinput 1_3.dll works?

Guest
Adam Hirst

Are you absolutely sure that you’re putting the xinput DLL into the same folder as the game executable? It’ll only work then.

Guest
Dukenukemx

I asked the same question at Phoronix and people are saying this is a known issue since 1.9.24.

https://www.phoronix.com/forums/forum/software/linux-gaming/937351-wine-staging-2-3-still-tuning-direct3d-csmt

Guest
Anthony

“This is why I hate Linux:
“sudo: add-apt-repository: command not found”
Help?

Guest
Lotogard

I have encountered an error with the command bash winetricks -q dotnet45 corefonts.

I get the error that “Downloading https://web.archive.org/web/https://download.microsoft.com/download/3/F/0/3F0A922C-F239-4B9B-9CB0-DF53621C57D9/dotnetfx3.exe failed”

It seems like the requested page no longer exists in the web archive. What should I do about this?

Guest
Jarrard

I have a bizarre issue were the windows HID controller keeps remapping dragons dogma xbox buttons back to the 1-16 button icons.. So very weird, its like their fighting each other. No idea howto remove the driver in windows because there is no device manager.

Guest
Jarrard

Figured it out, was matter of overwriting gamepad1 and now its the only 1 that shows. There are options in x360ce for it you just need to experiment.

I still get the can’t write to the x360ce.ini file error each time I start the program, not sure what thats about.

Guest
Shane

Didn’t work:
wine x360ce.exe
fixme:winediag:start_process Wine Staging 2.4 is a testing version containing experimental patches.
fixme:winediag:start_process Please mention your exact version when filing bug reports on winehq.org.
err:module:load_mscoree Failed to load mscoree.dll
err:module:attach_process_dlls “x360ce.exe” failed to initialize, aborting
err:module:LdrInitializeThunk Main exe initialization for L”Z:\\home\\shane\\prefix32bits\\x360ce.exe” failed, status c0000142

Guest
JARRARD

Sounds like your missing the correct NET framework? maybe 1.1SP or 2.0 (I cant remember). In the end for Dragons Dogma I had to use a special library to lock out the other hide controllers so only 1 shows up, and because I’m using a dunput8 mode I had to edit the ini config for that mod to point to additional library dinput_8.dll which is from dinput8-x360cev21.zip which you can find floating abouts. You will still need to correctly setup xboxdev to map your joypad correctly, testing with a linux game like tomb raider is a good way to sync… Read more »

Guest
JARRARD

EDIT: by MODE I meant MOD from Nexus, and with dinput_8.dll I meant I renamed the dinput8.dll from the cev21 zip directory. I also use input9_1_0.dll from cev21, not sure if its needed, don’t forget to set Wine to Native, Builtin for dinput8 and input9_1_0…

Guest
Shane

I’m sorry but I didn’t understand a single bit of what you typed.

Guest
JARRARD

Well then I’m sorry to say but perhaps wine isn’t for you 🙂

Guest
Shane

Or maybe you didn’t explain things very well.

Guest
Shane

People like you are why I rarely ask for help online.

Guest
JARRARD

1st: I was giving a suggestion to resolving a problem, you should really know what Microsoft .NET framework is and should know that x360CE uses 1.1sp. 2nd: Comments were not directed at you (my reply was a general reply originally btw) and was just about how I got the controller working for games like Dragon’s Dogma which have a bad habbit of having controller fighting if you have more then one (menu’s etc can’t decide which controller is the real one so just flips in between them). Lastly you should be more specific on what you don’t understand if you… Read more »

Guest
Dugan Chen

Worth noting: you can use WINEDEBUG=loaddll to check which DLL needs overriding, whether the override is working.

Testing with XInputTest:

https://community.pcgamingwiki.com/files/file/588-directinputxinput-games-test-tools/

env WINEDEBUG=”loaddll” wine XInputTest.exe

(I’m using FISH, hence the “env”

I see:

trace:loaddll:load_builtin_dll Loaded L”C:\\windows\\system32\\xinput1_3.dll” at 0x7d8b0000: builtin

At that point, my gamepad is not working for that app.

If I override xinput1_3 to “native,builtin” and then try again, I see:

trace:loaddll:load_native_dll Loaded L”C:\\x360ce vibmod 3.1.4.1\\xinput1_3.dll” at 0x2cd0000: native

And then my gamepad starts working for that app.

Guest
Dugan Chen

I just got this working with Deathsmiles and Dodonpachi Resurrection, which are a bit hairy to set up. The procedures were: 1. copy x360ini, xinput1_3.dll, and dinput8.dll from the XInput Blocker to the game directory 2. In winecfg, override both dinput8.dll and xinput1_3.dll 3. In “wine control”, disable the gamepad whose name ends with “(event)”. The XInput Blocker is in the same place as XInputTest: https://community.pcgamingwiki.com/files/file/588-directinputxinput-games-test-tools/ And yes, it’s the event interface that needs to be disabled for these two games. I’ve found that if you disable the js interface instead, it doesn’t work. This is with an XBox One… Read more »

Guest
Rav Starburner

Everything has worked up until recording the controller input in x360ce. I am using an Xbox One controller, and have confirmed that I have input through jstest-gtk.
Help?

Guest
winedloverloader

Hi guys,

I found this to be useful when Left (LT) and Right (RT) triggers don’t show up on x360ce :

Run in terminal before launching x360ce.exe:
xboxdrv –detach-kernel-driver –mimic-xpad

Guest
Dugan Chen

I just tested WINE 3.3’s new SDL2 support, and it looks like none of this is really needed now.

I set my SDL_GAMECONTROLLERCONFIG string for my DualShock 4.

When I ran XInputTest in WINE, it detected my DualShock 4 as XInput, with the controls mapped correctly.

When I fired up Ducktales: Remastered, it also detected my DualShock 4 as XInput, with the controls mapped correctly.

In neither case was any further configuration needed. I did not need to swap out DLLs or even to disable a device (js or event) in “wine control”. It just worked.

Guest
ROb

Sorry to ask noob question as i have only started using wine recently how would i set sdl_gamecontrollerconfig

Guest
Dugan Chen

It’s SDL_GAMECONTROLLERCONFIG. All caps.

And it was covered on this very blog:

https://boilingsteam.com/making-third-party-gamepads-work-with-steam-games/