Configuring the Dual Fight Stick and Trackball — Micro Center

Configuring the Dual Fight Stick and Trackball

Hi everyone! My name is Nick Biederman, and I’m the Maker Apprentice at Micro Center this summer. I’ve spent the last few days working with our Dual Fight Stick with Track Ball. One of the best parts is the broad compatibility. It works great with emulators on a number of systems, including Raspberry Pis and PCs and other hardware like the PlayStation 3. However, this broad compatibility means some configuration is needed to get the controller to work properly with each system. The instructions and screenshots below are from RetroArch on Windows 10, but the general idea is the same for most emulators and operating systems. If you're using a PlayStation or XBOX the controller is plug an play, but there's minimal support for the trackball on consoles. 

When you first plug in the controller most emulators will try to automatically configure the controller. RetroArch did pretty well for me, but I wanted to reverse the start and select buttons. I decided to remap all my controls just to be sure I knew which buttons were which. From the RetroArch home screen, scroll to “Settings” and select “Input”.

Towards the bottom of the page you should see a set of “Port Controls”.


Select “Port 1 controls” then select “Set All Controls” (or “Bind All”, depending on the operating system you’re using). This will open a series of pop ups that will let you set the controls you want to use. Press the button or push the joystick in the direction listed. If you want to skip a control, wait for it to time out and move on to the next control. Repeat this for each controller. The Fight Stick acts as 2 controllers, so I had to repeat the mapping for the second joystick and set of buttons.

Even though there are 2 controllers, some multiplayer games only use one. For multiplayer alternating games (like Asteroids) you’ll only use one set of controls. For multiplayer simultaneous games (like Space Duel) you’ll use both sets of controls.

The next setting we need to look at is the mouse index. If your track ball is connected but not working in games that supports a trackball, this setting is probably your problem. The trackball is seen by your computer as a mouse. Each mouse connected to your computer has an index associated with it. We need to tell the emulator which mouse index to listen to. This setting defaults to 0 in RetroArch, so try setting it to something else if the trackball isn’t working. From my testing it seems 0 and 1 tend to work with RetroArch on Windows 10, and 0 and 2 tend to work with RetroArch on RetroPie. This might vary depending on your set up, so try some different settings if it doesn’t work. Also, keep in mind mouse indexes can change based on the order devices were connected, so if you unplug the trackball, plug in another mouse, and plug the trackball back in you’ll probably need to change this setting again.


Now we need to save our configuration file. In RetroArch, go back to the main menu, select “Configuration File”, then select “Save Current Configuration”. The changes you’ve made will be written to the configuration file. You’ll need to do this any time you make a change like remapping controls or changing a mouse index.


Properly configuring your controller will fix most issues you may encounter with the Dual Fight Stick and trackball. However, some games and emulators aren’t compatible with trackballs or spinners. If you’re unable to get your trackball working in a particular game, try loading up something that’s known to work. If the trackball works with a known game and emulator the issue is most likely with the game, not the hardware or configuration. Sometimes a device will recognize the trackball, but not as a valid controller for games. For example, you can use the trackball to scroll through menus on a PlayStation 3 but none of the games I tested used the trackball as an input. In general, if you can use a mouse for input you'll be able to use a trackball. 

Hopefully this is helpful for anyone who is having issues getting their Fight Stick or trackball working properly. Feel free to post any questions you may have and I'll do my best to help!

Comments

  • AlexSAlexS admin
    This is such a great piece you've taken the time to create, @NickBiederman!  Should definitely be helpful to the DIY/Maker community for sure.  One thing I was going to ask was if there was a way to save profiles and the images and instruction you've included explain just that.  I hope to see more content from you again! 


  • NickBiederman I bought this unit and am attempting to do this with a RetroPie. Is it normal that the retropie only sees 1 controller?
    It seems during configuration, I am able to preset all the buttons for controller 1, in menus, the controller 2 joystick will move up/down but setting buttons is not responding. Do you have a tutorial setting this up with RetroPie?
  • NickBiederman I bought this unit and am attempting to do this with a RetroPie. Is it normal that the retropie only sees 1 controller?
    It seems during configuration, I am able to preset all the buttons for controller 1, in menus, the controller 2 joystick will move up/down but setting buttons is not responding. Do you have a tutorial setting this up with RetroPie?
    I don't have a tutorial ready to go but I'll get one put together! RetroPie should definitely be seeing it as 2 controllers when you go to map controllers. Are you using Micro Center's distribution that comes on the Atari Games Card or a different distribution? Are you mapping the controllers with Emulation Station (where you can scroll through all the consoles you have installed and select games), RetroArch (which is laid out similarly to the images in my tutorial above, but optimized for controllers) or something else?
  • I don't have a tutorial ready to go but I'll get one put together! RetroPie should definitely be seeing it as 2 controllers when you go to map controllers. Are you using Micro Center's distribution that comes on the Atari Games Card or a different distribution? Are you mapping the controllers with Emulation Station (where you can scroll through all the consoles you have installed and select games), RetroArch (which is laid out similarly to the images in my tutorial above, but optimized for controllers) or something else?
    I did the RetroPie image via https://retropie.org.uk/docs/First-Installation/ - not the Micro Center distro.
    The interesting part is, upon first boot of the RetroPie with this unit plugged in (Pi4 8Gb), we have 1 USB for controllers and 1 USB for trackball. The first boot setup window for Emulationstation and RetroArch detects the controller - but only says 1 controller found. I am going to run in and swap this out. I cleared the retroarch config again (so it prompts for the setup on first boot again) to see if a replacement unit works detecting 2 controllers.
  • @NickBiederman I swapped the unit out and same thing. Upon boot, only detects 1 controller. Let me know what your thoughts are - willing to try anything here.
  • edited July 16
    GoldGuy_79
    EDIT: I just found this from the manufacturer of the controller we use:
    Why the 2nd player of XM-10 can't work on the Raspberry Pi?
    -This situation only occurs on the RetroPie system. There are two solutions.
    (1) Add the following to /boot/cmdline.txt -- just add a space to the end of the existing entry, so it is all on one line):
        usbhid.quirks=0x16c0:0x05e1:0x040
        Just modify this file and restart, the second player will activate.
    (2) I recommend using Recalbox instead. The Recalbox system doesn't have this issue.

    So, it sounds like adding that line (usbhid...) to the end of cmdline.txt should do it. Plug in a keyboard, boot to the Emulation Station, press shift+f4 to access the CLI, and use "sudo nano /boot/cmdline.txt" to edit the file. Save and reboot, then you should be goot to go.
    http://www.xin-mo.com/dual_player.html


     I don't have that particular image loaded up but I don't think we made any changes to Emulation Station so these instructions should work for you. From the main screen of Emulation Station press the start button to open the menu. One of your options should be "Configure Input". Scroll down to that and press A. It will have you confirm you want to configure input, and the next window should show the number of devices detected. If it says 2 here you're in good shape- press and hold one of the buttons on the right side (player 2) and go through the input mapping. It's probably worth mapping the controls in RetroArch as well. If you select RetroPie from the main menu you can launch the RetroArch GUI and follow the instructions posted above. I'll get a proper tutorial with screenshots and all early next week.

    You can also check by looking at port 1 and port 2 binds in RetroArch. Both should say something like "Xinmotek controller" next to device index.

    If it's still only seeing one controller there's something else going on. I'll have to see about loading up that image on a 4 to test it out.


  • Holy crap it worked. I cannot tell you how excited I am. (Dang that I wasted some time swapping this out with MC) Feel like calling them and telling them there isn't anything wrong with that unit now...
    So now am going through Port controls - will provide an update once I figure out the mapping part. Lot of work/time to put into this for each console type. 
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