Ever sat down in front of your PC holding a PS4 or XBOX controller, wondering if it’s possible to control it? Well, today is the day that I’m going to show you how to achieve it. Rather than using a keyboard and mouse, Ill show you how to use a software called Keysticks to take control of your pc and play games, music, videos, browse the internet and more. Heres how to control your PC with a controller.
Keysticks is free, open-source software. To start using Keysticks, click the big download button at the top of this page. For further information, or to download the source code, please visit the download page.
With Keysticks, you can use a game controller to surf the web and play games and music on your PC. It’s a comfortable alternative to the keyboard and mouse. Heres a quick video to show you how it works.
Control Your Computer With A Controller Easy
Keysticks lets you use a comfortable controller instead of the mouse and keyboard. If you find clicking a mouse difficult, squeezing a controller trigger might be a good alternative. If you need to stay away from the keyboard, you might like to try typing with thumbsticks or buttons instead. Keysticks comes with ready-made profiles for controlling Windows and an on-screen virtual keyboard with word prediction. It’s designed to make computing more comfortable.
Play Games With Your Controller
You can use Keysticks to create controls for games that only support keyboard or mouse. If you’re tired of spamming the WASD keys in your favourite games, why not ditch the keyboard and play using your gamepad?
You can easily create and customise Keysticks controls using the Profile Designer. It has ready-made templates for mapping your game controller to the keyboard/mouse controls your game uses and for adding virtual keyboards to your profiles. You can drag and drop to try new combinations and apply them with the designer window still open. Check the video at the top of the page if you haven’t seen it yet. For example controls for Minecraft click here.
Play Music and Browse The Internet
Using Keysticks with a wireless game controller means you don’t need to sit by your computer. You can control your music player wirelessly. You can also connect your computer to your TV and browse the web wirelessly using your controller.
You can use Keysticks to control the music on your PC or laptop with a wireless Xbox 360 controller. It means that you can launch your media player, skip tracks or change the volume without using the keyboard or mouse. Try the media controls shown below and see what you think. They’re included with the latest version of Keysticks, so you just need to install the software and load the media controls profile.
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Here’s what the media controls do:
- Right trigger: Open / switch to default media player
- X button: Next track
- Y button: Play/pause
- A button: Previous track
- B button: Stop playing
- Left thumb up/down: Volume up/down
- Back: Mute / unmute
The profile also includes these general controls, for point-and-click etc:
- Left trigger: Left-click
- Start button: Right-click
- Right thumb: Mouse pointer
- Shoulder buttons: Enter / Esc
- DPad: Arrow keys
The wireless Xbox 360 controller communicates with your PC or laptop via a Wireless Gaming Receiver which is a small device that plugs into a USB port. Keysticks then maps the inputs from the controller to the hotkeys for your media player. So pressing X is equivalent to pressing the “Next track” key, pressing Y is like pressing “Play/pause”, and so on.
Using Keysticks With Your TV
You can use Keysticks to control your PC or laptop when it’s connected to your TV. It means you can sit on the sofa and use a gamepad to:
- Browse the Web on your TV…
- Play PC games on your TV…
- Control DVDs and online programmes playing on your laptop…
...without needing the keyboard and mouse.
You’re probably familiar with the idea of using a TV as a display for your computer or laptop. It’s great having a bigger screen but using a keyboard and mouse isn’t always convenient or comfortable. Half the time you’re either hunched over the keyboard or searching for a flat surface.
With Keysticks, you control your computer with a gamepad or joystick instead. The software turns the signals from your controller into mouse movements, clicks and key presses for you. It can do more advanced things too, like opening your media player or switching between windows. You use the normal Windows Control Panel options to choose whether to make the TV the main display, to duplicate the desktop on both screens, or to extend the desktop across both screens.
You can use a wireless or wired Xbox 360 controller. It’s ideal if you have a wireless controller because then you can put your laptop wherever you want and just look at the TV. But wired controllers are fine too because they usually have a really long cable.
Here’s a typical setup using a wireless controller:
- Laptop connected to TV using HDMI cable
- Wireless Gaming Receiver plugged into USB port on laptop
- Keysticks running on laptop
- Use wireless controller from the sofa
And here’s the setup using a wired controller:
- Laptop connected to TV using HDMI cable
- Wired Xbox 360 controller plugged into USB port on laptop
- Keysticks running on laptop
- Use the controller from the sofa
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You don’t need a Smart TV to use the internet on your TV. Connect your laptop instead. With Keysticks, you can use a gamepad to browse to your favourite programmes on catch-up TV sites like BBC iPlayer. You can also do other things like control DVDs and music playing on your laptop, browse your photos on your TV, and play PC games. It’s up to you.
Keysticks comes with ready-made controls for general Windows use and for controlling your media player. It has features that are specially designed to help with using your TV as a display. You can view the controls on-screen and there are zoom, style, colour, and transparency options to suit your preferred TV viewing distance. When you need to type text (e.g. to enter a search term), you can pop up the virtual keyboard window which has word prediction to save you entering every word in full.
PowerPoint Presentations – Control Your PC With A Controller
You can use Keysticks to turn a wireless Xbox 360 controller into a slide changer for Microsoft PowerPoint. It lets you navigate through your slides by pressing buttons on the controller instead of breaking off from your audience to press a key or click the mouse. Here’s an overview of our sample controls for PowerPoint.
The main controls are:
- Start button: start presentation (F5)
- Back button: stop presentation (Esc)
- X button: next slide
- Y button: previous slide
You can also control the pointer, click and right-click, use the arrow keys, press Enter, and blank the screen.
The wireless Xbox 360 controller communicates with your PC or laptop via a Wireless Gaming Receiver which is a small device that plugs into a USB port. Keysticks then maps the inputs from the controller to the standard keyboard shortcuts for PowerPoint. For example, it makes pressing the Start button equivalent to pressing the F5 key, which starts the slideshow. Similarly, pressing the X and Y buttons on the controller is like pressing PageDn and PageUp on the keyboard, which navigate between slides.
These controls for Microsoft PowerPoint come with Keysticks, so once you’ve installed the software, you can load the PowerPoint profile by just double-clicking it, or using “Choose a profile…” from the program menu.
You’ll see a window shaped like an Xbox 360 controller which shows you what the controls are. Once you’re familiar with the controls, you can minimise or close the controller window.