Sunday, 30 October 2011

Shadowgun with a PS3 controller - Transformer and Galaxy S II video demo [+ bonus guide on how to set up the PS3 controller to work in bluetooth mode with Shadowgun!]

So here we are again, with another gaming video (I told you any excuse would do). Although I've just done one of these illustrating using a PS3 controller with a Galaxy S II, I thought showing off Shadowgun control with a PS3 controller deserved its own video too.

Now if you want to use the PS3 controller with the Transformer it's very straightforward; plug it in and map some buttons within Shadowgun itself and you're good to go. If however you want to use the PS3 controller in bluetooth mode, that's another story. Disappointingly only directional keys will work that way by default, and it won't allow you to map the rest.

Fortunately jbuggydroid, resident genius at Androidcentral, showed some dedication to the cause - exhaustively going through all the possible button mappings in Sixaxis Controller to find out which ones worked. Make the jump to get the instructions for how to make it so.

In order to set up bluetooth control via the PS3 controller you'll need to do the following:

Button mapping within
Sixaxis Controller app
  1. Pair the PS3 controller to your Android device with the Sixaxis Controller app (guide for how to do that here)
  2. In the Sixaxis Controller app hit the menu key to bring up it's settings, check the box next to bypass IME
  3. Go to Input Mappings in settings and select 1st Controller Mappings
  4. You'll now see a list of the buttons on the PS3 controller, pressing on anyone of them will allow you to map the appropriate key to that button
  5. Here are the keys and their respective functions, you can map them to whichever buttons you like on the controller:
    1. Dpad Center=Fire
    2. 7 = Reload
    3. Dpad left, Dpad right, Dpad up, Dpad down = Left, right, up down respectively for the first  analog stick
    4. J, L, I, K = Left, right, up down respectively for the second analog stick
    5. A, D, W, S = the four weapon slot selection keys
    6. Back = Pause
  6. Once you've mapped the keys you are all set (you won't need to  map any keys within Shadowgun itself under Gamepad in settings as you would do to use the PS3 controller as a USB gamepad)
Using a PS3 controller via bluetooth really does transform the gameplay experience for the better, but it's not perfect. When you use a PS3 controller via bluetooth you'll find the controller sends extraneous key presses to the game, the upshot of which is that when you stop moving the controller your character will continue to move for a short time. That makes taking cover and aiming just slightly problematic until you ascend the learning curve. If you're going to be using the PS3 controller via USB on your Android tablet you won't face any problems whatsoever - the control is absolutely spot on. For that reason I'm tending to play on my Transformer via USB, rather than using bluetooth. Now if only a reader could point me in the direction of someone selling 2-3m long mini-USB cables so I can play via USB with my Transformer connected to my HDTV...