Playing Games With Two Keyboards - Emulating a Controller With a Keyboard

Note: You can use the "keyboard to controller" emulation when you join any game hosted via Arcade. Though it temporarily lacks button rebinding, dpad, and the right analog stick, it works great for games like Overcooked.

This is a tutorial on using UCR, which emulates an xbox controller and uses your keyboard as input. Guests can follow this tutorial to set it up and use it while connected to a host in Parsec. This program takes time to set up and can be a pain. If possible, just use an actual controller, or join Arcade beta sessions, which have a new integrated controller emulation.

Installing UCR

  • Download UCR and Interception, and unzip both
  • Go to Interception's folder > command line installer
  • Hold shift and right-click install-interception.exe, then click Copy as path
  • Open command prompt as administrator
  • Paste the path, type " /install" (with the space), and press enter
  • You should see a success message. If you don't, you might have done something wrong, so look back into what it could be
  • Restart your computer

Creating a profile

  • Open UCR from its folder
  • Click the plus icon next to Profiles
  • On Input Devices, select a keyboard (starting with K:) from Core_Interception
  • On Output Devices, select ViGEm Xbox 360 Controller 1 (if you don't see ViGEm, reinstall Parsec then restart your PC)
  • Name the profile anything you want and hit Create

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Configuring the profile

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This is where you decide which keys on the keyboard will trigger a button on the controller. The following is what you do for each button:

  • Choose a plugin from the left (explained in the section below), name it and hit Accept
  • On the right side, click the three dots or the button close to it to choose the buttons
  • Repeat that for every button in the controller

Plugins used

Button to Button - Normal buttons

Use it for normal buttons (A, B, Start, Dpad, etc.). There's nothing special for this, just map as told above.

Button to Axis - Left and right triggers

Use for the left trigger (LT) and right trigger (RT). Map as normal, but set Axis on Release to -100.

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Buttons to Axis - Analog sticks

Use for the left stick (LX, LY) and right stick (RX, RY).

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  • LX (left stick, horizontal): map right first, then left
  • LY (left stick, vertical): up then down
  • RX (right stick, horizontal): right then left
  • RY (right stick, vertical): up then down

The example below maps the left stick to WASD.

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Activating and troubleshooting

To activate the mapping, select the profile and hit the play button to activate. You can then test if the controller works as expected with gamepad-tester.com.

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Other considerations