Xpadder is a software program for Windows that simulates your computer’s built in keyboard functions and mouse controls using a regular game controller.
If you want to play games on a PC using a controller instead of your keyboard, such as when you are lying in bed, Xpadder is a great program to have.
Xpadder has been around for a long time. However, it is not free (although it is cheap) and can sometimes be difficult to set up.
Regardless of why you are searching for an Xpadder alternative, however, this article has what you’ve been looking for. Today, I will be going over the best free (and paid) Xpadder alternatives.
Best Xpadder Alternatives
Perhaps the most well known Xpadder alternative, JoyToKey converts your controller movements to keyboard movements. When you move a stick on your controller or press a button, JoyToKey will simulate the corresponding keyboard movement on your computer.
JoyToKey is a shareware. You can download it for free without buying a license key, but after the trial period, they do ask you to purchase a license key to help support the application.
The free trial version, however, has no limitations and has all of the features and functions of the paid version.
The paid version costs only $7, making it a little cheaper than Xpadder, and you can pay via Paypal or MyCommerce (MyCommerce allows you to pay via check). Always check the JoyToKey pricing page for updated pricing information.
After downloading JoyToKey, the Auto Setting Wizard will help you set up the application.
You can set up multiple profiles.
For each profile, you can set different buttons on your controller to correspond to different keyboard controls. You can also automatically assign different profiles to different focus applications.
JoyToKey works on Windows XP, 7, 8, and 10. You can download it here.
AntiMicro is a free graphical program you can use to map keyboard buttons and mouse controls to gamepad controls. Although the project was stopped by its original owner, others have picked up the program and it is now available on Github for download.
Although the latest AntiMicro version was released in 2016, there is an updated version on Github called AntiMicroX. AntiMicroX version 3.1.3 was released just several days before the writing of this article.
To use AntiMicroX, you will need more technical knowledge than what is needed for using JoyToKey or Xpadder. If you are looking for an Xpadder alternative that does not require a lot of technical knowledge, JoyToKey is a better choice.
AntiMicro and AntiMicroX are free to download. If you are looking for a free Xpadder alternative that you don’t have to pay money for, you can use AntiMicroX.
3. Steam’s Built In Mapper
Did you know that Steam has a built in mapper that you can access via Big Picture?
The best part is that the Steam controller is not the only controller supported by the mapper. You can also connect a PlayStation 4 controller, an Xbox One controller, and an XBox 360 controller and map out keyboard functions for them.
However, you can only set up different button mappings for multiple players using multiple controllers at the same time if you have a Steam controller or a Playstation 4 Dualshock controller.
You’ll need to activate Big Picture mode in order for this to work, however, regardless of which controller you are using. In addition, if you are not using a Steam controller, you will have to enable support for other gamepads, which you can do in the Settings area.
Next, go to your library and select the game you want to map controls for. If your game is not in the library, add it to the library first.
Under Manage Game, you can select Controller Configuration to be taken to the button remapping screen. You can then set up a map for your controller, or you can click on Browse Configs if you want to select a map that was set up by others for the game you are using.
For a full guide on how to use Steam and Big Picture to set up a controller map, read this HowToGeek guide.
The Steam mapper is a great alternative to Xpadder if you don’t want to pay $10, have one of the controllers listed above, and have Steam and Big Picture. You won’t have to download an extra software like Xpadder to your website if you are already using Stream.
If the controller you want to use on your PC is a PS4 Dualshock controller, you can use DS4Windows to map out keyboard functions on your controller.
The program is easy to use and allows you to do things like use the touchpad as a mouse, set up different configuration profiles and switch between them, control the lightbar (turn it on and off or have it change dynamically based on battery level), and more.
Not only can you switch between profiles with different configurations with the swipe of your fingers, but you can also set it up so that it automatically switches between profiles when certain programs or games are launched.
Bluetooth audio is not supported. The creator says he does not know how to configure support for that, so no support is in the works for that.
Currently, DS4Windows is available in the following languages:
- German (Germany)
- French (France)
- Italian (Italy)
- Portuguese (Brazil)
- Russian (Russia)
- Romanian (Romania)
- Chinese (Simplified)
- Chinese (Traditional)
The software is available for download on Github. However, the current version, 1.4.52, was released in 2016.
DS4Windows is free to use, so if you have a Playstation 4 Dualshock controller and are looking for a free Xpadder alternative, use DS4Windows.
PPJoy is a Joystick driver for Windows that is designed for old consoles and joysticks. If you have an old joystick or console, such as Playstation or Super Nintendo gamepads, you can use PPJoy to set them up with your Windows computer.
That is why I recommend using vJoy instead. vJoy is an open source software that was created as a replacement for PPJoy.
You can download vJoy on SourceForge. vJoy has been tested on Windows Vista, 7, 8. 8.1, and 10.
PPJoy and vJoy are free to use, unlike Xpadder.
6. InputMapper (Beta)
InputMapper is a software that claims it is designed to “bridge the gap between the devices you use and the games you play.” Actually, InputMapper is the updated version of DS4Windows, which started out as DS4Tool, became DS4Windows, and is now InputMapper.
However, although DS4Windows is no longer being supported, some Reddit users have reported that DS4Windows worked better and was less buggy than InputMapper. As such, you may want to try DS4Windows first before you decide not to use it.
However, DS4Windows only supports a Playstation 4 Dualshock controller. On the other hand, InputMapper supports the following input devices:
- Sony DualShock 4
- Sony DualShock 4 V2 Upgraded
- Xbox 360 Controller
- Xbox One Controller
- Sony Dualshock 3 (using Magic-NS Dongle)
- Playstation Move Navigation Controller (using Magic-NS Dongle)
- Generic DirectInput Devices
- Generic XInput Devices
It also supports the following output devices:
- Xbox 360 controller (Via ViGEm)
- Sony Dualshock 4 (Via ViGEm)
Support is also in the works for the following input and output devices, although they are currently NOT supported by InputMapper:
- Sony Dualshock 3 (using Fireshock drivers)
- Playstation Move Navigation Controller (using Fireshock drivers)
- 3Dconnexion SpaceNavigator for Notebooks 3D Mouse
- SteelSeries Free Mobile Wireless Controller
- Evolution DRONE Mobile Controller
- Xbox One Controller (Via ViGEm)
- vJoy Feeder
The most commonly used version of InputMapper is InputMapper 1.6. InputMapper 1.7, however, is the newest version, and it can be found on the new InputMapper Beta site.
In 2019, “Wobbles,” the creator of InputMapper, wrote that due to the illness and passing of his mother, he had to take a break from working on the InputMapper project.
Nevertheless, in February of 2020, he wrote another update on the InputMapper Beta site, saying that he is starting to get back to work on the project as his time allows but that he is still almost always busy with his day job and family issues.
There is also a forum on the InputMapper Beta site, which is still active and where you can give feedback and ask other forum members questions. The site also allows you to make donations to help keep InputMapper going.
Although donations can help keep the project going, they are not required. InputMapper is free, unlike Xpadder.
However, there is one ad in the application window, which generates revenue for InputMapper. For an optional donation of $2, you can get this ad removed.
Joystick 2 Mouse, version 3, is free to download and use, unlike Xpadder. It allows you to control your keyboard using a joystick or gamepad.
In addition to making playing games more fun, Joystick 2 Mouse was also designed to help people who have physical disabilities or have wrist pain.
Joystick 2 Mouse 3 lets you set up different profiles. It even allows you to assign a few actions to a single button, which you can shift between by setting up shift buttons.
You can see all of the instructions here.
Joystick 2 Mouse 3 lets you set up 16 different joysticks. Each joystick or gamepad can have up to 32 buttons.
Keysticks is another great program you can use to control your PC with your game controller, whether you want to play games, browse Google, or do something else. Keysticks can also be used to control your music wirelessly with your controller, allowing you to play your favorite songs and switch between playlists.
You can even use Keysticks to switch between slides in a Microsoft Powerpoint presentation.
Keysticks can be used to control a TV screen that is connected to your computer as well. Using Keysticks, you will be able to browse Google on your TV, play games, run DVDs, play videos, and more.
Using Keysticks, you can switch between windows, launch programs, and switch between profiles (by setting a Load Profile button).
Both wired and wireless Xbox 360 controllers work with the Keysticks software program. In fact, any gamepad or controller that uses XInput or DirectInput can be used with Keysticks.
Keysticks is open source and entirely free to use, unlike Xpadder. It supports Windows 10, and you can have up to four players.
Although the old version of Keysticks required you to purchase a license in order to use it after a tryout period, the new version does not. If you have the old version installed, simply go to the website and install the latest version to continue using Keysticks for free.
JoyXOff is a lightweight Xbox controller mapper that you can use to simulate mouse and keyboard functions with your Xbox controller. Unlike Xpadder, it is free to use.
JoyXOff is currently available in the following languages:
- Brazilian Portuguese
- Colombian Spanish
- Simplified Chinese
- Traditional Chinese
Keep in mind that JoyXOff only works with XInput controllers. As such, it will only work with Xbox controllers; if you have a Playstation controller, it will not work by itself.
You can get it to work with a Playstation controller by installing an Xbox controller emulator. X360ce is one emulator you can use.
JoyXOff will not work with Windows XP or Vista. You need to have at least Windows 7 for it to work, though Windows 8 is recommended as it will work better.
Although JoyXOff is free, they do collect donations on their website.
10. Molten Gamepad
Molten Gamepad is available for download on Github. It is an input device translator designed for gamepads, and it was recommended by the original maker of AntiMicro after he decided to pull out from the project as an alternative to AntiMicro.
You can use Molten Gamepad to translate your gamepad’s commands into keyboard and mouse commands.
Unlike XPadder, Molten Gamepad is entirely free to use and download.
If you own a Playstation 3 Controller, MotioninJoy is a great Xpadder alternative. Unlike Xpadder, it is entirely free to use.
MotioninJoy works on Windows 7, 8, and 10. After downloading it for free and installing it, you will be able to use your Dualshock 3 or Sixaxis controller while playing games on your Windows PC.
You can even connect your Playstation 3 controller to your Windows PC using Bluetooth. This is a feature that is not always available on other gamepad emulator software programs.
In addition, not only is MotioninJoy entirely free to use, but it also offers an ad free experience.
To download MotioninJoy, go to UpToDown and download it here.
GlovePIE is a free alternative to Xpadder that was originally designed for the Essential Reality P5 Glove. However, it has been updated to support input devices such as WorldViz, InterSense, 5DT, Polhemus, eMagic, and Ascension and output devices such as MIDI output devices.
If you have a Nintendo Wii Remote, WorldViz PPT Trackers, Sony Dual Shock, or similar joystick/gamestick, consider downloading GlovePIE to emulate your keyboard’s controls on your joystick.
A great thing about GlovePIE is that it works with Windows XP, so you can use it even if you have an old computer. Go to Softonic to download it here.
Here’s something new: What if you want to use your iPhone, instead of a regular gamepad controller, as a gamepad controller for your Windows PC? Xpadder doesn’t have any feature that will allow you to do this, but Joypad does.
To use your iPhone as a gamepad controller for your Windows PC, you will need to install Joypad on your iPhone first.
Once you do that, download the Windows Joypad application here. If your iPhone already has the Joypad app installed, the software will be able to automatically connect to your phone, but you can also manually enter your phone’s MAC address into the desktop application.
Then, you will be able to use a gamepad on your iPhone screen to wirelessly control your computer.
What if you own an Android, not an iPhone? In that case, you can use MAXJoypad to replace your gamepad with your Android device; this is something that you can not do with Xpadder.
Unlike Joypad (the previous application on this list, which was designed for iPhone devices), MAXJoypad has both Bluetooth and Wifi support. With the MAXJoypad driver installed on your PC, it will be able to communicate with the Android app, and you will be able to use the Android app’s virtual gamepad to control your computer.
Since MAXJoypad has multiplayer support, up to four players can play at once on their respective Android devices. You can also manage each gamepad profile to disable certain buttons.
You can also emulate an Xbox 360 controller if you have x360ce.
MAXJoypad works on Windows 7, 8, 8.1, and 10. You can download it from the MAXJoypad website.
The website also has instructional videos to help you download, install, and set up the application. There are even a troubleshooting section and a support email, which you can find on the website.
Finally the final alternative on this list is for XWindows. If you are using Microsoft Windows, you can use Xpadder or the other alternatives on this list, but QJoyPad won’t work for you.
QJoyPad is only for Linux computers and for use in XWindows. You will also need to have QT Toolkit installed, which most Linux computers have automatically.
QJoyPad is free to use. You can download it here, where you can also find documentation and more information about the software.
Wrapping It Up: What Is The Best XPadder Alternative?
Joy2Key is the best Xpadder alternative, especially for those without a lot of technical knowledge.
However, remember that if you have Steam, you can always use Steam’s built in Big Picture gamepad translator, as mentioned above.
Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.