HOTAS for flying and a console controller for SRV - without wrecking bindings?

Hi,

I generally use an X56 to fly but for grindy stuff in my SRV I want to use my xbox controller so I can watch TV comfortably at the same time. However, if my xbox controller is plugged in at the same time as my X56, the latter will lose it's custom key bindings and both times I tried it, I had to recreate them all from scratch. I tried recovering from a backup .binds file but it didn't work ( In hindsight it might've been because the xbox controller was still plugged in when I tested the restored bindings ). As long as the controller is plugged in, many ( but not all!! ) key mappings I assign to the X56, will be lost when I press 'apply'. I go back into 'Controls' and they're lost. Unplug the controller - all groovy.

Does anyone know an easy way to have both devices co-exist in ED.
 
That sounds really odd, are you using a template as a basis or started off from scratch.

Or when you connect the controller do you disconnect the x56?
ED gas thi nodd quirk that if a device used in a binding setup is not detected it will simply refuse to use that bindings file.
So if you wanted to use both devices, both would need to be connected at any time you start elite.

But it really Shouldn't be any need to do any of that vjoy and merging of devices.

Just use the binding menu and bind your controllers as you would any device.

I have yet to notice a device limit in elite, but every one device is limited to 32 buttons and six axes I believe.

Currently I fly with pedals, throttle unit and two flight sticks, all unique devices.
I tested recently if there was a limit by adding some binds on my cougar mfd's button panels and they to map no problem, so currently up to about six separate devices.

I'd make a backup of current bindings, then start with an empty bindings set and map everything manually, and using the controller for the SRV, then go into the binds file and edit the name section to something else than "custom".
 
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This should work fine. I use a Cougar for flight and a X Box controller for FSS/DSS. I will lose my custom binds if either one is not detected (the controller sometimes gets 'lost' when booting the PC, a re-plug of the device fixes this). This post doesn't help OP fix problem, but just to say it should work, and that having two controllers isn't the problem.
 
don't own a hotas just an xbox controller but I would try turning the pad and stick into one virtual device using software like joystick gremlin or vjoy
as for backing up and saving your binds see this thread post number 5 https://forums.frontier.co.uk/threads/my-key-bindings-reset-every-time-i-enter-the-controls-tab.507856/ the main reason a bind file wont work is the starpreset .start file has changed in some way
I didn't even know this was a thing so if all else fails that gives me some possibilities, thank you.
 
That sounds really odd, are you using a template as a basis or started off from scratch.

Or when you connect the controller do you disconnect the x56?
ED gas thi nodd quirk that if a device used in a binding setup is not detected it will simply refuse to use that bindings file.
So if you wanted to use both devices, both would need to be connected at any time you start elite.

But it really Shouldn't be any need to do any of that vjoy and merging of devices.

Just use the binding menu and bind your controllers as you would any device.

I have yet to notice a device limit in elite, but every one device is limited to 32 buttons and six axes I believe.

Currently I fly with pedals, throttle unit and two flight sticks, all unique devices.
I tested recently if there was a limit by adding some binds on my cougar mfd's button panels and they to map no problem, so currently up to about six separate devices.

I'd make a backup of current bindings, then start with an empty bindings set and map everything manually, and using the controller for the SRV, then go into the binds file and edit the name section to something else than "custom".
Good spot, usually the xbox controller is often unplugged because what I had been doing is SRV grinding on my laptop instead while watching TV on the second screen plugged into it. I can still do this but it's daft me using a whole different PC for the sake of my controller.

The HOTAS stays connected all the time. I'll backup the entire binds folder again and try doing the whole thing from scratch although its tedious because for me to get them all exactly right again usually takes a few hours each time.

I wasn't sure what you meant by template, do you mean the dropdown from the top of controls? If the xbox controller is plugged in, even with the HOTAS, ED will always choose a gamepad option initially and then I customise this. I can still bind settings to the X56 when it does this but, as per the original problem, most of those settings will be lost the moment I hit 'apply'. I've tried selecting the 'custom' template but it's too late because ED already selected gamepad when it detected the controller and bound a load of controls which are now still visible in custom.

So ED does recognise all the buttons on the X56 when the HOTAS is connected, it just won't retain most of the bindings.
 
This should work fine. I use a Cougar for flight and a X Box controller for FSS/DSS. I will lose my custom binds if either one is not detected (the controller sometimes gets 'lost' when booting the PC, a re-plug of the device fixes this). This post doesn't help OP fix problem, but just to say it should work, and that having two controllers isn't the problem.
Actually, this might help. When your controller is disconnected, you lose the bindings but when you reconnect it, they come back. I wonder if, while my xbox controller is connected, replug my X56 and see if it's bindings come back. A bit thin I know but then it's behaviour is already strange.
 
BTW, now it's working just with the X56, I presume that backing up the entirety of the binds folder will preserve it so that, if I mess it all up again, I don't spend ages manually re-assigning everything? I can never consciously remember about a 1/3 of what I bind and I only find out in game when muscle memory takes over.

I only ask as when I tried to restore a bind file that was from before I started playing with the xbox controller, it didn't work. All my new 'knackered' settings were still there.
 
Actually, this might help. When your controller is disconnected, you lose the bindings but when you reconnect it, they come back. I wonder if, while my xbox controller is connected, replug my X56 and see if it's bindings come back. A bit thin I know but then it's behaviour is already strange.
When you change default bindings it saves a ‘custom’ set. If you add or remove a controller that custom set doesnt get loaded and the game defaults to a standard set, if you then change it I think it will then overwrite the previous custom set saved (but hidden). You need to plug in all controllers, set up your bindings, then find the file and rename it. You can do this with various controllers plugged in and the game will load up the one that corresponds to your current set up.

There are tutorials for renaming custom bindings, also within the bindings file there is a line you can edit that gives its description in game, you can rename it ’x52 + controller’ or whatever
 
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don't own a hotas just an xbox controller but I would try turning the pad and stick into one virtual device using software like joystick gremlin or vjoy
as for backing up and saving your binds see this thread post number 5 https://forums.frontier.co.uk/threads/my-key-bindings-reset-every-time-i-enter-the-controls-tab.507856/ the main reason a bind file wont work is the starpreset .start file has changed in some way
Wow this looks almost exactly like my problem. behaviour looks comparable and you advise options I hadn't even thought of.

Gentlemen all, thank you kindly - I am now, finally, going at the problem with some optimism
 
Though one can to a certain degree use both a key board, mouse along with a Hotas "OR" a controller. One can only utilize one or the other. For the best results in utilizing a Hotas or controller in addition to the keyboard and mouse. One must have the Hotas of choice or the controller of choice plugged in and turned on prior to starting the launcher.

Though choosing a selection from the control menu will still allow for some keyboard and mouse availability, only one control device (hotas / controller) can be chosen to be utilized in game. And as I stated, it must also be plugged into and turn on prior to clicking on launcher. Attempting to switch while in game, can and will present issues.

I personally utilize a Hotas Warthog it is my default choice, which means, unless I want to change a binding, I never have to change anything in the control menu. Making sure it's plugged prior to clicking on the ED launcher, also turns it on automatically, I click on the ED launcher, after the game menu starts and I know I'm logged on. I then plug in my Xbox controller which has my ear buds attached, thus allows me to hear and communicate via the discord I subscribe to.
 
Though choosing a selection from the control menu will still allow for some keyboard and mouse availability, only one control device (hotas / controller) can be chosen to be utilized in game.
Not true, you can use at least 2 devices, possibly more ( I haven't needed to try more than 2 at once). BUT it will not be easy to tell which device has actually been programmed to a bind, since ED doesn't distinguish between eg axis-x on device 1 and axis-x on device 2, they both show up as just axis-x in the the control setup, but only the device that you set up for axis-x will actually work for that bind.

Of course, you may need more than the genetically supplied number of hands in order to use them concurrently, but that is another issue entirely.
 
fyi
after renaming steps(as suggested in linked posts 3 steps)
you can take your current binds folder out like a set of car keys and store wherever you like but not inside the frontier folders
(real fighter jet pilots have whats known as a flight brick which is basically the same thing) (that way they can jump in any aircraft and be good to go)
Upon game restart because the keys"flight brick"(bindings folder) are missing it will create a new default bindings folder for testing (new pilots personal flight brick or"set of keys")
you can replace this anytime by putting your old folder(flight brick) back and restarting the game from the launcher
(renaming the files as instructed within any flight brick will prevent the game from auto overwrite of that pilots brick which in our case is the bindings folder)
to prevent any confusion don't swap just the files within as this can mix up the start.preset start file which is part of the set of keys or flight brick and rename ist as suggested
so you know which brick you are using in game as this will appear as one of the games presets in control options
 
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Regarding the number of sticks/controls you can use simultaneously on ED - that's only limited by the number of USB ports and, to some extent, the number of hands or other appendages you want to bring into it.
I am not using any additional stick merging or remapping tools (yet, I'll need to do some AHK scripting in the future, though). I have connected:
  • two sticks (I'm flying dual sticks) with 5 axes and 21 buttons each
  • two keyboards (ok, Windows/ED doesn't distinguish them, one on the desk and one on the chair)
  • one mouse and one trackpad (again, not distinguishable)
  • one gamepad (I use it for the external camera)
and plan on building another custom thingummy that will appear as yet another joystick (full set of buttons, but only one - so far - axis)
ED has no problem in mapping or handling all of these. My brain is a different matter...
 
Thanks for the advice everyone, I have it working now based on your help. I fired up the rig with both controllers plugged in. Cleaned out my bindings folder until there was only my current profile. Then followed SD's instruction about naming it and putting it into startprefs. Went into ED and it let me assign xbox controller keys to this binds profile and it worked. Part of the problem had been I'd used the wrong naming convention in the filename. No idea why it meant some bindings would be set and some would be lost but hey.

(y) :) 🥂
 
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I've been doing this since starting on PC. I even mapped my racing wheel and pedals to the SRV for a little while and it worked phenomenally. Looks like you already have it figured out but just a heads up, I use a wireless Xbox controller adapter and if the Xbox controller is not turned on when I load the game up, it sets my controls back to default. All I have to do is turn the controller on and set the controls back to custom but this does get a little annoying sometimes.
 
Not true, you can use at least 2 devices, possibly more ( I haven't needed to try more than 2 at once). BUT it will not be easy to tell which device has actually been programmed to a bind, since ED doesn't distinguish between eg axis-x on device 1 and axis-x on device 2, they both show up as just axis-x in the the control setup, but only the device that you set up for axis-x will actually work for that bind.

Of course, you may need more than the genetically supplied number of hands in order to use them concurrently, but that is another issue entirely.
Indeed, I use three devices :

  • a wheel with pedals for SRV
  • a HOTAS for flight
  • a button box (that identifies itself as a console controller) for lights, landing gear, heat sink, etc.

I have mapped buttons manually to each device and saved as a custom config. It works fine if I have them all plugged in when Elite starts up. If one is missing (say the wheel is not recognised) then Elite automatically switches to a pre-defined config.
 
only one control device (hotas / controller) can be chosen to be utilized in game.
Yeah this is a load of horse manure. I've had my X52 pro, my g920 racing wheel and pedals, my Xbox controller and some mouse and keyboard buttons all mapped at the same time with zero issues. Even now I have my X52 pro and m&k mapped and have the throttle and clutch on pedals mapped to forward and reverse on the SRV while steering it with my Xbox controller.
 
T16000M for flight, controller for external camera and SRV and mouse for FAoff flying. Keyboard is totally mapped but only there for the option.
That's my custom1 binding, custom2 adds 61 keys of synth for making space music.
 
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