Stable Controller IDs

By default, MAME does not assign stable numbers to input devices. For instance, a game pad controller may be assigned to “Joy 1” initially, but after restarting, the same game pad may be reassigned to “Joy 3”.

The reason is that MAME assigns numbers to input devices in the based on enumeration order. Factors that can cause this to change include disconnecting and reconnecting USB or Bluetooth devices, changing ports/hubs, and even just restarting the computer. Input device numbers can be quite unpredictable.

This is where the mapdevice configuration setting comes into the picture. By adding this setting to a controller configuration file, you can ensure that a given input device is always assigned the same number in MAME.

Using mapdevice

The mapdevice XML element is added to the input XML element in the controller configuration file. It requires two attributes, device and controller. Note that mapdevice elements only take effect in the controller configuration file (set using the -ctrlr option) – they are ignored in system configuration files and the default configuration file.

The device attribute specifies the device ID of the input device to match. It may also be a substring of the device ID. To obtain the device ID for an input device, select it in the Input Devices menu, and then select Copy Device ID. The device ID will be copied to the clipboard. You can also see input device IDs by turning on verbose logging (more on this later). The format of device IDs depends the type of device, selected input provider module and operating system. Your input device IDs may look very different to the examples here.

The controller attribute specifies the input token for the input device type (i.e. JOYCODE, GUNCODE, MOUSECODE) and number to assign to the device, separated by an underscore. Numbering starts from 1. For example the token for the first joystick device will be JOYCODE_1, the second will be JOYCODE_2, and so on.

Example

Here’s an example:

<mameconfig version="10">
<system name="default">
<input>
<mapdevice device="VID_D209&amp;PID_1601" controller="GUNCODE_1" />
<mapdevice device="VID_D209&amp;PID_1602" controller="GUNCODE_2" />
<mapdevice device="XInput Player 1" controller="JOYCODE_1" />
<mapdevice device="XInput Player 2" controller="JOYCODE_2" />

<port type="P1_JOYSTICK_UP">
<newseq type="standard">
JOYCODE_1_YAXIS_UP_SWITCH OR KEYCODE_8PAD
</newseq>
</port>
...

In the above example, we have four device mappings specified:

  • The first two mapdevice elements map player 1 and 2 light guns to Gun 1 and Gun 2, respectively. We use a substring of the full device IDs to match each devices. Note that, since this is XML, we needed to escape the ampersands (&) as &amp;.

  • The last two mapdevices elements map player 1 and player 2 gamepad controllers to Joy 1 and Joy 2, respectively. In this case, these are XInput game controllers.

Listing Available Devices

There are two ways to obtain device IDs: by copying them from the Input Devices menu, or by turning on verbose logging and finding the messages logged when input devices are added.

To reach the Input Devices menu from the system selection menu, select General Settings, and the select Input Devices. To reach the input devices menu from the main menu, select Input Settings, then select Input Devices. From the Input Devices menu, select a device, then select Copy Device ID to copy its device ID to the clipboard.

To use verbose logging, run MAME with the -v or -verbose option on the command line. Search the output for messages starting with “Input: Adding…” that show recognised input devices and their respective IDs.

Here an example:

Input: Adding lightgun #1:
Input: Adding lightgun #2:
Input: Adding lightgun #3: HID-compliant mouse (device id: \\?\HID#VID_045E&PID_0053#7&18297dcb&0&0000#{378de44c-56ef-11d1-bc8c-00a0c91405dd})
Input: Adding lightgun #4: HID-compliant mouse (device id: \\?\HID#IrDeviceV2&Col08#2&2818a073&0&0007#{378de44c-56ef-11d1-bc8c-00a0c91405dd})
Input: Adding lightgun #5: HID-compliant mouse (device id: \\?\HID#VID_D209&PID_1602&MI_02#8&389ab7f3&0&0000#{378de44c-56ef-11d1-bc8c-00a0c91405dd})
Input: Adding lightgun #6: HID-compliant mouse (device id: \\?\HID#VID_D209&PID_1601&MI_02#9&375eebb1&0&0000#{378de44c-56ef-11d1-bc8c-00a0c91405dd})
Input: Adding lightgun #7: HID-compliant mouse (device id: \\?\HID#VID_1241&PID_1111#8&198f3adc&0&0000#{378de44c-56ef-11d1-bc8c-00a0c91405dd})
Skipping DirectInput for XInput compatible joystick Controller (XBOX 360 For Windows).
Input: Adding joystick #1: ATRAK Device #1 (device id: ATRAK Device #1)
Skipping DirectInput for XInput compatible joystick Controller (XBOX 360 For Windows).
Input: Adding joystick #2: ATRAK Device #2 (device id: ATRAK Device #2)
Input: Adding joystick #3: XInput Player 1 (device id: XInput Player 1)
Input: Adding joystick #4: XInput Player 2 (device id: XInput Player 2)

Furthermore, when devices are reassigned using mapdevice elements in the controller configuration file, you’ll see that in the verbose log output, too, such as:

Input: Remapped lightgun #1: HID-compliant mouse (device id: \\?\HID#VID_D209&PID_1601&MI_02#9&375eebb1&0&0000#{378de44c-56ef-11d1-bc8c-00a0c91405dd})
Input: Remapped lightgun #2: HID-compliant mouse (device id: \\?\HID#VID_D209&PID_1602&MI_02#8&389ab7f3&0&0000#{378de44c-56ef-11d1-bc8c-00a0c91405dd})
Input: Remapped joystick #1: XInput Player 1 (device id: XInput Player 1)
Input: Remapped joystick #2: XInput Player 2 (device id: XInput Player 2)

Note that the devices numbers in the verbose log output are zero-based, while the device numbers shown in MAME’s user interface and set in configuration files

Limitations

You can only assign stable numbers to devices if MAME receives stable, unique device IDs from the input device provider and operating system. This is not always the case. For example the SDL joystick provider is not capable of providing unique IDs for many USB game controllers.

If not all configured devices are connected when MAME starts, the devices that are connected may not be numbered as expected.