Guild Wars 2: Controller Configuration (Xbox 360)

Full-feature control scheme for action camera mode and standard Xbox 360 controller (or something similar). Includes necessary in-game bindings, suggested settings, general play overview, and detailed button mapping.

 

Introduction

This guide has instructions and necessary game settings for a versatile Steam Input configuration to play Guild Wars 2 with an Xbox 360 controller (or similar shapes that can reuse the config). Steam Input stuff has no home and you can’t properly document a configuration, so we end up here. New versions will come with updates detailed here and a post in the linked forum thread, which is your only way to track changes. Please share this configuration by linking this guide, and not the configuration directly.

To set it up, either add the normal GW2 client to your Steam library as a non-Steam game or install the game from Steam, load the configuration with one of the Steam Input links below, make the necessary settings in the game (‘Setup’ section), and that’s it. Whenever you start it from Steam, you’ll have full controller play. I also use a mouse/trackball for quicker inventory and menu handling, but the config does have its own full-featured mousing support. In-game mappings are chosen to make the least changes to the default configuration, so you can still play on keyboard and mouse without too much disruption.

Here is the configuration (paste it into your browser and it will open in Steam–these can’t be proper links because Steam refuses to recognize their own config links):
steam://controllerconfig/1284210/2853226897 (Steam install)
steam://controllerconfig/guild%20wars%202/2853222685 (non-Steam install)
[v5 2022-08-23]

Play Overview

This config plays surprisingly well considering all the things it needs to do, but it still takes some time and effort to get a handle on it. Be patient and don’t try to do or remember everything at once. It looks daunting, but there’s hundreds of hours of play and refinement behind it. Let your hands learn the connections, and you’ll be off in no time.

First, it will help to make a couple preparatory mental adjustments. You’ll want to think of the four face buttons and Start together as a button group (A, X, B, Y, Start), and do likewise for the four D-Pad directions and Back (Up, Left, Right, Down, Back). These five-button groups will make things a lot more intuitive. We have two main shift-key sets: one focused on more immediate combat keys (Right Trigger), the other on utility keys (Left Trigger), and you’ll be using both of those and the unshifted layout simultaneously, so everything that helps the mental mapping take hold is important.

Whenever you start the game, when you first get in character, you will need to press Back+LB to toggle the action camera on. You won’t need to do this again within a session, because any time a dialog, panel, or menu comes up, the game automatically switches to showing a cursor instead of the action camera. Once you close whatever it is, it will be back in action camera for you.

Without any modifiers held, basics:

  • Move with the left stick and aim/turn with the right stick (holding LT or RT won’t change this, of course)
  • Jump with A, Interact with X, Dodge with B
  • Heal with LB
  • Highlight enemies and interactables by holding RB (this works with LT or RT down as well) (game default changed to highlight everything all the time, so you can turn that off to reduce clutter and pop names when you want to see them)
  • Tap Back for Escape, which closes open windows/dialogs or brings up the system menu if nothing is open
  • Hold Dpad-Down to dismount or get off a chair

With RT held, attacks:

  • Face buttons and Start are your weapon skills (1-5)
  • LB swaps between your two equipped weapon sets
  • Dpad and Back are your profession skills (F1-F5, how many varies by class)

With LT held, utilities:

  • Face buttons and Start are your utility slots (7-9), special action (-), and elite skill (0)
  • Dpad and Back are your mounts (these all need to be unlocked through play, and require expansions)

Remember the Special Action! It doesn’t come up that often, but when it does you will need it. That’s part of why I put it between 9 and Elite, to help keep the spot in mind when suddenly searching for it 🙂

With Back held, mousing:

  • mouse with either stick
  • mouse click with triggers and RB: RT is primary click, LT is secondary click, and RB is alt-primary, for setting map waypoints
  • LB toggles the action camera (note that any panel, dialog, or other such active UI element will switch the game to mouse cursor from action cam while it is open)

With Start held, UI panels:

  • Map on Dpad Up
  • Hero/Character panel on Left
  • Inventory on Right
  • Contacts/LFG on LB
  • PvP on X (also useful for trying out fully unlocked versions of a class without leveling, or for travel through Lion’s Arch to avoid waypoint fees)

Hold Start and then also hold a trigger for various secondary and novelty commands. For example, Start->LT, then tapping X usually works to /say “Thank you”. Can be useful when a stranger revives you 🙂

Detailed Button Mapping

Main (unshifted) layout
LS: Movement
LS-Click: If holding forward, activates auto-run until you move backward, otherwise toggles walking
RS: Camera/Aim
LT: (shift for utility set)
RT: (shift for attack set)
A: Jump / Swim Up
X: Interact
B: Dodge
Y: Mount Ability 2 / Swim Down
LB: Heal (6) (carries over to LT/RT modes)
RB: Highlight enemies/interactables (carries over to LT/RT modes)
Back: Tap for Escape, hold to shift for mouse set
Start: (shift for menus/panels set)
Dpad-Left/Right: Target previous/next enemy
Dpad-Up: Call target (hold Up to lock autotarget)
Dpad-Down: Take target (hold to dismount or get off a chair)

Right Trigger-held “attack” layout
A, X, B, Y, Start: 1,2,3,4,5
Dpad-Up, -Left, -Right, -Down, and Back: F1,F2,F3,F4,F5
LB: Swap weapons

Left Trigger-held “utility” layout
A, X, B: 7,8,9
Y: Special action (depends on context, not always available)
Start: Elite skill (0)
LB: Draw/stow weapon, or hold to toggle Mentor mode (if unlocked)
Dpad and Back for Mounts:

LEFT
UP
DOWN
RIGHT
BACK
PRESS
Raptor
Springer
Skimmer
Jackal
Griffon
HOLD
Beetle
Skyscale
Turtle
Warclaw
n/a

Back-held “mouse” layout
LB: Toggle action camera (you’ll need to do this at start)
RS: Mouse movement
RT: Left click
LT: Right click
RB: Alt + left-click (in map, set navigation marker at cursor)
A: Left click
X: Interact
B: Ctrl+right-click
Y: Ctrl+left-click (in map, paste waypoint at cursor into chat and send)
Start: Escape
Dpad Up/Down: Mouse scroll-wheel up/down (camera zoom, map zoom)
Dpad Left/Right: Page Up/Down (change map layers)

Start-held “menu” layout
Dpad-Up: Map
Dpad-Left: Hero panel
Dpad-Right: Inventory panel
Dpad-Down: mouse to Mastery Menu (must NOT be in action camera for this to work)
Dpad-Down (hold): Chat panel
A: Mail panel
X: PvP panel
B: Trading house panel
Y: Guild panel
LB: Contacts/Looking for Group panel, or hold for Ranger’s Pet panel
RB: WvW panel
RS-horizontal: Adjust map zoom
RS-vertical: Change map layer

—Below here are extra things you don’t really need but are handy or fun—

Hold Start, then hold RT “Extra Controls” layout
A,X,B: Build templates 1,2,3
Y: Swap between equipment templates 1 and 2 with Y (you may need to press it a couple times, to get the game in sync with its toggle)
LB: summon skiff, or double-tap to switch controller to racing mode
RB: Hold to toggle mentor mode, or double-tap to place temporary Jade Bot waypoint
Dpad-up: “Tonic” novelty
Dpad-left: “Toy” novelty, or hold for “Musical instrument” novelty
Dpad-right: “Held item” novelty, or hold for Fishing
Dpad-down: “Chair” novelty, or hold for X/dismount

Hold Start, then hold LT “Gimmicks” layout
RB: Toggle mentor mode
X: Say “Thank you”
A: Say “Go”
Y: Say “Hold”
B: Say “Burn”
Dpad: two-step quick-emote table:

UP
LEFT
RIGHT
DOWN
just press and hold
agree
shrug
ponder
disagree
press, then again and hold
cheer
wave
thank
sleep
press UP, then
dance
salute
bow
kneel
press LEFT, then
laugh
beckon
talk
sad
press RIGHT, then
surprise
crossarm
point
threat
press DOWN, then
cry
cower
upset
sit

Racing Mode
LS: camera
RS: strafe left/right
LT: Move backward
RT: Move forward
X: V
A: Space (jump/boost/trick)
Y: 7 (endurance refresh)
B: C (drift)
LB: 6 (heal)
RB: Show names
Dpad-Up: Map
Dpad-Left: Flying dismount
Dpad-Right: re-mount/unmount Beetle, or hold for Raptor
Dpad-Down: Dismount, or hold to attack-dismount
* Dpad-Down and Dpad-Left both return to normal control mode.

In-Game Settings

RECOMMENDED GENERAL OPTIONS

  • AoE Loot on Interact: checked
  • Use “Show Ally Names” Key Bind: checked
  • Ground Targeting: Fast with Range Indicator
  • Double-Tap to Evade: UNCHECKED (checked will kill you)
  • Lock Ground Target at Maximum Skill Range: checked
  • Move Inventory Compact Option: checked

REQUIRED CONTROL OPTIONS
Movement

  • walk: shift-r
  • swim down: c

Targeting

  • previous enemy: ctrl-tab
  • next ally: .
  • lock autotarget: ctrl-shift-.

User Interface

  • pvp panel: shift-p
  • mail dialog: shift-o

Camera

  • toggle action cam: ctrl-singlequote(‘)

Mounts (must unlock each to see the option)

  • raptor: shift-x
  • springer: ctrl-z
  • skimmer: ctrl-x
  • jackal: shift-z
  • beetle: shift-ctrl-x
  • griffon: shift-ctrl-z
  • warclaw: shift-c
  • skyscale: shift-ctrl-c
  • siege turtle: ctrl-c

Mastery Skills

  • Start Fishing: alt-NUMPAD_6
  • Summon Skiff: alt-NUMPAD_7
  • Set Jade Bot Waypoint: alt-NUMPAD_. (decimal)

Miscellaneous

  • show enemy names: singlequote(‘)
  • show ally names: semicolon(;)
  • stow/draw weapon: ctrl-backtick(`)
  • Activate Chair: alt-NUMPAD_1
  • Activate Musical Instrument: alt-NUMPAD_2
  • Activate Held Item: alt-NUMPAD_3
  • Activate Toy: alt-NUMPAD_4
  • Activate Tonic: alt-NUMPAD_5

Templates

  • Build Template 1: ctrl-NUMPAD_1
  • Build Template 2: ctrl-NUMPAD_2
  • Build Template 3: ctrl-NUMPAD_3
  • Equipment Template 1: NUMPAD_/
  • Equipment Template 2: NUMPAD_*

Note that if you prefer the skyscale over the griffon for flying, swap your in-game bindings. The LT+Start mount input reacts faster than any of the other mounts, since you might be trying to hit it while falling 🙂 Likewise, WvW players may want to swap their warclaw and jackal bindings, to skip the hold time, and skiff enthusiasts without turtles may like switching skiff and turtle bindings, so you can hop on your skiff like the mounts.

Issues and Bugs

Steam Input has problems and Valve really doesn’t care about them (seriously– one key bug I reported with a very nice test case just had them change the documentation to redefine the broken and obviously undesirable behavior as “intended”), which is a darn shame considering the vision and potential it shows. Unfortunately, some things just can’t really be avoided and this is a complex configuration, so problems do come up.

The biggest problem is getting stuck in a layer. This basically requires you to tease your way back to a known state based on what buttons do. Often, wiggling both triggers or pressing both triggers and then Back and Start will get you out. Sadly, because of the SI bugs and painful lack of even the most rudimentary debugging for configurations, the more I try and protect the config from weird situations, the more complicated certain interactions become and the harder restoring a sensible state gets.

More common but less problematic, due to the misguided way Steam Input handles layers and buttons, if you hold a button as you release a shift or switch to a new layout, Steam will interpret that as pressing the button again in the new layout. Often this just comes through as a jump because you still had A down as you let the trigger go, and jumping is one of the few actions you can do along with an ability animation. Both triggers use “hair trigger” mode, so they count as off the moment you release them even a little, and as pressed the moment you start pressing them again. This makes the layout shifting nice and responsive, but the down side is making it easier to linger on a button as the layout changes.

Version and Updates

Update thread: http://steamcommunity.com/app/353370/discussions/0/2149847423916655685

Steam Input has zero facilities for versioning or updates (or documentation or testing or debugging…), so updates will be posted to this thread. You can subscribe to it and receive notices when there’s a new version to install.

Still working on something to prevent layer sticking, but Steam’s fighting me tooth and nail 🙁

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