This guide will explain how to install a dance mat for use as a control pad in Windows 10. The mat will work natively with games that support Direct Input controllers such as the popular PC dancing game Stepmania. it will also be possible to use a program such as Xpadder (Paid) or JoyToKey (Free) to map the dance mat inputs to keyboard inputs so that virtually any PC game can be played using a dance mat!
The Dance Mat Used for this Tutorial
This tutorial should work with the dance mats released for the Xbox 360 version of Dance Dance Revolution.
The tutorial may not work with all mats like this so be sure of your seller’s returns policies before purchasing one.
The mat I used for this tutorial is not an official Konami mat but looks the same as the image. I would assume that any USB mat compatible with the Xbox 360 should work.
Installing The Driver
The first step is to unplug any USB control pads connected to your system. This will ensure the driver doesn’t interfere with them and also make the dance mat easier to spot in your Device Manager.
Note that this tutorial assumes that you don’t have any conflicting 3rd party drivers installed. The official Microsoft Xbox 360 drivers will not interfere so don’t worry about them.
Plug In Your Dance Mat
Your dance mat should be plugged in during the installation.
The dance mat should appear as an unknown device in the Other Devices section of the Device Manager.
The dance mat may be recognised as an official Xbox 360 game pad but it is still necessary to install the custom driver.
The 3rd party driver is required because the Microsoft driver will treat the dance mat as a normal Xbox 360 control pad with a D-Pad and 4 buttons. This is unsuitable because the driver does not allow two opposite directions to be input simultaneously. Games like Stepmania require up and down or left and right to be input together to perform a jump.
The unofficial XBCD driver allows us to configure the dance mat so that each input is treated as a separate button press rather than a D-pad input.
Download the Driver
Version 0.2.7 of XBCD can be downloaded here:
You just need to grab the .exe from the very top of the post (The mediafire link).
Note: This is a 3rd party driver and I accept no liability if it causes damage to your computer – INSTALL AT YOUR OWN RISK
Restart Your Computer With Advanced Settings
The XBCD driver is unsigned. By default Windows 10 does not allow the user to install unsigned drivers but it is possible to reboot your computer that will allow the driver to be installed:
Install XBCD with the Default Settings
Install the XBCD driver with the default settings.
You will get a security warning during the install.
It’s probably not a great idea to install random drivers from the Internet…
Reassign the Dance Mat Device in the Device Manager
The dance mat will appear as XBCD Xbox 360 Controller in the Human Interface Devices device manager. This means the XBCD driver has detected as a 360 compliant control pad (hooray!). If the device does not appear as such don’t give up yet – the next step may still apply.
By default the XBCD driver will treat the dance mat as a normal Xbox 360 controller. Luckily XBCD includes an alternative driver that is geared towards dance mats. All we have to do is use the Device Manager to tell Windows which version of the driver we want to use.
Right click on the dance mat in the Device Manager and select Update Driver Software.
Select ‘Browse my computer for driver software’ from the dialogue box that opens.
Select ‘Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer’.
Untick “Show compatible hardware” to show all devices.
In the XBCD Project category select XBCD Xbox 360 Foot Pad.
A warning will be shown. This warning can be ignored if you’re in the business of ignoring Windows warning messages.
All being well you should see this message to confirm the successful installation.
You can now run the XBCD set-up utility to configure the dance mat.
Search for XBCD in the windows start menu and it should appear.
Right click the utility and click “Run as Administrator” – XBCD Setup needs admin rights to run but doesn’t ask for them.
Test the Dance Mat Buttons
When you press buttons on your dance mat the corresponding buttons should light up blue in the XBCD set up utility.
How XBCD Works
Beside each of the Xbox 360 controller inputs in the set up utility you can see a button number (e.g. “B12”). XBCD will map the inputs from the dance mat to the button we specify using the Direct Input API.
The great thing about mapping the buttons like this is it allows us to press 2 opposite directions on the dance mat simultaneously. This is essential for jumps in Step Mania and impossible using the official Microsoft drivers.
Mapping the Buttons
Before assigning the buttons it is a good idea to increase the range of buttons that we are allowed to use. This is not essential for Step Mania but will be useful if you want to use the dance mat for something unconventional such as movement controls for a First Person Shooter, which will be explained in a future tutorial.
The number of buttons can be set on the Windows tab. Note that you will need to unplug and replug your dance mat after you have edited the number of buttons.
Download the Button Config
In order to map all the buttons you can download this handy config file and load it in XBCD:
To load it use the Open button at the bottom of the XBCD set up utility.
This will tell XBCD to use the highest number buttons (of the 24 we set earlier).
Using the highest control pad button numbers is advantageous later if we want to play games like First Person Shooters using the dance mat to move and a hand-held controller to shoot. Many single-player games allow input to come from more than one controller simultaneously so you can use a dance mat at the same time as a controller. Using the highest button numbers available reduces the chances that a conflict will occur between the controllers – i.e. a button on the dance mat already being mapped to an action we want the hand held controller to do. This will become clearer in future tutorials on how to use the dance mat with various games!
All being well your dance mat should now work like a normal controller in Windows. It should be possible to press 2 or more buttons simultaneously. You can test this using the XBCD set up utility – simply press the buttons and see if their inputs light up.
I’m planning on making tutorials on how to use the dance mat for games such as First Person Shooters. I might also make some games designed with dance mats in mind in the future.
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