Kodi Controller Configuration – A Gamepad Remote


If your HTPC media centre is located in your living room and you do not have a purpose built remote control then why not use a game controller. A gamepad can be a comfortable and effective way of navigating through your content, playing your films and opening picture files. The later versions of Kodi are pretty good at detecting controllers and some will work out of the box. Kodi 17 Krypton comes packaged with a controller configuration tool.  In this Kodi Controller configuration post I will show you where the controller settings are and how to setup a gamepad for Kodi use.

Best Game Controllers for HTPC Systems

Below are some of our top game controllers for HTPC systems.

XBOX 360 Wireless
XBOX 360 Wireless Controller
2.4GHz wireless technology with 30-foot range. Use four controllers simultaneously. Adjustable vibration. Integrated headset port. Requires 2 AA Batteries.
XBOX 360 Wireless Gaming Receiver
XBOX 360 Wireless Gaming Receiver
Use up to four Wireless Controllers and four Wireless Headsets simultaneously. Plugs into PC USB port & has a six foot cable.
Valve Steam Controller
Valve Steam Controller
Control any PC game including those not designed for gamepad. Dual trackpads, HD haptic feedback, dual-stage triggers, back grip buttons, and customizable control schemes.
Nintendo Wii Remote
Nintendo Wii Remote
Classic controller from the Nintendo Wii games console. The perfect choice for games console emulators such as Dolphin. Requires Bluetooth & configuration. Available in multiple colours.
PS4 Dual Shock
PS4 Dual Shock Controller
Precision controller from Sony. Multiple buttons, analogue sticks & triggers. Features built-in speaker & stereo headset jack. Required Sony adapter for PC use. Great for Arcade emulators!
Mayflash Arcade Stick
Mayflash Arcade Stick
The full arcade experience! Compatible with PS4, PS3, XBOX ONE, XBOX360 & PC, Android, Switch. Supports both XINPUT & DINPUT.

Kodi Controller Configuration – A Gamepad Remote

Before you change any of your configuration please ensure that you backup Kodi. This will allow you to quickly roll back any changes you make. For this Kodi Controller configuration guide we will be using Kodi 17.3 Krypton. The ability to effectively use game controllers as input devices and change their mappings was a new feature of this Kodi version. If find your Kodi gamepad not working properly then this feature can help you. Before you begin ensure that your chosen game controller is connected to your system and then any required drivers are installed.

To begin navigate to the Cog shape found above the main Kodi menu  to enter the settings screen. Here select System settings as shown in the image below. [Read: Best PC Game Controllers for HTPC – Emulators & Steam]

Kodi Controller Configuration
Kodi System Settings

Once in System settings navigate down to Input on the left hand menu. There are minimal settings on this window. Select Configure attached controllers as shown in the next screenshot. [Read: How to Play Games on Kodi]


Kodi Gamepad Support
Kodi Input Settings – Configure Controller

On the majority of Kodi systems the add-on used for Kodi controller configuration is in a disabled state. You will receive a popup notification on your screen telling you this and asking you to switch it on. Select Yes to enable the Kodi controller addon. [Read: Gaming on your HTPC]

Kodi Game Controller
Kodi Controller Addon

Configuring Your Buttons for Kodi Gamepad Support

On the screen that follows you will see a full visual representation  of a Kodi game controller. The left hand option shows the available Kodi Controller profiles and by default there is only one available called Kodi. Kodi uses the same controller layout as the XBOX 360 controller and this is shown in the image. The right hand menu lists all of the available buttons. To change what a Kodi game controller button does click on it and it will ask you to then press a button on your gamepad. For example select button A from the right hand menu and then press any button on your controller. Kodi will then store this button press as your A button. All buttons in the list do different things within the application so please choose wisely. [Read: RPCS3 – The Working Playstation 3 (PS3) Emulator]


Kodi Gamepad not working
Kodi Controller Settings

When you have completed all buttons in the list you will then have full Kodi gamepad support. You can now use your controller as a remote. The Kodi community offers a range of downloadable profiles for different controller layouts. Se these availablle controller profiles here.

If you are interested in gaming on your HTPC [Read: Top 5 Emulator Frontends for your HTPC Media Center]

Kodi Gamepad Support – Final Thoughts

The new Kodi game controller configuration tool packaged with Kodi Krypton is a great way to setup a gamepad as a remote. It is simple to use and allows you to configure your controllers exactly how you want them. If you do not have a remote then a good gamepad is the next best thing to browse through your media libraries. Is your Kodi gamepad not working correctly? As long as the device is detected by Kodi the Kodi Krypton addon should allow you to fix the issue.