I am having issues getting my xbox controller to work with RetroPie. I have used this guide, option 3 (the daemon) and everything seems to have gone fine. My controller has the player 1 light on as it should. However, when EmulationStation launches, my controller seems to have no effect whatsoever. I can still use the keyboard to interact with the system, but I get nothing from the controller. There are no errors relating to xboxdrv on startup.

Any ideas?


I've tested my controller input using jstest and I can see that each button results in input. For instance, my number pad up, down, left, right maps to button numbers 0, 1, 2, 3. In my RetroArch config (~/RetroPie/configs/all/retroarch.cfg) I can see the following entries which look right to me.

input_player1_up_btn = "0"
input_player1_down_btn = "1"
input_player1_left_btn = "2"
input_player1_right_btn = "3"

So at this point, I believe that xboxdrv is working fine and that there is some issue with the RetroPie or RetroArch configuration.

1 Answer 1


I made two changes which resolved my issues.

1) Binary data in retroarch.cfg

I originally followed this guide to run the retroarch-joyconfig program and inject the results into retroarch.cfg. For some reason, I ended up with a bunch of binary data in front of my configs, so when I opened it in VI, the first line looked like this:

^@^@^@(several lines of this)^@^@^@input_player1_joypad_index = "0"

In other words, the first line of the config where it set the joypad index was trashed. I removed all of this binary data.

2) /dev/input/js* starting at 1

I did not have a js0 under /dev/input/. So, I went back into retroarch-joyconfig and changed the starting index to 1.

All or a combination of these two changes now makes the xbox controller work in my emulators. The controller doesn't work in EmulationStation, and it randomly turns off during game-play, but I guess that is a different issue.

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