gamepad

More fun, and a gamepad, with Karabiner-Elements

After the initial success of using Karabiner-Elements with a keyboard I had laying around, I decided to move a step further by adding a gamepad to the mix and programming it with hotkeys. And it worked with great success.

The gamepad of choice, or rather, the gamepad on sale, is the BlueFinger Gaming Keyboard, which is in essence the left side of a regular keyboard.

Now, it's no Logitech or Razer, but I'm not going to use it that way. It's standard plastic all round, but it's got a decent size, feels sturdy enough and shows up as a generic keyboard. It was also $30, so many boxes checked there.

Next, with the help of a very cool website-Karabiner Complex Modification, I was able to create a list of my own custom rules, which are loaded under the Complex Rules tab.

Instead of pressing CAPS LOCK and then another key, I wanted one-click action. So, if I press A, I get Control-Option-Command-Shift-A.

Using the site, you can create a file that looks similar to the following, which shows the use of the modifier keys:

{
  "title": "Keyboard Maestro Demo",
  "rules": [
    {
      "description": "Keyboard Maestro A",
      "manipulators": [
        {
          "type": "basic",
          "from": {
            "key_code": "a"
          },
          "to_if_alone": [
            {
              "repeat": true,
              "modifiers": [
                "left_gui",
                "left_control",
                "left_alt",
                "left_shift"
              ]
            }
          ]
        }
      ]
    }
  ]
}

The file can then be "installed" from the web based version of loaded in:

~/.config/karabiner/assets/complex_modifications

I have this set up for 15 keys on the gamepad. Using the site tool, you can set up key combinations that work for you. You could also set up Alt-A to mean a completely different key combination that Ctrl-A, when used on that keyboard.

There is more experimentation to come, but at each stage there has been success. It's possible to use a full-sized keyboard if you have space, or get a gamepad and program it with your hotkeys.

Karabiner Complex Modification

Other articles of interest:

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