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Tomb Raider 2013 Gamepad Bug

I have only played TR on a PC, but after a while I have found playing with the joystick (now the thing is called gamepad) much relieving for my fingers and back. So fixing gamepad bugs is a now must for every Tomb Raider game with me =). The older games (1-3) seem to be OK, but starting with “Revelation”, usually there is a problem either with key assignment, or with the sticks not working properly, or both. Here’s what happened with Tomb Raider 2013.

Initially everything seemed fine, but somehow I was missing the right stick for precise aiming (Lara could awkwardly aim with just the left stick, so for a starter it was OK). I remembered, that the same was the problem with “Legend”, so I have decided to do some research, now that we have Google and Internet. As I have figured out, I have a Genius Max Fire Blaze 2 PS-type gamepad, not the Xbox-type required by TR 2013. Actually I bought it as a “PC” gamepad with “optional PS connection”, i.e. the cord branched into USB and PS plugs, the latter I have never used.

Pretty soon I have found hints pointing to the two software pieces ready to help: Xpadder and x360ce. Xpadder may be great, but the author wants you to pay BEFORE you try, which I consider not my cup of tea. So I opted for x360ce. There is an online tutorial:

It is not perfect (then again what is?), however it gives you the right ideas of what to tamper with.

Step 1 is to go to http://code.google.com/p/x360ce/downloads/list and get the 2.1.2.191 version (which is a convenient EXE-file, wrapped in ZIP). The version tagged “USE THIS FOR MOST GAMES” is just a bunch of files, tried that – just some error messages. But the 2.1.2.191 version contains just one plain EXEcutable, so it’s good for dummies like myself.

Now there’s a challenge: place this "x360ce.exe" in the same directory, as the "TombRaider.exe". Helas – even though I have a boxed full-fledged version of game, it requires Steam, and the TombRaider folder is buried deep within the Steam folder on your PC, as deep as ProgramFiles (x86) / Steam / Steam Apps / common / Tomb Raider. Luckily the “Search” option with the key “tomb” helps you get through.

ProgramFiles (x86) / Steam / Steam Apps / common / Tomb Raider

IMPORTANT: you MUST, MUST, MUST have your gamepad plugged in AND RECOGNIZED BY WINDOWS before proceeding any further.

Well, nothing really terrible will happen if you forget to plug it - the x360ce just crashes, and you CAN start over again So plug it in and wait for a while, allowing Windows to make a discovery purely in Lara's style. You may decide to install your gamepad drivers EVEN BEFORE YOU PLUG IT. However, with the modern masterpieces from Microsoft you finally may be able to enjoy seamless plug'n'play.

Now that you have your gamepad plugged and recognized by Windows, and the "x360ce.exe" is happily together with the "TombRaider.exe", the "x360ce.exe" can be double-clicked and run. Click “YES” twice and then "NEXT" and finally "FINISH" in the pop-up menus.

Voila – there is a beautiful colorful scheme which is supposed to be self-explanatory. Well, try the buttons and sticks to see if everything is working fine. If you have no D-pad, just go to the fold-out list D-Pad to the left and select D-Pad 1 (as seen in the tutorial). If the right stick goes mirror-like (i.e. when you point to the right, the green crosshair goes to the left) this can be fixed inside the TombRaider game by selecting “Invert axis” somewhere in the “Game” menu. But in my case it was worse than that: when I pointed to the right, the green crosshair went DOWN Yes, now the right joystick came alive in the game, but it was sort of a drunken experience (which I never had so can only guess).

The above mentioned video tutorial promised, that going to the “Options” tab inside the x360ce and ticking the “xinput9_1_0.dll” box would help. Kekeke. Nope, it did not help ME. But the fold-out menus for the right stick had an awesome option: RECORD. Choose that, and a little red bulb appears on the stick image. Try promptly and sharply moving your stick into the direction showed by the red bulb: it solved the problem for me.

I’ve done this “recording” separately for the X-axis, and then for the Y-axis. The result was the mirror-like movement, which I have fixed inside the TombRaider menu – that HAS a solution for this case, as said above. Do not forget to click the SAVE button in the menus. Then close the x360ce window.

If all is ok, the game should run seamlessly. Because I was tampering with the x360ce configuration a lot (clicking various tabs, choosing various options), the program (x360ce, not TombRaider) froze after a while. Well, it’s only a beta. Rebooting the whole system always worked fine, but you may also need to manually erase the x360ce’s configuration files from the TombRaider directory (those are x360ce.ini, x360ce.tmp, xinput1_3.dll and xinput9_1_0.dll). Do not worry: the x360ce.exe creates them all again when running.

Now it’s time to go back to http://code.google.com/p/x360ce/ and donate to the author(s) a couple of bucks. All this would be impossible without those kind people, so they deserve some modest profit. Yes, their beta can be improved, but still it’s quite a useful tool.

This is how you can save big bucks by not going to your local store for the Xbox-type gamepad (approximately 50 bucks in the local store here). Also think of all the environmental impact this daring enterprise will have: now there is one less piece of plastic to go to the dumpster after you switch to some futuristic neural interface controller a few years from now

I have invested some time and effort in creating this solution webpage, also I pay to the website hoster so that they do not place annoying ads above my webpages. So you may find appropriate to send me a WebMoney quarter "for the cause". If you choose to do so so, please click the button below:

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© Anton Lebedev, 2012. Concept © Boris Veselov, 2011.