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BDO Controller & Gamepad Guide (2019)

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Gaming Mouse Reviews
BDO Gamepad & Controller Love!!
(Ready to vanquish with the press of a mighty red B button? )

In Black Desert Online, combat is one part of the game, many players love. We can dive into a hoard of baddies and watch them fall en masse! Most BDO gaming is done via mouse and keyboard on PC. (And this is how the developers recommend we play. See their official Controller Support Page.) But when our mouse mover begins to cramp and stiffen, some might wonder about the wisdom of using a gamepad or controller in BDO.

Gamepads have recently drawn more attention, due to the benefits that can be found using a controller during sailing. IMHO controllers are great for a break from the traditional play style and are allot of fun to experiment with, but I wouldn't use them during intense battles like PVP. They do have their perks, but also a few drawbacks to keep in mind.

BDO Controller & Gamepad Tips

Important Factors When Choosing the Best Gamepad or Controller:

BDO Controller Hotkeys

GrumpyG Gaming Mouse Ergonomic Design

BDO Gamepad Labels Xbox Controller
1 Rstick 8 Start
2 DPad 9 RTrigger
3 Lstick 10 RightShoulder
4 Back A (green button)
5 LeftShoulder B (red button)
6 LTrigger X (blue button)
7 Guide (can't use) Y (yellow button)

When you use a controller for BDO, you are provided a default setup and Hotkey assignment. The Hotkeys set certain BDO actions to specific buttons on your controller. You may find the developer's Hotkey layout not to your liking. But it's very easy to change Hotkeys inside the BDO Settings interface.

BDO Controller Hotkey Assignment How-To:
On the keyboard, press Esc ► Settings ► Interface ►
BDO Settings interface after Esc key
BDO Settings interface after Esc key

Turning on Gamepad Hotkeys:
Make sure the tab labeled "Gamepad Interface" is open. Select the option that says "Use Gamepad". This should be highlighted yellow.

BDO Controller Gamepad Interface

BDO Controller Hotkeys: Other Gamepad Interface Options
You will notice the "Gamepad Interface" tab under "Interface Settings" has several other options as well.

BDO Controller Hotkeys: Action Hotkeys
The "Action Hotkeys" tab in the "Interface Settings" section is responsible for character movement and repetitive actions like Jump, Sprint, Evade, and common interactions in the environment. Most of them are easy to understand, but I will go over a few that might cause confusion.

BDO Controller Hotkeys: Action Hotkeys
BDO Controller Hotkeys: Action Hotkeys

Action Hotkeys Explained: If any of the other options confuse, just click on the "Keyboard" select option and you can view the corresponding keyboard Hotkey.

BDO Controller Hotkeys: UI Hotkeys
The "UI Hotkeys" tab in the "Interface Settings" section is responsible for User Interface controls like Inventory, World Map, and Show/Hide Cursor. These will probably not be used too often as you are playing, so you might want to save these for the more complex Hotkey combos.

BDO Controller Hotkeys: UI Hotkeys
BDO Controller Hotkeys: UI Hotkeys

BDO Controller Hotkeys: Quick Slot Hotkeys
The "Quick Slot Hotkeys" tab in the "Interface Settings" section is responsible for pressing Quick Slots that are normally number keys of 1 through 10 on the keyboard. Default location of Quick Slot is visible on the bottom of the player's main window. This is a good time to check and make sure you have something quick slotted to regenerate health, mana, etc.

The Quick Slots are where your main combat moves are going to be placed. This makes playing BDO with a controller somewhat limiting, as some skills are unable to be put into Quick Slot. Also, there are many reports that using Quick Slot actually increases the cost to use the skill, and that Black Spirit 100% skill can only be used via keyboard. There are a maximum of 20 Quick Slots.

BDO Controller: Quick Slot Hotkeys

BDO Controller Hotkeys: Misc Hotkeys
The "Misc Hotkeys" tab in the "Interface Settings" section is responsible for different User Interface actions like camera movement. You're probably not going to want to change this. I recommend just leaving camera movement up to the Right analog joystick. With the Horizontal and Vertical sensitivity sliders under "Gamepad Interface", it makes camera control easier. (IMHO)

BDO Controller: Misc Hotkeys

Buy BDO Controllers: Top Rated (2019)

I did some research and found all the best BDO controllers available for purchase on I chose these gamepads because they all have proven track records with a generous amount of positive reviews. These top rated controllers are also cheap for what you get. Note that the cheaper controllers are not manufactured and branded by Microsoft. I added them anyway, in case you need a very cheap controller. 3rd party and generic controllers may require a bit more setup or may encounter more problems natively integrating with Microsoft Windows games. (Vibration issues seem to be the most common.) But I only included highly tested and reviewed 3rd party controllers that can be returned within 30 days, if they don't fully work inside BDO.

If you buy one of the controllers or gaming gear on this page through the affiliate links, I will get an ad fee on qualifying purchases that are within 24 hours of your first click. Thanks!

Wireless BDO Controllers Wired BDO Controllers Chatpad
BDO Controller
GrumpyG Rating
Brand Microsoft JAMSWALL JAMSWALL EasySMX Microsoft Microsoft
Cord Wireless Wireless Wired Wired Wired Adapter
Distance 30 ft 30 ft 5.5 ft 6.5 ft 9 ft
30 Day Return
Warranty 90 day ? ? ? 90 day 90 day

BDO Controller Not Working

BDO Controller Gamepad Not Working

BDO Controller Doesn't Work Techthon has never seen so many disgraceful controllers in his 30 years of expert blacksmithing! He wants to protect his fellow Heidelians from controllers that don't vibrate and joysticks that don't stick! Techthon encourages you to look carefully at the original manufacturer, and discover if they stand behind their product with a solid warranty. He admonishes you to keep an eye out for vendor return policies!

BDO Controller Setting up device in Windows
BDO Controller Device is ready in Windows

USB Controller Driver Basics
Controllers require driver software in order to communicate with your PC. Windows should automatically detect your USB controller and will automatically search for a driver and select the driver it thinks best matches. Sometimes this driver isn't the right one, especially if you're using a non-Microsoft controller. If your controller isn't working after you plug it in, controller software is the most common reason. Check to see if the gamepad came with a software disk or instructions on where to download a driver. If there isn't any help there, then search Google for the brand name, gamepad model, and the words "driver download."

BDO Controller Device Manager in Windows

Checking Controller Drivers
You can see if Windows correctly recognized your device as a USB controller by typing "Device" into Cortana. Click on "Device Manager."

Update, Disable, or Uninstall Controller Drivers
If you see anything that says "Unknown Device", then it could be related to Windows not properly installing the controller driver. From here you can do many things to try and fix a bad driver. Try having Windows search for and update the controller driver first. If that doesn't work, you will need to find a driver that will work with your gamepad.

BDO Controller Device Manager in Windows to update driver

Update Controller Driver
When you choose "Update Driver", you have the option of manually installing a driver you obtained from the manufacturer or a third party. Or you can have Windows search the internet for you and decide which one is best.

BDO Controller Device Manager in Windows to search driver

Uninstall or Disable Controller Driver
Disabling or Uninstalling the device will require that you restart your computer. Then you can try plugging in the controller again to have Windows reinstall the controller's software.

BDO Controller During Sailing

There have been many reports from players that using a controller in BDO gives a significant advantage during sailing and sea monster hunting. The video below gives a detailed look into how to use an Xbox 360 controller. Note: this video was made before the T+W+Q update detailed in the Sailing Guide. Now you can Ram with just W+Q.

Controller Mapping for Sailing & Sea Monster Hunting:
Sea Monster Hunting 101 - Black Desert Online - Guide/How-to - Controller Method 360s

Game Controller Accessories

If you're considering Xbox 360 controllers, you might also want to check out these related gaming items. All are highly rated and popular choices on Amazon.

Contact Me

I'd love to hear from you! If you would like to contact me, you can do so via PMs on BDO's forum or Message me on I will help answer any questions you might have. Black Desert Online can be challenging to master for even the most hearty MMORPG fan. :)

BDO Guides Got Guide Fever?
If you have a guide you've been working on, that you would like to collaborate on, please contact me. I can actually refrain myself from meddling with it, if you don't want any editing done to it. Or... you can request my un-magical editing touch upon the guide. :) I will gladly take a look and see if I can publish it here. Obviously, if it's outdated or has errors, I can't publish it as is. But, it's fun for me to edit guides, so let me know! It's inspiring to see so many great BDO guides written by the community! Thanks!

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Thanks for visiting GrumpyG, and have fun in BDO! :)