[GUIDE] USB Gaming on Nexus S

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developersdevelopers

Senior Member
May 24, 2011
154
32
Greetings,

The purpose of this post/thread is to describe how to use a USB gaming controller on the Nexus S, which is now possible thanks to the work of fellow XDA member sztupy. Before proceeding, I highly recommend that you read his Galaxy S thread, especially the first few posts (http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1450298).

First, some demonstrations:
Using USB Host Controller app and Super Mario 64
Batman: Arkham City
Metro 2033
Dirt 3

DISCLAIMER: I take no responsibility for any damage you do to your phone.

1.) FLASH KERNEL AND DOWNLOAD APP

First things first, you will need ICS and to flash a kernel that has USB OTG support in it. At the time of this posting, some kernels with USB OTG are:

-steve.garon’s kernel (http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1427352)
-mathkid95’s Matr1x kernel (http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1361477)
-Ezekeel's GLaDoS kernel (http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1336529)

If you do not know how to flash a kernel, please Google it. You will also need to download sztupy’s app “USB Host Controller” (https://market.android.com/details?id=hu.sztupy.android.usbhostcontroller).

2.) ACQUIRE USB CONTROLLER

Next, you will need a supported USB controller. The following should work:

-wired Xbox 360 controller
-Logitech DualAction controller
-Logitech WingMan RumblePad
-wireless Xbox 360 controller WITH wireless receiver
-wired Sony Playstation 3 controller (not yet tested)
...probably many others


3.) OTG SET UP

Thirdly, you’ll need a working USB OTG set up. Sztupy’s thread shows you a few ways of accomplishing this. Below is a (crappy) diagram of MY current working set up.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/15806590/diagram2.png

I think this is the best set up because you don't have to buy any fancy OTG cables or USB hubs. But that's just my opinion.

In terms of the order for connecting things, I find it works best if you connect the phone LAST.

4.) FINAL STEPS

Once everything is connected, open up the “USB Host Controller” app, select the “Settings” pane, and set the Operation Mode to “Auto-host” (if you are using a set up that involves an OTG connector/cable, then you'll likely need to select OTG mode instead). If everything went right, the app will close automatically and you should be able to navigate your phone with the controller. You are now ready to game!

Just a note with the 360 controller. The middle button will always flash on and off, and will not stay lit on one quarter of the circle as on an actual Xbox. AFAIK there's no way to fix this (unless you use tape heh).
 
Last edited:

developersdevelopers

Senior Member
May 24, 2011
154
32
Games/Apps TESTED & WORKING: (This list is not meant to be comprehensive, and will be occasionally updated)

Note: Pretty much any app/game that supports button remapping (such as emulators) should work

Emulators

-nes.emu
-SNES 9X EX
-N64oid (the right analog stick is not functional)
-Mame4droid
-FrodoC64USB
-Mupen64Plus AE
-FPse

Native/Regular Android Games

-Shadowgun
-Grand Theft Auto 3
-Samurai II: Vengeance
-Riptide GP
-Meganoid
-Reckless Getaway
-Cordy
-EVAC HD
-Radiant HD
-Muffin Knight

Some (not all) of the Xperia Play compatible games will work too. See here for a comprehensive list of Xperia Play titles: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1217060

Other

-OnLive (!!! This means you can play the majority of onlive games that are game pad compatible)
 
Last edited:

neoman4426

Senior Member
Nov 7, 2010
93
31
nice. any idea if this works with the controllers for the original Xbox? I have a modded Duke I use on the computer, just replaced the Xbox!usb male with a regular usb male, and would love to be able to use it on my Cappy. I know it works perfectly on the mainline Linux kernel, but I'm having no luck finding how the drivers were implemented in ICS. I can't test myself just yet, still waiting for the otg cable and download mode jig to come in.
 

developersdevelopers

Senior Member
May 24, 2011
154
32
nice. any idea if this works with the controllers for the original Xbox? I have a modded Duke I use on the computer, just replaced the Xbox!usb male with a regular usb male, and would love to be able to use it on my Cappy. I know it works perfectly on the mainline Linux kernel, but I'm having no luck finding how the drivers were implemented in ICS. I can't test myself just yet, still waiting for the otg cable and download mode jig to come in.

I can't say for certain, but I think it should work. I found another thread here: http://www.acertabletforum.com/forum/acer-iconia-tab-accessories/1014-what-game-controllers-work.html for the Acer Iconia tablet, and one user claims their original xbox controller works.

I suppose the only way to know for sure is to try it out yourself. Once you get your OTG set up and running, let us know how that works out for you.
 

Szighy

Senior Member
Dec 31, 2010
1,362
86
Nice thread, very useful for me, I sold my wired 360 controller, and i thought i will buy a new one when i asked at sztupy's thread if the 360 controller would work with this method, he mentioned me about this thread, and i saw on the 1st page that a wireless controller would work with the receiver...luckily i have one of those :p but on the op says only it was not tested...so could anyone give me some info about that?
 

developersdevelopers

Senior Member
May 24, 2011
154
32
Nice thread, very useful for me, I sold my wired 360 controller, and i thought i will buy a new one when i asked at sztupy's thread if the 360 controller would work with this method, he mentioned me about this thread, and i saw on the 1st page that a wireless controller would work with the receiver...luckily i have one of those :p but on the op says only it was not tested...so could anyone give me some info about that?

Well the reason I suspect that it will work is because I saw this video www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrTmsZIb0a8&feature=related. Since we now have OTG it is reasonable to assume this would work for us as well.

I tried looking around for a wireless receiver to test but unfortunately all stores near my area only seem to sell it with the controller.

Sent from my Nexus S using XDA App
 

Szighy

Senior Member
Dec 31, 2010
1,362
86
Well the reason I suspect that it will work is because I saw this video www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrTmsZIb0a8&feature=related. Since we now have OTG it is reasonable to assume this would work for us as well.

I tried looking around for a wireless receiver to test but unfortunately all stores near my area only seem to sell it with the controller.

Sent from my Nexus S using XDA App
hm...i'm gonna try it, so, i didn't understand the diagram show in the OP (from the dropbox link, i'm not too good in this), but would it work, if i use a USB Hub, connect the hub to the phone, a usb charger to the hub, and also the receiver?
 

developersdevelopers

Senior Member
May 24, 2011
154
32
hm...i'm gonna try it, so, i didn't understand the diagram show in the OP (from the dropbox link, i'm not too good in this), but would it work, if i use a USB Hub, connect the hub to the phone, a usb charger to the hub, and also the receiver?

Read sztupy's post here for some ways you can connect a hub: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=21503413&postcount=2. As you can see, it is indeed possible to power the controller/receiver from the hub if you have things connected properly.

When you're setting up USB OTG/host for the first time, use a simple device like a USB flash/thumb drive to verify that your connections and everything else are working properly. Then you can try hooking up other peripherals like the 360 wireless receiver.

To be honest, I haven't had much luck getting USB OTG/host to work with a hub, which is why I went and created my own 'Y' cable. It really isn't that difficult to make, and it's cheaper than using a hub, provided that you have soldering equipment already.
 
Last edited:

Epic_VS

Senior Member
Dec 6, 2011
173
42
To be honest, I haven't had much luck getting USB OTG/host to work with a hub, which is why I went and created my own 'Y' cable. It really isn't that difficult to make, and it's cheaper than using a hub, provided that you have soldering equipment already.

you don't even need soldering equipment. I twisted and taped the wires and it worked fine.
 

tiuk

Senior Member
Jul 1, 2010
521
61
Word of caution, the 360 controller wireless adapter draws a lot of power, i recall there being high incidences of it dropping out when plugged into PCs, so be sure to power it adequately.
 

Szighy

Senior Member
Dec 31, 2010
1,362
86
Word of caution, the 360 controller wireless adapter draws a lot of power, i recall there being high incidences of it dropping out when plugged into PCs, so be sure to power it adequately.
woah...i really don't know anything about this electronic thing :D how should i do?
 

developersdevelopers

Senior Member
May 24, 2011
154
32
Just look at your charger and check the output rating. It should say something like: 5.0 V, 0.75 A. Ideally you'll want the second number to be higher (like 1 A for example).

As a point of reference, my wired 360 controller works fine on 0.7 A. But as tiuk pointed out, the wireless receiver may be more demanding.

But really I think you should be okay if you stick with the standard Samsung Nexus S charger. If you need more current for your peripheral, you can simply disable the current draw of your phone with the USB Host Controller app. This way, all of the current from the charger will be directed to the device instead of being split between the device and your phone.
 
Last edited:

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    Greetings,

    The purpose of this post/thread is to describe how to use a USB gaming controller on the Nexus S, which is now possible thanks to the work of fellow XDA member sztupy. Before proceeding, I highly recommend that you read his Galaxy S thread, especially the first few posts (http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1450298).

    First, some demonstrations:
    Using USB Host Controller app and Super Mario 64
    Batman: Arkham City
    Metro 2033
    Dirt 3

    DISCLAIMER: I take no responsibility for any damage you do to your phone.

    1.) FLASH KERNEL AND DOWNLOAD APP

    First things first, you will need ICS and to flash a kernel that has USB OTG support in it. At the time of this posting, some kernels with USB OTG are:

    -steve.garon’s kernel (http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1427352)
    -mathkid95’s Matr1x kernel (http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1361477)
    -Ezekeel's GLaDoS kernel (http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1336529)

    If you do not know how to flash a kernel, please Google it. You will also need to download sztupy’s app “USB Host Controller” (https://market.android.com/details?id=hu.sztupy.android.usbhostcontroller).

    2.) ACQUIRE USB CONTROLLER

    Next, you will need a supported USB controller. The following should work:

    -wired Xbox 360 controller
    -Logitech DualAction controller
    -Logitech WingMan RumblePad
    -wireless Xbox 360 controller WITH wireless receiver
    -wired Sony Playstation 3 controller (not yet tested)
    ...probably many others


    3.) OTG SET UP

    Thirdly, you’ll need a working USB OTG set up. Sztupy’s thread shows you a few ways of accomplishing this. Below is a (crappy) diagram of MY current working set up.

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/15806590/diagram2.png

    I think this is the best set up because you don't have to buy any fancy OTG cables or USB hubs. But that's just my opinion.

    In terms of the order for connecting things, I find it works best if you connect the phone LAST.

    4.) FINAL STEPS

    Once everything is connected, open up the “USB Host Controller” app, select the “Settings” pane, and set the Operation Mode to “Auto-host” (if you are using a set up that involves an OTG connector/cable, then you'll likely need to select OTG mode instead). If everything went right, the app will close automatically and you should be able to navigate your phone with the controller. You are now ready to game!

    Just a note with the 360 controller. The middle button will always flash on and off, and will not stay lit on one quarter of the circle as on an actual Xbox. AFAIK there's no way to fix this (unless you use tape heh).
    1
    I tested the Logitech Dual Action controller yesterday, it works also fine.