Tomb Raider I

Tomb Raider I

273 ratings
Using JoyToKey with a controller for Tomb Raider games
By Calmly Frenetic
Play all the early Tomb Raider games with a controller/gamepad, using a keyboard emulator.
Key Mapper / Emulator
To use any controller with the early series of Tomb Raider games, you need to use a "key mapper" or "emulator" program which makes the controller output produce keyboard inputs. TR-I runs through dosbox which has a built-in key mapper, but it is not easy to use. The other TR games do not detect all buttons on some controllers (such as D-pad and triggers).

I recommend using a separate program such as JoyToKey - it works on Windows with both XInput and DirectInput controllers, and you can re-use profiles with later TR games (with just some minor adjustments). It can also emulate mouse function.
Other programs such as Xpadder, Pinnacle Game Profiler, Logitech Profiler, or Steam's in-built controller configuration (Steam Input) provide similar functions. Make sure you are only using one key mapper at a time - for example, you may need to disable Steam's controller configuration for JoyToKey to work as expected.
To use Steam Input with the old TR games, you must disable or fix the Steam Overlay:

This guide assumes that you already have the necessary USB connectors, wireless receivers, drivers, etc, for your gamepad/controller to be functional on your computer. Note that a "play & charge" kit for a wireless Xbox controller does NOT "connect" it to your computer.

Tomb Raider Instruction Manuals
For each game in the TR series, read the instruction Manual for explanations of how all the controls work. A link to an electronic copy of the manual (in .pdf format) can be found in the Additional Content section of the game's Steam Library page.

Note that controls for TR games may have a set of "Default Keys" that cannot be changed, and a set of adjustable "User Keys", and they are BOTH ACTIVE at the same time, so be careful not to end up with two actions for the same key or button.

An excellent resource for all Tomb Raider games is Stella's Tomb Raider Site:

Using JoyToKey
Download and run JoyToKey (current Ver 6.3):
(If you run the game in a compatibility mode that requires administrator privilege, then JoyToKey may need to be "Run As Administrator".)

To create a profile, press the "Create" button, and enter a name.
In the Options tab, for "Stick/POV" select "Stick x 2 + POV x 1",
and set "Threshold for input" (for analog sticks) to ~30%.

In the Joystick 1 tab, assign the controller buttons to default keyboard keys:
1. Press any button on the controller to highlight it in yellow in the list.
2. Double-click the control to open it for editing.
3. In the highlighted field, press the keyboard key you want to assign, then click OK.
Repeat 1-3 for other controller buttons.
(Example: Press the [A] button on an X360 controller, double-click the highlighted line on the Joystick 1 tab (Button1), press Ctrl on keyboard, then click OK.)
If you like, add a comment to each item describing button name or game action.

Save the profile(s) (File > Save).

For profiles to be automatically selected when you play a particular game, go to the Settings menu and choose "Associate profiles with applications...". Note that Tomb Raider I on Steam starts with the application "dosbox.exe" (including gold expansion and patched versions).

See full example controls and screenshots below.
For the first six games in the Tomb Raider series, you can use three profiles.
Downloadable profiles for Xbox/Xinput controllers:
Tomb Raider JoyToKey Profiles[]
(Extract the .cfg files into your \Documents\JoyToKey folder, then restart the JoyToKey app.)

Note: since version 6.1 of JoyToKey, the games are responding to "L-Alt" instead of the generic "Alt" for the jump action, so the profiles have been updated.

Disable "Joystick" (Drift / Menu Spinning)
The TR games automatically use the left-thumbstick for movement (run/back/turn), which can cause menu "spinning" or unwanted movement due to the thumbstick not staying centered. If you prefer to use the left-thumbstick for movement, it can be set in JoyToKey with a more suitable deadzone (threshold), so it is better to completely disable automatic detection of the joystick by the game.

For the dosbox version of TR-I, open dosboxTR.conf (in the Tomb Raider I folder) with a text editor (eg Notepad). In the [joystick] section, set joysticktype=none and save the file.

For other TR games, either "disable joystick" on the setup screen (launch option: -setup) or only select "keyboard" control method from within the game.

Both thumbsticks will then be available for additional functions via JoyToKey (such as weapon selection, health packs, or save/load shortcuts).

Conflicting Devices
If the Joystick 1 tab in JoyToKey is not highlighted when you press the controller buttons, there may be another device connected to your computer that is being detected as the "primary controller".

The Options tab in JoyToKey will indicate how many joysticks are detected. Try increasing the "Number of joysticks to configure", and see if a different tab is highlighted when you press the controller buttons, then copy the configuration to that joystick.

Another option would be to go to the "Control Panel" on your computer and open the "Devices and Printers" window. Right-click on your controller, select "Game controller settings", click the "Advanced..." button, then select your "Preferred device" from the drop-down list and click OK.

To fix "controller detection" problems, the solutions involve disconnecting other devices or disabling/uninstalling drivers that may be causing conflict with the controller.

A common solution is to disable an unnecessary "HID-compliant game controller" in Device Manager, as described in these other discusions:

Other examples that may help:
- Disable joystick drivers, such as "Generic virtual HID driver"
(Device Manager > Human Interface Devices > "Joystick name" > Disable)
- Disable bluetooth driver (device manager), or unpair/unplug USB bluetooth receiver for controller
- Disable or uninstall other controller/keyboard mapping utilities (eg Wii U Nintendo Gamecube controller utility, MS Intellitype, Xpadder, etc)
- Disconnect webcam, or some types of keyboard/mouse (mistakenly detected as a controller)
- Uninstall virtual joystick (Vjoy)

Controls - Tomb Raider I & II
Example controls based on PlayStation defaults:

Tomb Raider I
Game Keyboard PS1 Xbox Run Up arrow D-pad up D-pad up Back Down arrow D-pad down D-pad down Left Left arrow D-pad left D-pad left Right Right arrow D-pad right D-pad right Action Ctrl X A Roll End Circle B Jump Alt Square X Draw Weapon Space Triangle Y Look Numpad 0 L1 LB Walk Shift R1 RB Step Left Delete L2 LT Step Right PageDown R2 RT Inventory Escape Select Back

Tomb Raider II (additional controls)
Game Keyboard PS1 Xbox Flare / Select+R1 RS press

One possible variation from the default controls is to use the triggers for look/walk and the bumpers for sidestep/etc/etc.

For "Jump", it may be necessary to use "L-Alt" instead of "Alt".
Right-click on the entry field in JoyToKey, and select "L-Alt" from the list.

If using a laptop computer without a numeric keypad (Numpad), you will need to reassign the "Look" key from within the game Controls > User Keys. (For example, set it to the letter "O".)

Controls - Tomb Raider III & IV & V
"Copy" and edit the previous profile for Tomb Raider I & II.

Tomb Raider III (modified controls)
Game Keyboard PS1 Xbox Flare , Select+R1 RS press Duck . L2 LT Dash/Sprint / R2 RT

Tomb Raider IV & V (additional controls)
Game Keyboard PS1 Xbox Pause P Start Start

Controls - Tomb Raider VI
"Copy" and edit the previous profile for Tomb Raider III & IV & V.
Default PS2 controls are shown for reference, but the suggested Xbox controls are similar to the previous five games.

Tomb Raider VI
Game Keyboard PS2 Xbox Run / Vault Up arrow LS up D-pad up Back Down arrow LS down D-pad down Left Left arrow LS left D-pad left Right Right arrow LS right D-pad right Action Ctrl X A Roll / Target End Square B Jump Alt Circle X Draw Weapon Space R1 Y Cycle Weapon [] RS up / down Look / Sprint Numpad 0 R2 LB Walk Shift L1 RB Inventory Tab Select Back Duck Numpad 1 Triangle LT Stealth / Select Enter L2 RT Pause / Return Escape Start Start

The default "look" function is based on mouse movement, and has a non-inverted y-axis when using the movement keys. To make it similar to the previous games, you could additionally assign movement to one of the thumbsticks with the up/down directions swapped.

If using a laptop computer without a numeric keypad (Numpad), you will need to reassign the "Sprint" and "Duck" keys from within the game Controls > Keyboard. (For example, set them to the letters "O" and "I".)

Waffle Feb 20 @ 9:41am 
I managed to work around it by launching Tomb2.exe from the games directory directly, instead of through steam, and that managed to work - so I'll take it!
But I appreciate you getting back to me, none-the-less
Calmly Frenetic  [author] Feb 19 @ 11:49pm 
Ensure that neither the game nor Steam is "run as administrator".
Or try running JoyToKey "as administrator".

There have been some bugs with Steam settings recently if "global" settings are disabled.
To ensure Steam Input is disabled: enable the global setting (Steam > Settings > Controller), then toggle the game-specific setting (Properties > Controller) to make sure it is disabled, then disable the global setting again.

Also see the "disable joystick" section of this guide.
Waffle Feb 19 @ 5:55am 
Hi my dude, great guide, but I have ran into a problem!
I have all the keys set up to work with my PS4 controller, and JoyToKey is detecting all the input but the game can only let me use the analogue stick to move and turn; I can't jump, interact or anything of the sort. Just spin in circles!!

I have turned off Steam Overlay, I have turned off compatibility mode, disabled Steam Input for controllers, and sadly nothing :(

Any tips?
Calmly Frenetic  [author] Aug 15, 2023 @ 12:38am 
Purchasing a license key is recommended, but not mandatory.
You will just get an occasional reminder at launch.
Amazing Grace Aug 14, 2023 @ 7:55am 
Is this program (JoyToKey) really free of charge?
On their download page it says, it is free during a test period but it is expected that you buy a license.
Calmly Frenetic  [author] Jun 24, 2023 @ 3:36pm 
Logitech? Yes.
The F310 supports both xinput and dinput modes. Select xinput for compatibility with the downloadable profiles in this guide.
Royal-Requiem Jun 24, 2023 @ 1:17pm 
Do you think JoyToKey would be compatible with a Logitech gamepad? I cant find any answers on their website. It's a logitech F310.
HarleyDarling Mar 16, 2023 @ 6:51am 
Yep, found the issue, I needed to swap some of the controls over. I also verified the files and it had an issue, sorted that and the notepad edits still stuck so that solved it too Now everything works perfectly! Thank you for the advice, and for the guide!
Calmly Frenetic  [author] Mar 15, 2023 @ 2:27pm 
Are you using the downloadable profiles? They were made using an Xbox controller, and may not work properly with other "similar" controllers. If the buttons are "not in the right order" in JoyToKey, you will need to re-assign the mappings manually.
HarleyDarling Mar 15, 2023 @ 2:21am 
@Calmly Frenetic Some of the buttons are working, but not in the right order. I've disabled steam input for game (Done this via controller options on properties, is that the right place?) and done the joystick edits on notepad. I'm gonna rerun through the walkthrough again today and try again. I know I've missed some step but I can't think. It's only detecting 1 joystick which I thought was my controller. It's a wired gaming controller similar to xbox. I'm aloso gonna verify game files today because 4 wouldn't even boot.