MAME controls setup and customization

While most downloaded arcade games should work with the default controls, some may not play in an intuitive way or be laid out like the original arcade cabinet. If there is a game you'd like to alter the controls for, begin by opening the game and having it running.

While the game is running, press the green lighted button to open the MAME settings menu. In this menu, the player 1 joystick will move the selection, while the blue lighted button will select entries and the red lighted button will exit or cancel. When changing the controls, only choose the "Input (This Machine)" option, otherwise other games may end up with unplayable or incorrect controls.

In the "Input (This Machine)" entry there will be only the relevant controls for the game that are loaded. The arcade's basic controls are set to work as a keyboard, so every entry will list a keyboard input on the right side if assigned to anything other than the trackball or optional addons such as a light gun or spinner. While the actual actions of the buttons used will only be generic labels, basic testing in game should help figure out what each button is assigned to do. It is suggested that any control labeled "Lightgun X/Y Analog" or "Trackball X/Y Analog" be left alone unless the game is not functioning properly, as setting these entries can be difficult.

To change an input, highlight the input and then press the blue lighted button, then press the single button or joystick direction you'd like the input assigned to then wait. If the input was properly accepted, you should see a single letter, direction, or symbol listed to the right. If the input lists multiple letters, directions, or symbols then the input will need to be reset and assignment tried again. To assign multiple buttons to a single input, keep the selection on the same input and repeat the steps of blue lighted button, press button and wait.

In case an input needs to be reset, highlight the input, then on the keyboard included with the arcade press the Delete key twice, first to clear it then to reset it to default. A default input should be listed in white text, while a custom one will be in grey. For Retro edition, Fighter edition, Vision 29, 32, or 40 arcades the keyboard will be located in a pull out drawer under the control panel. On a cabaret arcade the keyboard is on a shelf behind the front access door, and cocktail arcades have the keyboard behind the side access door attached to the PC.

If at any point of customization the input includes listings for "Gun X/Y" when not intending to set up a light gun, the light gun may be picking up enough IR light that it is being activated. Make sure that any light guns are stored where they would get no light during configuration.

For setting up a light gun, trackball, or spinner the movement of the device may need to be done very specifically. To properly assign vertical or horizontal movement, it is usually best to move the device back and forth a short distance in as straight vertical or horizontal line as possible for around 1 second. If the input lists both an X and Y version of the device in one entry, then the gun or trackball likely moved enough along the other axis that the setting will need to be reset and attempted again.

To properly assign a button on a light gun, keep the gun steady while pointed at the screen and press the button. The trigger and buttons on a light gun will function differently when used on-screen and off-screen, so setting the trigger to an action while the gun isn't pointed at the screen will cause the trigger to not work in gameplay.

Some games will on their first launch mention that there is an error with the memory, or that the light gun needs calibration. This occurs because the original arcade unit would include memory that is saved while the power is off, and the virtual arcade unit has empty memory that needs to be set once. Calibrating the emulated light gun in this situation may actually be best with the trackball if possible, as the light gun has its own calibration to the computer. This can usually be achieved by moving the cursor with the trackball and pressing the left click button to the upper left of the trackball.

If you ever find a game that you are unable to configure to run properly on your arcade, please let us know with a support ticket and we'll assist you with setting up the game when we are able to.