Software Support > controls.dat

Unofficial Controls.xml Update - Preliminary Release

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I noticed a while ago that the Controls.ini website has been down for a long time and it would appear that nobody is maintaining an up-to-date version of this file. I plan on using CPWizard in my cab (when I build it!) so I thought I'd use Headkaze's ControlsDat editor to add in any missing ones.

Given that I've been off work this week with swine flu of all things, I've had plenty of time sat at home to make a good start on this. I plan on releasing it here as soon as it's finished but I thought I'd test the waters a bit first so I don't step on any toes.

My vision for the completed file is simply that it holds enough information for CPWizard to show me at a glance how many buttons a game has and what those buttons do. I've not scoured the internet for photos of control panels so I can get the exact wording correct, nor do I intend to. I've also not updated the colors.ini file for this reason. I have, however tried to verify most of the button text in a few different ways.

1. MAWS/GameFAQs
2. In game test menus
3. In game instructions
4. MAME artwork

I've sorted the list by rom name and started working my way through it by playing each game, working out what the controls are and then adding them in the editor. I'm trying to do as many games as possible but I won't be doing all of them. Here's the stuff I WON'T be doing:

1. Clones (for now, except where the parent doesn't work but the clone does).
2. Games classified Adult/Mature (I might do these if there's some massive outcry but I never play them).
3. Casino/Gambling/Table games (I've got no interest in these at all, if I want to gamble I go to the casino).
4. Mahjong games or anything else non-english that I can't work out how to play without learning a foreign language first.
5. Anything that doesn't work.
6. Anything that doesn't run on my system (mostly newer 3d stuff).

I've been copying & pasting the parent controls into the clone in the case of games with multiple sets/versions of the same game. I may get around to doing the clones properly when I finish the parents.

Anyway, I've done A-G, I'm hoping to get a load more done tomorrow and Monday so hopefully I'll be done soon!

I'd appreciate any feedback/questions/advice on this :)


All I can say is super cool, and keep up the good work! 
All the more information we can get, the better.

You'd think with the amount of people working on and playing MAME, that this stuff should be done by now, but no one seems to really want to document the stuff...

and keep us up to date on the ole swine flu thing too.  not that I know you, but you're the only person i've ever heard of who has it. (if you do)

Cool!  One thing I'd like to raise:

Names in general, and unverified names in particular, have been an issue before.  Could you note which games were not verified by any of the 4 ways you listed, and better, even which source you used for each game?  Might be a little late asking, I know. 
Also, I've run into games that the different sources, or even within the same source, call the button a different name.  Just a warning.

Keep up the good work, and I hope you get well but not too quickly. :cheers:

In HeadKaze's editor there's a tickbox that can be used to mark the CP as verified. For each game I've edited, I've left this option unchecked because I don't know what the original authors' criteria was for verification and I'm certainly no arcade expert. Also, other than the in-game or MAWS info, my verification methods aren't very reliable.

In terms of naming, I've mostly used really generic names like Fire, Bomb, Special, Punch, Kick, Jump, Attack etc. if I couldn't find the "actual" name using one of the above methods.

I'm over the swine flu now fortunately, so my pace is gonna slow down a little but I'll keep you updated!

I've done A-H, X-Z now.


I'm a student nurse in England and I've not heard of anyone who's been admitted to my hospital with it. I'm guessing I picked it up from a visitor or someone on public transport. It's only really a problem for most people if they already have health problems or develop complications. I certainly didn't feel THAT ill, so I'm guessing a lot of people have it and don't realise, they just think they've got a "bug." It's only because I'm required to stay away from work if I have anything potentially infectious that I bothered phoning my GP. If I worked in an office I'd have been going into work all week and giving it to everyone else lol!

It's best to keep all the new entries as "unverified" so that SirPoonga can go through and check them. One other thing I may need to look at is having an option to include or exclude colors.ini data as I'm still not sure if people want the two data files combined. Either way I think it will be good to be able to export colors.ini all from the same editor.

Good to hear someone working on this sorely neglected data file. When you consider the number of applications using it, it really is an important file. If you need any help with the software, or updates etc. let me know.


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