How To Use X-Arcade With MAME

If you are new to MAME, please see this MAME HOW-TO VIDEO


First test that your controller is fully working in our X-Arcade™ Test Utility Program. The X-Arcade works as a simple keyboard, so if it is working in the test program but not in MAME, then an problems you have are related to the MAME software settings, not the controller.

For a new and even easier setup, try Maximus Arcade

Easy Setup (old way):

  1. Switch to Mode1: Move the switch on the back of the X-Arcade™ to the position closest to the serial port. (Note: For older models you will then need to push the button on the back of the X-Arcade™ twice, the light on the X-Arcade™ should go out on the first push and back on with the second).
  2. Please test everything is working in the X-Arcade™ Test Utility Program
  3. Download MAME™ Plus! (the information on this page only applies to this download)
  4. Install MAME™ by clicking the "Extract" button. Be sure to take note of the directory you are extracting it to, this will be your MAME folder. We recommend C:
  5. Run MAME™ by clicking on the installed file which can be found at MAME Plus!\mamepgui.exe
  6. Get ROMS (ROMs are games, none are included and we do not supply ROM files!) Put them in the "roms" sub folder in the "MAME Plus!" folder (do not unzip them). IMPORTANT: The versions of ROMs you use should match the version of MAME you are using, or they will not work. To see which working ROMs you have, click on the "Available Arcades" folder on the top-left. If none show up, press F5 on your keyboard to refresh.

MAME™ Operation:

  • If you add new ROM files to the roms folder, be sure to hit F5 on your keyboard to refresh the MAME™ list.
  • After you start up a game, use the left pinball flipper button on the left side of the X-Arcade™ to insert coins, and press the white start button(s) to play.
  • You can skip the screens which ask you to type "OK" by moving the joystick left then right (left for "O" and right for "K").
  • You can exit a game by holding the player 2 start button and pressing the right pinball button simultaneously. (The Solo cannot do this)
  • MANUAL CONFIG: You can change the controls for any game by simply pushing the "Tab" key while a game is already running to access the controls menu. The Input (general) option allows controller settings to be applied to all games. Input (this game) overrides the general input settings and adds custom controller settings for just the game being used.


  • MOST COMMON PROBLEM FOR OLDER MODELS: If Player 1 / Left Joystick is the only thing not working, press your NUM LOCK (NLOCK) key on your keyboard.  If it is not in correct setting, your Player 1 will be off because it uses Num Lock. Make sure it always on.
  • If you mess up some controls (or a screen like volume or similar is coming on when you press a button), delete the "default.cfg" file that is in the "cfg" folder in MAME™.
  • Trackball: If you have another mouse/touchpad connected to the PC, you will want to be sure that the option for 'Enable multiple mice' is unchecked. Alternatively you can make the X-Arcade™ Trackball the default mouse. The easiest way to do this is to disable the other mouse/touchpad in Device Manager (The X-Arcade™ Trackball shows up as "Samsung" mouse), then re-enable it. If you have a USB mouse, you can simply unplug it, reboot, and then plug it back in again. Otherwise you will need to change all of the default mouse buttons and movements to the X-Arcade™ Trackball manually.

You can add even more functions like pausing or exiting MAME games by using our X-Hotkeys program.

The Advanced Way:

If you wish to use a different version of MAME or a Frontend, go here.


If you want more control of the MAME menus, check out these great front-ends with X-Arcade™ support.