NOTE: If you are new to MAME™, we recommend following our easy procedures (for PC and Mac) for using the X-Arcade™ with MAME™. But if you are familiar with MAME™  already or are PC savvy, follow these steps to get the X-Arcade working with your version of MAME™.


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.

  1. Switch to Mode1: Move the switch on the back of the X-Arcade™ to  the position closest to the serial port, then 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. Test everything is working in the X-Arcade™ Test Utility Program. If your controller doesn't work in the X-Arcade™ Test Utility Program, then it will NOT work in MAME™. 

MAME Setup

  1. Download the newest version of MAME™ and install it (if it is a .zip file unzip it to a folder like C:\MAME).
  2. Download the X-Arcade™ controller config file and unzip it to the "ctrlr" folder of MAME™. Note: While this cfg file may work with many versions of MAME™, there is no way to make a single config file that works with every version of MAME™. If it does not work, either use the version we recommend, or manually change the controller settings in your version as outlined in the MANUAL CONFIG section below.
  3. In MAMEUI™ or MAME Plus: open Options (at the top), then "Default Game Options", select the "Game Controllers" tab; and set your "Default input layout" to "X-Arcade"™ from the drop-down list. (for trackball use also click the box to "Enable Mouse Support" ).
  4. For command line versions of MAME: In the MAME folder you will need to open the file "mame.ini" with notepad and change the line that says "ctrlr" to "ctrlr                     X-Arcade".
    To enable trackball/mouse support, also change the line that says 'mouse' from a 0 to 1 (so it says 'mouse                     1'.
  5. If joystick 1 is the only thing not working, turn your NUM LOCK (NLOCK) key ON (on your keyboard).

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.
  • To scroll through the list of games you will have to turn NUMLOCK off.
  • 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 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.
  • 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™.


  • If you need more help after carefully following the steps here, head to our MAME™ Troubleshooting section.
  • TEST YOUR X-ARCADE™:  If your controller doesn't work in the X-Arcade™ Test Utility Program, then it will NOT work in MAME™. Download the X-Arcade™ Test Utility Program
  • 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.
  • If you still have problems, please visit the MAME™ FAQ Page here


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

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