Controls Wigging Out, Not Doing What I Expect

I have the Steam version of IB. I have only played Interceptor, Bomber, and Corvette.

I have probably spent a literal DAY trying to figure out control mappings – fiddling with the mappings in the in-game UI and testing them out. I have a Warthog joystick and a Thrustmaster T.16000M throttle and I use some keyboard mappings too.

The insanely frustrating thing is, whenever I think I have the control mappings figured out and set, something does not work as expected.

Is there a document that clearly explains how all these different modes are supposed to work? Is there a document that explains the control mapping XML scheme? Because I am at my wit’s end.

There are also instances where the controls “wig” out – everything is working ok but then all of a sudden something really weird happens. For example, I pop out of warp at a base and see a turret, point my ship at it, and start firing at it meaning to destroy it. The crosshairs are pointed at the turret but my guns are all of a sudden firing at some location out of sight! And no amount of fiddling with F4 will change it. WTF? And I spend so much time trying to get the ship to fire at what I want that someone kills me.

Another case, some times I can go into the view mode where I can shoot my guns to the left or right of me… not just where my ship happens to be pointing at. But sometimes I cannot – the guns are shooting somewhere else, presumably in the direction of where my ship is pointing. I have no idea why.

Also, there are times where I cannot set a target speed. The UI says I set it but my ship never, ever tries to go at that speed. I figured out I have to set my throttle to neutral for it to work before. But sometimes even doing that does not allow me to set a target speed. But then sometimes I can set a target speed. Makes no sense to me.

Also, I really don’t know what the View modes (F4) are all about. Like what is the difference between Automatic and Direct? And Capital ship mode? – the view just spins around and stuff.

Also, maybe you could look at my control mapping XML file and tell me if it makes sense.

Here is my control mappings file:


Hello Hairball Hacker!

First off to solve your problems. Then to general resources and at the end some backstory.

Your layout seem to be really well thought out. Well done. You have put much effort into this, everyone, the devs included, are working to make this process much much easier. Stand assured that when you put in this effort you also should get out of it what you want, at least to some extend that is acceptable with only fringe cases needing some form of workaround out of game.

A quick look trough your profile doesn’t yield any obvious problems. There was someone who also has a Warthog and had the problem that he bound both throttle axis to one event in a “+” relationship. I don’t see this here though.

Alright. Let’s look at your specific problems.

There is a “Readme” concerning manually editing the XML files. I don’t know if it has been or really needs updating since the keybind mapper has been implemented. See here for specifics on the location: Keybindings Configuration and Workarounds

I don’t see me detailing how the different modes work. I think that is needed yes. I’ll add that too there. It might overlap with some tutorial pages but when trying to make a specific setup work some other information may be needed.

That sounds very frustrating.
There may be two things going on depending on what that specific example is noted.

When flying small ships:

  • You may be targettings something and your Gimbaled weapons are trying to hit it. Untarget to make the gimbals aim forward.

When flying the corvette:

  • You may have targeted something out of sight. The corvette has special “Auto Aim, Manual fire” turrets … yes, confusing.

When flying capitals:

  • The turrets may still be turning. Especially if you are close to something or if you are aiming at extremes above or below you it can take several seconds for the turrets to rotate towards your target. There was talk that the upcoming “status” HUD MFD display may show which turrets are turning.

I think this is due to systems being quite complex and unintuitive. There are many big and small things and almost every ship has some special caveat that is not apparent and intuitive. That’s one of the biggest "to-do"s for the devs to fix.

Ok. I think I’ll detail this too in the keymapping configuration.

Interceptor / Bomber:

  • Gimbaled weapons - Gimbaled weapons automatically aim towards your currently selected target.
  • Missiles and Torpedoes - Missiles and torpedoes lock while aiming at the lead indicator of a targeted ship. Once locked can be fired.


  • Autoaiming turrets - These automatically follow your target. Pull trigger to fire them. They can not be manually aimed.

Capital ships:

  • Automatic Turrets - These Weapons, if enabled, automatically choose targets, aim at them and fire. Mostly very low range.
  • Turrets - These are manual aim and fire. Use “View”/“Headlook” or the capital control mode to aim them at enemies or infrastructure.

Please tell us if that was cause of the confusion or if the weirdness still persists.

I see that you have a button set for “SwitchFormation”. Switch formation changes your current formation mode from free to orbit, chase or fixed. In these modes the target speed has no effect. Make sure to have auto assist on and formation mode to free.

The target speed also does not have an effect when flight assist is off. I think one way to make it better would be to bring up a “BLURP SOUND” and show “AUTO ASSIST OFF - NO EFFECT” or “FORMATION MODE - NO EFFECT” whenever someone tries to change their target speed, may it be with keys, scroll wheel or throttle. Or automatically switch "Auto Assist on and to formation free (that would be one of those caveats again though … like there are at least 10 in the game). Pinging @INovaeFlavien for this specific suggestion.

Automatic - Chooses one of the three modes depend on the ship you fly
Direct - Mouse or joystick input directly control the ships rotational thrusters
Virtual Navigation Mode (Target) - It’s a virtual joystick pretty much
Capital ship - Strafe/lateral controls become rotational controls. In 3rd Person, camera is orbiting the ship and keeps it at the bottom of the screen. There are options to hold a key to make the ship aim towards a direction and also single press the key to make it’s heading automatically in that direction.

Keep an eye on: Keybindings Configuration and Workarounds. I’ll head over there now to fill in more detail there.

I have created and somewhat updated a guide to controller mapping. It includes also instruction on how to manually edit the .xmls and what everything means. Part of the manual stuff can be outdated though. Please, pleas if possible, share what information in there would have been still missing for you to get your setup running. I guess a special section for known problematic HOTAS and how to deal with those.

Here’s the thread: Keybindings Configuration and Workarounds

We also like to help out on the discord: Infinity Community Discord Server

I see that you already know about some of the pitfalls when it comes to getting a specific setup to work. Where did you hear of that? From the ingame chat?

Us old backers from back in the day kind of got used to having trouble getting our complex setups to work, as we come from a time where the game did not have a keyboard control mapper at all. We had to manually edit the .xml files and restart the game to make it work.
Weirdly, the subsequential Alpha and Beta releases have never seen such problems with people trying to get their setups to work, which is kind of peculiar.

If you check out the roadmap: Early access launch and Roadmap you can see that trying to make things more intuitive is right there in the short therm braket.

This feedback is really valuable for I-Novae. It’s not just that they know they need to do something … it is important to know what were the problems so they can design the new iteration in a way to fix those.

I am happy to answer any further questions and fix specific problems you are having. The game is really fun if you found or are able to make your specific setup work with it.


See. The problem is that each ship has its own “caveats” and unique behavior. There is nothing in the UI that makes it clear.

And I am not even sure each ship having it’s own modes is a good idea, frankly. As a player, I switch ships frequently and I don’t expect such radical changes in behavior. As a player, I expect consistent behavior. If I go into a mode that allows me to “see” what the turret “sees”, then it should be called “turret mode” and it should work consistently across ships, etc. If the ship type does not have a turret mode, then it should not be a selectable option.

Although that makes sense now that you say it, it violates my expectations. I expect if I am in chasing formation, if I click a target speed button (say “5”), shouldn’t I drop out of chasing formation and go into target speed mode? If so, if player choices override the current mode, then there is no need for formation mode “free”. Furthermore, as far as I know, there is no way for me to know that “auto assist” has an effect on formations and target speeds.

That might work, but it does not change the fundamental problem and does not teach the player very well of how the whole control scheme works. What you are suggesting is more of a bandaid. I think the whole control scheme needs to be simplified and work consistently across ship types. Just my $0.02.

See? This is what I am talking about. Different F4 modes cause your controls to do different things. Very confusing and terribly difficult to keep straight. Plus, there is an additional layer of non-obvious interaction with “auto assist” and “free” and who knows what else. A new player will be trying different ships quite frequently and I doubt I am alone in being confused by controls doing different things and not knowing what is causing them to change.

Also, what is a “virtual joystick”? What does it do? Does “target” refer to the ship I am targeting or a “target” speed?

No, I don’t feel like I have any special knowledge in this regard. Certainly not from in-game chat – that is mostly filled with people saying “how the heck do I do X?” LOL.

Some further questions for you:

  1. With my throttle, IB (unlike Elite Dangerous) insists that the middle of my throttle range is the zero point. If I throttle down below the zero point, I go into reverse; above the zero point and I go forward. It is not much of an issue but it would be nice to be able to turn this off so that there is no going backward.

  2. In the control mapping UI there is a setting for “set target speed” and then on the right it says “throttle”. That makes no sense to me. My throttle is for thrust so why would it be used for setting target speed? Here is a pic of what I am talking about:

  3. What is “special mode”? I turned it on once and as far as I could tell nothing “special” happened.

  4. Also, call me stupid, but I don’t understand what these various “view” controls do: “View” seems to let me move my head around the cockpit while the button is depressed. But that is all I can figure out so far. The “add views” and the “set views” I have not yet been able to figure out what they do. Also, I played with the “set view distance” but was not successful figuring it out what it does.

Look guys, I am REALLY, REALLY trying to figure out this game which is why I am dedicating so much time to it and to my forum posts. But frankly, IMO, your whole control scheme needs to be simplified and made to work consistently across ship types. Few, if any, special cases. No more than two, very distinct special modes. E.g., if a ship has gimbaled turrets (I didn’t know any had them TBH) then a “turret mode” should lock the view to the turrets, not move independently of the turrets (that way, waiting for the turrets to “catch up” with the view is not an issue and makes it obvious what mode you are in). Et cetera.

Too bad you cannot sit next to me and watch me struggle and listen to what I think is going on. Maybe invite in to your dev studio a complete noob and ask them to play the game and carefully watch what they are doing, trying to do; have them vocalize their thinking.


In general, the “add” events add the input value to the existing one. Values are added incrementally, relatively to the previous value.

“set” events just set the value to the new one with no care of what the old value is.

For example, if you bind “addViewYaw” to a stick axis, let’s say an horizontal one, then if you move the stick at 50% to the right, then it’ll turn the camera / head view to the right at 50% of the turn rate. If you go idle, it’ll stay at the current value.

If you bind “setViewYaw” to the same stick axis, and do the same operation by holding it at 50% to the right, it’ll instantly set the view to 50% of the max right view angle ( ex.: 90° in the cockpit, so your head will be turned 45° ).

This is why we speak of relative events or absolute events. Depending on your user case you might want to use relative ones or absolute ones. For example, TrackIR provides you with absolute head angles, so you’d bind TrackIR angles to SetViewPitch / SetViewyaw and you have unofficial support for TrackIR into the game without much trouble than using a remapping tool.


Here is a video showing me struggling to get Target Speed to work:

I try every combination of modes and formations and nothing seems to work.

This is my typical game-play experience. Very frustrating. Maybe you can see what I am doing wrong? You have my profile config.

I’ll have a look tomorrow. Can you also post your UserClientConfig.xml ? it might be related to some other settings.

Here is link to UserClientConfig.xml:

I also uploaded my latest controls config:

It’s not a big deal. I have lots of fun without being able to do it. I just give these files to you to see if you can reproduce the issue as part of your QA process.