How to Use a Numpad as Game Controller for PC


Sep 20 2023

In the PC gaming world, it’s an openly known fact that using a mouse and keyboard is far superior over using a console controller. The aim, movement, and accuracy is simply unparalleled. But what if we told you could have the best of both worlds? In this blog post, we’ll walk you through how to use a keyboard and numpad to completely replicate a traditional game controller – while still dodging the limitations of console controllers.

If your gaming keyboard is compact, and doesn’t have a numpad – fear not. The GMMK Numpad is a high-tech, power gadget with a world of possibilities and customization options. It’s a mechanical hotswap device with wireless or wired connectivity, making the perfect extension for any compact keyboard.

Now, let’s dive into the world of using a numpad alongside your gaming keyboard to mimic the controls of an Xbox or PlayStation controller for PC.

A gamer playing a video game on PC with his hands in the air because he won.

Benefits of Using a Gaming Keyboard with a Numpad over a Controller for PC

1. (Infinitely) More Keys Means More Function

The first thing you'll notice is the abundance of keys at your disposal. A gaming keyboard offers far more keys than a controller, opening up a realm of possibilities for assigning functions. Complex games like MMOs and strategy titles require swift access to a wide range of commands, and having extra keys comes in incredibly handy. 

2. Key Rollover and Anti-Ghosting

High-quality gaming keyboards, like the ones you’re probably eyeing, come with features like n-key rollover and anti-ghosting. This ensures that every keypress registers, even when you’re mashing multiple keys at once—a must-have in fast-paced games. Console controllers could never. 

3. Durability

These keyboards are not just eye-candy; they're built to last with high-quality switches and robust materials. Unlike a traditional game controller, if a key starts acting up, you can simply replace the switch, which will most likely fix your problem. Now try doing that with a controller! 

4. Typing Interface and Easy Accessibility

Gaming isn't just about clicking and casting spells; sometimes you need to chat with your teammates or quickly Google a game guide. A keyboard makes this infinitely easier. 

5. It's Just Cooler.

Let’s be honest, the tactile feedback, the vibrant RGB lighting, and the customization options for both the board and the Numpad blow a regular controller out of the water. It’s not just functional; it’s also way more satisfying. 

How to Set Up Your Gaming Keyboard and Numpad to Mimic a Controller

Movement and Action Mapping

For movement, stick with the classic WASD keys on your keyboard on the left side of your desk, which will effectively mimic the left analog stick on an Xbox or PlayStation controller. Now, let's talk about that nifty Numpad for button functions.

You can map the Numpad keys to function like the buttons on a traditional controller. Since both the Xbox and the PlayStation controller button pad are in a cross arrangement, the Numpad should mirror that, too.

So for Xbox, Y = 8, X = 4, A = 2, and B = 6.

For PlayStation, △= 8, ▢  = 4, ✕  = 2, and O = 6

Pretty intuitive. Aside from the benefits listed above, another cool thing about this setup is that it allows you to maintain the same muscle memory as a controller– movement on the left, and action buttons on the right.

For shoulder buttons, consider using keys like ‘Num’ and ‘-’ to act as LB/RB (Xbox) or L1/R1 (PlayStation) since they are the top left and right corner of the numpad. The ‘*’ and ‘/’ could serve as your triggers, replicating LT/RT (Xbox) or L2/R2 (PlayStation).

The setup process involves using software that allows you to remap keys. There are several out there, such as reWASD, JoyToKey, or even the built-in customization software that comes with your gaming keyboard and GMMK Numpad.


Bottom Line

Switching to a gaming keyboard and a GMMK Numpad setup not only offers an enhanced, more personalized gaming experience but also brings a host of practical benefits like durability and versatility. Whether you're a seasoned gamer looking to up your game or a newbie wanting a more immersive and responsive gaming experience, this setup could be your next step to gaming nirvana. So why limit yourself to a traditional controller when you can have the best of both worlds? Happy gaming!