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Gamepad viewer

The short story

To help one of Paradox's game teams, I coded a tool that displays which buttons are being pressed on any gamepad connected to the computer:

Me trying out the gamepad viewer with Overwatch. The viewer can be added to your video recording software in under a minute and it works with all games.

Try it for yourself:

Note: The tool only supports Google Chrome running on Windows!

Press any button on your controller to start using the Gamepad Viewer

To use this tool

1. Download this file (.html) (right-click, save as...)

2. Open the file using Google Chrome

3. Start using a gamepad that is connected to your computer

Note: if you want to use this tool with OBS, I recommend that you disable Google Chrome's "Hardware acceleration" setting. Leaving it enabled might prevent OBS from displaying the tool.

The viewer is based on Simon Wallner's Space Walk framework. Simon's work is great, you should check it out.

My reasons for making this

I like using John Cutler's model to describe my intentions.

I made this to counter communication problems that I observed while working at a publisher's User Research department.

Target: game teams working with my department (User Research)

Current behavior: after receiving results from our studies, game teams sometimes request clarifications on issues that we wrote regarding game controls

Intervention: to reduce the ambiguity felt by the teams, we should display which buttons are being pressed in the videos that we share with the developers

Outcome: The number of requests for clarification should go down, reducing frustrating felt by both researchers and game teams. This should reduce the time spent by User Research doing follow-up on their reports.


The number of requests for clarification declined drastically.

This removed a bottleneck that we had observed several times: before we made this change, a game team would sometimes have to wait for us to update our issues in Jira before they could start fixing the problem (which could take a day or two, depending on our workload regarding other game teams).