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TLDR: The game uses an older version of SDL2 that expects different configs. Use an older version of the General Arcade SDL Gamepad Tool (I used 1.1.1) or other SDL2 2.0.3 compatible config system to generate a mapping and copy it into the SDLGamepad.config file either in the roaming appdata folder for Brutal Legend or in the data/config folder in the games install location and see if your problem goes away. SDL Gamepad Tool 1.1.1 for Windows can be found on the PC Gaming Wiki, the page for the tool has a changelog drop down that includes a mirror of it.


Brutal Legend is an old game and as such (obviously) uses older versions of many of its components but this is never more obvious then with its use of SDL2.

SDL2 somewhat recently (around 2018 give or take) updated and changed how controllers are configured and identified. As such if you try using current SDL2 configs with programs using older versions the config isn't going to do anything because the controller ID's it will recognize aren't what is being used with current SDL2.

On current versions of SDL2 a DualShock 4 (what I'm using) config would look something like this:

030000004c050000c405000000000000,PS4 Controller,a:b1,b:b2,back:b8,dpdown:h0.4,dpleft:h0.8,dpright:h0.2,dpup:h0.1,guide:b12,leftshoulder:b4,leftstic k:b10,lefttrigger:a3,leftx:a0,lefty:a1,rightshoulder:b5,rightstick:b11,righttrigger:a4,rightx:a2,righty:a5,sta rt:b9,x:b0,y:b3,platform:Windows,

Brutal Legends version of SDL2 expects it to look like:

4c05c405000000000000504944564944,PS4 Controller,a:b1,b:b2,back:b8,dpdown:h0.4,dpleft:h0.8,dpright:h0.2,dpup:h0.1,guide:b12,leftshoulder:b4,leftstic k:b10,lefttrigger:a3,leftx:a0,lefty:a1,rightshoulder:b5,rightstick:b11,righttrigger:a4,rightx:a2,righty:a5,sta rt:b9,x:b0,y:b3,

Note the completely different controller IDs for the exact same controller, but the mappings are otherwise mostly identical. As it's using the right ID the above mapping fixed all of my controller issues and my DS4 works perfectly with Brutal Legend. Of course getting this ID is easy as you can just use the SDL2 Gamepad Tool by General Arcade.

Unfortunately General Arcade the maker of SDL2 Gamepad Tool doesn't host outdated versions on their website and that's what we need, but thankfully pcgamingwiki has a mirror of the windows version and I was able to find version 1.1.1 of the tool and then use it to generate an appropriate mapping. The wiki's page for the tool has a changelog drop down that includes a mirror of it.
Post edited June 09, 2020 by demonkingzaine