How to Configure a Controller With ZSNES

By Seth Amery

Updated September 22, 2017

The thrill of reliving the days of the Super Nintendo can go sour quickly if you try controlling your characters with just your keyboard. The ZSNES emulator accepts most USB controllers but needs you to configure the individual buttons before you can use it for a game.

Plug your USB controller into an available port on your computer. If it's the first time you've plugged it in before, wait a few moments for your computer to recognize the joystick and install a generic driver.

Click "Config" in the ZSNES emulator. This opens a drop-down menu.

Select "Input" to open a new dialog box. You don't need to worry about changing tabs unless you want to set up multiple controllers. Remain on the first tab.

Click "Set Keys" to open another box. The box will ask you to press a button on your joystick to map the corresponding action listed. For example, the first box asks you to press a button to map "Up." On your joystick, you can push the left stick up to map it. Every time you press the left joystick up, your character will move up where appropriate.

Select the "X" in the corner of the window when you've finished mapping all the buttons to save your configuration.


Switching the input tabs lets you configure controllers for other players. For example, #2 would be available for the second player on a separate controller.

If your joystick has unused buttons, you can map turbo buttons, which affect the speed at which you press that given button.


Be sure not to pick "Set" after you've already configured your controller; this button erases your changes and resets the default keys.