MechWarrior 5 Saitek X-55 Rhino Joystick Setup Guide

Here's the best way to get your big, expensive HOTAS working with your big, expensive mech!

MechWarrior 5 is, simply put, best played with a joystick. Specifically a good HOTAS (hands on throttle and stick) elevates the game a great deal. You really ought to feel the weight and resistance of both pieces of equipment under your hands as you drive these mechanical monsters! That’s if you can afford the expensive luxury. I’m partial to the Saitek X-55 Rhino myself. It’s pricey, but has as many switches as you’ll ever need, and feels fantastic. Setting up a flight stick in MechWarrior 5 isn’t easy, though. Until a patch comes around, we at Fanbyte have you covered. Welcome to our X-55 Rhino setup guide for MechWarrior 5!

Custom Keybindings File – MW5 HOTAS Setup

Let’s begin at the beginning. It seems a little ridiculous, but you need to manually inject a set of keybindings into a save file to start. You can’t do this from in-game. Instead, you need to find the right folder in your C drive. This should be located at the following address:

C:\Users\{YourUsernameHere}\AppData\Local\MW5Mercs\Saved\SavedHOTAS

Inside this folder should be just a single file: HOTASMappings. You can open it with a text editing program like Notepad. Doing so will show you a set of commands very similar to the ones in a block quote at the end of this article. However, it’s not actually in the arrangement you want by default. Instead you should delete the entire contents of the file (make a copy first if you’re worried about losing it). Then, if you’re using a Saitek X-55 Rhino, you can copy and paste the text quoted below in its place.

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This configuration comes courtesy of Reddit user saint_jude. You can find their original written version on Pastebin. However, just in case that link ends up not working, I’ve also copied the contents into the block quote at the bottom of this article. Copy and paste it from either location, then save the HOTASKMappings file. Leave the file in the same folder you found it in, and make sure it keeps the same name.

In my testing, however, this only got things started. I could move and shoot, even though the keybindings in the MechWarrior 5 controls menu said those actions were still bound to “none.” But I couldn’t do much else. That’s because there are a couple other quirks to the X-55 MechWarrior 5 configuration.

Manual Mapping and Glitches – MW5 HOTAS Setup

While I didn’t encounter this issue personally, some users have noted that altering this file will set their joystick sensitivity to zero. If that happens, make sure you bump it up to whatever feels comfortable. I personally prefer 0.50 for vertical and horizontal aiming, and 0.75 for leg rotation, or higher.

Next you need to make sure the grey SLD slider — located about where your left thumb rests on the throttle — is flipped to its left. If it’s pushed to the right, the game refuses to accept manual control setup. If it’s to the left, you can begin to bind the joystick and throttle buttons one-by-one as you so choose. You need to do this if you want to control things like jump jets, zoom, centering your legs under your torso, and more.

This is another situation where you need to find what’s most comfortable for you. I like my map tied to the SW1 switch on the throttle, for instance, but you might want it more readily available. It’s also worth pointing out that I haven’t found a good way to get “free look” working on the X-55. I was able to bind it to the thumbstick on the top of the joystick, but it seems to confuse my in-game legs. Mapping the function locked me into a never-ending spin. That’s a shame, because the free look function can be very useful in MechWarrior 5!

Even so, I still recommend using a HOTAS with the game if you have one. It’s a fun, immersive way to add a bit more challenge. It’s also a good excuse to break out your stick if you have one in the first place (those are rare these days). If you don’t have a flight stick, well… It’s probably still not worth the cost.

By the way: here’s that HOTASMapping text, for posterity. Enjoy!

START_BIND
NAME: X-55 Rhino Stick (Bulk)
VID: 0x0738
PID: 0x2215
BUTTON: InButton=GenericUSBController_Button1, OutButtons=Joystick_Button1
BUTTON: InButton=GenericUSBController_Button2, OutButtons=Joystick_Button2
BUTTON: InButton=GenericUSBController_Button3, OutButtons=Joystick_Button3
BUTTON: InButton=GenericUSBController_Button4, OutButtons=Joystick_Button4
BUTTON: InButton=GenericUSBController_Button5, OutButtons=Joystick_Button5
BUTTON: InButton=GenericUSBController_Button6, OutButtons=Joystick_Button6
BUTTON: InButton=GenericUSBController_Button7, OutButtons=Joystick_Button7
BUTTON: InButton=GenericUSBController_Button8, OutButtons=Joystick_Button8
BUTTON: InButton=GenericUSBController_Button9, OutButtons=Joystick_Button9
BUTTON: InButton=GenericUSBController_Button10, OutButtons=Joystick_Button10
BUTTON: InButton=GenericUSBController_Button11, OutButtons=Joystick_Button11
BUTTON: InButton=GenericUSBController_Button12, OutButtons=Joystick_Button12
BUTTON: InButton=GenericUSBController_Button13, OutButtons=Joystick_Button13
BUTTON: InButton=GenericUSBController_Button14, OutButtons=Joystick_Button14
BUTTON: InButton=GenericUSBController_Button15, OutButtons=Joystick_Button15
BUTTON: InButton=GenericUSBController_Button16, OutButtons=Joystick_Button16
BUTTON: InButton=GenericUSBController_Hat1, OutButtons=Joystick_Hat_1
BUTTON: InButton=GenericUSBController_Hat2, OutButtons=Joystick_Hat_2
BUTTON: InButton=GenericUSBController_Hat3, OutButtons=Joystick_Hat_3
BUTTON: InButton=GenericUSBController_Hat4, OutButtons=Joystick_Hat_4
BUTTON: InButton=GenericUSBController_Hat5, OutButtons=Joystick_Hat_5
BUTTON: InButton=GenericUSBController_Hat6, OutButtons=Joystick_Hat_6
BUTTON: InButton=GenericUSBController_Hat7, OutButtons=Joystick_Hat_7
BUTTON: InButton=GenericUSBController_Hat8, OutButtons=Joystick_Hat_8
AXIS: InAxis=GenericUSBController_Axis2, OutAxis=Joystick_Axis2, Invert=FALSE, Offset=-0.5, DeadZoneMin=-0.05, DeadZoneMax=0.05, MapToDeadZone=FALSE
AXIS: InAxis=GenericUSBController_Axis3, OutAxis=Joystick_Axis3, Invert=FALSE, Offset=-0.5, DeadZoneMin=-0.2, DeadZoneMax=0.2, MapToDeadZone=TRUE
AXIS: InAxis=GenericUSBController_Axis1, OutAxis=Joystick_Axis1, Invert=FALSE, Offset=-0.5, DeadZoneMin=-0.05, DeadZoneMax=0.05, MapToDeadZone=TRUE

START_BIND
NAME: X-55 Rhino Throttle (Bulk)
VID: 0x0738
PID: 0xA215
BUTTON: InButton=GenericUSBController_Button1, OutButtons=Throttle_Button1
BUTTON: InButton=GenericUSBController_Button2, OutButtons=Throttle_Button2
BUTTON: InButton=GenericUSBController_Button3, OutButtons=Throttle_Button3
BUTTON: InButton=GenericUSBController_Button4, OutButtons=Throttle_Button4
BUTTON: InButton=GenericUSBController_Button5, OutButtons=Throttle_Button5
BUTTON: InButton=GenericUSBController_Button6, OutButtons=Throttle_Button6
BUTTON: InButton=GenericUSBController_Button7, OutButtons=Throttle_Button7
BUTTON: InButton=GenericUSBController_Button8, OutButtons=Throttle_Button8
BUTTON: InButton=GenericUSBController_Button9, OutButtons=Throttle_Button9
BUTTON: InButton=GenericUSBController_Button10, OutButtons=Throttle_Button10
BUTTON: InButton=GenericUSBController_Button11, OutButtons=Throttle_Button11
BUTTON: InButton=GenericUSBController_Button12, OutButtons=Throttle_Button12
BUTTON: InButton=GenericUSBController_Button13, OutButtons=Throttle_Button13
BUTTON: InButton=GenericUSBController_Button14, OutButtons=Throttle_Button14
BUTTON: InButton=GenericUSBController_Button15, OutButtons=Throttle_Button15
BUTTON: InButton=GenericUSBController_Button16, OutButtons=Throttle_Button16
BUTTON: InButton=GenericUSBController_Button17, OutButtons=Throttle_Button17
BUTTON: InButton=GenericUSBController_Button18, OutButtons=Throttle_Button18
BUTTON: InButton=GenericUSBController_Button19, OutButtons=Throttle_Button19
BUTTON: InButton=GenericUSBController_Hat1, OutButtons=Throttle_Hat_1
BUTTON: InButton=GenericUSBController_Hat2, OutButtons=Joystick_Hat_2
BUTTON: InButton=GenericUSBController_Hat3, OutButtons=Joystick_Hat_3
BUTTON: InButton=GenericUSBController_Hat4, OutButtons=Joystick_Hat_4
BUTTON: InButton=GenericUSBController_Hat5, OutButtons=Joystick_Hat_5
BUTTON: InButton=GenericUSBController_Hat6, OutButtons=Joystick_Hat_6
BUTTON: InButton=GenericUSBController_Hat7, OutButtons=Joystick_Hat_7
BUTTON: InButton=GenericUSBController_Hat8, OutButtons=Joystick_Hat_8
AXIS: InAxis=HOTAS_XAxis, OutAxis=Throttle_Axis1, Invert=TRUE, Offset=0.9, DeadZoneMin=-0.08, DeadZoneMax=0.08, MapToDeadZone=TRUE
AXIS: InAxis=HOTAS_RZAxis, OutAxis=Throttle_Axis2, Invert=TRUE, Offset=1.0, DeadZoneMin=-0.08, DeadZoneMax=0.08, MapToDeadZone=TRUE

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Steven Strom

An obsessive writer broadcasting to you live from the middle of nowhere. Thinks cute things are good, actually.

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