HID Wiimote – A Windows Device Driver for the Nintendo Wii Remote (Bachelor Thesis)

This driver, called HID Wiimote, was developed and elementary implemented as my bachelor thesis in a 6-month period.

What is it?

When you normally connect your Wii Remote to a PC using Bluetooth, you can’t use it properly out of the box. The problem is that Windows don’t know how to handle it properly and does not expose any input buttons or axis. My Bachelor theses was to attempt a solution to that kind of problem. There are many programs which are mapping the Wii Remote buttons to keyboard keys, so for Windows it looks like a key is pressed. This solution is not applicable when it comes to local multiplayer games like FIFA. My driver fixes this issue, since every Wii Remote is recognized as a native game controller, as they should be.

Properties dialog without driver
Properties dialog without driver
Properties dialog with driver
Properties dialog with driver

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The driver supports the Nunchuck, Classic Controller, Classic Controller Pro Extensions. Furthermore it is Working with the Wii U Pro Controller, Wii Balance Board and some Guitar Hero accessories. The button and input mapping dynamically changes when an Extension is plugged in or out. For update notifications follow me on Twitter.

Download

HID Wiimote 0.3.0.0 (gamepad mode)

64 Bit 32 Bit
Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10 Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10

Latest Changes

  • Implement #2: Basic Tool for device specific settings, including an installer replacing TinyInstaller
  • Fix phony button presses when connecting extension

How do i use it?

Install Instructions for HID Wiimote

  1. Download the HID Wiimote driver package matching your Windows.
  2. Unpack the files.
  3. Run “ControlCenter.exe”. That will bring up the HID Wiimote Installer.
  4. Optionally enable “Test Mode” (requires reboot) or install the certificate.
  5. Install the “Device Driver”.
  6. Afterwards close the Installer to bring up the Control Center.
  7. Connect your Wii Remote or Wii U Pro Controller to your PC. Leave the PIN empty. If Windows doesn’t allow an empty PIN see skip PIN request.
  8. If Windows still uses the default driver, see below to change the driver.
  9. Select one device in the Control Center and apply settings.
  10. Start using your Wii Remote like a generic game controller.

Known Issues

  • When powering off the Wii Remote or moving out of the Bluetooth range, Windows won’t recognize the Wii Remote is gone.
  • When shutting down Windows, the Wii Remote Device won’t be ejected and is still present on next start up.
  • When using other Bluetooth devices, they may stop working, until the Wii Remote is disconnected.
  • Other Programs that need to communicate directly with the Wii Remote may not work (e.g. Dolphin Emulator).
  • Incompatible with Toshiba Bluetooth Stack or any other Bluetooth Stack with proprietary API.

Driver Signature Verification

Unfortunately i do not own a Code Signing Certificate yet. So on 64 Bit Systems you have to disable the Driver Signature Verification. Otherwise Windows won’t load the driver. The Driver Signature Verification can either be deactivated permanently or for a single restart (after an additional restart it is active again).

Permanently deactivate Driver Signature Verification

Start the HID Wiimote Control Center. Open the HID Wiimote Installer via Tools -> Installer. On the installer Window enable Test Mode and reboot your system.

Alternatively you can also manually enable Test Mode. Open a CMD Window with Admin Rights. Then run the following command and restart your System.

Bcdedit.exe -set TESTSIGNING ON

One Time Deactivation

To disable the Driver Signature Verification some steps are necessary. Those are different on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 and above.

Save all of your work, because you have to reboot you computer!

Windows 7:

  1. Restart you computer
  2. After the BIOS, before Windows initialize its booting, press F8 to enter the “Advanced Boot Options” for Windows (like when you try to enter the “safe mode”)
  3. Choose “Disable Driver Signature Enforcement”

Windos 8.1 & Windows 10:

  1. Open the Charms Bar
  2. Chosse “Settings” and then “Change PC settings”
  3. Switch to “Update and recovery” and open the “Recovery” tab
  4. Click on “Restart Now” under “Advanced Startup”
  5. After restart click “Troubleshoot”
  6. Pick “Advanded options”
  7. Choose “Startup Settings”
  8. Click on “Restart”
  9. Press the number for “Disable driver signature enforcement” (Number 7)

Now Windows starts in a Testing Mode and might display a small watermark in the bottom right corner.

After an additional restart Windows changes back to its normal mode, so you have to disable the Driver Signature Verification each time you want to use the driver.

Skip PIN Request

On Windows 10 Creators Update and above the “Settings – Bluetooth & other devices”  panel does not let one skip the PIN input. In order to pair your Wii Remote nonetheless, scroll down to “Related Settings” and open “Devices and Printers”. Its “Add a device” dialog still accepts an empty PIN entry. The “Devices and Printers” Window can also be opened by right clicking the Bluetooth system tray and select “Join a Personal Area Network”.

Switch driver

Because Windows internally ranks all possible drivers for a device mainly by their signing, the default driver might be still used for the Wii Remote. This driver ranking will be performed each time the device is added. So you have to change it every time you connect the Wii Remote. Therefore it is recommended to install the certificate to push its ranking.

  1. Connect the Wii Remote to the Computer and constantly tap a button, so the Wii Remote won’t turn off.
  2. Open the Device Manager and locate the “Bluetooth-HID-Device” representing the Wii Remote.
  3. Right click on it and choose “Update Driver Software…”.
  4. Pick “Browse my computer for driver software”
  5. Then “Let me pick from a list on my computer”
  6. Now choose “Wiimote Device” from the list and click “Next”
  7. When the LEDs of the Wii Remote switch from flashing to constantly on, the driver is installed properly.

Changelog

Expand

0.3.0.0

  • Implement #2: Basic Tool for device specific settings, including an installer replacing TinyInstaller
  • Fix phony button presses when connecting extension

0.2.7.4

  • Fix Balance Board not beeing detected correctly and reporting any input

0.2.7.3

  • Fix #15: Yellow Guitar Hero Button not working

0.2.7.2

  • Change Balance Board Axes

0.2.7.1

  • Fix Balance Board Axes

0.2.7.0

  • Fix RawInput not reading the primary axes correctly
  • Add experimental untested Balance Board support
  • Add experimental untested Guitar Hero Guitar support

0.2.6.2

  • Fix non English languages for the Driver Package Installer.

0.2.6.1

  • Installer has been reverted to Multilingual, since there have been issues with non English Windows Systems.

0.2.6

  • Fix #11: Improved Extension Controller detection
  • Package now includes EULA and Readme file
  • Replaced Multilingual Driver Package Installer with only-English one
  • Introduced proper versioning, starting with 0.2.6
  • Build with WDK 10.0.10586.15, to hopefully fix connectivity issues with Windows 10 Version 1511 (November Update)

08.09.2015

  • Windows 10 Desktop Build

13.07.2015

  • Fixed LED Battery Level display for Wii U Pro Controller
  • Each Classic Controller (Pro) & Wii U Pro Controller Trigger has its own input axis

16.06.2015

  • Hotfix for IR-Mouse to enable “-TR” Wii Remotes

01.06.2015

  • Input State is reset, when the connection is lost
  • New IR-Mouse Version
    • Lets you control your Mouse Pointer by pointing at your screen
    • IR-Source like Sensor Bar is needed

20.04.2015

    • Nunchuck, Classic Controller (Pro) and Wii U Pro Controller are now supported
    • Added more Axis, Buttons and a Hat Switch
    • Unfortunately no more Vista Builds
    • Windows 8.1 Build

12.10.2014

    • Added another installer, so Windows will use HID Wiimote as default driver for the Wii Remote
    • PDad-Mouse Build (See this Blog)
    • There will be Vista builds from now on as well.

01.07.2014

  • Added support of the newer Wii Remotes (RVL-CNT-01-TR)
  • Added second X/Y axes representing tilt (Currently only tracked by the accelerometer) 

26.06.2014

  • D-Pad is now represented as X/Y-axis.
  • LEDs now represent the battery level.
  • Added an Installer.

20.06.2014

  • Fixed the binaries (there was some test code left when building, last time, so the old binaries aren’t working)

Download List

Source Code

The Source code is available on Github:
https://github.com/jloehr/HID-Wiimote

Feel free to add Bug Reports or even contribute through Pull Request!

How does it work?

This Part is for those of you, who does not only want to use HID Wiimote, but want to take a peak inside a driver and how i fixed the problem.

Detailed Problem

The communication of the Wii Remote with its host is based on HID. HID is a protocol for input devices without a fixed setup. The protocol is self describing, which means every device is telling the host what kinds of input and outputs it got. E.g. one game controller can have only four buttons, whereas another can have two analog sticks without any buttons, both are using HID and are handled by the same driver.

As said the Wii Remote communication is just based on it, but not strictly followed. So the protocol standard is violated at some points, for example the Wii Remote does not describes itself properly. That’s the reason why Windows knows its a game controller but does not know what kinds of input and output the Wii Remote has.

Solution

So the solution is to put a driver somewhere between the Wii Remote and the HID Class Driver to fix the communication. This driver presents a HID conform game controller to the upper HID Class Driver. Fortunately the HID Class Driver is paired with a minidriver. Those minidrivers handle the transport specific communication with the device. E.g. if the device is connected via USB the HIDUSB driver is loaded to handle the USB specific communication, or if it’s Bluetooth HIDBTH is loaded, to do all the Bluetooth stuff.

The HID Wiimote replaces the minidriver for the Wii Remote and adds the additional functionality to have a fully supported game controller. It consists of three layers.

Diagram of the Driver
Diagram of the Driver

The lower Bluetooth layer handles all the Bluetooth specific stuff, like the direct communication. The middle layer Wiimote saves the Wii Remotes state and handles its specific needs in form of what kind of responses and request and how those have to be handled. The upper Layer HID is handling all request from the HID Class Driver and is translating the current state to a HID conform format.

Further reading

396 Replies to “HID Wiimote – A Windows Device Driver for the Nintendo Wii Remote (Bachelor Thesis)”

  1. Hey awsome that you made the drivers for it.
    Only I have a problem, if I try to connect the wii remote to my laptop it’s saying: “driver error”.
    Do you know a how to fix that?

    -Jona

    1. This was the best solution ever for a keyboard or a wired xbox one controller thank you so much for making this as glovepie is the worst program ever

  2. Hello, Good Sir. Please, do Include a Driver that allows both Mouse and Buttons + Axis to worth simultaneously. It would help a lot with some Games. Thank you.

    1. Such mode is planned. Though it is quite down the roadmap. First i have to implement raw mode and add the mouse modes.

  3. You still go ahead with the project? I have the same problem, after installed and running, the dolphin emulator fails to recognize it.

    1. Hi, no, the project is not dead yet. Up to now i tried to bundle my changes into bigger updates, especially new features should’ve been complete before releasing them.
      Though due to lack of spare time, plus the multiple modes not being something trivial to properly implement, i got stuck on that. Nevertheless i am going to change my release strategy now to release more but smaller updates. I am currently wrapping up, what i’ve done so far and am releasing it in the next couple of weeks. That update won’t include pass-through mode, but a new Installer and Control Tool, with some basic Driver Settings. Pass-through mode will come after that.

    1. The “Nintendo RVL-CNT-01” device node under “Bluetooth” is just a dummy node of the Bluetooth stack. The correct device node is under “Human Interface Devices”. It is labeled either “Bluetooth HID Devices” or “Wiimote Device”.

  4. Thank you very much for your work on the driver. Unfortunately, I ended up not using it. It worked with my Wiimote, but when customizing game controls, it kept picking up Wiimote motion even though the controller was motionless on my desk.

    Another problem I ran into was not being able to reconnect the Wiimote to the computer after turning it off

  5. Using this Driver requires DSE (Driver Signature Enforcement) to be Disabled. Disabling the latter impedes you from playing Games using Anti-cheat technologies (like EasyAntiCheat) for they require you to enable DSE. As such, I used a software named DSEFIX (https://github.com/hfiref0x/DSEFix) that temporarily disables DSE using an exploit.

    Refer to the link below for download and instructions, and read post #3 for an easy-to-use .bat file.

    https://www.unknowncheats.me/forum/dayz-sa/140652-dsefix-disable-dse-without-test-mode.html

    NOTE: Although the software allows for a timed exploit before you have to re-enable DSE back (or else it would BSOD,) I have been able to switch back and forth between “Bluetooth HID Device” driver, and that made by Julian Löhr even after DSE has been re-enabled again. This is especially useful for Touchmote and other software of choice to use with your Wiimote that do not work with Julian Löhr’s Driver.

    Hopefully I have helped someone.

    1. UPDATE: Be mindful of which Operating System you use this ‘fix’ with. Windows 10 does have PatchGuard, and will cause a BSOD sooner or later, when it checks the kernel for modifications, which it does sparingly.

  6. Wow, I got kinda manic when i want something to work, and i wanted my Wii Motes to work on my PC to play a game with my family and tutorial after tutorial was failing me. Until i found you. Definitely saved me the money of buying other PC dedicated controllers 🙂 so sent you a small gift of appreciation.

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