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 does support the Nunchuck, Classic Controller and Classic Controller Pro Extension. Furthermore it is Working with the Wii U Pro Controller. The Button and Input Mapping dynamically changes when an Extension is plugged in or out. Sometimes the Extension is not correctly detected, so you need to remove it and plug it in again until the mapping switches. For update notifications follow me on Twitter.

Download

Gamepad 0.2.7.4

64 Bit 32 Bit
Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10 Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10
Windows 10 Universal (Coming Soon) Windows 10 Universal (Coming Soon)

For GTA V please use this Version of the driver.
(Due to the trigger axis split, the latest version is not working for GTA V)

IR-Mouse 0.2.6.2

64 Bit 32 Bit
Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10 Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10
Windows 10 Universal (Coming Soon) Windows 10 Universal (Coming Soon)

How do i use it?

Install Instructions for HID Wiimote

  1. Download the HID Wiimote driver package matching your Windows.
  2. If you have a 64 Bit Windows Version, see below to disable the Driver Signature Verification. The Driver Signature Verification needs to be turned off when installing the driver and every time,  when a Wii Remote or Wii U Pro Controller will be connected.
  3. Unpack the files.
  4. Run “TinyInstaller.exe” once (You need admin rights). It installs the driver and adds an entry in “Programs and Features” to remove the driver easily.
  5. Connect your Wii Remote or Wii U Pro Controller to your PC. If you have a newer Wii Remote (RVL-CNT-01-TR), with its Sync Button on the battery cover, make sure you connect it using the Sync Button.
  6. If Windows still uses the default driver, see below to change the driver.
  7. Start using your Wii Remote like a generic game controller.

If the Extension is not working try replugging it until the Input Mapping switches.

I am testing the driver with two different official Wii Remotes currently. One of the old ones without Plus inside, and one of the newest with Plus inside and the Sync Button on the battery cover. Once i also tested a counterfeit Wii Remote, but i can’t guarantee that the driver is working properly with them. Anyway if you have any problems with the driver, please let me know. I’ll get in touch with you and take a look.

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).
  • Trigger axis split, renders the last two versions of the driver unusable for GTA V.
  • 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).

One Time Deactivation

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

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 enforement” (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.

Permanently deactivate Driver Signature Verification

To disable the Driver Signature Verification permanently open a CMD Window with Admin Rights. Then run the following command and restart the computer.

Bcdedit.exe -set TESTSIGNING ON

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. If you installed the driver with “TinyInstaller.exe” this shouldn’t be necessary, since it installs a self created 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

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

376 thoughts on “HID Wiimote – A Windows Device Driver for the Nintendo Wii Remote (Bachelor Thesis)”

  1. 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.

Leave a Reply