An explanation and some mechanics
Streamer ‘SuperLouis64’ has been using all kinds of items as controllers. From actual edibles bananas when playing Dark Souls 3, to Donkey Bongos for Call of Duty, he takes the term “play your own way” to next level. His most recent project was to use the Nintendo Switch’s Ring Fit Adventures controller to run across Eorza with his FFXIV account.
If you’re curious about how he’s able to do this, let’s shine a light on his process, so you could farm FFXIV Gil in a wacky way as well, if you wanted to.
The Easy Explanation
What he’s basically doing is wiring the item to a specific input. He then binds that input to an action in the game, which is how he’s used all kinds of things to play a game. For the banana, he wired the fruits into a small circuit board. That board then translates the signals into controller input the PC can understand. With this, technically you can use any conductive object to create a homebrew controller.
This doesn’t change the code of the game. It only modifies the input method. It’s like changing keybinds, just with controllers you wouldn’t think to use. Everything is above-board and legal. The PC reads whatever it is as an ordinary controller or input device.
All the programming he does is outside of the game. From a program that can use the Joycon’s accelerometer data to programming movements for the Kinect, he never once touched the game’s code. It’s a common misconception, especially as he sometimes uses the word ‘mod’ in his videos- he doesn’t mod the games he plays, he only fiddles with the input methods.
Controllers He Has Used on FFXIV
Aside from the Switch Ring Fit controller, SuperLouis64 has used a YuGiOh Duel-Disk and a Kinect. He used the Duel-Disk to play Astrologer, who can draw cards to buff and heal the party, which was fitting. Due to the item being a toy, he had to do some modifications to turn it into a controller. He painted the borders of the cards and the toy’s card slots to make them conductive. Then he placed some conductive tape near where he draws cards.
That way, when he draws a card, it signals the game character to do the Draw action. With a bit of programming, he made it so that drawing again while Draw is on cooldown triggers Redraw which was neat. When he places the cards in a slot, it buffs the party member assigned to that slot, but only up to four party members.
It was surprisingly effective, as SuperLouis64 was able to keep up the buffs and heals with the controller during a random raid. He’d have to gather up the cards he drew after the raid though.
The Kinect he used to control a Dancer, was actual dancing. With a bit of programming again, he set certain dance moves to trigger the skills, and so was successful in dancing his way through fights. He did have to find a way to connect the device to the PC and then program the Kinect to recognize these dance moves as inputs in the game.
He did find a few problems, such as the fact that he has to dance away from his keyboard, so he has to stay still to dance. This led to losing time switching between dancing and DPS, having to move back and forth. The Kinect also took some time to detect him so he could dance, resulting in even more lost time. He considered rigging a wireless controller (such as the Nintendo Switch Joycons) to mitigate this.
With that controller, he wouldn’t have to move back and forth, and he can move and dance right where he is. He loved it so much he decided he’s not going back to normal keyboard and mouse controls for the Dancer.
Other Things He’s Done
Aside from FFXIV and Call of Duty, here are other wacky controllers he’s rigged:
A DDR Dance Pad for Sekiro and Super Smash Bros
A Nintendo Power Glove to play as Sombra in Overwatch
A Guitar Hero Controller for Dark Souls 3
Ice Cubes for Dark Souls
The Kinect for Super Mario 64
A Katana controller for Ghost of Tsushima
and more! It takes a bit of effort, but it somehow makes even going to the FFXIV store fun. Next time, maybe he should rig an instrument to play a bard or something. At any rate, whether using a weird controller or not, it’s time to hop on your FFXIV mount and enjoy Eorza.