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Big Box - Closing Emulators with Xarcade Dual Joystick


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I am building a MAME cabinet using a Windows 10 PC and Big Box. I am using the Xarcade Dual Joystick as the input. My finished setup will not have an exposed keyboard.
Emulators used are MAME, NEStopia, SNES9X and Fusion.
I have everything figured out except for one pivotal thing. Closing emulators easily and consistently the with the Esc key when I have no keyboard (or additional controller) present.
The Xarcade does not have a dedicated, mapped Esc key (it probably should, but I can’t do anything about that).
SO in this case forums seem to push AHK as a solution.
I played with AHK for a couple of hours with many script variations and wasn’t able to create a clean solution. Results were inconsistent between emulators. Bottom line, I’m never going to be a AHK superuser..and that’s okay. I don’t think I should have to be to get this to work. I’ve lost confidence in the idea that AHK is the correct route for me. And I feel like I’m missing something and I feel like Big Box is missing something.
I’m confused as to why a simple feature is not implemented within Big Box options to bridge Big Box’s ability to universally close any of my emulators with the Esc key and the Xarcade control deck (which I assume is pretty widely used across the Big Box user base), such as a configurable key combination being held for a certain amount of time triggering the current emulator to close.
Like I said, I’ve tried many AHK scripts from the forum and I haven't found a workable consistent solution. Does anyone have an elegant, simple solution for me that does not require me to reprogram my Xarcade buttons? That would be my last resort.
Thank you for your help.
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  • 9 months later...

Hi Ken,

you can reprogram the default keys to other keyboard keys with the X-Arcade. It’s easy enough to do but to be honest I just used AHK Scripts for all my emulators. Using RetroArch along with AHK Scripts took me all of 15 minutes and that’s setting AHK Scripts for 30+ systems in LaunchBox.


The link shows how to remap keys for the X-Arcade. You could re-map some of the default keys on the X-Arcade (alt-left, shift-left and ctrl-left) to the likes of Esc key. These keys aren’t the friendliest in some emulators and can cause major frustration when setting up on certain emulators.

Personally myself, I was just to lazy to do the latter. AHK Scripts is much less work. They are also all over the forms and if needed I can provide the ones I use.

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Does not appear this member has even visited the site since the original post. 

I use the Xarcade Tankstick with default key layout and most of the emulators I use work fine off of Launchbox/BigBox controller automation. Retroarch and Mame have internal exit commands you can set so you do not really need to use an AHK. For example I use P2 Start and Right Pinball button as my exit combo. This can easily be set directly in Mame and Retroarch. Any emulator that does not exit with what is set in BigBox or does not have internal exit command functionality I simply paste a simple AHK code that is posted in the thread

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