This manual is written for Firmware 3.0
The 4-Play and Gamer-Pro use HID (Human Interface Device). No drivers are needed or recommended. For firmware updates and tools see the Download Section. The 4-Play and Gamer-Pro do not natively support Xinput. It can do so however, with the use of 3rd party software (ie. x360ce ). Although a power supply can be used on the 4-Play, it is not required. A 12v power supply is completely optional and simply allows the HUB to be self-powered and supplies additional power for a stronger Playstation Force Feedabck effect. It is important to note that Force Feedback will still work correctly without it. The Game-Pro supports Force Feedback on all capable controllers accept the Playstation . If you wish to use the Playstation with the Gamer-Pro, an additional in-line adapter will be needed to rumble the Playstation controller. This adapter is available for purchase.
Bliss-Box 4-Play and Gamer-Pro Features
- Full Emulation: A wide variety of controllers are fully supported right out of the box. This includes even complex features like the Sony Playstation 2's pressure sensitive buttons or the Sega Dreamcast's VMU. The Compatibility List shows everything currently supported. This list is periodically updated and amended as we expand the Bliss-Box' s capabilities.
- Multi-platform: Use your 4-Play/Gamer-Pro on almost any modern operating system. The 4-Play and Gamer-Pro work on Windows, OSX, Linux, Raspberry Pi, most all Android device.
- Plug & Play: The 4-Play and Gamer-Pro do not need software or drivers to be installed by the user. Simply plug it in and select your emulator, game, and controller.
- Hot Swap This feature makes it easy to switch between controllers in mid-game. If Auto Pause is enabled (default setup) The 4-Play/Gamer-Pro will pause your game while you switch, and you can continue playing when you're ready. The new controller is detected automatically.
- Easy-Upgradable Firmware: The 4-Play/Gamer-Pro can be quickly updated via USB with a firmware file downloaded from our website. This allows new features and controllers to be added painlessly. Each 4-Play controller port has its own firmware chip so multiple firmware versions can be used if desired.
- Global Button Mapping: Starting with 3.0 this layout has changed for modern gaming. Please note that 2.0 mapping is not the same. The 4-Play/Gamer-Pro's internal button mapping is set up so that buttons on different controllers match each other's layouts as closely as possible. This makes Hot Swapping more intuitive. For additional details, see the layouts at the end of this doc.
- Alternative Mapping: The global mapping now has an alternative layout for c/x l/r configs. See details below (Global button mapping and layouts.).
- Force Feedback and rumble: Controller rumble works on a wide variety of controllers. The currently supported rumble controllers are the Nintendo 64, Nintendo GameCube, Sony Playstation , Sony Playstation 2, and the Sega Dreamcast. The Gamecube racing wheel supports force feedback steering.
- Single-Player Mode: The 4-Play can be switched to Single-Player Mode. This will allow for some advance features like using the 4-Play on an Xbox with special firmware, or up-linking to other future Bliss-Box add-on accessories (i.e. Bliss-Box Bridge adapter).
- Auto Pause: When the adapter senses the controller has become unplugged, it presses the pause button.
- Hotkey: Pressing and holding START will trigger a Hotkey combo. You may configure this combo for a hot key in front-ends like Retro Arch.
- Auto Calibration: Controllers like n64, Saturn, and other short range analog sticks no longer fail to reach the full limit. As you use the Stick (both left and right) the Bliss-Box keeps a constant watch on the range. When the range falls short it auto interpolate the difference. So you will now always have equal stick ranges. The is reset on hotswap or reset.
- Native Support: The 4-Play and Gamer-Pro have the ability to allow communication from the emulated game directly to the controller and back with any of the supported controllers (N64, Gamecube, Playstation, partial Dreamcast).
- Developer API: Both the 4-Play and the Gamer-Pro have an API with which emulator developers can communicate directly with and transfer data. This allows native support for advanced features. For example, developers can use the API to see exactly which controllers are currently connected to the 4-Play or Gamer-Pro for displaying on the screen or automatic custom remapping. Also native support for saving to the controller's attached memory card or even write images to the Dreamcast controller's LCD screen. Support for the GameCube's Gameboy Advanced Link can be added, and the emulators can talk directly to the controller bypassing dirrectx. The possibilities are endless. An API tool is also available on the download page. With this tool you may turn on and off the configurable features listed below.
- LLAPI (Low Level API). In addition to the developer API , 3.0 now has a wire to wire mode for getting data and controlling the Bliss-Box. This is simply done over the existing USB wires and can be used with other devices. The first device to utilize this is the Bridge. An add-on that allows the Bliss-Box to work on many consoles. This product is still under development. The second device to take advantage of this LLAPI is the ever-growing MiSTer. The MiSTer can use the Bliss-Box in LLAPI mode and directly poll controllers with no USB involved.
Programmable Features of the 4-Play and Gamer-Pro where applicable.
- Auto Pause Disabled: Turns on and off auto pause mode.
- D-Pad-(UDLR): This mode shifts the directional controller buttons from HAT to analog.
- Analog to D-pad: (deprecated in 3.0) This mode was added for retro arch. This mode maps d-pad only controllers to buttons instead of default mapping to analogs.
- Turbo Mode:
- (3.0 only)
- Any of the main buttons (i.e. b,a,x,y,l,r) can now be put in turbo mode.
- D-pad Only: This is a read only mode and it cannot be set. This mode will turn off when any analog movement is seen. It simply tells you if you are using a controller with no analogs. Used for API integration.
- Button Mapping: The API tool allows alternative mappings. There are presets for Sony Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Android, and default. You may also make your own presets.
- Button Swapping and rotation: (3.0 only) This mode allows any two pairs of buttons to be swapped, or the 4 face buttons to be rotated.
- Hotswap Disabled: Using this feature may have undesirable effects. This will prevent auto searching for controllers (hotswap). To switch to another controller, a reset will be needed. This mode comes on in force mode.
- Port Naming: Each port can now be named a player. A special USB ID is saved for each port and the USB is named "4-Play/GP PORT.x" Where x equals the player you specified.
- Save to EEPROM: The 4-Play can save all of your features per port. You can see your saved setting by using the API Tool. This also works with the Gamer-Pro.
- Force controller Mode. (3.0 only) This mode will force the adapter to not detect and assume the selected mode. This forced mode is programmed via the API. Use the API tool to set the adapter to a specific mode (i.e PlayStation). This is exceptionally useful with products like the MC Cthulhu. It is not recommended to set a forced mode with the wrong controllers.
Button codes for programmable features.
- D-Pad-(UDLR) Mode: Left trigger + Right Trigger + select or Z(for n64 pads) (hold for 3 seconds) (Also can be turned on via the API Tool)
- Turbo Mode: To enable turbo on any of the main buttons (i.e. b,a,x,y,l,r) press the button you wish to toggle and while leaving it pressed, do one of the following. The default mode is 20 shot.
Press start 3 times to enable turbo on that button. To disable repeat the same operation.
Press start 4 times to set the fast turbo mode, 20 shots a second.
Press start 5 times to set the slow turbo mode, 10 shots a second.
The slow turbo speed can also be sent in the API tool with more control.
- Button Swapping and rotation: To activate the rotation of 4 face buttons; press the 4 face buttons then press start for 2 seconds. Repeat to rotate again. To activate a button swap (you may do two pairs) press any two buttons then start for 2 seconds. For example A and B and start, to swap A and B buttons. if you wish to also swap C and D pres C and D and start for 2 more seconds. (This is only configurable via the controller).
- Hotkey: Pressing and holding START (2 seconds) will trigger a button combo. You may configure this combo for a hot key in front-ends like Retro Arch. Use the API to set this combo. Simply hold the combination of button(s) you desire and press the HotKey API button. Once that has been done, that combo will fire when you long press the start button. Only the first row of buttons (i.e. a,b,x,y,l,r) are supported. To disable this feature press the HotKey button with no combo held down. The default is unset so it will not work until it has been set in the API tool.
- Alternative mapping: Currently there are two mapping modes for 6 button controllers. These are the controllers that normally have the Z and C buttons. The default is to put these buttons as left and right shoulder buttons (L1 and R1) but some gamers want to map them to the L2 and r2. This can be done by pressing the two (Z and C) buttons then pressing a d-pad direction. Currently and if a controller has an alternative mode, the d-pad up is default and down is the alternative. Left and right are reserved for potential future alternative mappings. Example; With a Saturn controller you may press both Z and C along with the down d-pad to enter the alternative mapping mode.
In general, the 4-Play and Gamer-Pro are capable of detecting your controller type within one to three seconds of it being connected to your system via USB or when swapping controllers. With the exceptions listed below, you should not press any buttons during hot swapping or connecting your controller initially. Plug in your controller of choice and then plug in the 4-play or Gamer-Pro via usb. Wait for the USB tone without pressing any inputs. If verification is needed, open your control panel in Windows and navigate to the controller section to ensure it is attached and working. If you plug in the adapter to your computer without a controller attached it will go in to Atari mode and remain in this mode until reset is hit or the device is unplugged. Plugging in a none Atari controller will have no effect or uncharacteristic behavior when the adapter is in Atari mode.
Atari, Mattel Intellivision, and similar controllers have no active electronics. These controllers are merely switches, one for each button. There is no way to detect such a device unless you hold down a button during connection. If unable to detect the controller type, 4-Play and Gamer-Pro default to the Atari mode. Thus, the following buttons must be held down while connecting these specific controllers:
Third-Party Sega Genesis 6-Button: Start Button (Not require in all cases)
ColecoVision: Right or Purple Button (SAC)
Intellivision: Hold bottom right button.
NOTE: 3.0 has dropped support for GamePort controllers. You may still use these controllers by flashing to 2.0.
3.0 has a new advanced feature to allow the forcing of a controller mode. In some cases you may not want or need detection and just have the adapter assume the attached controller type. If this applies to your particular needs, this is set via the API TOOL. You can lock the device to this mode if desired. Devices like the MC Cthulhu or coupling the BB with other adapters is where this comes in handy.
This mode is used for Atari and like controllers that really have no electronics in them. Once in Atari mode there is no way to detect a new controller. So, to leave this mode you must press the reset button. When you first plug in the 4-play or Gamer-Pro, any ports without a controller plugged in will default to Atari mode.
If your port seems unresponsive or does not show up in the USB controller list, a bad flash or HID corruption may have occurred. You can repair the port by entering safe mode and re-flashing. To enter Safe Mode, unplug the 4-Play or Gamer-Pro. Press and hold down the reset button on the port you wish to repair. Plug the 4-Play/Gamer-Pro in without releasing the reset button and proceed in flashing the port. If you are having troubles holding down the button and have a psx or jaguar dongle you may use this trick by shorting the pins with a paper clip (French 'Trombone').
The white arrow in this image indicates the port that becomes active in Single-Player Mode. The mode is toggled via the DIP switches on the base of the 4-Play unit as follows: Do not read the labels on the DIP's themselves, follow the sticker.
There is a reset/upgrade button beside each port on the 4-Play. During normal use it works as a reset button, forcing the unit to re-detect the connected controller. If you hold it down however, it tells its 4-Play port to go into upgrade mode. When you release it, it will go back to normal operation. To upgrade firmware, you must first hold down the reset/upgrade button. The first time you do this, your system will indicate, "BLISS-UPDATOR hardware found." Make sure to let the driver installation finish before letting go of the button. For upgrades, you can use the API tool or the older HIDBootFlash v.1.0, both found in the Download Section. To flash the device with the flash tool follow the steps below. The Gamer-Pro is also equipped with this button.
Step 1: With the reset/upgrade button still held down, select "Find Device."
Step 2: Specify your firmware.hex file.
Step 3: Still holding the reset/upgrade button, click "Flash Device."
Caution: Do not release the upgrade button during firmware flash as you may cause a bad flash and be forced to re-flash the port.
Step 4: Release the reset/upgrade button to return to normal operation.
Low Level API Mode. (For advanced users)
Please refer to the online documentation to use this feature.
The LLAPI uses the already available USB lines. To invoke the API you simply bring both d- and d+ high with external or internal pull ups. This condition will not cause any abnormal condition to existing USB hardware so it’s safe to use in both cases. When the Gamer-Pro or 4-Play detects the condition, it will go in to LLAPI mode. So this can be asserted via software or hardware in your connecting device.
Global button mapping and layouts.
For convenience the most popular controllers are now graphically displayed for quick reference. For greater detail visit global mappings. The following images are based off the HID windows assignments. Bliss-Box has 24 HID buttons available. Some controllers can make use of the alternative mapping (seen in blue).
Images provided by Don "Furluge" Scherig
HID is, for the most part, trouble free. Use normal USB troubleshooting techniques to fix any devices that aren't correctly detected. Unplugging the USB, using another port, or restarting the computer is a good place to start.
Third-Party controllers in general should have no problems, however they are not always designed the same way as the original manufacturer intended. Some might work on the console but not with the 4-Play or Gamer-Pro. For example, most Mad Catz Nintendo 64 and Nintendo GameCube controllers work but Mad Catz Sega Dreamcast controllers do not. See the compatibility list for more info.
Please contact support if a specific emulator is giving you trouble or if you still have issues after reading the FAQs below. The forums are another great place for fast and helpful resource.
Will the Gamer-Pro and 4-play work with my emulator?
Unless an emulator does not support HID, it will work. Bliss-Box does not have control over what an emulation author does. As long as they fully support HID, everything will work. Development teams are quick to resolve issues to ensure full functionality. Some older, DOS based emulators do not work with HID. If you have trouble, contact the emulator author and work with them to get it resolved. As for the advance features this is all relatively easy to develop but may emulator developers shun support for one type of adapter. The good people at RetroArch are supporting everything where possible but the individual projects are not so friendly.
Why are there only 3 ports?
A1. The switches are wrong. Do not read the switch values (on/off). Follow the picture and match it up correctly.
A2. You may have a bad flash, try safe mode.
A3. Make sure there is not a driver conflict and that the driver finished loading.
A4. In many rare cases shipping can cause damage to a port. (contact us).
Why aren’t some of my buttons working?
A1. Reset the device.
A2. Is this an official gamepad? If not support could be added. (contact us).
A3. Some connectors may need replacing. If you feel the connector is faulty, it is replaceable (contact us).
A5. Does the controller work? Old controllers can be dirty or worn out, test on the console.
Why am I getting random nonsense inputs?
A1. The firmware will attempt to auto detect, so make sure your controller is plugged in when you connect the USB. Do not press buttons during detection (1 to 3 seconds after plugged in) unless required.
A2. Is this an official gamepad? If not support could be added. (contact us).
A3. Some Sega Dreamcast and Nintendo GameCube controllers might act this way (contact us).
A4. Reset the device.
Why isn’t my Coleco number pad working?
Reset the device, the adapter is in Atari Mode. Make sure to hold down the button as indicated in the Controller Detection section.
My SNES or NES makes the + go left when I hit a button, what's wrong?
Reset the device, the adapter is in Atari Mode.
Why aren't my sega X Y Z buttons working?
The controller may be in 3-Button Mode. Hold down the Start button and reset.
Why do I have more buttons on the HID window than my controller has?
This is normal; it is for compatibility. The adapter can not hold al possible layouts so there is only one. It will not affect game play or setup.
Why does my Guitar Hero guitar have the left button (button 13) held down?
The port is in normal Sony Playstation mode. Keep the Guitar connected, and hit the reset button.
What do I do if my controller works but it isn't included on the Compatibility List?
Great! Use the forums and tell us what it is and the model, so we can add it!
If my controller isn't on the Compatibility List, will it work?
It might, give it a try! If it doesn't, we can probably update our firmware so that it does!
Can you make my control work even if it's listed as not working?
contact us! We're willing to bet we can make it work and add it to our firmware.
How can I force Windows to detect my ports in a specific order?
Use the API Tool. There is a menu Item for setting the port order. Requires 2.0 or higher.
All of my ports are named the same?
Use the API Tool to configure the port order. Requires 2.0 or higher.
Can I force my port to stay in a mode?
Yes, in 3.0 there is an option for that in the API.
My Atari Paddles are jumpy.
If your cable does not have a round dot on the tag, consider buying the updated cable. If you do not wish to purchase a new cable use an Extension Cable. Paddles also may require cleaning.
ePSXe won't let me assign inputs.
Go to option in the menu bar and Uncheck "Auto Load PPF files enabled."
The MiSTer is a small community of people sharing love and respect for older hardware and wanting to keep enjoying these older systems. We have produced a board for the MiSTer that performs as well as any of the current USB board options and extends a few new features and options that will come to be rather attractive to many MiSTer fans.
The main attraction to the BlisSTer is a thing we call LLAPI (Low Level API). The Normal Bliss-Box products that adapt almost any wired controller to USB is integrated on this board. Though USB is not the only option. With some help from a developer Jamie AKA Rysha, few cores are taking advantage of the LLAPI. This board is going to allow you to communicate with a controller at it's own interrupt level. Your MiSTer cores while used with the Bliss-Box will allow any controller to be used the way it was intended to be used on the console itself. The LLAPI even has the ability (although not implemented yet) to directly communicate with memory packs or rumble motors in the very same manner the console does. Although that is a bit ahead of its time, it has the ability to do it.
Bliss-Box has engineered a way to communicate over USB with a proprietary two wire interface. The protocol, when engaged, tells the USB to stop communicating. The information is then routed via the serial (USB 3.0) port on the MiSTer board and read directly into the selected core. Interestingly this protocol was not designed for this purpose. It was not until Jamie saw the connection and came up with this plan to communicate directly with the controllers and cores.
The board is equipped with two reset buttons for the Bliss-Box ports.These are to reset the ports and update the firmware. We are keeping the remaining 5 USB ports for the user’s discretion. This board is a direct fit for the existing USB board including the micro USB location that many people have been using a bridge with. The power in can be sent back out to the MiSTer if desired and the toggle switch kills power to the entire board including the output. The switch also has a manual jumper that can be used to operate the power remotely.
- Bliss-Box logic is inside, auto detection and all that goes with it.
- Use of the best retro game cables money can buy. Our authentic cables just work.
- Open and friendly! BlisSTer is a complicate but open Board. Any factory can make it.
- Same form-factor as the USB hub add-on board.
- Added features to the existing hub board like a power switch and LED extenders.
- Although not required, when paired with LLAPI, it's like the real thing.
- Lag free, there is no polling outside the normal sync rate, the controller is read when the core wants it.
- An internal gateway to the controller with no USB overhead.
BlisSTer FAQ and stat-up guide
BlisSTer is an open board as are the cables. See details here.
LLAPI mode requires the cores as it has not been accepted by the main FPGA maintainer. Though USB mode does work natively with the main MiSTer cores. LLAPI cores found below.
Spacial thx to Resb1t, Rysha, Twotone8, and Sorg.
Bliss-Box accessories are available in our store under cables.
Break Out board - This is a HDMI breakout board. Handy if you wish to use Bliss-Box cables for other intended purposes. This can also be used for the special Virtual Boy and PC-FX adapters. There is also an Arcade mode for 10 button 4 direction use.
Rumble Fix - This is only needed for the Gamer-Pro (the Gamer-Pro jr. and 4-Play do not require this). This fixes the lack of rumble support for the PlayStation controllers.
Level Shifter - To be used with the BlisSTer board. This will let you use the 4-Play or Gamer-Pro as player one on the MiSTer serioal port for LLAPI support. At this time only player 1 is supported.
Support is provided for all products via email or on the forums. If the problem is found to be hardware related, contact us within 30 days of the shipment received date to get a replacement. Firmware related issues can be handled on the forums or via email.
Our Money-Back Return Policy:
We want you to be fully satisfied with your purchase. You may receive a full refund for any unsatisfied orders with in 15 days minus the shipping costs. A restocking fee may occur for any non defective refunds past the 15 days of the arrival shipment. You must return it with all original packaging. If you checked out with Paypal please note, PayPal adds a 2.9 percent refunding fee. Please contact us for RMA eligibility for any defective items purchased on Bliss-Box’s page past 15 days and up to one year. NOTICE: Bliss-Box cannot support or endorse any modified firmware. If you are running a custom or modified firmware it will void your warranty. If an RMA is submitted and an unofficial firmware is loaded onto the device, Bliss-Box reserves the right to apply a fee upon returning the unit to you. Bliss-Box does not extend this policy to any refurbished items.
The item must be returned in good condition, in the original box, and with all parts and accessories for a full credit. So issue a refund, please send email to: [email protected] with the title “RETURN: [purchase order#]” where purchase order is the purchase number from the store. If the item was purchased via one of our resellers, first contact them. If purchased on our website you can find the purchase order number in your purchase email. If you have troubles locating the purchase order number please contact us via the same email.
Controller compatibility and protection.
Bliss-Box products are considered a use at your own risk type of adapter. However since it has stood the test of time, the risk is next to none and works rather well for what it does. If you own a controller and plan to use it on a Bliss-Box product, it would be wise to check the compatibility first. Outside of that, what protection does your controller have – you may be wondering? We had to draw the line somewhere so that lines falls on OEM or 1st party controllers. Those controller are the ones you get with your console. If it is not 1st party, your left to the compatibility list from the many users over the many years to trust.