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MiSTer supports keyboard re-mapping which is useful for reduced size or localized keyboards. Key remapping is system wide, so every core will have same key mapping. Keep in mind there is no macro key functionality, so single keys are remapped to another single key. Some multimedia keys generate several key codes - these keys cannot be remapped. Each keyboard model has its own key map stored in /media/fat/config/kbd_[VID]_[PID].map file. To reset all keys to their default state, simply delete the appropriate map file which has the matching VenderID and ProductID in the filename. Key remapping is available through the Menu core only.

Joystick emulation

Keyboards can be switched to joystick emulation. You need to define keys used for joystick emulation the same way you did for joysticks. Auto fire is also supported the same way as they are for joysticks (Menu+button). The button defined for "KBD TOGGLE" provides a quick switch between keyboard and joystick use for defined keys.

Mouse emulation

Keyboards can be switched to mouse emulation. You need to define mouse emulation buttons in the Menu core the same way as for joystick, in the Define Gamepad menu option.

Emulation switch

To switch between emulation modes press Num Lock or Scroll Lock until the desired mode is selected.

The switching sequence is Mouse >> Joy1 >> Joy2 >> None

The LEDs on your keyboard will display the emulation modes:

  • Mouse emulation: NumLock LED + ScrLock LED
  • Joystick 1 emulation: NumLock LED.
  • Joystick 2 emulation: ScrLock LED.

Common functional keys/combos used in cores

  • F12 - open/close OSD menu/submenu
  • Alt+F12 - quick core selection (like in Menu core).
  • Left Ctrl+Left Alt+Right Alt - presses the "USER" button which usually is reset in emulated system.
  • Left Shift+Left Ctrl+Left Alt+Right Alt - MiSTer reset (load Menu core).


  • Some systems provide writing support which requires additional attention to how you reset/shutdown the MiSTer. MiSTer tries not to keep any pending writes and writes physically to the disk as soon as possible. Still, safer way to reset the MiSTer from core which probably was writing to disk recently is using combo Left Shift+Left Ctrl+Left Alt+Right Alt - this will flush all caches to disk before restart. Cores without write can be restarted by hard reset button or powered down without special attention.
  • Left Ctrl+Left Alt+Right Alt sequence can be replaced by some other well known combos through INI file.