Virtual Joystick

For THEC64 Mini firmware v1.2.0 and above

Connecting a USB keyboard (that includes a numeric keypad and function keys up to at least F11) to THEC64 Mini gives access to a Virtual Joystick as well as all the benefits of a real keyboard.

Use the Virtual Joystick to navigate menus, select options and play games without needing a USB Joystick, or use the Virtual Joystick as a second controller if you only have one USB joystick attached.

You can choose between two Virtual Joystick layouts. Both layouts use the numeric keypad and the function keys F9, F10 and F11.

The current layout depends on whether your keyboard’s ‘Num Lock’ key is in the ON or OFF state. By default, the ‘Num Lock’ is OFF when you connect a USB keyboard to THEC64 Mini. Press the ‘Num Lock’ key to change from OFF to ON or vice versa. Some USB keyboards include a ‘Num Lock’ LED to show its current state.

Num Lock OFF (default)

Num Lock ON

Diagonals are achieved by pressing UP+RIGHT,

Note that the ‘Num Lock’ ON layout gives you more choice. You can mix and match the LEFT, RIGHT, UP and DOWN keys if you want to. For example, using 6, 3, 8 and 9 instead of 1, 2, 6 and 3.

Regardless of which layout you use, you have a choice of which keys to use as Left and Right FIRE, as you can see from the diagram above. The . key (the , key on a German USB keyboard) always acts as the Joystick’s MENU button, giving access to the usual Save/load game, Virtual keyboard and Exit game options. The TL and TR buttons are / and * respectively.


Keys F9, F10 and F11 perform the same functions as THEC64 Joystick buttons A, B and C.

Allocating Controllers

When you run a C64 program from the GAMES CAROUSEL or via the File Loader, THEC64 Mini will always allocate the primary controller to the joystick that selected the program, whether that is a USB joystick or the Virtual Joystick.

If there is an unallocated USB joystick attached, then THEC64 Mini chooses that as the secondary controller (if one is required). If not, then it will allocate the Virtual Joystick as the secondary controller, assuming that a suitable USB keyboard is attached and assuming that the Virtual Joystick has not already been allocated as the primary controller.

THEC64 Mini can only allocate one Virtual Joystick, even if you were to connect two USB keyboards.

Firmware Upgrade 1.3.1. and above

New keys are added to the Virtual Joystick when in THEC64 Mini menus and screens:

U = Joystick UP
J= Joystick DOWN
N = Joystick DOWN
H = Joystick LEFT
O = Joystick LEFT
K = Joystick RIGHT
P = Joystick RIGHT
SPACE = Press Joystick Left FIRE button
G = Press Joystick Left FIRE button
RETURN = Press Joystick Right FIRE button
L = Press Joystick Right FIRE button
Y = Press Joystick button TL
X = Press Joystick button TR
A = Press Joystick button A
B = Press Joystick button B
C = Press Joystick button C
Left Shift + ~ (top-left corner of keyboard) = Press Joystick MENU button (at any time)
M = Press Joystick MENU button (only when already in THEC64 menus)