Joystick Stream Deck for OBS | Heck SIMPLE 10-minute tutorial!

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The Elgato Stream Deck is a VERY useful piece of hardware. BUT it IS also a tad bit expensive. If you’re like me and would like to save every dollar or peso or whatever currency you have in your wallet, read ahead to see how you can use your controller as a joystick stream deck! You can watch a video version of this tutorial here:

This is actually super easy: just set hotkeys to your OBS actions and set them on your joysticks and gamepads with something like the AntiMicroX! There. Done. Thanks for dropping by! (insert awkward silence)

The hotkeys you set need to be something you’re not going to use while on stream. For example, setting the “A” key as a hotkey for “Stop Streaming” is the smartest way to give yourself stress and anxiety. I almost always go paranoid on modifier keys by using Ctrl+Shift+Alt and the letter key to avoid activating these keys accidentally. You can also use the actual hotkeys but it’s cumbersome and really difficult if you use them a lot because there are tons of keys on the keyboard. By the way, this tutorial has been on a 3-year backlog for me, so thanks for reading this even in 2024. Let’s get into the hardware!

Options for your Joystick Stream Deck

First, you’ll have to use a controller that you’re not using anymore or at least one that you’re currently not using. Also, if you’re playing on stream, hopefully the game has some way of specifying what controller you’re using. Next, hardware choices. If you have a joystick or an arcade stick, I really suggest using that since it fulfills the role of a stream deck efficiently because of its size. These are also called fightsticks and there are variations like the Hit Box, Mixbox, and the Snack Box.

In my opinion, the Snack Box Micro is THE perfect stream deck if you have one already but I don’t suggest buying one just for this purpose because you’re better of buying an actual Stream Deck if you’re willing to shell out $185 anyway. You can also build one for cheap if you’re not going to use it professionally *ahem* EVO *ahem* *ahem* REV Major *ahem*.

The total opposite of an arcade stick is something like this really small 8Bitdo gamepad I have. You can even torture yourself by using the 8Bitdo Zero 2. Another item that’s half-feasible is a numpad. Do note that if you use this, the keys WILL register. For example, if you map the “9” key on your numpad to, say, “Studio Mode”, you’ll trigger whatever 9 does on your game or software AND trigger Studio Mode if you need to use that key on your game or software.

Set Hotkeys in OBS

Let’s take a look at our OBS setup and set our hotkeys. I have 2 scenes. Now, I want to set the “A” button to switch to scene “Uno” and “B “to switch to scene “Dos”. Currently, there’s nothing that tells OBS to listen to inputs on our game controller, so here’s where the magic of AntiMicroX comes in! Go get it from Click on “A”, press “G”, confirm the input by looking at the lower-right section, then close. Click “B”, press “H”, confirm the input, close. You can launch Notepad to try typing G-H-G-H using your joystick. It’s fun the first time around!

Next, let’s go to OBS > Settings > Hotkeys and look for the scene to switch to. In my case, that’s scene “Uno”. Click on “Switch to scene” and press the “A” button on your controller and you’ll see “G” here. Do the same for “Dos” and press “B” to see “H” come out. Close. Congratulations! You’ve just made your own basic scene switcher!

Great! It works now but if you noticed, pressing A or B on your joystick now triggers whatever G or H does as well. To prevent this, we can use our ever-so-useful keyboard modifiers. Go to AntiMicroX so we can change the hotkeys for “A” and “B”. Click on “A”, press any of the modifier keys to register it (in my case, “Ctrl”) then click on “Advanced”. When you see the “Assignments” section, write an email to your favorite teacher or professor and thank them for all the hard work you did for them. Just kidding.

Adding More Buttons to Your Buttons

In the “Assignments” section, you’ll see one of the keys you just set for this button. Click on this blank button to turn it into an ellipsis and press “Shift”. Add another and press “Alt” and another and press “G”. Voila! Ctrl+Shift+Alt+G! Do the same for “B” and Ctrl+Shift+Alt+H. Go back to OBS > Settings > Hotkeys, search for your actions and press the buttons on your controller. As a reminder, you don’t have to use “G” and “H”. You can use whatever key you want.

Now, why all these modifiers? I go ham on modifier keys by using Ctrl+Shift+Alt and the intended key to avoid activating these keys accidentally. I don’t want to limit myself from being able to use Ctrl+X so I use Ctrl+Shift+Alt+X instead. There!

Still with me? Good. If not, go have a cup of coffee while you replay this video as many times as you want. Next, we’ll set up a video source and an audio source which we can play on demand. Let’s toggle the “Video to Play” source with Ctrl+Shift+Alt+T. Go to AntiMicroX, click on the “X” button, press Ctrl to register it, “Advanced”, “Assignments”, and set the Ctrl, Shift, and Alt keys and “T”. Close. Let’s bind Ctrl+Shift+Alt+Y to our “Y” button to toggle our laugh-track. Lastly, to toggle our “Be Right Back” text source, let’s bind Ctrl+Shift+Alt+U to the Right Button or RB.

Let’s go back to OBS > Settings > Hotkeys and look for our “Video to Play” source, and press the “X” button on “Restart”. Do the same for the laugh-track and the BRB text source. Alright, testing this highly copyrighted video… Great! Let’s test this fake dopamine generator… Check! And the text? Good!

Moar More-ing Buttons and Functions

This is all well and good but what if we wanted to have dedicated buttons to enable and disable specific sources? Let’s change the settings of our video source. Go to AntiMicroX, click on the “X” button and remove the Shift modifier key by clicking on this small blank space here and click “Delete” so that only Ctrl+Alt+T remains. This time, click on the Left Trigger or LT, click on this [NO KEY] button here and press “Shift” on this screen to register it. Close. Now, go back to OBS, search for the video source, change the hotkeys, and press X on the Hide function and press the LT+X on the Show function.

If you noticed, I use the “base” hotkeys “Ctrl+Alt+key” to disable the source and insert the Shift key to enable it. You can have this the other way around but I prefer the one-thing-panic-button to hide my source and the button combination to show it. So, LT+X to show the video, and X to hide it. Let’s do the same for the BRB text source. AntiMicroX > Right Button > Advanced, delete the “Shift” key. Go back to the BRB text source in OBS hotkeys, press RB to hide it and LT+RB to show it. I just breezed through that since I think you got the point but feel free to send your questions in my Discord; link in the description.

Now, you might be wondering, “I have TONS MOAR functions I want to use with this. How am I supposed to use just 8 buttons for all of these?” Welp, you can’t, but with modifier MODIFIERS in AntiMicroX, you can! The key is to get creative with your modifier keys and buttons. I personally only use this stream-decky setup as a scene switcher, but I made this tutorial to show you what you CAN do.

The additional key to this is to try to be as logical with this as you can. For example, I have this table right here. I press LT+A to play Video 1 and A to stop it, B for Video 2, X for Sound 1, and Y for Sound 2. I use 2 modifier buttons for my more disruptive actions like changing scenes so, for example, I can hold LT+RT and press A to switch to Scene 1, B for Scene 2, and so on.

Let’s set up the toggle for the filters on our camera and microphone. LT+LB gives Ctrl+Alt+U to enable the monochrome filter and just LB for Alt+U to disable it, then LT+RT+LB for Ctrl+Shift+Alt+U to toggle it. We can have RB for the crop filter on our camera and the Select button for the reverb filter on our mic. And so on and so forth. That’s it!

As you can see in this table, that’s 4 functions for just the “LB” button. You can do this for the A, B, X, Y, Left Button, Right Button, Start, Select, and even the D-Pad “buttons”: Up, Down, Left, and Right! That’s 12 buttons x 4 modifiers = 48 possible freaking functions! About the directionals, like I said, the Hit Box, MixBox, and the Snack Box Micro work really well for thislike the Hit Box, MixBox, and the Snack Box Micro.

Frankly though, I don’t think my brain will be able to handle memorizing all these buttons and modifiers for all these functions in any one stream, but again, the point of this tutorial is to show you what can you do with this. I hope you learned something from this. My brain is fried.

Check out my other tutorials!

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