PanuWorld JoyAdapter XP

Avoid problems with two joysticks on one gameport

Two joysticks on one gameport on Windows XP does not work properly with any major Commodore 64 emulator (Frodo, VICE, CCS64) or Atari 2600 emulator (Z26, Stella). The software sees one of the joysticks turned left or top almost all the time. (At least turning the stick right or down is not detected reliably.) There may be also cross-talk between the joysticks, although the joysticks seem to work completely in Windows XP's joystick test/calibration window!

According to the texts in the Internet, the same problem occurs on Windows 2000, too. Commodore 64 emulator CCS64 has solved this problem by introducing a special "Joyadapter" mode, which allows those two joysticks to be installed on Windows as one 4-axis joystick which can be read correctly by the software. However, other emulators and PC games are not usually able to understand one 4-axis joystick as two 2-axis ones, so we need another workaround!

The solution!

The solution is to install the joysticks as one 4-axis joystick, but the run a background software which reads the joystick movements from the 4-axis "joystick" and shows the data as two 2-axis joysticks to other applications. PanuWorld JoyAdapter XP is such program and it is free!

PanuWorld JoyAdapter XP runs in the background and reads the 4-axis primary joystick and updates two virtual joysticks with the data. Those virtual joysticks may then be used in the programs without any problems. PanuWorld JoyAdapter XP needs the PPJoy software for generating the virtual joysticks.

Note that PPJoy is actually a driver for parallel port joysticks. However, JoyAdapter XP uses its great virtual joystick interface only. PanuWorld JoyAdapter XP needs that your joysticks are connected normally to the gameport, not to the parallel port (which is, in my case, already filled with an old Compact Flash reader and printer).



  1. Delete all joysticks in Control Panel - Game Controllers.
  2. Add one custom joystick with four axes and four buttons (Add... - Custom...). This joystick will be the default joystick in legacy applications. Note that this "joystick" can be used in most of the applications, however, only the first joystick works now, the other does nothing in the programs.
  3. Calibrate your "4-axis joystick" (Properties). The secondary joystick is shown as Throttle and Rudder bars but it will not be a problem. 
  4. Download and install PPJoy. See PPJoy user manual for installation details. (There will be rather many driver files installed in the installation phase and later when creating the virtual joysticks!)
  5. Add two virtual joysticks in the PPJoy configuration utility (Control Panel - Parallel Port Joysticks). You do not need to do anything more in PPJoy. (You do not even need to calibrate these virtual joysticks.)
  6. Download PanuWorld JoyAdapter XP and unzip the stand-alone EXE file in a suitable location.
  7. Start PanuWorld JoyAdapter XP. It will be shown in the System Tray. To see the joystick data and which virtual joystick represents which real joystick, right-click the tray icon and select Show.


Game Controllers applet shows now three joysticks, one 4-axis and two virtual ones. Legacy applications (like most of the emulators) will see the 4-axis custom joystick as the Joystick #1 and Virtual joystick 1 as Joystick #2. There is nothing to configure in such applications.

In new applications using DirectInput you may select which joysticks to use. Try those same two. However, if the 4-axis, 4-button custom joystick is not working properly as Joystick #1 (e.g. in Commodore 64 emulator VICE) select Virtual joystick 2 instead of the 4-axis joystick (see picture below).

You may not need Virtual joystick 2 at all. In such case you may remove Virtual joystick 2 in PPJoy configuration utility.



In my case, PanuWorld JoyAdapter XP was a perfect solution. Now I could use both joysticks simultaneously in any Commodore 64 or Atari 2600 emulator. (Currently I prefer Frodo for C64 and Z26 for Atari 2600.)

The instructions described above may look complicated. However, there are only many steps, not so much things to configure. If PanuWorld JoyAdapter XP helped you with your joystick problems, . Tell me also if you find out another ways to utilize JoyAdapter XP!

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