Using a Bluetooth gamepad with your Android phone

I got a free Android phone, the HTC magic, with my cheap phone contract. Android is fantastic, but I’ve always wished it had a keyboard so I could type and play games more easily. I wondered if I’d be able to ever get an external keyboard, or even a gamepad, and clip it on.

Well, now you can. Tiny bluetooth keyboards (and their drivers) that work with an Android phone are a bit expensive and unreliable at time of writing, but there is a cheap game controller: the BGP100 bluetooth gamepad:

So I bought one to try it out.

Getting it to work though was tricky – this is all pretty new, and I couldn’t find a good how-to. So I wrote one:

  1. Buy a BGP100. I got mine from dealextreme.com for $25 USD (worldwide shipping was free).
  2. Download the Gamepro driver from the Android Market
  3. Switch Bluetooth on, if it isn’t already. For my HTC Magic (Android OS 1.5 I think) I press Menu, choose SettingsWireless controls and tick Bluetooth.
  4. Enable Gamepro in you phone settings. For my phone, I press Menu, choose SettingsLocale & text, and tickMMG GamePro. Below that should be MMG GamePro Settings.
  5. Open MMG GamePro Settings. Choose your Gamepad Model (Gamepad BGP100 for me, but Zeemote JS1 works too).
  6. GamePro Settings

  7. Scan for your gamepad by pressing scan to get the Bluetooth Address (switch it on first – on the BGP100 the power switch is a sliding switch next to the R button). You’ll need that address later, write it down.
  8. Skip the Registration Key for now. Leave it blank; first we need to test that everything works.
  9. Hit [Save] to save your GamePro settings.
  10. Change Android’s current “Input Method”. Right now your phone is using a virtual touch keyboard (or physical keyboard if you have one) as it’s Input Method. To change it to GamePro, long press on almost any standard textbox (for example, start the standard android messaging app, create a new message, press and hold inside the “To” field) and hit Select input method and choose MMG GamePro. Then quit that app. Note that you will have to change the input method back after playing. (I haven’t found a convenient way to do this yet – anyone want to write a widget that toggles bluetooth and the input method?)
  11. Test. You should now be able to go to the Android home screen and use the d-pad (or joystick) to highlight icons.

For more info, get the PDF of the official manual. It’s a bit confusing and some steps are missing, unexplained, or out-of-order (hence the need to write this) but it has some screenshots, and more details on several of the steps.

Thanks to Michael G. Owen for writing this guide and allowing us to publish it.

» See more articles by Chris Moor


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  • http://enjoykristofer.posterous.com Kris

    Hello, i recently purchased an HTC G2 by T-Mobile and i was wondering if this remote will work with Android 2.2/ Sense UI. I have seen many other reviews of products but all of them seem to avoid the Sense UI, i realize this phone is pretty new to the market but i hope to see a connection for a remote/wiimote some day soon.

    Thanks for your guide.

  • Richard

    Wow, thanks. You just answered all the questions I had when I found this on DealExtreme.
    Your existence has been validated – Enjoy

  • Aaron

    Kris: the T-mobile G2 doesn’t have Sense UI, it’s stock android 2.2
    Only the European version, the HTC Desire Z, has Sense UI

  • http://enjoykristofer.posterous.com Kris

    Thanks Aaron. will my phone work with the bluetooth controllers or the wiimote app by chance? I would really like to use a controller since my fingers are kind of large for the screen and keyboard for gaming.

  • Aaron

    Kris, the wiimote and the 2 gamepro-compatible gamepads will work, I haven’t found any other gamepads for it

    Android does not have an HID bluetooth driver (required for BT keyboards and mice) so any HID-based gamepad will also not work

  • Josep

    Does it works with Samsung galaxy s?

  • Keoni29

    I have a samsung galaxy gio wite h 2.2 on it. I noticed that this device ain’t compatible with some bluetooth devices’ drivers. I tried to connect my wiimote whitout succes. I wonder if this trick works with my phone.

  • pIRatZE

    Will this method works on playing some HD games such as Backstab HD from Gameloft and such?

  • http://www.theparodynetwork.com/superheros.html SuperHero

    Cool. I rather use a gamepad than the annoying phone keyboard.

  • sam adeyemi

    i have being longing to see this!! BRAVO. I want to be a marketer of ur product to my country. How can you help me

  • http://www.facebook.com/#!/AleRiera11 Aleriera

    Una pregunta..Es compatible con un Xperia x8?

  • Alice

    Hi, I really really REALLY want to have something like this, but i’m so nervous to buy it as I am unsure it’ll work on my android. How can I be sure it’ll work before I buy?

  • Alice

    Oh, I should probably say that I have the LG p500. Optimus one, I believe. I have a feeling it isn’t compatible, but I am unsure. So, if anybody can help, would be good. Thanks :)

  • http://thebest-computers.com reza

    ok thax admin talkandroid.com for share :)
    i will bookmarked your blog :)

  • Himanshu Makhija

    thats work on galaxy y also cool