Using Wii Controllers on Mac Frets on Fire

-Work In Progress-

How to get Wii Rock Band and Guitar Hero instruments to work properly on Mac Frets on Fire.

I've decided to share my experience getting all these things hooked up and working properly in FoF/FoFIX. Essentially all it will take is the controller of choice, the hardware capability to connect it to the Mac, software to comprehend it's inputs as keyboard strikes, and assigning the right controls in FoF(IX).


Frets on Fire

Yeah, you need to have the game installed first before you do anything else. I highly recommend using FoFIX, as it supports career modes, RB and GH themes, mulitplayer, and its what I've gotten my controllers to work with.
Once you have this installed, go into Options -> Control Settings -> Change Controls and set everything up as in this chart. This way, all of the configurations I list below will work for you.

Guitar Pick Alt Pick Fret 1 Fret 2 Fret 3 Fret 4 Fret 5 Up Down Left Right Cancel StarPower Killswitch
Player 1 Return Return v z x c b Up Down Left Right Esc n m
Player 2 Space Space 1 2 3 4 5 Up Down Left Right Esc 6 7
Drums Bass Drum 1 Drum 2 Drum 3 Drum 4 Up Down Left Right Cancel
Player 1 t q/a w/s e/d r/f Up Down Left Right Esc
Player 2 p y/h u/j i/k o/l Up Down Left Right Esc

Gamepad Companion

This program allows you to configure joypads to your Mac. I recommend this software for any device that talks to your Mac via USB (i.e. Rock Band drum set, Rock Band 1 guitar with USB dongle). It's very straightforward to use. Once you install it, you'll find it at the bottom of your system preferences. Gamepad Companion offers free and full access for 90 days before requiring the purchase of a license for $15. Not a bad deal at all.

At this next screen you can start assigning values to the buttons. You'll see that Gamepad recognizes that I have a Wii Rock Band guitar plugged in (via USB dongle). Now, just go button through button assigning keys. Once you've got everything assigned as you want it (see below for my recommendations), you have to click on Start in order for the Mac to start registering the instrument's inputs. When you are done playing, remember to click Stop!

Darwiin Remote


This is a small and neat program designed to let your Wiimotes talk to your Mac. It gets installed into your Utilities folder, so that it my run in the background of your OS. It will place an icon in the top right of your screen, next to volume control, date/time, wireless settings, etc. Getting the Wiimote recognized is a breeze. Then, you can either classify it as an HID controller and configure it through Gamepad Controller. Or, you also have the option of assigning key commands.
Unfortunately, the program doesn't support the Guitar Hero World Tour guitar that I have - the guitar's buttons are not recognized even though the Wiimote's are (and yes, I have it all plugged in together right).
Still, the developers say that they are still planning improvements (such as infrared support and WiiPaintshop) that could make this a powerful puppy yet.


This is a small application (linked version modified by trinidude4) allows for quick and easy setup of any Wii guitar (included World Tour) to FoF. The plus side is that it's free and small. The down side is that it only allows mapping to the F# keys, Return, and Escape. So, while you wouldn't have to reassign your controls in FoF, this won't support multiple guitars at once. This thread at FoF Fan Forum has more info:


This program is far stronger and more supported than anything else listed here. That's probably because it costs money ($39 currently). But, it works flawlessly! And it can do so much more than just map controller keys for games - you can get your guitars and drums to make MIDI music (link).
(Disclaimer: if you are using the demo version, it will occasionally interrupt usage with a 'Do you want to register now?' pop-up. Very annoying where you're in the middle of a song!)
Once you've downloaded this app and dropped it in the applications folder, open it. Plug your Wiimote into the instrument and power it up. In OSCulator, click the top right button 'Wiimote Drawer' - this will initiate the search for your Wiimote. Follow the directions by pressing the 1 and 2 buttons on the Wiimote.
Once the Wiimote is identified press every button on your instrument, and on the Wiimote itself. OSCulator should be registering these by adding them to the list in the main menu. Once you've pressed all your buttons, start configuring (see below for guide and screenshot). Ensure 'Event Type' for each button is 'Keycode'.
When you have configured the instrument you can name the preset using the drop down menu in the top left. You map both Player 1 and Player 2 presets. Lastly, save your OSCulator settings. This program saves your controller mappings to a .oscd file. Every time you re-open OSCulator, you'll have to load this file first (File -> Open Recent works great), before turning on and identifying the Wiimote.
When the mappings are complete, you are free to use the controller. Unlike Gamepad Companion, there is no Start or Stop function. Once the Wiimote is identified, it's working.


Note: All configurations listed are for Player 1. For Player 2 mappings, just set up another preset in whichever program you are using and follow the assignments listed at the beginning of this thread under FoFIX.

Wii Rock Band 1 Guitar

This operates via a USB dongle, so it's really simple to configure through Gamepad Companion. Just follow this table to setup for FoF(IX).

Assignments Button 1 Button 2 Button 3 Button 4 Button 5 Button 9 Button 10 Hatswitch Z-Axis Z-Switch
Gamepad v z x c b up down enter enter enter enter m m n n
Wii Guitar Blue Green Red Yellow Orange Plus Minus Strum/D Pad Whammy 5-way Switch

Wii Rock Band 1 Drums

The drums are USB wired, so Gamepad Companion will pick them up no problem. Again, here's the setup based off of the FoFIX grid above.

Assignments Button 1 Button 2 Button 3 Button 4 Button 5 Button 9 Button 10 Hatswitch
Gamepad v z x c b enter esc up right down left
Wii Drum Red/B Yellow/1 Blue/2 Green/A Orange/Bass Plus Minus D Pad

Wii Guitar Hero World Tour Guitar

The GHWT guitar is not supported by Darwiin, unlike earlier guitars. So, this is where OSCulator is awesome. See the image below for how I configure my guitar. Notice that because it has the Wiimote built-in, there is an excess of buttons. I didn't even map the 1, 2, and home buttons because I didn't know what to use them for.

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