One of the huge advantages of the OUYA console is that gamers get to use a real controller! The OUYA controller has:

  • four digital buttons (O, U, Y, and A)
  • a four direction digital pad (D-Pad)
  • two analog joysticks (LS, RS)
  • two digital bumper buttons (L1, R1)
  • two analog triggers (L2, R2)
  • two digital buttons that activate when the joysticks are pushed straight down (L3, R3)
  • a touchpad, configured to behave as a mouse input (Touchpad)
  • a menu button (see the Menu Button section)

Since controller interfaces are so crucial, we've done some work to make your life easier.

Controller Constants

The OuyaController class contains OUYA-specific constants for buttons and axes. A small selection are shown below.

public static final int BUTTON_O;
public static final int BUTTON_U;
public static final int BUTTON_Y;
public static final int BUTTON_A;

Input using OuyaController

The first thing that must be done is to initialize the OuyaController system, this should be done at the start of your application like so:

public void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {

If you want the extra flexibility of querying the controller state at any time, you can use the OuyaController class. In this case, your activity should forward the onKeyDown, onKeyUp, or onGenericMotionEvent calls to OuyaController:

public boolean onKeyDown(int keyCode, KeyEvent event) {
    return OuyaController.onKeyDown(keyCode, event) || super.onKeyDown(keyCode, event);

public boolean onKeyUp(int keyCode, KeyEvent event) {
    return OuyaController.onKeyUp(keyCode, event) || super.onKeyUp(keyCode, event);

public boolean onGenericMotionEvent(MotionEvent event) {
    return OuyaController.onGenericMotionEvent(event) || super.onGenericMotionEvent(event);

Once OuyaController is getting the events, you can then get an instance of the class in one of two ways: device id, or player number. Then it's simple to query the button or axis values.

NOTE: We recommend using the provided deadzone value when querying thumbstick values, as shown in the example.


OuyaController c = OuyaController.getControllerByDeviceId(deviceId);
OuyaController c = OuyaController.getControllerByPlayer(playerNum);

float axisX = c.getAxisValue(OuyaController.AXIS_LS_X);
float axisY = c.getAxisValue(OuyaController.AXIS_LS_Y);
if (axisX * axisX + axisY * axisY < OuyaController.STICK_DEADZONE * OuyaController.STICK_DEADZONE) {
  axisX = axisY = 0.0f;
boolean buttonPressed = c.getButton(OuyaController.BUTTON_O);

Per-frame state querying

Another way the controller wrappers help to make game development easier are these optional methods to help you track per-frame button state changes.

if (c.buttonChangedThisFrame(OuyaController.BUTTON_O)) {
    if (c.buttonPressedThisFrame(OuyaController.BUTTON_O)) {
    if (c.buttonReleasedThisFrame(OuyaController.BUTTON_O) {

Of course the ODK needs some help from you to let it know when a new frame is started. Thus you'll need to call this method at start of each frame (before doing any input handling):


Note that it's possible for a button to be both pressed and released within a single frame.

Input using traditional InputEvents

It's totally acceptable to handle input via the standard onKeyDown, onKeyUp, or onGenericMotionEvent methods. If handling input in this way, the controller ID can be queried through OuyaController.getPlayerNumByDeviceId() as shown below.

public boolean onKeyDown(final int keyCode, KeyEvent event){
    //Get the player #
    int player = OuyaController.getPlayerNumByDeviceId(event.getDeviceId());       
    boolean handled = false;

    //Handle the input
        case OuyaController.BUTTON_O:
            //You now have the key pressed and the player # that pressed it

            handled = true;
    return handled || super.onKeyDown(keyCode, event);

public boolean onGenericMotionEvent(final MotionEvent event) {
    //Get the player #
    int player = OuyaController.getPlayerNumByDeviceId(event.getDeviceId());    

    //Get all the axis for the event
    float LS_X = event.getAxisValue(OuyaController.AXIS_LS_X);
    float LS_Y = event.getAxisValue(OuyaController.AXIS_LS_Y);
    float RS_X = event.getAxisValue(OuyaController.AXIS_RS_X);
    float RS_Y = event.getAxisValue(OuyaController.AXIS_RS_Y);
    float L2 = event.getAxisValue(OuyaController.AXIS_L2);
    float R2 = event.getAxisValue(OuyaController.AXIS_R2);

    //Do something with the input
    updatePlayerInput(player, LS_X, LS_Y, RS_X, RS_Y, L2, R2);

    return true;

The Menu Button

The menu button on the controller serves two functions:

  • If the button is pressed once, it emulates a keypress of OuyaController.BUTTON_MENU.
  • If pressed twice or long pressed, it opens the OUYA system menu.

NOTE: Because the menu button press is emulated, the up and down events happen at once. This means you won't be able to detect it being pressed using the passive anytime state querying. It's much more reliable to detect the menu press in your onKeyUp/Down code.

Joystick and Touchpad Motion events

Both the analog joystick and the touchpad states are read using onGenericMotionEvent. To distinguish between them you can query the input source:

  • Joystick == InputDevice.SOURCE_CLASS_JOYSTICK
  • Touchpad == InputDevice.SOURCE_CLASS_POINTER


public boolean onGenericMotionEvent(final MotionEvent event) {
    //Get the player #
    int player = OuyaController.getPlayerNumByDeviceId(event.getDeviceId());    

    if((event.getSource() & InputDevice.SOURCE_CLASS_JOYSTICK) != 0) {
        float LS_X = event.getAxisValue(OuyaController.AXIS_LS_X);            
        //do other things with joystick

    if((event.getSource() & InputDevice.SOURCE_CLASS_POINTER) != 0) {
        //Print the pixel coordinates of the cursor
        Log.i("Touchpad", "Cursor X: " + event.getX() + "Cursor Y: " + event.getY());

    return true;

The Left Joystick

If you do not consume motion events from the left joystick, the system will send your app dpad KeyEvents.

If you don't want your app to get these key events, return true from onGenericMotionEvent. Otherwise, you can differentiate these dpad events using the source field as such:

public boolean onKeyDown(int keyCode, KeyEvent event) {
    if(keycode >= KeyEvent.KEYCODE_DPAD_UP && keycode <= KeyEvent.KEYCODE_DPAD_RIGHT) {
        if((event.getSource() & InputDevice.SOURCE_DPAD) != 0) {
            //Event is from actual dpad
        if((event.getSource() & InputDevice.SOURCE_JOYSTICK) != 0) {
            //Event is from joystick
    } else {
        //keyCode is not a dpad keycode

One caveat to keep in mind when using the joystick as a dpad is that the triggering value for the dpad event is 0.5, which causes diagonals and directionals to be inequal in size. If your games requires 8 equally spaced directions, you will have to do your own math from the axes' values.

Analog vs Digital Trigger Data

We have deprecated the use of digital (key event) data to determine the state of the trigger buttons (L2 and R2). We now recommend using the analog axis data for more flexible use of the triggers.

To mimic the digital state using the analog data is fairly simple:

public boolean isL2Down(OuyaController c) {
    return (c.getAxisValue(OuyaController.AXIS_L2) > 0.5f); //0.5 can be any threshold between 0.0 (completely released) - 1.0 (completely pressed)

Just make sure that you have your onGenericMotionEvent function sending its events to the OuyaController class, as described at the top of this document.

Touchpad cursor

Find the touchpad cursor gets in the way? Cursor visibility can be controlled by your app!

OuyaController.showCursor(false); // hide the mouse cursor
OuyaController.showCursor(true);  // show the mouse cursor

Want a different touchpad cursor? The cursor image can be controlled by your app! Pass in the custom bitmap to use, along with the co-ordinates of the hotspot. The hotspot values must be between 0 and the size of the bitmap. To restore the cursor to the system default, pass in null as the bitmap.

// set to a custom icon
Bitmap bitmap = BitmapFactory.decodeResource(getResources(), R.drawable.custom_cursor);
OuyaController.setCursorBitmap(bitmap, 1, 1);

OuyaController.setCursorBitmap(null, 0, 0); // reset to the default cursor icon

Controller Images

Games commonly need images to show controller graphics for pairing screens or showing controller schemes. Individual button images/names can be queried at runtime to provide maximal support for different devices (see the OUYA Everywhere documention for more info).