User Guide Cancel

Create prototypes with keyboard and gamepad

  1. Adobe XD User Guide
  2. Introduction
    1. What's new in Adobe XD
    2. Common questions
    3. Design, prototype, and share with Adobe XD
    4. System requirements
      1. Hardware and software requirements
      2. Adobe XD, Big Sur, and Apple silicon | macOS 11
    5. Workspace basics
    6. Change app language in Adobe XD
    7. Access UI design kits
    8. Accessibility in Adobe XD
    9. Keyboard shortcuts
    10. Tips and tricks
    11. Changes to XD Starter Plan
  3. Design
    1. Artboards, guides, and layers
      1. Get started with artboards
      2. Use guides and grids in XD
      3. Create scrollable artboards
      4. Work with layers
      5. Create scroll groups in XD
    2. Shapes, objects, and path
      1. Select, resize, and rotate objects
      2. Move, align, distribute, and arrange objects
      3. Group, lock, duplicate, copy, and flip objects
      4. Set stroke, fill, and drop shadow for objects
      5. Create repeating elements
      6. Create perspective designs with 3D transforms
      7. Edit objects using Boolean operations
    3. Text and fonts
      1. Work with drawing and text tools
      2. Fonts in Adobe XD
    4. Components and states
      1. Work with components
      2. Work with nested components in Adobe XD
      3. Add multiple states to components
    5. Masking and effects
      1. Create a mask with shapes
      2. Work with blur effects in XD
      3. Create and modify gradients
      4. Apply blend effects
    6. Layout
      1. Responsive resize and constraints
      2. Set fixed padding for components and groups
      3. Create dynamic designs with stacks
    7. Videos and Lotties
      1. Work with videos in XD
      2. Work with Lottie animations in XD
  4. Prototype
    1. Create interactive prototypes
    2. Animate prototypes
    3. Object properties supported for auto-animate
    4. Create prototypes with keyboard and gamepad
    5. Create prototypes using voice commands and playback
    6. Create timed transitions
    7. Add overlays
    8. Design voice prototypes
    9. Create anchor links in Adobe XD
    10. Preview designs and prototypes
    11. Create prototypes with videos in XD
  5. Share and export
    1. Share selected artboards
    2. Share designs and prototypes
    3. Work with prototypes in XD
    4. Coedit documents shared with you
    5. Create shareable links
    6. Review prototypes
    7. Work with design specs
    8. Share design specs
    9. Inspect design specs
    10. Navigate design specs
    11. Review and comment design specs
    12. Export design assets
    13. Export and download assets from design specs
  6. Design systems
    1. Design systems with Creative Cloud Libraries
    2. Work with document assets in Adobe XD
    3. Work with Creative Cloud Libraries in Adobe XD
    4. Migrate from linked assets to Creative Cloud Libraries
    5. Work with design tokens 
    6. Use assets from Creative Cloud Libraries
  7. Cloud documents
    1. Cloud documents in Adobe XD
    2. Collaborate and coedit designs
  8. Integrations and plugins
    1. Work with external assets
    2. Work with design assets from Photoshop
    3. Copy and paste assets from Photoshop
    4. Import or open Photoshop designs
    5. Work with Illustrator assets in Adobe XD
    6. Open or import Illustrator designs
    7. Copy vectors from Illustrator to XD
    8. Plugins for Adobe XD
    9. Create and manage plugins
    10. Jira integration for XD
    11. Slack plugin for XD
    12. Zoom plug-in for XD
    13. Share prototype from XD to Behance
  9. XD for iOS and Android
    1. Preview on mobile devices
    2. Adobe XD on mobile FAQ
  10. Troubleshooting
    1. Known and fixed issues
      1. Known issues
      2. Fixed issues
    2. Installation and updates
      1. XD appears as not compatible on Windows
      2. Error code 191
      3. Error code 183
      4. Issues installing XD plugins
      5.  Prompt to uninstall and reinstall XD on Windows 10
      6. Issues with preferences migration
    3. Launch and crash
      1.  XD crashes when launched on Windows 10
      2.  XD quits when you sign out of Creative Cloud
      3. Issue with subscription status on Windows
      4. Blocked-app warning when launching  XD on Windows
      5. Crash dump generation on Windows
      6. Crash log collection and sharing
    4. Cloud documents
      1. Issues with XD cloud documents
    5. Prototype, publish, and review
      1. Unable to record prototype interactions on macOS Catalina
      2. Issues with publish workflows
      3. Published  links do not appear in browsers
      4. Prototypes do not render correctly in browsers
      5. Commenting panel suddenly showing up on shared links
      6. Unable to publish libraries
    6. Import, export, and working with other apps
      1. Import and export in XD
      2. Photoshop files in XD
      3. Illustrator files in XD
      4. Export to After Effects from XD
      5. Sketch files in XD
      6. Third-party apps not visible in Export

Learn how to prototype using keyboard and gamepad as triggers.

keyboard and gamepad triggers

Adobe XD lets you use keyboard shortcuts and gamepad triggers to simulate native desktop applications and prototype an enriched game experience or design. When wiring a prototype, you can select Keys & Gamepad from the Trigger drop down list and assign any key. You can then play back or record these animations in the preview window, web browser, or mobile applications and share them with your stakeholders for collaborative reviews. This helps you tell a better prototype story while adding a rich layer to the overall user experience.

You can choose Keys & Gamepad to:

  • Wire an individual object or an artboard to another artboard.
  • Wire two component states.
  • Wire a component state to another artboard.
  • Play back speech, audio, video, or Lottie.

Work with keyboard triggers

When prototyping certain desktop apps, accessibility, shortcuts, or games, you need a keyboard to interact with the prototype. In the prototype, use keyboard shortcuts as triggers to transition across screens or component states, or play back speech, audio, video, or Lottie.

When wiring a prototype, select Keys & Gamepad. Then press any key on the keyboard to assign it as the trigger to an individual object, a component state, or an entire artboard. This means that you can have multiple triggers from the same artboard.

keyboard trigger
Keyboard triggers

A. Trigger set to keyboard shortcut B. Keyboard shortcut key C. Action set to auto-animate D. Destination artboard or component state 

You can also combine a key along with a modifier to define triggers using shortcuts like CMD S, CTRL R. You cannot use spacebar and other system level keys such as function, sleep, volume, and power. When you assign multiple triggers with the same shortcut on the same artboard, the last trigger is assigned and triggers during a preview.

Work with gamepad triggers

The best way to test a game prototype is to use the actual game controller hardware. In the prototype, use gamepads as triggers to transition across screens or component states, or play back speech, audio, video, or Lottie. Then, interact with the prototype in a desktop player or a web browser using a connected gamepad controller.

Connect an Xbox controller (Series X/S or One) via Bluetooth or a PlayStation controller (DualSense or DualShock 4) via Bluetooth or USB, and select Keys & Gamepad. You can then press any key on the connected gamepad to assign it as a trigger to an individual object, a component state, or an entire artboard.

Gamepad trigger
Gamepad triggers

A. Select trigger to gamepad B. Gamepad shortcut key C. Action set to auto-animate D. Destination artboard or component state 

 Ensure that you use the same controller to design and preview the prototype. For example, you can test a prototype with an Xbox controller on desktop or web if it was designed using an Xbox controller.

Mobile app and mobile web experience

XD supports keyboard gamepad support in the desktop preview app and web prototypes. If you are previewing the prototype on a mobile app or a mobile browser, you can tap to transition between artboards (since they would not have a keyboard or gamepad device attached).

Supported game controllers and browsers

USB and Bluetooth support:

Controller

Mac (USB)

Mac (Bluetooth)

Win (USB)

Win (Bluetooth)

Xbox (Series X/S, One)

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

PlayStation (DualSense, DualShock 4)  

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Browser support:

Controller

Chrome (Mac)

Chrome (Win)

Edge Chromium (Mac)

Edge Chromium (Win)

Edge (legacy)

IE

Firefox (Mac & Win)

Safari

Xbox (USB)

No

Yes

No

Yes

No

No

No

No

Xbox (Bluetooth)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

No

PlayStation (USB)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

Not recommended

PlayStation (Bluetooth)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

Not recommended

Prototype using keyboard or gamepad keys

  1. Switch to the Prototype tab.

  2. To define an interaction, click the blue connector on the source object, component state, or artboard. Set the following options in the Property Inspector:

    • Trigger: Set the trigger type to Keys & Gamepad and select any key on the keyboard or a gamepad to assign a trigger except spacebar and other system level keys such as function, sleep, volume, and power.
    • Type: Select any of the available action types: TransitionAuto-AnimateOverlayScroll toPrevious ArtboardAudio Playback, Speech Playback, Video Playback, or Lottie Playback.
    • Destination: Set the destination artboard or component state from the drop-down list (not applicable for some action types).

    Once the action type is chosen, set the specific options for that action type.

  3. To define more than one interaction for an object, component state, or artboard:

    1. Select it and click the + button on the artboard. Alternatively, you can also click the + button in the Property Inspector.
    2. Set the properties in the Property Inspector.

     Remember that you can apply Tap, Drag, Hover, and Time triggers once, and VoiceKeys & Gamepad many times. 

    1

  4. To preview the changes on desktop, select the Desktop Preview  icon. 

  5. To share your prototype with your stakeholders from the XD desktop app, select Share > View Settings > Design Review or  Development.

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