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Use a Joystick or Throttle with Train Sim World 3 (TSW3)

Use a Joystick or Throttle with Train Sim World 3 (TSW3)

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Keyboard Emulation

/ Categories: Games

Running Train Sim World 3 with a keyboard is a pain in the train and distracts from the enjoyment of the simulation.  If you have Thrustmaster hardware such as a Joystick and or Throttle you may be in luck.

The following Thrustmaster controllers are supported, others may be as well:

  • HOTAS Cougar
  • HOTAS Warthog joystick F16
  • HOTAS Warthog joystick F18
  • HOTAS Warthog Throttle
  • Airbus A320 Pilot
  • TWCS Throttle
  • T1600M

How to set up your controller for TSW3:

Go to the Thrustmaster website and download TARGET Command GUI software (used to map controller buttons to keyboard keys),  Just look for your controller, and click the link. If you see software (T.A.R.G.E.T) you are in luck. 

Plug in your controller and install the software (TARGET); if your controller is compatible, it will be shown.  The software is somewhat easy to use, allowing you to set up profiles for different trains if you wish, not all trains use the same commands.

To get you started: In a non-technical nutshell, click on the controller button you wish to program and drag it over to the Drag-and-Drop area, then assign the keyboard key you wish to use.

Here is one example I use my Joystick hat switch Up to increase the throttle and Down to decrease the throttle. TSW3 keys A and D. 

Keyboard Key A Setup. Event Name (whatever you like), Key Command A, Type PRESS, Delay 20 ms, Comment whatever you like - ADD Event. Repeat the same steps with a Different Event Name, Key Command A, Type RELEASE, Delay 200 ms. (200 Milliseconds works for me).

For most keyboard key mappings, you need a Press, then a Release. See below for increasing the throttle each time you press UP on the Hat Switch on the Joystick.

Press Keyboard Key A: 

Example Two

Release Keyboard Key A:

Example One

With the TARGET Software, I don't think of my Joystick as a joystick but as a one-handed controller to do most of the basic functions of operating a train by mapping all the joystick buttons to keyboard keys for TSW3.

The Target Software has a feature to validate your configuration and check your work. Once satisfied, run the software (run configuration) using the profile you created when using TSW3.  I hope this is enough info to get you started.

TARGET GUI Screenshot

TARGET GUI Screenshot

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Frank Tennyson · 2/23/2023 9:52:18 PM

to Whom It May concern:

Please be advised I'd like to purchase the Joy to key software for Train sim world 3. I don't have Thrustmaster hardware; however I have the following:

1. CH products Pro throttle

2. CH Products Pro fighterstick

3. Ch products Throttle Quadrant.

4. Ch Products Pro pedals

I'm a flight simmer and use this hardware. Just wondering can I use my hardware listed with Joy to key software to control locomotive functions in Train sim world 3?

Please advise and thank you for your time and patience.


Mr. Frank R Tennyson

Rail simmer, and Engineer

SuperUser Account · 2/27/2023 7:05:37 AM

TrueToad does not sell the JoyToKey software. It is available here for downloading:

You get a free trial period and then are encouraged to purchase a license key for about $7.00

Thank You

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