Battlefield 2142 vs the Microsoft Natural Multimedia Keyboard

I love playing Battlefield 2142 but my keyboard seems to hate it! My reason for saying this is due to the F1-F12 keys not functioning ingame which makes switching seat positions impossible in game. This has a number of drawbacks such as if you’re in a battle mech and are getting attacked by a helojet then you can’t just press a key and switch to the anti-air guns. The other drawback and in my opinion biggest drawback is when playing in titan mode. If your squad leader hasn’t placed a beacon on the enemy titan then you end up being at the mercy of any lucky pilots that manage to land a transport on there. If the F keys worked then you could get in a ground transport, press a key and switch to a seat with a built in eject pod which will shoot you straight up to the titan.

I’m not really sure why the keyboard doesn’t work with the game as default but one thing I knew is that I wasn’t willing to put up with it. Turns out the solution is pretty simple. Head over to your “My Documents” folder and then the BF one in there. Keep going so you’re in a folder like this one:

DRIVE:\Documents and Settings\YOUR USER NAME\My Documents\Battlefield 2142\Profiles-001

Inside the 0001 folder is a file called “Controls.con”. If you open that up in your favorite text editor you can see all the key bindings. The reason you want to rummage around in here is because you can’t configure the F keys via the ingame control setup screen. This file lets you do that manually.

The control sections are pretty self explanatory, each one starts with a line like this:

ControlMap.create LandPlayerInputControlMap

That clearly says “Land Player” which refers to land vehicles. You might think that it could mean controls for when you’re running around but those are in the section above that one which has “Infantry Player” in its title.

Let’s say you want to bind the 9 key to seat 3 in a land vehicle. Search the file under the relevant section title you’ll find a line like this:

ControlMap.addKeyToTriggerMapping c_PIPositionSelect3 IDFKeyboard IDKey_F9 10000 0

All you have to do is change the IDKey_F9 to an unbound key such as the number 9 so IDKey_F9 becomes IDKey_9. And that’s it. I’m kinda lazy so I just bound the one key but there’s nothing stopping you changing a few if not all of them. When you’re done just save the file and load up the game as normal. As long as you didn’t pick an already bound key everything should work as expected i.e. your new keys will take the place of the old ones. I have no idea what will happen if you assign a key that’s already assigned to something else…

Anyhow, I hope this helps a few of you future soldier recruits, it sure helped me.

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  • Anonymous

    I later realised I had gone about this in a half assed way. The better solution is simply to switch all the F1-9 keys for 1-9 in the control.con file. I did this for each of these sections:


    As far as I know the number keys are pretty useless for vehicles in BF2142. They each only have two weapon modes you can access at any one time which is already accessable via the left and right mouse buttons. By switching them all around in the controls.con file I now have full access to all the positions in each vehicle. Well pleased with myself 😀


    Change your default auxiliary keybindings for F1 and F2 to Mouse1 and Mouse2 button. Mouse0 still fires. So in otherwords, while in the walker, you can click your right mouse button to switch to the Top gunner position, then click the center mouse button to switch back.

    This will replace your Alt Fire setting which is set to Right Mouse, which you never use anyway, but you need it to launch the pods from the ground troop transport. I set F3 to be numeric keypad Enter Key, and then Alt Fire to be numeric keypad + key. In this way, if I need to launch from a pod, I take my hand off the mouse (you don’t need it, and you can do this by feel), and hit numeric keypad Enter and then the + sign above it… and boom I am launched faster than you can imagine.

    Its really important to change these, as you don’t want to have to look down and move your left hand during play to search for F1 or F2… you want to do all this on the mouse lickety split… switching between position 1 and 2 in a vehicle. BF2142 is a vehicle war based game after all.

    For more information, visit my home page, and visit my BF2142 demo server…

  • Anonymous

    nar! I use a rollerball which means I don’t have to look down to move my right hand between the keyboard and rollerball. I don’t really have any problem with the default keys since they’re all spaced out really well so you don’t have to look down.

    I use the alt fire in walkers and APCs for launching the EMP rounds, in the walker I do it when shooting down helos and in the APC I tend to aim at the troops to give them fizzle in their displays so it’s easier for my team mates to shoot them. hmm now I think about it; the alt fire in the bottom walker seat launches the anti vehicle rounds so you can’t really do without that.

    Thinking about it, your recommended control system removes half the functionality of a walker since you can’t walk with it, turn your view and fire your secondary weapon which is easy to do with the default setup.

    Checkout a different keyboard if you have to look down. I bought a logitech flat keyboard for my server a few weeks ago and it’s well hard to use in the dark since you can’t tell the keys apart easily. The one I use on my machine has big fat spaced out buttons with the lower row having a distinctive curve to it so that your thumb kind of senses where it is which lets the rest of your hand fall into place.

    I bought a new mic a couple of weeks ago and that seems to help loads in a decent squad. Before I had some generic “stand on your desk” mic which I thought was ok but it turns out all my speech was garbled and no one really heard what I said. Bought a new generic skype type one off ebay for

  • Jeff Daniels
    Jeff Daniels

    I think you can buy a special keyboard for this game since lots of other people were having issues with it I know; bit expensive but worth it.

  • Nathan

    This is caused when you accidentally hit the Microsoft keyboard’s special F Lock key (to the right of F12). It changes the function keys to the commands printed on top of the function keys and messes up functionality in 2142. Pressing it again should fix it.

  • William

    do you know why it does it, i have this game and it once did it to me, i just reinstalled bf2142 If you need the disc just ask me and ill give you a copy and a nocd crack and a product key
    William Campbell

I can see the fnords!