A musical Elden Ring fan has discovered how to turn their harp into a fully-fledged controller, and gone on to defeat Margit using the instrument-turned-gamepad.
Harpist and Elden Ring player u/Lettuce4Dayz shared their achievement in a brief video on Reddit, showing themselves attacking, rolling, and controlling their in-game character by plucking specific strings of their harp. They’re able to defeat Margit, the Fell Omen by simply playing the instrument, with no traditional controllers involved at all.
Explaining the process in a comment, the harpist says they used two computer programs to transform their instrument into a gamepad. One detects the pitch of whatever note is played on their harp and converts it to MIDI, while the second binds each MIDI sound to a specific keystroke.
“So for movement, I have a string that makes me move forward, one for backward, one for left, and one for right,” they explain. “Each time I pluck one of those, it cancels the other out so that I don't get stuck trying to move two directions at once.”
“My character continues walking until I play a completely different string, which cancels all of them. I also have 4 strings that control camera movement in small increments. Because of that, it's difficult to make sharp turns and do 180s which is why I fight locked on.”
Roll is bound to a high A note, and Light Attack to G. Lower strings, meanwhile, are reserved for movement and secondary actions, such as healing. u/Lettuce4Dayz says they weren’t able to find a note for Heavy Attack, because all available (reachable) strings had been bound to more essential actions.
Similarly, they can’t spring nor control the direction that their character rolls in, since movement and dodging are activated by two separate strings. Instead, the character will just roll in whatever direction they’re moving in at the time.
There’s some noticeable input latency involved, though, with the game registering each action a good while after u/Lettuce4Dayz plucks each string. They say it took some time to adjust to lag, but don’t find it too problematic anymore.
Watch the maestro at work below.
How can you turn an instrument into a controller?
Transforming a musical instrument into a fully functioning game controller is surprisingly well-documented. u/Lettue4Dayz says they followed YouTuber ThioJoeTech’s tutorial, and used two programs.
MiGiC converts incoming signals into MIDI, while Bome MIDI Translator morphs that MIDI into keystroke commands. While MiGiC is free to download, Bome can be downloaded in a free trial.
Once you have it all up and running, however, don’t expect to have an easy time. u/Lettuce4Dayz says the camera controls are fairly imprecise, which makes navigating The Lands Between particularly tricky. They often find they get stuck on objects and have trouble navigating platform sections.
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Callum is TechRadar Gaming’s News Writer. You’ll find him whipping up stories about all the latest happenings in the gaming world, as well as penning the odd feature and review. Before coming to TechRadar, he wrote freelance for various sites, including Clash, The Telegraph, and Gamesindustry.biz, and worked as a Staff Writer at Wargamer. Strategy games and RPGs are his bread and butter, but he’ll eat anything that spins a captivating narrative. He also loves tabletop games, and will happily chew your ear off about TTRPGs and board games.