How to Connect an Xbox 360 Controller to a PC

Written by amanda kondolojy
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How to Connect an Xbox 360 Controller to a PC

Because the Xbox 360 is manufactured by Microsoft, PC compatibility is all but assumed. Getting your Xbox 360 controller to work with your PC is fairly easy, and will surely enhance your gaming experience. This is especially true with multi-platform titles like Fallout 3 and Gears of War 2, which are designed to work with the Xbox 360 controller.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Wireless receiver (if controller is wireless)
  • USB 2.0 port

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  1. 1

    Determine what type of controller you have. If you have a wired controller, you will be able to plug in your controller right away without worrying about power or adaptors. However, if your controller is wireless (which is now the standard), you will need a wireless adaptor dongle. See Resources for more information on this peripheral.

  2. 2

    If the controllers you are using are wireless, make sure you have put in batteries with a fair amount of power or charge left. PC gaming takes about the same amount of battery life, but because using them for the first time might be a little involved, it is better to start off with as much of a charge as possible.

  3. 3

    Plug the controller (or adaptor) into a USB 2.0 port. Regular USB ports are not fast enough to handle the gamepad, and it is important to find out which port(s) on your PC support the 2.0 protocol. See your owner's manual if you are unsure.

  4. 4

    Look for a driver-installation window. Once everything is plugged in, a window will pop up prompting you to download drivers that will make your computer compatible with the controller. Click the bubble and follow the prompts to download these drivers.

  5. 5

    Test functionality. Start your favourite game, then press each button and toggle the joysticks to ensure proper functionality. If the game does not respond, contact Microsoft Support (see Resources) for further troubleshooting.

Tips and warnings

  • The Xbox wireless receiver will not only work with traditional Xbox 360 controllers, but also speciality controllers designed for games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero.

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