How To Use a Xbox/PS Controller on Your PC

By Luke Plunkett on July 24, 2013, 9:42 PM

Though it's a platform that began with the joystick as the dominant control method, over the past twenty years the keyboard and mouse overtook it to become the only way to play most games on the PC. Which is a shame, because there are a lot of them that play better with a control pad. This has become especially true over the past 3-4 years, as the PC has started to get a lot more ports of console titles, thanks to both the relative ease of bringing code over and the increasing popularity of Steam leading to a bigger market.

While the keyboard and mouse remain the best means of controlling many titles, especially PC staples like FPS and strategy, there are plenty of other options that are really crying out for a pad.

You could go and buy a custom PC control pad, but that would be stupid. Chances are you already own a control pad you can use on the PC: the ones that came with your Xbox 360, PS3 or Nintendo console.

Read the complete article.




User Comments: 22

Got something to say? Post a comment
St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

I posted this on the original article too:

- Wired Xbox controller works fine.

- The Wireless USB Receiver has support for multiple wireless devices. I've had x4 controllers all connected to it and the Wireless Speed Wheel too (works like standard wheel in games that support it).

1 person liked this | Chuck Cortes Chuck Cortes said:

S matter of opinion. Most games play better with keyboard and mouse on a PC. Even games like GTA which I normally prefer on a PS but love playing it on a PC. Also, lets keep in mind, most PC games were ported to consoles first but thanks to Microsoft and Sony most developers prefer to cater to consoles players first. Considering every game made is actually made on a PC to begin with it is actually easier to port a game from a PC version to a console than it is from a console to a PC but of course, the ***** developers thinking about nothing but making money care more about consoles players. Call Of Duty started on PC and yet for some reason the Xbox always gets DLCs first. Because greed is powerful.

I'll stick to my keyboard and mouse. You can't play games like Starcraft on a controller.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

I tried using a 360 controller on my PC but I could never get used to using the thing with it's quirky button arrangement. For me it was just a waste of money. I'll stick to what I'm comfortable with.

aboynamedmatt aboynamedmatt said:

Just wanted to add some information to this article. I've been trying to get my PS3 controller to work for quite some time on my PC and, although I haven't tried the BetterDS3 application, I see that they are based on the MotionInJoy drivers. In most cases that I've used the MotionInJoy drivers, I find them to be very, very unstable and often crashing my computer with a blue screen (This has happened to me on Windows 7, 8, and 8.1). Seeing that BetterDS3 uses the same drivers I would assume that a lot of people that had problems with MotionInJoy crashing would continue to have those same problems.

But there is a less crashy solution! Check out these drivers posted by ScarletCrush on the PCSX2 forums: [link] These drivers have worked really well for me so far, but they don't allow for much button mapping customization; instead they emulate a 360 controller. I've had almost no trouble pairing with USB and Bluetooth with these drivers and thought more people should know about them! I'll see if they can perhaps work in conjunction with the BetterDS3 user interface and try to post back.

aboynamedmatt aboynamedmatt said:

Here is the working link: [link]

ghasmanjr ghasmanjr said:

Just wanted to add some information to this article. I've been trying to get my PS3 controller to work for quite some time on my PC and, although I haven't tried the BetterDS3 application, I see that they are based on the MotionInJoy drivers. In most cases that I've used the MotionInJoy drivers, I find them to be very, very unstable and often crashing my computer with a blue screen (This has happened to me on Windows 7, 8, and 8.1). Seeing that BetterDS3 uses the same drivers I would assume that a lot of people that had problems with MotionInJoy crashing would continue to have those same problems.

I've used MotionInJoy for years and I've never had a problem with it other than the required internet connection but being a guy that deals with EA, that's no big deal lol

Seriously though, I don't have problems because I just plug my PS3 controller into my pc with the cord instead of purchasing a bluetooth dongle. I like how MotionInJoy can make the controller mimic an xbox controller thus allowing it to be plug-and-play on most games like the xbox controller.

1 person liked this | grvalderrama said:

I have a pair of wireless XBOX 360 controllers for PC, they came with the dongle and work perfectly, and most game are set up to work with these controllers with no need to configure anything. I considered it a great investment.

aboynamedmatt aboynamedmatt said:

I've used MotionInJoy for years and I've never had a problem with it other than the required internet connection but being a guy that deals with EA, that's no big deal lol

Seriously though, I don't have problems because I just plug my PS3 controller into my pc with the cord instead of purchasing a bluetooth dongle. I like how MotionInJoy can make the controller mimic an xbox controller thus allowing it to be plug-and-play on most games like the xbox controller.

Yeah, I should have been a little more clear. I don't ever remember having trouble with USB connectivity with MotionInJoy, but definitely once I tried to use a bluetooth adapter. The drivers I've posted have been the best thing I have found so far. But if MotionInJoy works then there is probably no reason to try something else.

treetops treetops said:

You can buy a USB controller for like 10$ on newegg, xbox 360 controllers are way over priced

JC713 JC713 said:

Keyboard and mouse > controller.

1 person liked this | amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

I bought a wired USB Microsoft X360 controller for my PC and its been great overall, most games it will auto-sync and work just fine. Plugs right into my X360 if I need to use it there as well.

It's worth the price IMO because its real good quality and takes a pounding, other Logitech gamepads costing almost as much have broken in only months of use on me.

While I usually prefer a keyboard/mouse, there are some games on my PC like GTA4/Mass Effect 2 I'd rather play with the X360 controller.

2 people like this | St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

You can buy a USB controller for like 10$ on newegg, xbox 360 controllers are way over priced

You pay for the compatibility (and quality). If the game detects a controller with ID containing 'XBOX', it'll revert to the alternate Xbox 360 button mapping and configuration (if it contains it, which is a lot of games these days...). Absolutely no issues at all, it's like you're playing Xbox. Generic controllers require key mapping a lot of the time, which if you don't map correctly you get a bad experience.

Keyboard and mouse > controller.

There's a time and place for controller.. :P Dirt 2 as mentioned, and any other racing games, are very silly when playing on KB.

fimbles fimbles said:

I use a wired xbox 360 controller.

Most modern games work flawlessly with no keybinding needed at all, It even changes the user interface in game to xbox 360 style button icons.

Perfect fuss free pc controller, for when the game calls for it.

Fbarnett Fbarnett said:

Hard to believe that somebody writes a article on how to plug in an adaptor or controller

JC713 JC713 said:

You pay for the compatibility (and quality). If the game detects a controller with ID containing 'XBOX', it'll revert to the alternate Xbox 360 button mapping and configuration (if it contains it, which is a lot of games these days...). Absolutely no issues at all, it's like you're playing Xbox. Generic controllers require key mapping a lot of the time, which if you don't map correctly you get a bad experience.

There's a time and place for controller.. :p Dirt 2 as mentioned, and any other racing games, are very silly when playing on KB.

I like racer games on a keyboard. But yeah, the controller is more convenient and easier to use I guess.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I have a Logitech Dual Action Game Pad.

Would that be much different than an XBox 360 game pad?

1 person liked this | St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

That's good too, @cliffordcooley. Not guaranteed to map to xbox buttons is all, and probably doesn't have triggers. I've used one like it for years!

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

That's good too, @cliffordcooley. Not guaranteed to map to xbox buttons is all, and probably doesn't have triggers. I've used one like it for years!
There is 4 buttons (5-8) for the index finger. I do understand what you are saying about mapping though. I guess mapping would be a trial and error, to see if it's capable with each game. I've never used an XBox controller and would not know how the two compares.

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

Xbox controller is also widely considered to be the pinnacle of controllers, due to the comfort. It's only surpassed by the XB1 controller apparently.

And by triggers, I meant analogue ones, usually used for throttle/brakes in racing games. I just used the the right analogue stick on my old Logitech if I was playing such a hardcore game.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

And by triggers, I meant analogue ones, usually used for throttle/brakes in racing games. I just used the the right analogue stick on my old Logitech if I was playing such a hardcore game.
Ahh, I see what you are saying now. Yeah you are right, my controller buttons are not analog(ue).

Camikazi said:

Hard to believe that somebody writes a article on how to plug in an adaptor or controller

When it is no longer just "plug it in and it works" and drivers are needed that are not official things, yes an article might be needed.

Alpha Gamer Alpha Gamer said:

Xbox controller is also widely considered to be the pinnacle of controllers, due to the comfort. It's only surpassed by the XB1 controller apparently.

And by triggers, I meant analogue ones, usually used for throttle/brakes in racing games. I just used the the right analogue stick on my old Logitech if I was playing such a hardcore game.

This

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.