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It is a fact that PlayStation controllers are widely used in PCs, to the point where some do not know that an Xbox controller also works. Personally, I prefer playing with controllers on some games such as sports, racing and fighting games simply because some button combinations are easier to do there than using a keyboard.
It is possible for Xbox controllers to be used on your PC. What I am trying to talk about here are BOTH wired and wireless controllers. In this way, you will never have a hard time adjusting to the keyboard controls when playing your beloved Xbox games.
I both have a Playstation and an Xbox controller that I often use in some PC games, especially that I am also familiar with console emulators. In this article, I will share with you how to use your Xbox controller on your computer with ease for a much preferable gaming experience. For sure you will find it as easy as setting up a PlayStation controller to your PC.
It is very quick and easy to use the Xbox controller using your computer. Beating the comfort of using a console’s controller is always impossible just because you have your own keyboard control layout.
That’s why technology is making ways to make both wired and wireless connections on other devices adaptable to a computer, including Xbox controllers.
The steps and mechanism of the Xbox controller when being adapted to the system of a PC varies depending on the controller, whether it’s the wireless or wired version.
But the result of connecting both types of devices is just the same. The PC will understand how the controller works thanks to the controller’s drivers that translate it for them.
Thanks to Bluetooth and USB connectivity, transmitting data between the two devices is just instant. I will first inform you about the reason why your PC allows you to use your controller like it’s a part of it.
In this way, you will become more familiar with how the controller works, as well as find the right troubleshooting steps if the connection fails.
The reason you can use the Xbox controller is just the same as how your PlayStation controller works when plugging it right away into your PC.
As the connection between the two devices begins, the controller transmits data for its controls to be accessible to the PC’s system.
What the PC reads in the Xbox is the code produced by each button found on the controller when a user pressed each of them.
Once the PC can read it, the PC then executes the command like how your Xbox would as you play the game. These procedures occur in milliseconds, which is why I am also entertained by how it works!
Take note that the Xbox controller’s means to connect to the computer is like the keyboard, but not entirely the same. The Xbox controller does not replace or replicate any of the commands you press on your keyboard.
This is the reason games have a separate option for changing controls for the keyboard and the controller.
This principle for translating the way the Xbox controller operates can be found in your PC’s Device Manager.
Just type in “Device Manager” or “devmgmt.msc” on your search bar. For advanced users, you can search it by typing “Registry Editor” or “regedit.msc” instead if you know how to navigate it.
Usually, a driver is needed for the PC to understand the circuitry of the Xbox controller. But nowadays, Windows now has a built-in driver for the controller.
This way, you don’t have to spend time searching for an Xbox controller driver or look for a CD that has the driver’s installer.
Connecting a wired Xbox controller on a PC is easier when connecting a wireless Xbox controller. If you’re worried about drivers necessary for your PC to install the controller correctly, you won’t have to think about it anymore.
The PC and the controller itself will find a way for the installation to automatically be processed via a USB connection.
Once the driver is automatically installed and operational on your PC, an Xbox controller can be operated for your games.
Most of these nifty Xbox controllers for PC are plug-and-play because the drivers for it to become applicable for your PC are already found inside the Xbox controller. Windows also has a built-in driver for these devices as well.
Now you know how to connect your wired Xbox controller to your PC, for sure you want to get a controller for your PC already. But before making that decision whether to go for a wired controller, be sure to know the difference between the two types of devices.
You need to understand this because I don’t want you to go back to the mall after going home as I did. I accidentally bought a wireless Xbox controller when I thought it was the wired version.
As a result, since I did not expect that wireless controllers need an adapter for it to work, I went back to the mall right away to buy one.
To help you save money, as well as a bit of time from going back to the mall, take note that the two versions have a slight difference.
Wired controllers have the same plastic material as the bumper at the guide button’s location. It also has a seam located between the guide button and the face area of the controller.
A wireless or Bluetooth controller has the same plastic material as the face area. However, it does not have any seams, unlike the wired version.
Another known version of the Bluetooth controller, and probably the best version, has a USB-C port at the top with a rectangle capture button near the menu button. This version is both for wired and wireless connection.
Now that you’re fully aware of the differences between a wired and wireless controller, you should learn how to properly connect each device. Below are the easiest steps on how to set up both versions of the Xbox controller.
The steps in connecting your controller to the PC are actually very easy to do. Here are the very simple steps:
- Plug the micro-USB or USB-C side of the cable into the controller’s port.
- Connect your Xbox controller to a USB port on your PC. Be sure that there are other ports available or if the device you’re going to unplug is not being used.
- Wait for the installation process if there’s any. This is the driver of your controller as the PC reads the device to understand its functions. Unplug and plug back the controller if no message is found or if it is not working.
- Once installation is done, try out the controller to see if it works. A sign that it works is when the LED light is on.
Here are the unique advantages of using the wired version of the Xbox controller:
- Just plug it in and it will work. If there’s any installation, it will take some time.
- No additional devices or drivers to be installed on your PC to activate the controller.
- More affordable than the wireless controller.
Some devices still have flaws that made other products more preferable. Here are the disadvantages of the wired controller:
- The wire has its limit in terms of distance, which may hinder you from playing in a more comfortable fashion such as laying down on your bed.
- The variety of wires differ by manufacturer. Some could be small, while others are long enough to cover almost the entire range of the wireless controller.
- Some wired controllers are sold at a very cheap price. However, cheap controllers are usually made with low-quality materials that are prone to wear and tear in just a few weeks or months! Never settle for cheap electronics at all times to avoid spending too much.
The wireless version of the Xbox controller can connect to your computer or laptop using Bluetooth. If your PC does not have any Bluetooth in it, it’s best to get a Bluetooth receiver installed in your unit.
The receivers have their own drivers in it once you plug it in, making it as easy as the controller to set up and use.
Newer PC models have a Bluetooth receiver installed already. So if you don’t have a PC yet, look for the newest models to ensure that you have a Bluetooth connection.
But once you have one, just go to the Device Manager of your PC to check if the Bluetooth driver is active or up-to-date.
Here are the steps if you’re going to connect your Bluetooth Xbox controller:
- Hold the pairing button of your controller for three to five seconds. The guide button of your Xbox should flash after holding the pairing button.
- At the system tray of your PC at the bottom-right side, right-click the Bluetooth icon.
- Go to Add Bluetooth Device.
- Go to Add Bluetooth > Bluetooth > Xbox Wireless Controller.
- If the guide button turns white, you should see a message on your PC showing that the device is now connected to Bluetooth. You may enjoy using the controller at this point.
Take note that you only need to do all of these if it’s your first time using the wired controller. You will only need to turn on the controller the next time you use it with your PC.
Just double-check the Bluetooth settings of your PC to make sure if your controller is connected before playing.
Here are the advantages you can get if you choose the wireless controller:
- You can go anywhere and any position you want in your room as you play with the Xbox controller.
- No issues regarding tangled wires, and no one will trip over the wire by accident.
- You can just grab the controller, turn it on, and enjoy!
The wireless controller still has its flaws, because no device is perfect. Here are the following:
- It costs more than the wired controller.
- You might need to manually update both the Bluetooth driver or the controller to ensure that it works properly. But most of the time, it automatically updates.
- The best quality Xbox controllers in the market are known to be quite expensive.
It is very easy to use your Xbox controller, right? I find it interesting how PCs can adapt nowadays to various devices, including controllers meant for another console. In this way, playing the PC versions of your favorite Xbox games will be as easy as before.