While shooters and strategy games are still best played with a mouse and keyboard, there are many genres like racing games or fighting games where the controller is more comfortable. The controller has a clear advantage even if you connect the computer to the TV and have a split-screen session with friends.
Thankfully, most current PC games are directly compatible with the Xbox 360 controller. Unfortunately, the Xbox 360 controller does not transmit via standard Bluetooth, so it is not easy to connect wirelessly. Here I will show you how to connect Xbox 360 controller to PC without receiver.
Can You Use an Xbox Controller on PC?
Yes, most PC games can be played with the Xbox Wireless Controller instead of a mouse or keyboard. Connecting the Xbox Series S/X, Xbox One, or Xbox 360 controller to a computer running Windows 10 is almost as easy as connecting it to another console. You can do this by using a USB cable or an adapter. First, insert one end of the USB-micro USB and USB-C cable (depending on the controller variant) into your controller. Then connect the second end to your PC.
That’s it! The controller will configure itself and can work with almost all types of games on your PC. For PCs with Windows 7 or 8.1, Windows will automatically download and install a driver for your controller.
How to Connect Xbox 360 Controller to PC Without Receiver – The Options – Step-by-Step
There are two ways to connect Xbox 360 controller to a PC without receiver:
Option 1: Use a wired (USB) Xbox 360 controller
The Xbox 360 controller with a USB cable should be plug-and-play on current versions of Windows (10, 11).
- Plug the controller into your PC’s available USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 slot.
- Wait a few seconds. Typically, Windows should report and indicate that an Xbox 360 controller has been plugged into the PC. The controller can then be used immediately.
- If your computer does not recognize the controller, use the search tab on your Windows to look for Device Manager and install the driver manually. You can also download and install the wired Xbox 360 controller driver here.
- Restart your PC after the driver installation is complete.
- Then try to reconnect the controller as described above
Option 2: Get the official Xbox package for Windows from Microsoft
Except you have a Windows-adapted controller, I recommend choosing this method. This bundle comes with the controller, adaptor, and other accessories. You may also buy the official Xbox package from Microsoft even when you have an Xbox controller. Sell that controller on eBay to have more funds for the more expensive official package and not have an extra controller lying around.
How to Connect Xbox 360 Controller to PC with Receiver – Step-by-Step
1. Buy a wireless USB receiver for Xbox 360: This option is available in some Xbox bundles, but Microsoft receivers work best. You only need one adapter, even if you want to connect several wireless 360 pads to the PC. You can pair up to four controllers with the wireless receiver.
2. Connect the receiver to the computer: The installation driver should launch automatically in Windows; if not, you can use the included CD. If you don’t have the installation disc that came with the controller, you can download the driver here.
3. Turn ON the Xbox accessory you want to use with your receiver
For this, you can press and hold the Guide button on your Xbox controller;
- activate the receiver by pressing the connect button;
- Press the connect button on the back of the wireless controller. When the light on the controller stops flashing and stays solid green, the controller is connected.
- Ensure there are batteries in the controller and that they are correctly positioned and fully charged.
- There are different models of Xbox, and not all are configured the same. So, make sure you know where your console’s wireless connect button is before you start.
How to Pair Bluetooth Xbox Controller to PC
You can connect an Xbox One controller via Bluetooth, but Microsoft says you need a specific wireless model to do so:
- Turn ON PC
- Turn ON the controller (press and hold the Xbox button for three seconds)
- Press and hold the pairing button on top of the controller
- Wait for the pad’s Xbox button to blink steadily
If your PC doesn’t have a built-in Bluetooth adapter or the “Xbox Wireless” feature, you should consider purchasing a Bluetooth adapter (dongle). You plug this into one of your USB slots and use it to connect various devices.
How to Use Xbox 360 Without Controller
Like on a computer, you can use a USB keyboard or mouse instead of a controller. Connect the USB port of the keyboard or mouse to your console. But you can also use your phone as a controller. Here’s how it’s done:
- To help your Xbox 360 interact with your smartphone, you need the free app “SmartGlass.” Unfortunately, the app has been discontinued by Microsoft and cannot be downloaded on the Play Store or the iTunes Store. But you can still download it from third-party sites like Softonic here.
- After installation, go to your XBOX, open the “Settings” and the “System” option.
- From here, select “Console Settings.”
- After that, go to the “Connected Devices” option.
- Under Xbox SmartGlass App, select ON.
- Then start the app on the mobile phone and enter your account details.
- The app will now automatically connect to the console. Now, you also have access to your smartphone’s XBOX 360 games and apps.
How to Use Xbox 360 Controller on PC With Play and Charge Kit
- Plug in the USB end of the Play and Charge into the computer’s USB port
- Plug the connector end of your Xbox controller end of the Play and Charge into the Xbox 360 controller
- The computer will read the device and search for software
- Run a video game that is compatible with the controller
How to Uninstall Xbox 360 Controller Drivers
- Simultaneously press the “Windows” and “R” keys so that the “Run” command opens.
- Enter “devmgmt.msc” and click on the “OK” button.
- You may have to confirm the subsequent security query with “Yes.” Then, the “Device Manager” opens.
- Select and expand the “Xbox Controllers.” Here you will find all installed Xbox controller drivers.
- Right-click on one of these drivers and select “Uninstall” in the context menu.
- A query appears, which you must confirm with “OK.” If you are sure you will never need the hardware again, you can also tick the “Delete the driver software for this device” option.
How to Use Xbox One Controller With Steam
- First, connect the two devices using either a USB charging cable, Xbox Wireless (Built-in or with Xbox Wireless Adapter for Windows), or Bluetooth.
- After opening Steam, under “Display,” open Big Picture mode.
- You will find the Settings under a gear icon in the upper right corner.
- Then select “Controller Settings” and activate the Xbox Configuration Assistant.
- Older games such as Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic can be played with the controller. Still, you will be prompted to edit the controller configuration.
- Edit this under “Manage Game.” It is sufficient to call up the configuration. Confirm your setting, and then open the game.