How to Connect an Xbox 360 Controller to a PC – Wired and Wireless

tips to Connect an Xbox 360 Controller to a PC

Xbox controllers are very convenient and comfortable for playing your favorite video games on both console and desktop computers. There are wired and wireless variations, and although most people prefer the latter, wired ones are generally more responsive. Regardless of the type, today we are going to explain how to connect an Xbox 360 controller to a PC.

For starters, it is important to mention that there are multiple versions of Xbox 360 controllers, but the process of connecting them to your PC rig is pretty straightforward and similar to one another. Today, we are going to explain how to complete this task for both wired and wireless variations of this controller. There is a lot to cover, so let us begin without any delay.

How to Connect a Wireless Xbox 360 Controller to a PC?

Connect a Wireless Xbox 360 Controller to a PC

The process of connecting your wireless Xbox 360 controller to a gaming PC rig is pretty straightforward but not as simple as it is with some plug-and-play devices. You will require a receiver for your wireless controller. In case you did not get one with your controller, you can purchase it separately, and it usually costs between 10 and 20 USD.

This price is, of course, if you opt for a third-party receiver, as the official Microsoft version is a bit more expensive. Once you purchase it, you will need to connect it to the compatible USB port on your PC (2.0, 3.0, or 3.1), and once the green light lights up on the receiver, you will know that it works properly.

Step 1: Install the Software

How to use Xbox 360 controller on PC

In order for both receiver and your wireless Xbox 360 controller to work properly, you will first have to install the appropriate software. You will have to either install it from the bundled disc that comes with the products or find it on the Microsoft website or Microsoft Store on your Windows 10.

If you got the software on the disc, insert it into your main optical drive and follow the installation wizard. It is fairly simple to install these types of software, and the installations usually require you to restart your PC after you complete the setup.

When downloading software from the internet, make sure to choose the download version for Windows you are using in order to make everything work properly. Once it downloads, run the installation wizard and follow the instructions. Again, you will probably need to restart your computer afterward.

Step 2: Synchronize Your Controller

The next step is to connect your wireless controller with the receiver plugged into the USB port on your PC. To complete this step, you will first have to turn on the controller by holding the Xbox Guide button in the center of the controller and waiting for the light to turn on.

Once it is on, you will have to press the connect button on your receiver, which is located on top of it. When it starts flashing green light, you need to press the corresponding button on your controller, which will begin the pairing process.

This process should only take a couple of seconds, after which the light on the receiver will stop flashing and turn solid green, while one of the four corners around the controller’s Guide button will light up.

Step 3: Test Your Xbox 360 Controller

Xbox Controller test

When you complete the previous two steps and get the results we mentioned through those steps, it is time to test your controller and see if everything functions the way it should.

You will have to open the start menu on your PC, select search, and type “Game Controllers,” after which the small icon should pop up and read: Set up USB game controllers. Click on it, and a window should pop up on your screen.

On this window, your controller should pop up. Click on it, and then select properties. You will be prompted with all buttons on your controller. Test all the triggers, bumpers, and buttons, and as you press them, you will see the corresponding action on the screen. If all of your actions are reflected on the screen, this means your controller is working properly.

Alternatively, you can use Xbox software that comes for your specific model of controller that can do the identical test as the “Set up USB game controllers” on Windows. In case the testing of your controller fails and the buttons you are pressing are not responding to you pressing them, you should check out the Xbox support website for detailed troubleshooting.

How to Connect a Wired Xbox 360 Controller to a PC?

Connect wired an Xbox Controller to PC

Connecting your wired Xbox 360 controller to a PC is a much more straightforward process and will take less time to complete it. In the section below, you will find all the steps you need to complete in order to make everything function properly and start playing your favorite game.

Step 1: Plug in Your Controller

Start the process by plugging your Xbox 360 controller into one of the USB ports on your PC. All wired Xbox 360 controllers support USB ports from 2.0 version to higher, and every computer has them. As soon as you do this, Windows will immediately search for drivers and try to install them.

Connect wired an Xbox Controller to PC

Step 2: Install the Software

You should get ahead of Windows and look for a disc that comes with your controller. Insert it into your main optical drive and run the setup. Follow the simple steps in the installation wizard and restart your PC if asked to by the end of the installation.

In case you do not have a disc, you can download the software from the Microsoft website or from Microsoft Store that is installed with your Windows 10. When you download the software, run the installation and follow the steps until the setup finishes. Restart your PC if prompted to do so.

Step 3: Test Your Xbox 360 Controller

Once you have installed the drivers, it is time to test your controller. Simply follow the third step we have listed for the wireless controller, and if everything works properly, you are ready for your gaming session! If not, check the Xbox support website to find out what problem you have.

Is It Possible to Pair Xbox 360 Controller via Bluetooth?

If you own an Xbox 360 wireless controller, you can indeed pair it with your PC via Bluetooth. It is a process that is quite similar when pairing it with your console, except you will have to go through some menus and will require a Bluetooth dongle in case your PC does not have built-in Bluetooth. Here is how to do it:

  1. Hold the Guide button on your controller to turn it on.
  2. Hold the corresponding button until the Guide button flashes.
  3. Go to your system tray, find the Bluetooth icon, and right-click on it.
  4. Select “Add a Bluetooth Device.”
  5. Select “Add Bluetooth or Other Device” and then click Bluetooth.
  6. Select “Xbox Wireless Controller,” and wait until the Guide button is solid green and the Bluetooth menu prompts you with a message that the controller is connected.

Closing Thoughts

As you can see, all the methods to connect your Xbox 360 controller to a PC are pretty straightforward. Microsoft offers fantastic support for these controllers, so they are accessible for gaming on PC as much as they are for Xbox consoles.

In case something is not working properly, make sure to carefully reread the steps we have listed just to make sure. If your controller still cannot connect, visit the Xbox support website, and you will certainly find out what the issue is.

If you want to find out how to connect your iPad to a computer screen, check out our article with a complete guide on how to do it.

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