If you’re a PC gamer with an Xbox 360 controller lying around, it can double as a controller for your computer games.
In this guide, we’ll explain how to use an Xbox 360 controller on your PC, with or without a receiver, using a play and charge kit, and discuss whether you can use an Xbox 360 controller for Xbox One games on a PC.
How to Use Xbox 360 Controller on PC
Whether wired or wireless, you can use your Xbox 360 controller on your PC. Here’s how:
Wired Controller: For wired Xbox 360 controllers, it’s pretty straightforward. Connect your controller to your PC using a USB cable. Windows should automatically detect the device and install the necessary drivers. Once that’s done, you can start using the controller in your games.
Wireless Controller: Using a wireless Xbox 360 controller requires a bit more work. You will need a special hardware called Xbox 360 Wireless Gaming Receiver, which connects to a USB port and communicates with the controller.
To connect, plug in the gaming receiver to a USB port on your PC. Windows should automatically install the required drivers.
If not, you can manually install them from the Microsoft website. Once installed, press the button on the receiver and the “Guide” button on your controller to sync them.
How to Use Xbox 360 Controller on PC Without Receiver
Unfortunately, you cannot connect a wireless Xbox 360 controller to your PC without an Xbox 360 Wireless Gaming Receiver. This is because the controller uses a proprietary wireless communication protocol that isn’t supported natively by most PCs.
How to Use Xbox 360 Controller on PC With Play and Charge Kit
The Xbox 360 Play and Charge Kit is a great accessory for charging your wireless controller while you play. However, it’s important to note that the Play and Charge Kit doesn’t transmit data – it only charges the controller.
Therefore, you can’t use it to connect a wireless Xbox 360 controller to your PC. You still need a wireless gaming receiver.
Can You Use Xbox 360 Controller on PC for Xbox One Games?
Yes, you can use an Xbox 360 controller to play Xbox One games on your PC. Many games on the Microsoft Store, including those designed for Xbox One, have support for Xbox 360 controllers.
However, keep in mind that the Xbox 360 controller lacks some features found on the Xbox One controller, like a headphone jack and the ‘Menu’ and ‘View’ buttons, which may impact gameplay depending on the game.
Using an Xbox 360 controller on your PC can be a cost-effective way to enhance your gaming experience, especially if you have a controller readily available.
While the process for wired controllers is simple, wireless controllers do require an additional piece of hardware.
Unfortunately, the Play and Charge Kit cannot be used for data transfer, only for charging your controller. Despite these caveats, Xbox 360 controllers offer a comfortable and familiar way to play a wide range of PC games, including Xbox One titles.