Like most of you folks I like playing the occasional video game, but find I have no time.  I eventually made the decision it was time for the Xbox to go.  When I sold on my Xbox 360, I decided the controller might come in handy for gaming on my PC (if I ever got the time).  I got on with other things and forgot about it for a while.  Then one day I decided to link up my computer to my TV to play a game on a big screen and remembered I had the Xbox 360 Wireless controller.  The trouble was, I had no wireless receiver!  I then scouted around online and purchased one for (I think) £15. So, after tinkering around for a while I discovered what to do.

PC gaming using an Xbox360 Wireless Gamepad is great fun.

PC gaming using an Xbox360 Wireless Gamepad is great fun.

This is a very quick guide on how to make good use of Microsoft’s well designed gamepad and use it on your PC.  (I’ll be following this up with a guide on how to use an Xbox 360 Wireless Gamepad on your MAC in the future).

First of all do not connect the receiver! You need to download the driver for your operating system from the Microsoft download site. Install the drivers in the usual manner and then connect the receiver.  Windows will try to install the drivers for the connected device and will (surprise surprise) fail in it’s attempt.  You need to open Windows Explorer, right click on ‘Computer’ and click ‘Properties’.

Next you need to select ‘Device Manager’ from the menu. You will now see an ‘Unknown device’ under ‘Other devices’.  Right click the ‘Unknown device’ and click ‘Update Driver Software’.  You now need to tell Windows where to look to find the correct driver. Select ‘Browse my computer for driver software’.  Select ‘Let me pick from a list of devices drivers on my computer’ and from the list, select ‘Microsoft Common Controller for Windows Class’ and click ‘Next’.  You will now be presented with a list.  You should select ‘Xbox 360 Controller For Windows Version: 2.1.0.1349 [13.08.2009]’ and click ‘Next’.  Click ‘Yes’ when the ‘Update Driver Warning’ dialogue box is displayed. That’s it for the driver installation so just click ‘Close’.

Now you can turn on your wireless controller and attempt to sync the controller and the receiver, hold the button the front of the controller, which looks like a wireless signal. The green lights on the controller should start to rotate clockwise.  Whilst the lights on the controller begin to rotate, you should now click the button on the receiver that is connected to your computer. The controller and the device will sync and the upper left green light on your Xbox 360 Wireless controller will turn solid green. Viola! You can now enjoy gaming on your Windows PC.

Finally, you should load a game, and locate the controller options, and select the Xbox 360 Wireless controller instead of the keyboard. You might have to manually assign buttons to game functions if there’s no native support for the controller within the game. (If you find that your game doesn’t support the controller, you can use a third-party utility such as Xpadder to remap keys to the controller’s buttons).

[Image via n3rdabl3]