How to use an Xbox Controller as a USB PC Gamepad

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Introduction


Just like I am an obsessed case modder I also love to play games. I usually play FPS games but now and then I like to play something else. When I bought Tony Hawk Underground 2 the game simply wasn’t playable with a mouse and keyboard so I needed a gamepad. I had a lot of consoles but I like the Xbox controller the most of all, however that is a personal preference. The big plus of an Xbox is that it is in fact an extremely-modded PC: Well at least it is in my eyes.

So if you know how to strip and solder a few wires you can get your Xbox controller to work on your PC.  Here’s how to do it.

Disconnected Xbox USB dongle Cut Standard USB plug

First get an Xbox controller.  You can buy one or just use the one you got with your Xbox. It really doesn’t matter because after where done you can use it on both systems, yes your PC as well as your Xbox, you will not lose a controller.  This is what we need from the controller; it’s the part that you plug into your Xbox. Next thing we need is a USB cable.

Do not use USB extender cables you get with memory sticks or MP3 players, these will not work! It can even kill a USB port on your motherboard. Instead use a normal USB printer cable, like the ones used for HP and Canon printers. Now when you have your cable, measure a length of about 25 cm or 10 inches, and cut the cable there. Next cut down in the mantle until you exposed the inner wires, don’t go down to the copper. When your done you should have something resembling this.

Uncap the Xbox plug Side view of Xbox plug

Get that Xbox cable and a flat screwdriver and pry open the connector, take your time with this. When you have opened it up your done with the hard part and you should have something like this.

You’ll notice two small pins holding a “protection place” denying you access to the connector’s soldering pads, again use a small flat screwdriver or a knife to open it. Now just break that of by wiggling it back and forward, we don’t need it anymore it will only get in our way. As you can see we now have exposed the wires and soldering pads, that wasn’t so hard was it.

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38 Comments

  1. Pingback: XBCD? Has anyone used it? - Original Xbox Console Forum

  2. NunoGGF5pmn

    December 6, 2013 at 7:53 am

    hi!

    i have a xbox controller and i decided to follow this tutorial in order to be able to play with it on my pc!
    however, after installing the xbcd drivers i tryed adjusting some stuff in the setup utillity but the controller was not recognised. in the device box there was just a blanc spot!
    can you please help me?

  3. private

    June 3, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    Will this work on Mac?

  4. Daniel Pielage

    January 5, 2012 at 7:56 am

    O dear I see my old article *cough* "July 6, 2006" *cough* is still being looked at haha almost 6 years gone already, time does fly.

    But seeing al these messages does give me a good feeling, but really now anyone still trying this, if you already have a wired 360 controller just plug it in Windows 7 or Vista should not have any problems with it.

    No need for other drivers anymore just plug in and go ;).

    However this is still a funny mod to do, if you`re bored and have an old spare xbox controller.
    You know…. just for bragging rights.

  5. Gabriel

    January 3, 2012 at 6:41 am

    Hey, so here's my problem, I got a HP ProBook 4520s with Windows 7 Ultimate 64Bit SP1. I have a Konig Xbox 360 controller, wired… When I plug it in, it doesn't recognizes that it's a controller, just a USB Generic Hub… Where did I go wrong ? I installed Xpadder, installed latest drivers from Redcl0ud's website, yet it still stays the same. I have to mention that my controller is always plugged in, and even tried plugging it in another USB port.

  6. grapt

    October 1, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    i attacked every thing perfectly, red to red green to green black to black and white to white but my computer wont recognize it and i have tried several different software. i took the wires apart and reassembled, but nothing.

  7. TOPROLLER

    June 21, 2011 at 12:54 am

    Well guys try this for your 360 controller wireless. And it works great with F.E.A.R. 2 try its free you have to buy the microsoft reciver for your pc for 20.00 and do the set up thats it have fun ..

  8. michael

    June 21, 2011 at 12:54 am

    my game stop controller will work some time on gta 4 but my hp dosent see unkown device

  9. Akolyte01

    June 21, 2011 at 12:54 am

    I have an adapter that I got from guitar hero three that adapts from the guitar to my USB drive, will that work for a xbox controller (I don't have one so I can't test it.)

    • Eugene E Jones

      October 11, 2011 at 4:48 pm

      i stripped and conneccted wires and all.windows keeps telling me it cant install the needed software.ive tried everything i can think of. im running nes64.emu in vista.what am i not doing

  10. khalil

    June 21, 2011 at 12:54 am

    i have the xbox controller usb connected and it reads on the driver but i cant use it on battlefield 2142 and i plan on getting test drive unlimited

  11. junior

    June 21, 2011 at 12:53 am

    ive followed instructions as far as wiring controller goes,downloaded and installed drivers,but x box controller doesnt work.when i plug it into computer,device manager says X BOX CONTROLLER, means some detection is taking place,butit doesnt cotrol the games.im trying to play TOMB RAIDER CHRONICLES which is sh*t on the keyboard. I NEED HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELP !!!

  12. Alan

    June 21, 2011 at 12:53 am

    Honestly there's no reason to use a classic Xbox controller on the PC anymore… just use any Xbox 360 controller.

    Windows XP and Vista have excellent support for the 360 controller, and should work in all of your games.

    • asdf

      May 4, 2012 at 9:19 am

      This is just for people that prefer the original controller to the 360 one.

    • Georgia Hick

      December 21, 2012 at 9:43 pm

      In case you don’t have an Xbox 360 but still have a few of these laying around gathering dust, it just might come in handy to know how to do this

    • mr lavalava

      April 3, 2013 at 5:35 am

      no office but thats a pretty dumb statement
      I've an old xbox controller here , but dont own a 360 and to be blunt cant afford to shell out for one….

  13. Alan

    June 21, 2011 at 12:53 am

    The Xbox 360 controller works as-is. Just plug it in and it should work on any XP or Vista system… but you might want to download the latest drivers from MS.

    You can even connect the wireless 360 controller to the PC if you have the Wireless Receiver for Windows.

  14. D_coy

    June 21, 2011 at 12:53 am

    Do I have to modify the 360 controller as well, or does it work as it is? And second, do I need any driver for the pc to use the 360 controller?

  15. defgsd

    June 21, 2011 at 12:53 am

    to people who have it working but can't controll games, download xpadder

  16. Miro

    June 21, 2011 at 12:52 am

    I tried to install the Xbox gamepad on my pc using windows xp operating system via usb with many issues. I would not recommend this controller to anyone out there to use on pc.
    1. Issues loading drivers, old new.
    2. Once driver is loaded using ms utility. Controller does no sync.

  17. Mack

    June 21, 2011 at 12:52 am

    so, yea, i boaught a wired controller just so i could use it on my pc, but in my experinces it only works with GAmes for Windows if thats true then that is a serious jew on microsofts part. Iv tryed it with COD4, counter strike, and even a couple of emulators, if u missin' somthin' u should let me kno…

  18. wayne_Shottaz83

    June 21, 2011 at 12:52 am

    does this work for ps2 controllers also?

  19. P424n0id

    June 21, 2011 at 12:52 am

    It works fine on win7 (32 and 64 bits). About which games work or not, note that the game itself must support joystick gameplay AND you may need to change the keymapping in the XBCD configuration utility. Some flight simulator games need remapping for some axis to work properly, i.e:
    X – axis #0
    Y – axis #1
    Z – axis #2
    RX – axis #3
    RY – axis #4
    RZ – axis #5

    Nice playing =D

  20. delfco1

    June 21, 2011 at 12:52 am

    I'm trying to find a way to use a controler on my emulators. I have an HP notebook…I 360 controler will work right?

  21. Jonathan Gwinn

    June 21, 2011 at 12:51 am

    hey i need help i plan on doing the xbox to pc usb controller mod but i need to know do i HAVE to use the old version xbox controller or can i use a pelican xbox version 1 controler only without that detachable controller plugin thing please reply using this email i will provide once more

  22. Parker

    June 21, 2011 at 12:51 am

    Great tutorial! Worked exactly as you said. I used a Dremel to make the hole. Looks very professional. Almost like I bought it that way.

  23. Paul

    June 21, 2011 at 12:51 am

    Well, nice, but who wants to be doing this when you can buy an Xbox-2-USB adaptor on ebay for $5 with shipping?

  24. Anto

    June 21, 2011 at 12:51 am

    Is it possible to use a wireless xbox (no 360) controller on pc? I've connected wires like the guide but receiver doesn't link with controller

  25. gerb

    June 21, 2011 at 12:51 am

    awesome mod, thanks! definitely worth the hour of work.

  26. Dgtlpsyche

    June 21, 2011 at 12:50 am

    Will This Work With Mobile cable things or not?

  27. Craigoss

    June 21, 2011 at 12:50 am

    Hi, I connected a male USB connection to the xbox controller, and the PC recognizes it and such but will it work with Call of Duty: World at War? (Since that's the only game I have on here worth worrying about) If so, how do I change settings or whatever? I have the XBCD program, if that helps.. Just no idea what it all means :( Cheers

  28. JABrady

    June 21, 2011 at 12:50 am

    I have an original XBOX, but I got for free so there's no need to buy an XBOX 360 controller with X-mas coming…

  29. Bindy

    June 21, 2011 at 12:50 am

    Just got COD2 Modern Warfare for my PC. Is it possible to play this game with a controller or mouse?

    • sam

      November 11, 2013 at 11:59 pm

      it's playable with both

  30. g4led

    June 21, 2011 at 12:50 am

    Sir. If your machine has a decent graphics card then our version of a simple flight simulator may appeal. Please go to http: http://www.mugi.co.uk thence to the multimedia section and run the MugiSim program. You might enjoy this routine written specifically for the X-Box 360 controller. Regards. antony.

  31. clockworkmonkey

    June 21, 2011 at 12:50 am

    two quick questions
    1) will this work on win 7?
    and
    2) can i use an old camera cable?
    quick please
    thankyouverymuch

  32. psxxx

    June 21, 2011 at 12:49 am

    finded a new good driver for original xbox controller,its name is motioninjoy,and it can emulate x360 controller on windows
    you can refer to http: http://www.motioninjoy.com blog old-xbox-controller-emulate-xbox-360-controller-windows

  33. Blue

    June 21, 2011 at 12:49 am

    I have a tiny problem. I have bought a USb game pad for PC. I have set it up and installed the necesarry software. I have been in the control pannel and seen that it works properly, it is respoing as it is supposed to.

    The problem is, when I open a game and go to the control settings it does not respond when I press the keys on the gamepad.

    What should I do?

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