While you can play most games using a mouse and keyboard, a dedicated controller such as the Xbox 360 would give you a much better experience.
When you traditionally play games, you may need to know many keyboard combinations using a mouse and a keyboard.
However, you can minimize all that by using an Xbox 360 controller.
Can You Use Xbox 360 Controllers on a PC?
The Xbox 360 wireless controller uses the proprietary protocol to connect to the console or a PC.
So, you don’t need a Bluetooth adapter. Also, you must buy the official Xbox 360 controller for a Windows PC, or you won’t be able to connect wirelessly.
You should also make sure that you download all the required drivers if you want your wireless or Bluetooth-enabled Xbox 360 controller to work on your PC.
Also, if you are connecting a Bluetooth-enabled Xbox 360 controller, you may need a PC that supports Bluetooth.
Besides this, you also have older Xbox 360 controllers that connect via dongles, for which you will need suitable receivers to connect them to your PC.
What Accessories Do You Need?
Connecting an Xbox 360 controller to a PC depends on the type of controller you have.
If you use a wired Xbox 360 controller, you probably don’t need any additional accessories, and you can plug your controller directly into a USB port on your PC.
However, if you are using a wireless controller, you may need additional accessories, depending on the controller you have. That is, whether you have a wireless Xbox 360 controller that connects via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
So, if you are using a simple wireless Xbox controller that comes with a receiver, you can connect it to your PC, and you should be ready to go.
Similarly, if you have a controller that connects via Bluetooth, you must ensure that your PC has Bluetooth functionality built into it.
How Do You Connect an Xbox 360 Controller to a PC?
Since there are three kinds of Xbox 360 controllers, you should figure out your type before connecting it to your PC.
By going through the following sections, you will know how to connect all the three Xbox 360 controllers to your PC.
1. Connecting a Wired Xbox 360 Controller
Connecting a wired Xbox 360 controller is the simplest of the three since they come with a wire that you can plug directly into a USB port. To connect your wired Xbox 360 controller to your PC:
Plug your USB-to-micro-USB or USB-to-USB-C cable into your controller.
Then, connect the other end of the controller cable to a USB port.
Your wired Xbox 360 controller should connect, and you should be able to start using it as soon as you plug in one of the ends of the cable to a USB port on your PC.
2. Connecting a Bluetooth Xbox 360 Controller
You can connect your Bluetooth-enabled Xbox 360 controller to your PC in the same way you do for any other Xbox controller that is Bluetooth-enabled, such as the Xbox One or Xbox Series controllers.
For example, if you are looking to connect your Bluetooth-enabled Xbox 360 controller to your Windows PC:
Press and hold the ‘Guide’ button to turn on the controller.
Press and hold the ‘Pairing’ button for three seconds until you see the ‘Guide’ button flash or blink.
Now, head to ‘Settings’ and then to ‘Bluetooth and other devices on your Windows PC.’
You could even click on the Bluetooth icon on your system tray in the taskbar.
Now, click on ‘Add Bluetooth Device.’
Then, click ‘Add Bluetooth or other Device’ and select ‘Bluetooth.’
Your Xbox 360 controller will show up here as ‘Xbox Wireless Controller.’
The controller should automatically connect to your PC. All you need to do is wait until the ‘Guide’ button turns white.
That’s it. You have successfully connected your wireless, Bluetooth-enabled Xbox 360 controller to your PC.
3. Connecting a Wireless Xbox 360 Controller
If you use an older Xbox 360 controller that comes with wireless connectivity or uses a receiver, here is how to connect such a controller to your Windows PC.
Insert the USB receiver into a dedicated port on your PC.
Make sure that the receiver is working correctly by checking if the green light is blinking.
Install the required driver software.
How to Install the Driver Software?
If you get the ‘Add New Hardware’ wizard automatically, then there’s no cause for worry, and you proceed with downloading and installing the recommended drivers by clicking ‘Next’ and following the prompts.
However, if the wizard doesn’t install the driver software for any reason, you can install them by using the CD you got with your controller. Insert the disc into the appropriate drive and follow the instructions that you can find on your screen to install the drivers.
However, if you don’t have a disc containing the drivers, you can download them from the Internet. Log in to the official Microsoft website, heading to the Xbox section, and download and install the appropriate drivers, depending on the operating system you are running on your PC – Windows 7, 8, or 10.
Then, turn on your Xbox 360 controller by pressing and holding on to the ‘Guide’ button.
Press ‘Connect’ on the receiver. You can find the ‘Connect’ button at the center of the receiver.
Once you press ‘Connect,’ the lights on both the controller and the receiver should blink green, indicating that the Xbox 360 controller is trying to connect with your PC.
When the lights stop flashing, it means that the connection is now complete, and you can start using the controller.
So, these are the three ways to connect an Xbox 360 controller to your PC.
Note that you will need drivers for connecting wireless Xbox 360 controllers, such as the Bluetooth-enabled ones.
You may or may not need additional accessories to connect an Xbox 360 controller to your PC, except if you use a Bluetooth-enabled controller.
In that case, you must ensure that your PC supports Bluetooth and that you have downloaded and installed all the required drivers by following the steps given above.
Martha Davis is a computer hardware specialist who works extensively in designing and manufacturing hardware devices, researching advanced computer technology. She built GadgetGangster.com as a platform to share her insight on computers and PC assembly with the web. Currently, she is carrying out her research on Robotics and Computer Vision and working privately to deliver services. Martha makes sure that readers of GadgetGangster.com master the basics of setting up computer components like motherboard, CPUs, and GPUs through the informative articles that she writes.