How to Use an Xbox 360 Controller With Windows Vista

Computers & TechnologyMultimedia

  • Author Joel Martinez
  • Published January 22, 2012
  • Word count 355

Because the Xbox 360 is manufactured by Microsoft, PC compatibility is all but Certain Among the two platforms. Getting your Xbox 360 controller to work with your Windows Vista-enabled PC is fairly uncomplicated, and using it will come naturally after the installation process. Using an Xbox 360 controller with your PC games is a great way to enhance your gaming encounter. This is notably true with multi-platform titles like Fallout 3 and Gears of War 2, which are intended to work with the Xbox 360 controller.

Choosing whether you feel liketo use a wired or wireless controller. If you have a wired controller, you will be able to plug your controller in right away not including needing an adapter or power source. If you determine to use a wireless controller, you will need a wireless receiver for your PC (see Resources below).

Make sure your wireless controllers have power. If you are using wireless controllers, make sure they have batteries with a fair amount of power or charge left. If you are using the "Play and Charge" battery pack, it will not charge with a PC, so you will need to charge it using the Xbox prior to gaming.

Plug the controller (or adapter) into a USB 2.0 port. You can locate which USB ports on your PC support the 2.0 protocol on your computer by going to the "Hardware profile" tab located in your control panel.

Search for a "New hardware found" window. When this window pops up, it will prompt you to download drivers that will make your computer harmonize with the controller. These drivers are criticalfor proper function and must be downloaded.

Test your controller's functionality. Insertyour Desired game, toggle the joysticks and then pusheach button to make certain proper functionality. If the game does not respond, contact Microsoft Support for further troubleshooting


The Xbox wireless receiver will not only work with traditional Xbox 360 controllers, but also specialty controllers intended for games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero. However, wired Rock Band and Guitar hero controllers designed for Xbox 360 are not compatible with a Windows Vista PC.

Things You'll Require

• Vista-enabled PC

• Xbox 360 controller

• Wireless adapter (optional)

• USB 2.0 port

How to Use an Xbox 360 Controller With Windows Vista

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