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How to add controller support to Minecraft on Linux

Minecraft is one of the few mainstream video game franchises to support the Linux platform. That said, although the game works natively on Linux, it does not have controller support.

If you love to play Minecraft on Linux but wish you could do it with a controller, this guide is for you. Follow along as we show you how to how to add controller support to Minecraft on Linux!

Installing Minecraft on Linux

The first step in adding controller support to Minecraft on Linux is installing the game. On the Linux platform, only Minecraft Java Edition is supported, so we will demonstrate how to install that version of the game.

To start the installation of Minecraft Java Edition, open up a terminal window on the Linux desktop. Once the terminal window is open and ready to use, follow the installation instructions outlined below that corresponds with the Linux OS you currently use.

Ubuntu

Mojang directly supports Ubuntu and makes a downloadable DEB package available on their website. To get it installed, start by downloading the DEB package to your computer using Wget.

wget https://launcher.mojang.com/download/Minecraft.deb -O ~/Downloads/Minecraft.deb

After downloading the Minecraft DEB package to your Ubuntu PC, use the CD command to move your terminal session into the “Downloads” folder on your PC, where the DEB package is.

cd ~/Downloads

Once inside of the “Downloads” folder on your Ubuntu PC, the installation of Minecraft Java Edition can begin. Using the apt install command, install the DEB package to your system.

sudo apt install ./Minecraft.deb

Following the installation, Minecraft will be ready to go on Ubuntu!

Debian

As Mojang provides a downloadable DEB package on their website for Minecraft Java Edition, you’ll be able to install the game on Debian. To start, you must download the package. To download it, execute the following wget command below in a terminal window.

wget https://launcher.mojang.com/download/Minecraft.deb -O ~/Downloads/Minecraft.deb

After downloading the DEB package to your Debian PC, use the CD command to move into the “Downloads” directory, where the Minecraft DEB package was downloaded. 

cd ~/Downloads

Once inside of the “Downloads” directory, the installation of Minecraft Java Edition can begin. Using the dpkg command, install the DEB package on your computer.

sudo dpkg -i Minecraft.deb

Following the installation, you will see errors appear on the screen. To correct these errors on Debian, execute the apt install -f command. 

sudo apt install -f

With the errors corrected, Minecraft Java Edition will be ready to play on Debian!

Arch Linux

Minecraft supports Arch Linux with an official AUR package. To start the installation, use the Pacman tool to install both the “Git” and “Base-devel” packages onto your computer.

sudo pacman -S git base-devel

Following the installation of the two packages, you must install the Trizen AUR helper. This program takes AUR packages and makes them very easy to install. To set up Trizen, enter the commands below.

git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/trizen.git

cd trizen

makepkg -sri

With the Trizen app set up on your Arch Linux PC, the installation of Minecraft Java Edition can be done with the following trizen -S command.

trizen -S minecraft-launcher

Fedora

Sadly, Fedora doesn’t have any support for Minecraft at this time in the form of an easy installation RPM package. However, there is a TarGZ release of Minecraft Java edition that should work just fine.

To start, follow our guide to install OpenJDK. You need the Java Runtime Environment to play Minecraft, and OpenJDK is the most reliable. Once you’ve got OpenJDK set up, enter the commands below to install Minecraft.

wget https://launcher.mojang.com/download/Minecraft.tar.gz
tar xvf Minecraft.tar.gz
cd minecraft-launcher/

Launch Minecraft with:

./minecraft-launcher

OpenSUSE

There’s a community repo that makes Minecraft Java Edition available on OpenSUSE. To get the game working, head over to the OpenSUSE Build Service Minecraft page, select your SUSE release and click on the install button.

Installing the Forge Mod

To add controller support to Minecraft, the Forge Mod needs to be set up on your Minecraft installation. Installing Forge in Minecraft Java Edition is very easy, as Forge has an automatic installer.

Note: this guide focuses on Minecraft 1.16.4. If you have a newer version of Minecraft, download the Forge Installer from the website instead of the command below.

To get Forge set up in Minecraft on Linux, follow the step-by-step instructions below.

Step 1: Open up a terminal window on the Linux desktop. Once the terminal window is open, use the wget download command below to grab Forge’s latest version.

wget https://files.minecraftforge.net/maven/net/minecraftforge/forge/1.16.4-35.0.18/forge-1.16.4-35.0.18-installer.jar -O ~/Downloads/forge-1.16.4-35.0.18-installer.jar

Step 2: Using the CD command, move into the “Downloads” directory on your Linux PC.

cd ~/Downloads

Step 3: Using the java -jar command, start up the Forge installation tool. Once the installer tool is open, select “Install client,” followed by “OK.”

java -jar forge-1.16.4-35.0.18-installer.jar

When the installation of Forge is complete, you will see a message saying the installation was successful. Click “OK” to close the installer.

Installing the Controllable Mod

Controller support on Linux in Minecraft is made possible with the Controllable Mod. To install it, follow the step-by-step instructions below.

Step 1: Open up a terminal window and use the mkdir command to create a “mods” folder in your ~/.minecraft folder.

mkdir -p ~/.minecraft/mods/

Step 2: Using the CD command, move the terminal session into the “Downloads” directory.

cd ~/Downloads

Step 3: Download the latest version of the “Controllable” mod to your Linux PC. In this guide, we will focus on controllable-1.16.3-0.8.3.jar. If a newer version is available, download the mod from the website instead of the wget command below.

wget https://media.forgecdn.net/files/3068/902/controllable-1.16.3-0.8.3.jar -O ~/Downloads/controllable-1.16.3-0.8.3.jar

Step 4: Install the mod to Minecraft with the command below.

mv controllable-*.jar ~/.minecraft/mods/

Using the controller in Minecraft

There’s no configuration necessary to use the Controllable mod in Minecraft. Just turn on Minecraft, load up the game (with the Forge profile selected), and turn on a controller. It should auto-detect it and allow you to play right away!

We recommend using an Xbox One controller for the best results, as it seems to map the buttons the best. For controller configuration in Minecraft, select “Options,” and then click on the controller icon in the options menu.

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