PC Gamers have kept a safe albeit unhealthy distance from console gamers with the argument that PCs with gamepads are more powerful and more capable than consoles. However that gamepad is exactly what defines consoles. They take the enormity of the keyboard and mouse and condense it into a single controller. Modern games come with “full controller support”, meaning they can use any console’s controller on a PC exactly as it was intended on a console (complete with accurate button mapping). Xbox controllers are heavily favored by Windows, such that the Xbox One S controller even connects wirelessly to a PC exactly as it would on the Xbox One S console. However, for gamers who use non-traditional controllers, there is a way to connect your controller but have it emulate an Xbox controller.
This will require the use of external software to accomplish, because even though Windows does natively support the Xbox 360 controller (albeit with add-ons), it will not automatically assign functionality as it would to an Xbox controller. This is not because of development bias, but simply because they cannot tailor a game to address every single controller out there. That said to emulate an Xbox controller you will need to download Toca Edit Xbox 360 Controller Emulator.
Finding Your Game Version
Toca Edit Xbox 360 Controller Emulator has two versions; a version for 32-bit (also called x86 architecture) games and 64-bit games. These versions don’t have anything to do with your Windows installation being 32-bit or 64-bit. They are related to the game(s) you have installed and what version they are. There are two ways to do this.
Game EXE File
To emulate an Xbobx controller, you need to find the version for your game that is compatible with the app. Go to the folder where your game is installed. Find the game’s executable file, right click it and select Properties. In the Properties Window, Go to the ‘Compatibility’ tab.
Here, check the box for ‘Run this program in compatibility mode for’ and you will be given a list of Operating Systems. If the list begins at Windows Vista, then you have a 64-Bit game. However, if the list begins at Windows 95, then you have an x86/32-bit executable file on your hand.
Checking Task Manager
Open the task manager. On the lower left, click on ‘More Details’. Go to the ‘Details’ Tab. Here, on the labels bar, Right-Click and click on ‘Select Columns’.
In this list, scroll down to find a column for ‘Platform’, check that and press okay.
Run Toca Edit Xbox 360 Controller Emulator. If you encounter an ‘Xinput is missing…’ error, click on ‘Create’ and you will be ready to begin.
At this point, plug in your controller. If this is the first time you’re plugging in your controller, give it a few minutes to install the drivers, etc. Once that is done, check on Toca Edit Xbox 360 Controller Emulator to find a new Window saying ‘New Device Detected’. It will tell you that it has detected a device with a unique instance ID if you are using a popular device so it can download the configuration automatically. Press ‘Next’ and press ‘Finish’.
Now you can see your device reading as an Xbox 360 Controller. You still need to configure buttons, because the defaults are going to be selected incorrectly.
Click on the drop-down menu next to the name of the button you want to emulate and press ‘Record’, then press the button on your controller that you want to use for that function. Go through this for each button and press ‘Save’.
In case you ever want to reset your controller to its default state, simply load up the Toca Edit Xbox 360 Emulator and press ‘Reset’.
Keep in mind, if you have both 32-bit as well as 64-bit games, then you will need to download and run both emulators, otherwise your controller will either not register in the game at all, or it will do so with the wrong controls.