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How to use Xbox controller on a PC

Games can be played on a console or on a PC. The developer(s) of a game must release it for a particular platform and most games that are released for consoles are also released for Windows 10 PCs. The gameplay is the same as is the in-game experience with one small difference; a game on your PC can be played with a mouse and a keyboard. Many games that are released for Windows 10 also have controller support which means you can use an Xbox controller on a PC to play games.

Use Xbox controller on a PC

There are different versions of an Xbox controller e.g. an Xbox One controller or an Xbox 360 Controller. These versions all correspond to and work with specific versions of the Xbox console. In most cases, the version doesn’t really matter when you want to use an Xbox controller on a PC. What matters is if the controller is wired or wireless.

Wired Xbox controller on PC

A wired Xbox controller is a plug & play peripheral on a Windows 10 PC.

  1. Turn on your Windows 10 system.
  2. Connect the controller to the PC via its USB cable.
  3. You will hear the new hardware found sound on the Windows 10 system.
  4. The Xbox button on the controller will light up.
  5. Drivers for the controller will be installed within a few minutes.
  6. Press the Xbox button on the controller and the game bar will open to indicate the controller is all set up and ready to use.
  7. Open a game and it will detect the controller.

Note: You can connect multiple wired controllers to a PC but if you do not have enough USB ports, use a USB hub that can supply power.

Wireless Xbox Controller on PC

A wireless Xbox controller connects to a PC over Bluetooth.

  1. Open the Settings app on your Windows 10 system.
  2. Go to Devices and select the Bluetooth tab.
  3. Turn the Bluetooth switch on.
  4. On the wireless Xbox controller, press the Xbox button to turn it on.
  5. On the Settings app, click ‘Add Bluetooth or other device’.
  6. Select ‘Bluetooth’ from the menu. If you have an Xbox Wireless Adapter built into your system, select ‘Everything else’ from the menu.
  7. Press and hold the Xbox button on the controller to enter pairing mode.
  8. Select your controller when it appears in the list. For an Xbox One controller, you will have to press the connect button.
  9. The light on the Xbox button will blink to indicate it is pairing. Once the light stabilizes, the controller is all set up, and ready to be used.


An Xbox controller is easy to set up on a PC. It will work great in most games that have controller support however, some games that are released for the PC are meant to be played with a keyboard and mouse. The controller may be a bit clumsy to use with these types of games but it will work nevertheless. If you’re playing a Steam game, make sure you’ve enabled support for an Xbox controller in the Steam settings.

Got a PS4 controller? You can use it with a PC too. 

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