The Xbox One controller is a pretty awesome controller. Its buttons are very responsive. Its form factor is smaller than the Xbox 360’s. It has a d-pad that wasn’t designed by a half asleep monkey. Overall, it’s an improvement over the Xbox 360 controller in most ways… except you can’t connect it to your computer yet.
Microsoft has said that they will soon release official drivers to allow the Xbox One to connect to the PC, but hasn’t yet given them a date. Unfortunately, it’s been several months since the Xbox One released and we still haven’t seen any. Meanwhile, the PS4 controller came with PC drivers right out of the gate. Luckily, fan hackers have figured out a safe and easy way to make your Xbox One controllers work on your PC, though you do have to do a little finagling to get it to work. Ironic that this is basically the exact opposite of the PS3 and Xbox 360 controller situation last generation, where the Xbox 360 controller had native drivers but the PS3 controller needed a variety of fan hacking tools to get it to work.
It works like this: basically you are installing a set of drivers that tricks your computer into thinking your Xbox One controller is an Xbox 360 controller. To begin, download all the required files from here. You’ll need to uncompress it with WinRAR or another .rar decompressor.
Then, you need to plug your controllers into your computer via USB. Then you have to navigate to the controllers in the Windows device manager menu. You’ll notice that the controllers are disabled because no driver software was found. That’s fine, we are going to conjure up our own.
Choose to update the drivers and then choose to install a driver from your harddrive. Scroll down to Universal Serial Bus devices, and then select WinUSB device. This driver basically makes your driver open to be tinkered with by developers. Windows will say that that installing the driver isn’t recommended, but ignore that warning, we know what we are doing.
Next, you will have to install an application call vJoy. This basically created virtual joypads out of other devices. Normally you can use this to map joypad commands to other devices for some pretty interesting results. However, this time we are going to map a joypad to… well… a joypad. Make sure that X, Y, Z, and all R axes are selected, as are 1 continuous POV. Also be sure that vJoy is set to the right amount of buttons, 13. After that simply click apply. You’ll have to click apply for multiple target devices if you have more than one controller. You will now notice that there are vJoy controllers located in your windows controller menu, but they don’t work.
Up next (yes there is another step) is installing LibUsbDotNet. These are just required files for getting the Xbox One controller app to work. After that’s installed, just run the Xbox One controller app, courtesy of Lucas Assis. This should allow you to go into your controllers menu and test them normally. You can even select the trigger button option to map your triggers to a non-analog, digital button press, for use with old games and emulators.
Now you have a working generic computer controller mapped to your Xbox One controller. However, you can take this one step further. If you want to fully emulate an Xbox 360 controller, you can use a program called X360CE. Note, that this program only works in Windows 7 and below, so you’ll have to run it in compatibility mode if you are on Windows 8. After that you’ll have to manually set up all of your buttons as follows.
- L Trigger – Axis 3
- R Trigger – Axis 6
- L Bumper – Button 5
- R Bumper – Button 6
- Back – Button 7
- Start – Button 8
- Guide – Button 15
- D-Pad – Dpad 1
- Y Button – Button 4
- X Button – Button 3
- B Button – Button 2
- A Button – Button 1
- L Stick Axis X – Axis 1
- L Stick Axis Y – iAxis 2 (inverted axis 2)
- L Stick Button – Button 9
- R Stick Axis X – Axis 4
- R Stick Axis Y – iAxis 5 (inverted axis 5)
- R Stick Button – Button 10
You can then use the program to generate a list of .dll files that you can put in your game folder in order to get your controller recognized as an Xbox 360 controller.
If you need more info, about connecting your Xbox One gamepad to your computer, or if you simply need a visual walk through all of the steps, check out this video tutorial by Lucas Assis.
Former Contributing Writer