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Anthony HeddingsWriter

Anthony Heddings is the resident cloud technician for LifeSavvy Media, a technical writer, programmer, and an skilled at Amazon"s AWS platform. He"s composed hundreds of articles for How-To Geek and also CloudSavvy the that have been read countless times. Read more...

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Console controllers don’t constantly work as soon as friend plug them into a Windows pc or Mac. We’ve compiled a list of guides so you can learn how to make her favorite controller work-related with her computer.

Most controllers intended to be used on PCs, favor USB Logitech controllers, will certainly be HID-compliant devices and support the XInput or DirectInput protocol, which you can use in most games. Some may work the end of the box and also others might need a practice driver. For console controllers, especially older ones, you might need a hardware adapter if the doesn’t plug into USB, as Bluetooth support is hit or miss.

This guide covers Windows and macOS, yet most HID controllers will work on Linux, too. It’ll just take a little configuration, v which Linux users are more than likely familiar.


PlayStation 4 (DualShock 4)

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Windows support Sony PS4 controllers without added software as lengthy as friend plug lock in via USB. You’ll require a hardware adapter to usage the controller wirelessly.

Macs likewise support Sony’s latest controllers by default, also with a wireless connection. Unfortunately, these controllers present up as a share input device, which may not work-related in every games.

PlayStation 3 (DualShock 3)

Windows needs a custom driver for PS3 controllers. It’s a bit complex to collection up, but we’ve gained the instructions.


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Macs support these controllers without any kind of extra software. Just wirelessly connect via Bluetooth or plug it in through a USB cable.

PlayStation 1 and 2 (DualShock 1 and also 2)

Sony’s PS1 and PS2 controllers space older and also don’t use USB. Friend can obtain an adapter, however it’s probably best to choose up a DualShock 3, together it’s nearly entirely the same however with wireless and also USB support.

Xbox One

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Windows is supported fully out of the box, seeing as this is Microsoft’s flagship controller. Simply plug and play, or affix over Bluetooth. You can even update the controller’s firmware from your computer if you’re using Windows 10.

Macs assistance Xbox One controllers wirelessly without anything extra, but you’ll need extra software if you desire to plug your controller in via USB. Special, you require the 360Controller driver, i m sorry extends assistance for wired USB Xbox One controllers.

Xbox 360

Windows support wired 360 controllers through default, yet wireless controllers will need a distinct USB adapter.


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Mac demands a custom driver. early to problems with kernel expansions (kexts,) wireless support reasons kernel panics, and also is disabled in this driver.

Original Xbox (Xbox “1”)

You’ll need an adapter and also some custom drivers, however it doesn’t seem completely easy. MacOS has actually an older driver, however it might not work-related on newer versions that macOS. Also, if you’re crazy, you have the right to forego the adapter altogether and also splice with each other a pair of cables, although we don’t introduce this.

Nintendo Switch pro Controller

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Nintendo’s Switch agree controller works instantly after you attach it via Bluetooth on Windows and also macOS, but you’ll have to set it increase in vapor to usage in games.

RELATED: How to connect the Nintendo switch Joy-Con or agree Controllers to your PC

Wii Remotes and Wii U agree Controllers

Windows will attach the controller through default, but it might not be usable together a controller in all apps. Dolphin, the Wii emulator, supports making use of them as inputs, yet we didn’t have any kind of on hand to test system-wide use.

Mac is supported in the same way—only in Dolphin. System-wide use is technically supported, yet we greatly recommend finding a new controller. MacOS Sierra damaged support for the only driver, Wjoy, yet it to be updated ~ above a new fork. However, the existing release doesn’t occupational either, so you’ll have to build the latest commit from resource in Xcode, update a bunch of develop targets, fix a few errors, authorize it through an apple developer account, and then after all that you have to boot into Recovery mode and disable device integrity protection to install it. Only then have the right to you properly attach the controller.

GameCube Controllers

You’ll require an adapter the course, however Windows and also Mac should be supported by default with HID. Support may vary though depending on the adapter girlfriend get. Friend can get an official one, but the Mayflash adapter appears to occupational fine for half the price. This adapter has actually a move so you can use it on PC as well as console, i beg your pardon will turn it into an HID maker rather than a proprietary console just one. Dolphin can interact with that directly, though, and also will assistance the Wii U mode, which deserve to fix some bugs with the added ports.


Note the macOS’s HID implementation overrides Dolphin’s direct communication with the device, so it doesn’t support having multiple controllers plugged in. There is a workaround, but it may not work with every adapter. The does involve disabling SIP, though admittedly just for kext extensions, which is a small safer.

Guitar Hero Controllers

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This one’s a tiny weird, as etc Hero has many different console versions, but there’s tho a thriving community on pc with CloneHero. Many should work-related with one adapter, for this reason it’s finest to check their wiki because that instructions.

Other Controllers

Other Retro Controllers usually require adapters, uneven you gain updated USB versions of them. Many adapters should use conventional XInput and also DirectInput connections and also should be configurable in steam and any type of of the apps below.

Third Party Controllers will certainly vary relying on what girlfriend get, however most need to use the same standard XInput connections. Usually, it will list that compatibility ~ above Amazon, therefore make sure to purchase one that’s compatible, or choose up something much more mainstream.

If her controller isn’t listed here, or you can’t get it to work with this guides, a fast Google find for the controller surname plus her OS version and also “driver” must lead you to decent results.

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If you should remap your controller, you can use Steam’s built-in large Picture mode to carry out so. If you must use the in a non-Steam game, friend can shot AntiMicro for Windows and Enjoyable because that macOS, both free.


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Anthony HeddingsAnthony Heddings is the resides cloud engineer for LifeSavvy Media, a technological writer, programmer, and an skilled at Amazon"s AWS platform. He"s written hundreds of posts for How-To Geek and also CloudSavvy it that have been read numerous times. Read complete Bio »