Use Your Xbox 360 Controller on Windows 7

December 31, 2010, By Christian Cawley

The majority of PC games are controlled via mouse and keyboard. Whether you’re playing an action game or a strategy game, some combination of mouse movement and keyboard-based text entry is required, and very few games exclusively require a gamepad or similar hardware.

And yet there are so many Windows 7-compatible gamepads available. As a result, many games come with controller configuration options that allow you to play with an alternate input device. Using a gamepad can often provide you with a superior gaming experience, so it is always worth looking at this option.

While many Windows 7 compatible gamepads are available there is one in particular that has proved to be popular – the Xbox 360 controller.

How to use your Xbox 360 Controller with Windows 7

Using the Xbox 360 Wired Controller on Windows 7

You will find that you won’t have too much trouble installing the Xbox 360 wired controller on a Windows 7 PC – the drivers for running the device are already included, which is a bit of an advantage.

As such, you will need to simply plug your controller into a USB port on your PC, and wait for it to be installed. This should take a matter of seconds, and it shouldn’t be too long before you’re off playing your favourite PC games with an Xbox 360 controller!

If you run into any problems, a driver can be downloaded from

Using the Wireless Xbox 360 Controller on Windows 7

As well as using the wired Xbox 360 controller on your Windows 7 PC, you can use the wireless version as well!

This requires additional hardware, such as a wireless receiver that plugs into your PC’s USB port. Such a device will cost around £15 in the UK or $25 in the USA, and is intended specifically for those that wish to use a wireless Xbox 360 controller with Windows.

Once you have acquired this, the hardware should install automatically – again, if not head and download the driver.

Gaming Profiles for Xbox 360

Installing your Xbox 360 controller on your Windows 7 PC is only half the job, however – you will need to configure it for use with your intended game.

Sometimes controller mapping is an easy task, performed within the game via a dedicated menu; other times the controller can be mapped via a text file, which is a little more complicated and might require a certain amount of trial and error.

Typically, however, the best way around this problem is to do a search in Google for suitable controller profiles. These are controller mapping configurations compiled by other users that have been uploaded to the web to be shared with other gamers and will save you a lot of time configuring your own controller.

Googling for these might take some time, however, so you could choose to take advantage of the Pinnacle Game Profiler, a useful tool with a 30 day trial that will apply various game profiles to your controller for ease of use on your PC.

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