How to Connect Xbox 360 Controller to PC in 2021

Curious to know how to connect Xbox 360 controller to PC? While most PC gamers use the traditional tools of the trade (a mouse and keyboard), specific game genres work better with a controller. Sure, you could consume $19.99-$89.99 on a PC-exclusive game controller, but why waste money when you can use your Xbox 360’s controllers on any Windows system? Install a wired controller is easy enough, as the drivers usually download automatically, but connecting a wireless gamepad requires a bit more work.

To attach to a wireless Xbox 360 controller, you require to first use in the HDE Wireless Receiver for Xbox 360 or the Komodo Wireless Gaming Receiver, both of which are available on Amazon for $13.49 and $10.94, respectively. For this how-to, we went with the HDE model in tandem with the MSI GS70. After you’ve bought the wireless receiver, follow these steps to get your wireless Xbox 360 controller running on your PC.

how to connect an xbox 360 controller to a pc
how to connect an Xbox 360 controller to a pc

How to Connect Xbox 360 Controller to PC (Wired Method)

  • Hold your Xbox 360 connector’s USB port and plug it into Windows 10 USB port.
  • Windows 10 will install drivers for Xbox 360 automatically.
  • As soon as the driver is installed, you can start using the Xbox 360 controller on your PC. You can open a game and test all the buttons and stick to see if you can play on the PC.

Pro tip: If you already have the associated driver, but it is not updated, then you can install & run Advanced Driver Updater on your PC. It is capable of updating all the outdated drivers required to play games or run any other accessory.

How to Connect Xbox 360 Controller to PC (Wireless Method)

Now, if you own an Xbox 360 controller with no wire attached to it, you need to have an Xbox 360 wireless receiver in between to connect the controller and PC. You can buy a receiver and use it to connect multiple controllers and wireless headsets. It merely eliminates the need for any other additional accessories to play games on Windows PC.

Here, we have shared the link to get a Microsoft receiver; you may choose to buy a regular receiver as and how you like.

  • Plugin the receiver in your computer’s USB port.
  • There will be most probably green light on the receiver signaling that it is ready to work.
  • Now, you need to install the required software to connect the Xbox 360 controller to the PC.

For this, you have three options:

  1. Windows will automatically come up with the wizard asking you to install software automatically. Select Next and let the software install.
  2. You will apparently see an installation disk along with the receiver. Put the disk inside the optical drive and let the installation finish. If you have any doubts, follow the instructions on the screen.
  3. Another option to install the software is to visit the Xbox 260 wireless controller for Windows. Make sure you choose the right software driver and language to download.
  • Restart the computer once done. And now, start your Xbox controller by pressing the ‘X’ or Guide button.
  • As the Xbox 360 controller’s light turns green and stabilizes, it is ready to establish the connection. You can test the controller by playing games on Windows PC and escape from buying a new PC controller.
how to connect xbox 360 controller to pc without receiver
how to connect Xbox 360 controller to pc without receiver

Testing and Calibrating Xbox 360 Controller

No matter how you connected the controller to the PC, you may want to check if it works appropriately afterward. Testing the controller could be done simply by running the game and checking for unexpected behavior, but doing it this way is not recommended, as you may easily miss any malfunctions.

Instead, open Control Panel and go to Devices and Printers after connecting the gamepad to the PC. From there, you can choose the Xbox 360 controller – click it with the right mouse button and select Game controller settings from the context menu. In the newly opened window, choose Properties, and then, in the Settings section, click on the Calibrate button. Doing so will launch a calibration wizard – follow the instructions to calibrate your device.

Once you are finished, you can switch from the Settings tab to the Testing tab in the Properties window. Here you will be able to test your controller and all of its buttons conveniently. Leaning analog sticks and pushing triggers will cause Z-Axis, X Rotation, and Y Rotation positions to change accordingly. Similarly, pushing buttons will cause corresponding parts in the window to glow red. Ensure everything works properly – if it doesn’t, you may want to install a different, possibly older version of the controller driver.


Q: How do you connect a wireless Xbox 360 controller to a PC?
A: Plug the wireless receiver into the PC’s USB port. -If it’s a Microsoft controller, an install wizard should connect; if not, you can download and install the drivers from – Next, turn on your controller.
Q: Can you connect Xbox 360 controller to the PC without a receiver?
A: What you would have to do is get a pack of stuff directly from the company. You can buy the official Xbox 360 wireless controller for Windows pack. You will have an extra controller, but you can sell that if you don’t need it.
Q: Are Xbox 360 controllers compatible with PC?
A: The Xbox 360 controller arises in both wired and wireless versions. The wired and wireless versions are also cooperative with Microsoft PC operating systems, such as Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10. The wireless controllers work on either AA batteries or a rechargeable battery pack.
Q: Why won't my Xbox controller connect to my PC?
A: Usually, if the firmware isn’t updated, the computer will not recognize the controller at all. To solve this problem, plug in the controller into an Xbox One and update the controller’s firmware through that Xbox One. Afterward, plug the controller into the PC and see if the issue is resolved.


The above is all you need to do if you want to connect an Xbox 360 controller to a Windows PC. And depending on what Xbox 360 controller you use, the steps can be relatively simple.

Now open a game that supports the Xbox 360 controller and whether if your controller works correctly. Share your valuable thoughts and suggestions in the comment box section below.


Leave a Comment