How to connect any gamepad to your computer

What to do if a DualShock, Xbox Controller, Nintendo Pro Controller or other “joystick” does not work with your PC

We recently published a selection of the best PC gamepads. Most of them work with Windows without any problems – plugged into USB and play. However, this mainly concerns only originally computer game controllers. There are quite a few truly successful ones among them, even in the above-mentioned selection we managed to select only 3 worthy devices. Therefore, they often try to connect a much better gamepad from one of the consoles to a PC, but, alas, such attempts do not always end successfully. In this material, we will tell you how to properly perform this procedure in order to avoid any possible problems.

PlayStation 4 Gamepad (DualShock 4)

Formally, Windows 10 supports the PS4 controller without additional drivers (primarily by cable). But in reality, it only works correctly when using Steam or when launching top online games like Fortnite . In addition, Sony produced a special adapter for wireless use of the DualShock 4. True, it is difficult to find it on sale, and it costs as much as half a gamepad.

For reliability, it is better to install a popular third-party software like DS4Windows :

  1. Connect the DualShock 4 with a nativecable via USB.
  2. Download the DS4Windowsapp .
  3. Unpack the archive to a convenient location.
  4. Run exefrom the unpacked archive. For Windows 8/10: Click Step 1, wait for the drivers and libraries to install, and then click Finish . For Windows 7 and earlier: Click the Step 1 button , wait for installation, click Step 2 , wait again and finally click Finish .
  5. The window of the program itself will open. In it, you should check the Run at Startup(run with Windows), Start Minimized (minimized to tray) and Close Minimizes (the close button minimizes to tray) checkbox in the Settings tab .
  6. Go to the Controllers tab and press the Stop / Start button in the lower right corner until the gamepad appears in the list of devices. Done!

Now on the cable, the Dualshock 4 will be identified as the Xbox 360 Controller. If you want to connect it via Bluetooth, then hold down the Share and PS buttons until it starts flashing blue quickly. After that, it can be added as a normal Bluetooth device (right-click on the blue Bluetooth icon in the tray and the “Add Bluetooth device” option).

PlayStation 3 gamepad (DualShock 3)

The PS3 controller is an excellent choice in terms of price and quality. But you can only get it sooner in used consoles stores. Unfortunately, there is not even formal system-level support for it in Windows. Therefore, you will have to install special fan software:

  1. Connect the DualShock 3 with a nativecable via USB.
  2. Download the ScpToolkitapp .
  3. Run the downloaded exefile .
  4. Follow the prompts of the installation wizard.
  5. At the final stage, the Run Driver Installerbutton will appear – click it.
  6. Press the active buttons at the top and then the Nextbutton .
  7. Once the installation is complete, the DualShock 3 will automatically detect itself as an Xbox 360 Controller when connected.

DualShock 3 will only work via cable.

Xbox One Controller

The Xbox One controller is fully compatible with Windows 7, 8, and 10 out of the box. No additional settings or driver installations are required. To connect via Bluetooth, right-click on the blue Bluetooth icon in the tray and select the “Add Bluetooth device” option .

Xbox 360 Controller

The Xbox 360 controller is fully compatible with Windows 7, 8 and 10 via cable only. It cannot be connected via Bluetooth – a special adapter with its own wireless technology is required. Therefore, there are no fan-made wireless drivers available. And the adapter itself is already difficult to find on sale.

Nintendo Switch Pro Controller

The Nintendo Switch controller connects via Bluetooth, but only on Windows 10 :

  1. right click on the blue Bluetooth iconin the tray,
  2. select the “Add Bluetooth device”option .

Installation via Steam may also be required:

  1. open the Steam app;
  2. open the controller settings menu (SteamSettings > Controller > Basic Controller Settings );
  3. Find Nintendo Switch Pro Controlleramong the detected devices and activate.

Wii U Pro Controller

The Wii U controller is the most difficult to connect to Windows and make it work correctly in all games. However, one of the Reddit users was still able to find a solution for connecting via Bluetooth:

  1. Disable Bluetooth completely on your Windows PC.
  2. Download WiinUSoft 2.1and Windows 10 Hotfix .
  3. Unpack both archives to a separate folder or to your desktop.
  4. Connect the Wii U Pro Controllerwith a USB cable to your PC.
  5. Open Bluetooth settingsand turn it on.
  6. Immediately hold down the red button on the back of the controller.
  7. When the gamepad appears in the list of devices available for connection, click on it or on the “Link”button . If there is a connection error, then press the red button on the controller.
  8. Go to the folder with the unpacked WiinUSoft utility.
  9. Move the dllfile from the hotfix archive into it.
  10. Run exeand the controller will be ready to use.

Gamepads from old consoles (PS1, PS2, Xbox, Dreamcast)

The easiest way is to get an updated version of one of the retro gamepads, complete with a USB cable. True, these will have to be ordered through Amazon or Aliexpress. But for the native controllers from the first PlayStation, PlayStation 2, original Xbox or even Dreamcast, there are special adapters. You can also search for them in foreign online stores:


by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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