Xbox One Controller Windows Drivers Released

By Alice O'Connor on June 5th, 2014 at 8:00 pm.

Shiny!

If you want a PC gamepad, conventional wisdom goes, just get an Xbox 360 controller. It’s a great pad, it’s what every game expects you to have, it works without adaptors or utilities, and it feels nice, and look, just get an Xbox 360 pad; it’s the least faff. But what about the Xbox One controller? What about its less-rubbish d-pad and its tweaked thumbsticks and buttons and special vibrations?

Microsoft today finally released Windows drivers for the new Xbox One controller, which, to my grasping hands, is even better than the 360 pad. There’s a bit more faff this time though.

You can download the drivers this-a-way. However, you’ll also need to root out a micro USB cable too. The Xbox One controller doesn’t come in a wired form, and can’t connect to a PC. [Some hasty editing after a canny reader points out it uses proprietary tech, not Wi-Fi Direct as commonly believed.] Hopefully Microsoft are planning to release a dongle like the wireless Windows 360 controller uses.

Industrious sorts had worked out before how to use an Xbone pad on Windows but the process involved so very much faff.

As you may not have paid much attention to the Xbox One controller when Microsoft were super-hyping it before the console’s launch, here’s a seven-minute video supposedly explaining why its changes are so exciting they warrant a seven-minute video:

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85 Comments »

  1. Cockie says:

    That last sentence is pure gold. :D

  2. XhomeB says:

    The x360 pad is a great addition to my PC gaming needs, it greatly compliments the keyboard&mouse/joystick combo I always had. Frankly, I don’t think the number of PC gamers owning a pad has ever been higher, which is actually a good thing, more incentive to bring some console-specific titles to the platform.
    How’s the xone’s d-pad?

    • Premium User Badge

      Arathain says:

      I would also like to know about the d-pad. the 360 controller is very nice except for that.

    • fabulousfurrygingerfreakbrothers says:

      Totally agree. I had an old Logitech thing I used to play PES on my old laptop and my only experience of non-DS-style controllers was the frankly uncomfortable original XBox controller. Got a 360 when I built my new PC though and haven’t looked back. Feels great, and some games (Spelunky, Super Meat Boy, GTAs) just work so much better. A must-have peripheral in my mind (gamepad, not necessarily the 360 controller).

    • derbefrier says:

      The dpad is much better on the xbone controller. That’s one mans opinion anyway. Also the haptic feedback in the triggers is awesome for driving games(its really cool in the new forza to “feel” hard turns and such”)

      If you have a perfectly fine controller now I wouldn’t worry bout upgrading but if your looking for a new one I don’t think you can go wrong here(as long as the drivers work well that is)

      Also correct me if I am wrong someone its not a traditional microusb is it? Seems like I tried that and then went and bought the rechargable batterypack/cord combo. I could be mistaken though.

  3. Pazguato says:

    Special PC edition with micro usb cable included when?

    • popej says:

      Also wondering this.

      I’m assuming we can use any ‘Micro USB > USB’ cable though?

    • DanMan says:

      I read somewhere that they don’t plan on releasing an extra “PC version” (like they did with the 360 pad). You must buy the XB1 pad.

    • tehfish says:

      Just visit a pound shop and pick a new cable up :P

  4. CookPassBabtridge says:

    Now I want a haptic keyboard and mouse

  5. reggiep says:

    Major Nelson confirmed that the One controller uses proprietary communications tech — not WiFi Direct.
    http://www.reddit.com/r/xboxone/comments/1l5rhj/wifi_direct_for_controller/cbw26g1

    Microsoft will need to release a wireless receiver like they did with the 360 in order to get wireless. I would have assumed that’s why this took so long. Maybe they’ll announce it at E3.

  6. ScottTFrazer says:

    This is actually much better than the way the older controllers worked with PCs, assuming they drop a dongle at some point to allow wireless.

    With the old controllers you could buy a wired one, or you could get a wireless with a dongle, but the play’n'charge kit still required you to go wireless to actually play, meaning if you wanted to save batteries, you used two usb plugs.

    Using an industry standard microUSB cable means you pop out the transceiver (assuming they create one) and plug in the cable.

  7. Moraven says:

    There is always the Dual Shock 4 and bluetooth if you are looking for a wireless option. DS4 is a nice improvement over the DS3.

    • Underwhelmed says:

      And honestly better than the XBone’s. You don’t have the neat rumblyness of the triggers, but the bumpers on the Bone controller, are garbage just as they were on the 360 controller. The digital pad feels better on the DS4 (though the Bone’s isn’t at all shabby) and I can’t say that I am a fan of the shape of the analog sticks on the Bone controller either; they also feel way too loose for my tastes.

      • derbefrier says:

        Heh everything you said about the xbox controller I would say about a duelshock. God I loathe those controllers. The position of the analouge sticks always gets me have to reach acrross the dpad….. I mean come on how does anyone find that comfortable?

        • Premium User Badge

          welverin says:

          “The position of the analouge sticks always gets me have to reach acrross the dpad….. I mean come on how does anyone find that comfortable?”

          I’ve never understood this complaint, but then I’ve been using DS controllers from the begging and only pick up a 360 pad for my PC years after the system itself launched (which I never got).

    • Vodka, Crisps, Plutonium says:

      I’ve heard that’s a less viable option, as xbox controller practically owns gamepad input interfaces in most of Windows games. http://ibeatitfirst.com/dualshock-4-controller-pc-review/

      Also, I wouldn’t mind against Xbox 360 gamepad, which I recently bought for my PC, and it was miles away better than any experience I had in years with Dualshocks (bulged-in sticks and trigger-wise). Unfortunatelly, if only the built quality was as good as Sony’s – had to return the xpad after one of the sticks went a bit, um, “stick-y” to the left after 2 weeks of mild usage. Two bloody weeks!

      Really interested in how well the xbone controller will work with Xinput or, basically, with the games from past gen.

    • MrStones says:

      Got to second the DS4, it’s a great pad and the fact that it works through any old micro-usb lead or bluetooth dongle (some cheap dongles can add a bit of lag though) you’ve got is a major plus, no adaptors needed woo for industry standards. All you need is google DS4tool and have the 360 drivers installed and your good to go.

      Never had need to update it since I first installed it so I’m not sure if they’ve got the headphone jack or the controllers touchpad working for the mouse yet, would be nice but we’re not short on those on pc.

      One downside is when playing local multiplayer having to translate buttons for people who aren’t used to them (“Press X” can get confusing) but texture replacers can help in some games and most people catch on quickly… most people.

    • Phasma Felis says:

      For wireless PC gaming, I can’t recommend the Logitech F710 enough. It’s a got a USB dongle with (in my experience) rock solid connectivity, much better than the official Microsoft dealie; it’s got a switch to toggle between XInput and DirectInput so you can still play games that don’t support the 360 pad; and the dongle hides away in a slot next to the battery, so it’s perfect for traveling.

      If you don’t like wireless but the first two sound good, the F310 is basically the same only wired and cheaper.

      I know I sound like an ad, sorry. :-/ After months of wrestling with configurations and drivers for the stupid 360 wireless dongle, I was just so excited to find something that works right away every time.

      • captain nemo says:

        Interesting. In my move away from Windows, I’m looking for one of these as I heard the F710 worked with Mac.

        • Eery Petrol says:

          Be carefull there. I use two F710′s on Mac and while Direct input works right out of the box, my OSX does not support X-input natively (Mac vs. Windows). Most current games require this and you will have to use some third party freeware. I suggest the Xbox 360 controller driver from Tattiebogle, with an extra library download to recognise the F710. If you get that running you should be able to use your F710 on OSX whatever way you want :)

      • Vodka, Crisps, Plutonium says:

        Looks interesting, but I’d like to ask how the bulging-out stick knobs go? I kinda have a slight proplem with slipping my fingers of them at the most inappropriate, stealthy-sticky-nudgy moment/

        • Eery Petrol says:

          The thumbsticks have a course texture to improve grip. Look some pictures up to see what I mean. I personally enjoy using them, and the outie instead of innie design allows you to more easily roll over your thumb, requiring less thumb movement.

    • Press X to Gary Busey says:

      I’ve only tried the Dual Shock 4 pad once with Resogun (a friend absolutely had to get the PS4 on launch and used it for 30 minutes). But it’s a nice improvement from the old one. Unless you happen to play on a high gloss TV. ;)

    • mickygor says:

      Yeah I’ll be going down this path, my DS3 is starting to give out (I got it second hand, some of the casing was damaged and it’s spreading :( ) so I figured I might as well get with the times.

  8. Low Life says:

    Great, just a couple of weeks ago as I was packing my 360 pad for travelling I noticed its cord is starting to break up. Too bad the XOne isn’t released here yet so I can’t try the pad out anywhere.

  9. Premium User Badge

    Martel says:

    I’ve been thinking about picking up a 2nd 360 controller for my PC, now I’ll have to check these out too. Interesting

    • Moraven says:

      That is one thing I did like about the receiver, is that it can take more than 1 controller at a time (have a 360 and PC 360 controller that work fine on it). Never tried to see the bluetooth module limit of Dualshocks are.

  10. killias2 says:

    I’m a big fan of my DS4 for PC gaming. The only downside is that the battery life is a bit on the low side, but, all in all, it’s a great device.

    • MrStones says:

      Have you tried turning off/down the lightbar thing, I found that pretty much doubled my batterys life though it is still a little on the low side.

    • DanMan says:

      It also costs 60€, which is about 20€ more than an XBox One pad. Depends on if wireless is that important to you.

      Before I pay 60€ for a PS4 pad, I rather pay 70€ for a Razer Sabertooth, but that’s just me.

  11. Kefren says:

    I didn’t realise there were no cable versions. Another reason why I’ll stick with my Xbox (and vast collection of Rock Band games)! I hate battery gadgets.

    • Axess Denyd says:

      We may be the only two people who dislike wireless.

      …especially stupid proprietary wireless.

      • Pazguato says:

        Hey, count me in! I want a wired xbox one pad! wired! :)

        “I hate battery gadgets” Me too ¬¬

        • KevinLew says:

          In the end, wireless controllers are a huge hassle. Look at how many comments are in this article from people having trouble getting their wireless controllers working. This problem doesn’t exist on wired controllers and you’ll never have lag either.

          I am really depressed that wireless controllers are treated as superior to anything else, and I’ll be forced to use them one day for everything.

          • Pippy says:

            That is indeed a chilling dystopian vision of the footur. However I for one welcome our new wireless overlords.

    • buzzmong says:

      When I got my 360 back in the day, first purchase was a wired controller.

      Wireless is nice and all, but quite frankly, being wired isn’t an inconvenience and batteries (even rechargables die eventually) do get expensive over time.

    • Kefren says:

      Glad I’m not the only one. My favourite Rock Band peripherals are wired too – drum kit, mic, guitar. So much less hassle. I just avoid doing spins with them.

    • malkav11 says:

      Yeah, me neither. If they’re going pure wireless on the Xbone, I will never buy either the console or the gamepad. I don’t understand why the extremely minor inconvenience of a cord is supposed to be so much worse than the enormous inconvenience of a miniscule and constantly depleting battery that will invariably be out when you most need it. Furthermore, the wired connection on a 360 controller is rock solid on PC whereas the wireless version is by all accounts problematic in a number of games.

      But then, I can’t see why I would want to drop another $50+ on a brand new, marginally different gamepad when my 360 pad is still working just fine. Even if they did offer a wired option.

      PS: Literally the only place I have ever found wireless to be useful as a feature on peripherals (wireless internet is obviously hugely useful on portable devices) is with my headset, as it permits me to move around the house while still listening to audio from my computer and possibly conversing on Skype or similar, and the cords have been the failure point on like five headsets in a row now. But it still runs out of battery with very little warning (none now that I’m running the latest drivers – lovely), occasionally cuts out for a few seconds, and sometimes has issues with signal interference, none of which were ever the case with a wired headset.

      • bjohndooh says:

        You need to connect with a micro USB cable to use it on the PC.
        I’ve never put batteries in mine and there’s no bulge on the back this time around.
        Personally I don’t see a reason for a separate version.

  12. mechabuddha says:

    Or you can get a Logitech F310. There’s a switch on the back for x-input (which is what the XBox controllers use, if I’m not mistaken) and direct input, which some older games use. I haven’t had to use a third party program or driver in I can’t remember how long since I got this thing.

    • DanMan says:

      No rumble. Just sayin’

      • mechabuddha says:

        Good point. Personally, I can’t stand rumble, so it’s not something I considered. On the other hand, XBox controllers don’t let you remap the buttons, so there’s that.

      • Premium User Badge

        Joshua says:

        The Logitech F510 does have rumble.

        • green frog says:

          I’m afraid the F510 appears to have been discontinued.

  13. somnolentsurfer says:

    Why didn’t they release this in time for when Nidhogg came out, when I looking for a second controller?

    • aperson4321 says:

      I feel with you, I bought the Xbox One controller for nidhogg, and its just now official drivers is released :(

      But I am happy that the lack of both unofficial and official drivers for the xbox one controller made me buy two hori mini fighting sticks, god! Nidhogg with two actual arcade sticks with friends in local play was one of the most amazing game experiences I have ever had. The game got several times deeper in skill with the arcade sticks!

  14. Premium User Badge

    OctoStepdad says:

    I will pay attention to a Xbox One controller once they release a wired version so for now my wired 360 controller will do just fine.

    • Neurotic says:

      Yes, wired for me too, please.

    • Premium User Badge

      Vesper6 says:

      There are no plans to release a wired one. The wired and wireless are the same controller – just plug in with micro USB (doesn’t need batteries this way).

  15. DanMan says:

    I have the following questions:

    1. Which hardware features (rumble,… ) are supported by the driver?
    2. Do you need batteries?
    3. How is the build quality? I read a lot of people had to return theirs, and the RMA process is terrible and costly.

    • Premium User Badge

      Vesper6 says:

      1) Driver currently emulates an Xbox 360 controller, so standard rumble and all of the buttons.
      2) Batteries are included but not needed if you are plugged in with micro USB. Only used for wireless.
      3) Build quality is great, but I just got mine a couple of hours ago.

      • DanMan says:

        Thank you very much, kind stranger on the Internet.

        I heard there are some more analog features in it. Are they supported, too? I think “Impulse-Triggers” is what they call it.

        The negative reviews on Amazon paint a very grim picture in terms of build quality though.

  16. huldu says:

    Too expensive. Way too expensive for the few games that(I play) uses a controller to begin with. I try stay clear of console based games. The only games I could even consider using a gamepad(since the keyboard/mouse support is abysmal) would be games like Dark Souls(1/2) and other games along those lines.

  17. MeestaNob says:

    If Sony bring out an official driver for the DS4 then they will win this race, the DS4 uses generic blue tooth hardware rather than some mad propriety system necessitating an additional purchase.

    • frightlever says:

      And it has a built in touchpad that can emulate a mouse, making it perfect for sofa lounging while on your Steambox.

  18. Ianuarius says:

    The problem with 360 D-pad wasn’t so much its height but the fact that it was FUCKING BROKEN.

    If you pressed down on the d-pad it simultaneously might’ve told the system that you also pressed left and/or right. WHAT? To me, that’s unusable.

  19. frightlever says:

    There are already compatibility issues in some games with the wireless 360 controller, so I imagine that a new controller, with new drivers, is going to create even more compatibility issues.

  20. bill says:

    When and why did the 360 pad take over PC gaming? For years we had a wide range of controllers from different manufacturers that we could plug in and they just worked. Then suddenly the 360 pad arrived and everything else seemed to get forgotten.

    What’s the difference between the 360 pad and any other USB gamepad/controller?

    It seems like XNA games only support 360 pads (which is ridiculous and annoying), but on the other hand I’ve never found any issues with using my cheap no-name brand dual analog controller on any windows game.

    I just don’t get why we’ve decided that one dominant controller is better than a decent market with lots of options and brands.

    • TwoLines says:

      Standardization yo. You get big clear X Y A and B buttons on the screen, instead of “Button 2″ which is downright dumb. One controller makes things easier for the developers and the consumers. I wouldn’t mind more competitive brands to enter the game, but that’s not gonna happen. They won’t even implement the X O Triangle and Square buttons when using DS controllers, so yeah.

    • DanMan says:

      Lazy developers. When porting an XBox game over to windows, implementing XInput controls is easy. Implementing DInput is a whole lot more effort, and you don’t know where each button sits or what label it has. They’re just numbered consecutively. XInput is a simplified version of DInput after all. You’d have to program something to solve those problems.

      It didn’t help that no one complained about those practices either. You can bet other manufactures are not pleased either. It took them a long time to release XInput controllers. But then everyone already had an XBox one…

  21. bstard says:

    I lol’ed, nice joketicle.

  22. Ryuuga says:

    My trusty old xbox 360 controller is starting to get a bit worn, so this looks interesting as an upgrade option.. but.

    Is it easy to take it apart and remove the rumble bits? I really, really don’t like rumble, and makes the controller weird and heavy, too. In theory you can disable it in game settings, except when that setting does nothing (I’m looking at you, Borderlands 1).

    Any trouble with backwards compatibility?

    How about the usb cable falling out of the controller? I keep stepping on my cable and my xbox 360 controller has stood up to it admirably, so far.

  23. Tatty says:

    Now there’s a stroke of … well, maybe not ‘luck’ but my 360 pad died yesterday – I love the design but they really do seem to be constructed out of spit and profit margins.

    Was about to browse for a replacement when I saw this article. A couple of hours later I’m the owner of an Xbone pad (with no intention of ever buying an Xbox) and it’s performing admirably. Feels good, rumbles when it should and is recognised as a 360 pad in the games I’ve tried.

    The D-pad looks like it’ll actually work occasionally, which is a bonus.

    Only downside I’ve noticed so far is the finish – That matt black finish already has a couple of little scratches, brought on by me holding it.

  24. Lemming says:

    Does it do anything the x360 pad doesn’t already do just fine? No, probably not.

    • Tatty says:

      It D-pads an awful lot better. Apart from that it feels like a good (is there such a thing?) 3rd party 360 pad without the massive deadzones.