PC gaming is awesome, and your weapon of choice would almost always be a good keyboard and a good mouse. This is the perfect combo for FPS, RTS, MMOs, so on and so forth.
But sometimes it’s nice to use a controller when doing stuff like exploring the open worlds in RPGs. So today, we’re gonna do a short setup guide, on how to get your controllers to work with a PC.
The first is the simplest and the easiest. It’s impossible to get it wrong. Get an Xbox One controller, or if you already have one, just use that.
Simply connect your Xbox One controller to your PC with a USB to Micro-USB cable, wait for Windows to install the drivers and when it’s done, you’re off to the races.
Pretty much immediately, almost all games that support the use of a controller will recognize the Xbox One controller, and your in-game HUD and UI will change the icons accordingly as well. After all, Microsoft is certainly pushing multi-platform releases for the Xbox, and so you’ll pretty much have developers coding the native support for controllers in their games right out of the box.
You can also use the Xbox One controller wirelessly with your PC. Something to note, however, earlier generations of the Xbox One controller can only connect via Wi-Fi, and if what you have is one of those, you’ll have to get the wireless dongle in order to connect wirelessly. But if you have a newer Xbox One controller, mostly those that came after the S model was released, those controllers have Bluetooth support as well, so you can simply connect wirelessly via Bluetooth.
To check which version of the controller you have, you can just look at the design of the controller itself, near the top, where the Xbox button is.
The Xbox One controller will work on almost any game on any platform, be it Steam, Origin or Blizzard and so on. After all, Xbox and Windows belong to Microsoft, so there you have it.
But let’s say you don’t own an Xbox, and you don’t want to fork out that amount of cash just to get a controller to use with your PC? Well, you can also use a Dualshock 4.
There are two ways to go about this, with the first being Steam.
If you didn’t know, Steam actually offers native controller support for the Dualshock 4. All you have to do is plug in the Dualshock 4, and when that’s done installing, launch Steam in Big Picture mode.
Here, you’ll also actually see that the icons to navigate around are indeed, the iconic Playstation buttons, with the cross for select, and the circle for back, though it still says RB and LB on the side… so I guess it’s not perfect.
From here, you can go ahead and launch a game, like say Devil May Cry V. You’ll see that everything works perfectly. It’s as if I was playing on the Playstation 4. But do take note however, that the in game HUD and overall UI will still follow that of the Xbox.
If you require further customization of the buttons and game specific presets, you can also head over to settings, controller settings, and check the box for Playstation Configuration Support.
With this enabled, you can now remap the buttons of your Dualshock 4 on a per-game basis. For those of us in Asia, this might prove to be quite helpful, as you can now remap the select and back button to circle and cross instead.
But as mentioned, all this is possible, because of Steam. But what if you want to use your Dualshock 4 for games that’s not within Steam? Well, you’ll then have to download DS4Windows.
Go ahead, follow the instructions on the website and install DS4Windows onto your PC. It’s not that difficult. Heck, you just need to unzip the file, run the DS4Windows program, install the drivers, connect your Dualshock 4 and you’re pretty much done.
Now as you can see, we can then get to use the Dualshock 4 for something like Battlefield V on Origin. This will work for any other platform as well, most of the time. If you do encounter any specific errors or bugs, do scour the forums or the FAQ section on DS4Windows webpage itself. You’ll most likely get your answers there.
Also, since the Dualshock 4 supports Bluetooth, you can easily pair this with your PC as well, no problems at all.
Now at this point, what if you’re neither a fan of green or blue? But instead, you’re in the pretty awesome red camp?
Well, you’ll be glad to know that you can also use the Switch Pro controller with your PC.
Same as before, you’ll actually be surprised to know that Steam does in fact support the Switch Pro controller as well. Connect your Switch Pro controller via cable, let Windows do its thing and once installed, launch Steam Big Picture.
By this point, it’s the exact same thing like the Dualshock 4. But one cool thing that Steam offers natively for the Switch Pro controller, is an option to use the Nintendo Button Layout. Because the buttons on the Switch Pro controllers makes use of X, Y, A ,B like that of the Xbox One controller, you can either have Steam treat it like an Xbox One controller, in which case the B button would actually be an A, or, you can enable the Nintendo Button Layout option, which would make the actual physical A button on the Switch Pro controller to register an A input.
Our suggestion though is to not enable the function, as most games are designed with the Xbox layout in mind, and thus will feel more natural. You will get used to it.
But like the Dualshock 4, all this is only possible because of Steam. Outside of steam, you’ll have to install x360ce, or use BetterJoyForCemu.
However, I have to warn you all. It may or may not work, and sorry to disappoint, but in my case, it totally didn’t work. I first tried x360ce, and while it did detect the controller, I could not make it register the inputs correctly. More so than that, the software was kind of making sporadic inputs by itself, which rendered the entire controller useless.
So I tried BetterJoyforCemu instead, and this time, I’ve got slightly better luck. But just slightly. Though do take note, that you must install the applications included within the drivers before launching the program, else, it might not detect the controller.
So I have the program running, and it detects the Switch Pro, which will mimic as a 360 controller. Unfortunately, though, I tried Battlefield V, and it was a hit and miss.
Controls were all out of whack, and it’s basically unplayable. I tried troubleshooting for the next two days, but to no avail.
Now honestly, given more time, I would’ve probably been able to solve it, and perhaps also try many more software out there. But even then, there are still bugs and issues which people are facing, most prominently being conflicting controls when steam is running at the same time, double inputs, etc, but I digress, that’s a whole other topic that would need one entire video by itself.
If you all are interested in that, let me know, I might do one in the future where hopefully by then, I’ve made it work flawlessly.
But anyways, if you’re like me, you then have to ask yourself, is it worth the time and effort?
Personally, I would say no. Absolutely not. If you worked somewhere part-time for a day or two, you would’ve earned enough to just buy a second-hand Xbox One controller or Dualshock 4, and second-hand can be really cheap.
But, do remember that Steam works just fine. If your whole gaming life is within Steam, and you have a Switch Pro controller, great.
Now, all that I’ve mentioned are software that are free to download and use. But if you are willing to fork out a little bit of cash, there is actually a simpler option, especially if you want to use a Dualshock 4 or Switch Pro controller.
Check out REWASD. It not only supports the three controllers that we’ve just covered, but the Xbox Elite controller, the Joy-cons, and even the Stadia controller if you want to. It’s really simple to use, almost to the point of plug and play.
It does start at 6 US dollars, but if you opt for more features like macro support, the cost will rise. If you’re still unsure though, you can just go ahead and try the free 14-day trial, and see how that works out for you.
So that’s the end of the setup guide, for basically, the 3 main players in the console industry. I know it’s pretty basic, pretty common sense, but nevertheless, hope you found it useful.