Microsoft releases Windows drivers for the Xbox One controller

If you own an Xbox One, your controller can now serve double duty as a PC gamepad. Microsoft’s Larry Hryb, a.k.a. Major Nelson, posted download links to official drivers for the controller on his blog this morning.

The installation process sounds simple: just grab the appropriate 32- or 64-bit driver, connect the controller to your PC with a micro-USB cable, and you’re in business. The controller is compatible with any game that supports the Xbox 360 gamepad. According to Hryb, the drivers will be part of an upcoming Windows update—but if you need them today, we see no reason to wait.

The Xbox One controller hooked up to a Surface tablet. Source: Major Nelson.

Currently, it looks like the controller works in wired mode only. This VentureBeat article says the Xbox One controller uses a different wireless protocol than the Xbox 360 controller, so the existing wireless adapter won’t work. Microsoft has offered no indication of when a new wireless adapter might arrive.

The Xbox One controller is supposed to include 40 improvements over its predecessor, including higher-precision thumbsticks and a crisper d-pad.

Comments closed
    • PerfectCr
    • 5 years ago

    The Xbox One controller is awesome. I love the way it feels. The quality is very high. You wouldn’t think they could improve on the 360 controller but they did. It just feels perfect. Wired is disappointing but I am willing to suck it up for now in order to use the XB1 controller on PC. Hopefully MS will release a wireless dongle for the PC. In the meantime I picked up a six foot Micro USB cable from Amazon for this purpose.

    • USAFTW
    • 5 years ago

    So according to Hryb the best use case scenario for this is hooking up to a Surface Pro and playing outdated game that was too old for it’s time and was used as an incentive for people to switch to Windows Me 2?

    • Terra_Nocuus
    • 5 years ago

    Awesome. I’d resigned myself to buying another 360 controller so the boys could play LEGO Marvel with me, but now I’ll put it off. Wired isn’t a deal breaker, but wireless could be nice 🙂

    • DancinJack
    • 5 years ago

    sweet. i was looking just last night for this. I’d like to get one for a few games.

    not really a point if you have a 360 controller though, I suppose.

    • albundy
    • 5 years ago

    thanks, but i’ll stick to my logitech wireless rumblepad 2. its been working great since 2008.

      • geekl33tgamer
      • 5 years ago

      Mine died 2011 – Vibration motors give up, and several of the buttons didn’t register on he first tap, or second. It lasted 4 or so years though, then it got replaced with a 360 controller…

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 5 years ago

    Apparently you get better joysticks with the xbone.

    Edit: that reads way worse than intended.

    • deruberhanyok
    • 5 years ago

    [i<]the Xbox One controller uses a different wireless protocol than the Xbox 360 controller, so the existing wireless adapter won't work.[/i<] Of course. Why not just use Bluetooth? (Because then they can't sell you a proprietary adapter, I know). While I'm at it, a user replaceable hard drive would have been a nice feature too, I guess, but then they couldn't sell you a crazy overpriced drive upgrade. At least this one has wifi built-in, so there's no charging $100 for a USB wifi-g adapter.

      • oldog
      • 5 years ago

      Sounds like something only a fruity tech company would do.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 5 years ago

        And Sony. PS4 controller connects via Bluetooth to both PS4 and PC.

    • Chrispy_
    • 5 years ago

    Wired only?
    C’mon, that’s useless for everyone excepts devs.

    It’s times like this that Sony actually wins a standardisation contest (!)
    At least the PS3 and PS4 controllers are everyday bluetooth, right?

      • bthylafh
      • 5 years ago

      Hardly. I’ve got no wireless controllers of any kind. It’s great; they’re lighter and I don’t have to swap batteries.

        • DancinJack
        • 5 years ago

        Yeah, I agree.

        Useless for everyone but devs is a pretty awful assumption.

      • Spotpuff
      • 5 years ago

      Their controllers are bluetooth but don’t work on Windows without motionjoy, which is a 3rd party unsupported driver (you have to disable driver signing in windows 7 to install it, which weakens security).

        • sweatshopking
        • 5 years ago

        it it’s buggy, and requires you to overwrite your Bluetooth device driver so it doesn’t work with anything else. I just stopped bothering and got a 360 pad.

        • shank15217
        • 5 years ago

        Driver signing doesn’t make them more secure, that’s a false sense of security you have there.

          • Laykun
          • 5 years ago

          It makes the operating less secure, not the drivers. I believe that’s what he meant.

      • Grape Flavor
      • 5 years ago

      I’ll eat my hat if Microsoft doesn’t come out with a wireless adapter eventually. The only question is how long we’ll have to wait.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 5 years ago

      I don’t have a separate HTPC. This is fine for me gaming at my desk.

    • Amazing Mr. X
    • 5 years ago

    Doesn’t the Xbox One Controller use some Wi-Fi technology called [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wi-Fi_Direct<]Wi-Fi Direct[/url<]? Does that need a special driver or adapter? Or does it just need a preexisting device with Wi-Fi Direct support?

    • bthylafh
    • 5 years ago

    If I break down and buy an Xbox controller, should it make a difference to any PC game whether I get an Xbone or a 360 controller?

      • Airmantharp
      • 5 years ago

      Most console-focused series wind up as pretty terrible PC ports- and if it’s made by Ubisoft, well, you’d might as well just play it on the console where it’s almost guaranteed to actually work.

        • bthylafh
        • 5 years ago

        There are occasional games that are better with a controller, e.g. Pinball Arcade and Mark of the Ninja. I have an old DirectInput controller and can make it work for games like that with Xpadder, but that’s an annoyance.

        Now, any useful input?

          • Terra_Nocuus
          • 5 years ago

          My guess is, the Xbone controller will appear to be a 360 controller to existing games, so it should work fine.

            • Pbryanw
            • 5 years ago

            This bit from the blog looks promising:
            [quote<]The new PC drivers will enable the Xbox One controller to be used with any game that featured gamepad support for the Xbox 360 controller.[/quote<]

      • Ryhadar
      • 5 years ago

      If you’re into fighting games and like using the D-pad the D-pad on the Xbox One controller is definitely better. Another nicety of Xbox One controller is that you can use it for either wired or wireless operation when/if Microsoft releases a wireless receiver for it. With the 360 controller it’s pretty much either buy one or the other (and if that wireless adapter breaks good luck getting a replacement that [i<]isn't[/i<] a chinese knock off). Major Nelson's blog post seemed to indicate it would just work like the regular 360 controller with PC games: [quote<]We know our fans have wanted PC compatibility, and we know they wanted to be able to use the Xbox One controller with the same games and applications they have been playing with using the Xbox 360 controller[/quote<] So there shouldn't be any incompatibility, especially since the picture shows him playing Halo 2 (which I know works flawlessly with my 360 controller). With all of that said, 360 controller is probably cheaper (especially the wired ones) and I think it's more comfortable.

      • Grape Flavor
      • 5 years ago

      Nope. All games that are compatible with the 360 pad will work with the Xbone pad, according to Microsoft.

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