Playing with a mouse and keyboard can become frustrating if you’re a hardcore video gamer.
You have to sit by your PC, hold on to WASD keys and memorize several other buttons to take immediate action in games.
Worst of all, your hands are in an uncomfortable elevated position for hours.
That’s where an Xbox 360 Controller for PC comes into play.
As relieving as they are, it’s sometimes very challenging or pricey to pair these controllers with your PC.
You’re probably wondering if you can connect an Xbox 360 controller to a PC without a receiver.
Keep reading to see whether that’s possible.
How to Connect Xbox 360 Controller to PC without Receiver
Ways to Connect Xbox 360 Controller to Computer
Here’s the sour news:
- You can never connect a wireless Xbox controller to your PC without a receiver.
That’s because these gadgets come with a proprietary connection protocol that’s only recognizable by an adaptor.
- There’s no chance to link an Xbox 360 controller via Bluetooth.
These controllers work on a different frequency than your Bluetooth transceiver.
Therefore, you can’t pair the two.
This leaves you with only three options to pair Xbox 360 controllers to PC:
1. Go with the Traditional Wired Option
Although outdated, this method is as easy as A-B-C.
As soon as you insert the controller into the USB port, your computer will recognize the device and download the necessary drivers.
You can start playing right away with no headache.
2. Get the Microsoft Official Xbox Package for Windows
This approach involves a controller, an adaptor, and a few other accessories to get things up and running.
The bundle is a bit expensive, and there’s no way around buying the extras.
Unless you already have a Windows-friendly controller, we recommend choosing this method because it ensures a more hassle-free experience.
Even if you have a controller, you can buy the bundle and then try to sell the extra controller on eBay.
3. Buy a Receiver
Microsoft doesn’t offer separate adaptors.
If you own a wireless controller and want to pair it with your PC, you can get it from third-party providers.
However, remember that these tools are a knockoff version of Microsoft adapter, and they’re likely to come with inferior quality.
Next, we’ll discuss how to pair your wireless controller using methods two and three.
How to Install the Microsoft Xbox 360 Wireless Receiver
The steps to install Microsoft receivers will vary, depending on your Windows version.
Windows 8 and 10 will automatically recognize the hardware as soon as you plug it into your computer.
Your PC will download and install the drivers without you even lifting a finger.
To check, go to your Device Manager by searching through the Start menu and look up “Xbox 360 Wireless Receiver for Windows.”
On Windows 7 and lower, though, things are different.
You need to introduce the adaptor to your gadget driver.
Once you insert the USB drive, a wizard appears on the screen asking you to enter your current operating system.
If your Windows has the files, you can choose “Install the software automatically” and proceed.
If it doesn’t, use the CD that comes with the package or go to the Microsoft official website to download and install them.
Go to your system’s Device Manager to verify if they’re installed. Only then, click on “Pairing Your Controllers to Your PC.”
How to Install an Individual Aftermarket Receiver
Installing the duplicate versions requires multiple steps and is much more demanding than the previous method.
However, it still works.
Regardless of what Windows version you’re using, continue as follows to set up a duplicate adaptor.
1. Install the Driver
- Plug the piece into the USB jack at the back of your computer.
- Use your Windows Search Bar to open the Device Manager.
- Expand the “Other Devices” category.
- Right-click on “Unknown Device” and press “Update Driver Software.”
- A new window will pop up where you need to choose “Browse my computer.”
- Then, select “Let me pick from a list of device drivers.”
- Browse through the list until you come to “Xbox 360 Peripherals.”
- Select the device and hit “Next.”
- You’ll see a list of various models from which you should choose the latest.
- A notification will warn you against installing the driver, but pass over it and click “YES.”
2. Sync the Controller
- Press the small “pair” button on the receiver, together with the connect button on the top of the controller.
- Shortly after that, hit the “Guide button” in the middle of your wireless controller.
- At this moment, one of the backlights around the Guide key will turn green.
- Start playing.
Note: Don’t unplug the receiver, or you’ll have to repeat all the above annoying steps.
You can also memorize the instructions, take notes from it, print, or bookmark this page so you know what to do if the dongle jumps out accidentally.
3. Confirm that You’ve Done It Right
To check the controller’s function, type “game controllers” in your search bar at the bottom of the screen, and search for “Set up USB game controllers.”
Play with the sticks, triggers, and pads to make sure the application recognizes your moves.
By pushing and rolling each button, one of the circles in the window should illuminate.
If it is working, close the window and enjoy your games.
How to Buy a Receiver
As we mentioned, the ideal way to get a receiver is to buy Microsoft’s official controller/receiver combo.
It’ll cost you about 60 dollars, and you can find it both online and at physical electronics stores, amazon, or the official website.
Many people don’t go with this option because they already have a controller.
Here’s the trick: Buy the pack and sell the extras on eBay.
This way, you won’t risk buying an invalid or incompatible adapter and have to pay for another one.
Also, you can save the extra bucks and get the full value of your money.
If selling items isn’t your thing, an easier but riskier option is to navigate the web if someone else has separated the bundle for you.
You can always find gray market websites that offer Microsoft receivers.
These adaptors are usually inexpensive—15–20 dollars.
Remember, since you won’t get them with sealed packaging, you can’t be sure they’re original or fake.
To make the business safer, consider a few details:
- Go for options that come with a manual and driver disk.
You don’t necessarily need the support items, but copy makers usually don’t waste their time and budget to make “fake CDs and booklets.”
If someone is selling these items, chances are they’re selling a real orphaned Microsoft receiver.
- Read customer reviews. Take advantage of the buyers’ experiences.
They’ll definitely warn you against buying the product if they discover it’s fake or doesn’t last long.
- Check to see if there’s a refund option.
- Buy products that are labeled as “fulfilled by Amazon.”
Although it won’t guarantee the item’s originality, it ensures you can return it if you find out it’s fake.
- Check the associated photos.
First, make sure the seller is showing the item’s images.
Then, pay attention to its branding, and compare its appearance with original bundles.
It’s not always easy to find a reliable vendor to buy isolated Microsoft adaptors, or maybe
you’re just not willing to take the gamble.
If you don’t mind getting a second-class adapter for less money, duplicate adaptors are your third choice.
These receivers come at a remarkably lower price than Microsoft’s—around 5 to 15 dollars.
You can locate them almost everywhere: retail departments, off-the-shelf outlets, and online shops such as Amazon.
Although you can find some decent devices, most of these dongles are poorly manufactured and may give you a hard time installing them.
You can see labels such as “PC Wireless Gaming Receiver” or “X360” above their central sync button.
How to Determine an Authentic from an Off-Brand Receiver
On the back of an authentic Microsoft adapter, you read “Microsoft Xbox 360 Wireless Receiver for Windows,” and on its front, you’ll see the “Microsoft” branding.
Any additions or omissions are a sign of a fake dongle.
The stamps or prints on imitative clones usually show “X360,” “PC Wireless Gaming Receiver,” or similar remarks.