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Apr 07

Xbox 360 Controller Review

I can proudly claim to be an early adopter, at least by my definition.

I tried the Xbox 360 Controller (X3C) on a 360 Demo Console, and fell in love with it. I then went to the internet and found that it had many faults. However, I read in the comments on that page, that the problems could be overcome with a bit of time, effort and googling.

So I set forth.

I bought the controller from elive.co.nz for about NZ$60 (incl shipping). Their service was pretty good, dispatch was timely, and the packaging was excellent.

With the drivers that came with the controller, it worked out of the box with GTI Racing, however with the known problems. Namely, the analogue sticks were hyper sensitive and tended to drift to one side when left in the neutral position, no xbox status light (in the center of the controller) and no rumble.

One very common solution for these problems is to use Pinnacle Game Profiler. However, the $20 cost was prohibitive (given the scrooge I am), and I didn’t want to taint my (currently) legal PC with an illegal crack. So I started looking for other solutions.

It became clear that my best solution was to use different drivers, known as XBCD (Xbox Controller Driver). As far as I can tell, these are kind-of like open source drivers, and are highly superior to the Microsoft versions (except for ease of installation and support). A very important point to note, is that XBCD was designed for the original Xbox Controller, so anything said about these drivers refer to the original. There is an extra file, and extra sites for the 360 version.

To make a long story short, I stuffed around with various files, various guides, various forums for hours until I could make it work. For a number of reasons, it’s possible to have a huge number of problems (my main one was Code 10 – This device could not be started) caused by installing things in the wrong order.

So I’m not going to try and explain all the permutations, I’m just going to explain what worked for me (eventually). What took hours on my laptop, took about five minutes on my PC when I did it correctly.

Firstly, some sites (take anything they say about what files to download and install with many grains of salt):

Useful Sites

XBCD Installation
XBCD Support Forum
Xbox 360 Controller Installation Guide

With those links in hand, you’ll need the correct files. Half the problem was that there were broken links all over the show. So I will upload them here, and endeavour to keep them live.

Files

XBCD Driver v1.07Official Page
Xbox 360 Controller Files v0.2.5

In my opinion, this is all you need.

Steps

The first step is to install the XBCD drivers. If you’ve already installed the windows drivers, you will need to remove them before installing XBCD.

Once you’ve done this (or if you didn’t install the windows drivers) just double click the XBCD 1.07 files and progress through the screens.

Next you will need to extract all the files from the zip archive into a directory, and run the install.bat file. This copies some files across which makes the XBCD drivers recognise the X3C.

You should now be able to plug your X3C in, and it will be detected. You will probably need to go through a process of selecting the driver manually. This process should be similar to that outlined from Step 9 of this guide.

In my case this sorted my installation. I have all the mod cons of the controller, and as you may have read from some of my demo reviews, I’m extremely happy with it. Feel free to ask me questions if you have any, but I don’t guarantee that I’ll be able to answer them.

Happy gaming.

20 comments

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  1. Pete

    Hi guys, I’m not seeing any comments here, so can I assume no one is having any problems? I directed a friend here the other day, and he found that one of the files only half downloaded. Are other people having this problem? If you are, let me know, and I’ll try and investigate. Cheers.

  2. luke

    yes I too purchased an Xbox 360 joystick to play Halo Pc. Will this work? ANd of course I cant get it too work at the moment. I even down loaded pinnicle game profiler but it did not help.

    Thanks for the future help

  3. Pete

    Yeah, I think you’ll definitely get it working with XBCD. You’ll probably also need controlmk to configure the controls (pretty much does the same thing as Pinnacle). I’m assuming here that you’re using the wired version? Wireless controllers obviously will not work on the pc.

  4. Keith

    I have a problem that I’ve been trying to fix all day. My controller installs automatically so I have to go to device manager and update the driver. I do this and when I update the driver it says the specified file cannot be found and the driver couldn’t install. WTF? What shouls I try? I had xbcd about 3 months ago on my PC and it was way easier to install IMO. There are so many problems right now. I wish I never deleted it.

  5. Pete

    I’m not the most technically minded, so all that I can suggest is a complete uninstall and then reinstall along the lines of this post. However, there are some very helpful guys and topics over in the support forum: http://redcl0ud.1.forumer.com/

  6. Harry

    Thanks, this has been the most useful guide yet. After doing this it all works corrcetly, except for the preview in the XBCD panel, but the remapping and dead zones work brilliantly. Thanks for the post!

  7. Kevin

    First time I have ever left a comment like this. I do it because I was going bald pulling my hair out. Silly me… There is a 360 driver 🙂

    Thanks!

  8. Ed

    Hi Pete.

    Do you know where I can find the 360 drivers for Windows XP?

    I tried using the file you provided and it won’t work on XP SP3 since it seems to be for windows 2000….instead windows keeps trying to setup the controller by installing the default drivers that came with my OS. This is unfortunate considering the fact that under these default driver I can only use the trigger buttons as an axes, which as a result doesn’t allow me to map them as button through games.

    Thanks in advance… (I prefer a reply via the provided email if possible)

  9. Ed

    Just realized how old this article was.

    I also forgot to mention that the links on the XBCD 360 site are all dead (which I think you also mentioned above) so hopefully you catch this message before referring me to those…unless they are fixed now.

    Thanks again.

  10. Pete

    Hi Ed. Sorry I’m a bit late replying to your messages. I’m actually not using the controller with these drivers anymore as they were causing a memory leak when playing audiosurf. I used the drivers on XP SP3, so that shouldn’t be an issue. All I can suggest is make sure to completely remove the old drivers and install the news ones before connecting the controller. And good luck!

  11. Mike

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!! i finally have rumbling controller with my PS emulator!! i was about give up but now it finally rumbles.. IT RUMBLES YESSSS!!!!!!!

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