It’s a good day for PC gamers.
Today, Microsoft finally got around to releasing the Xbox One controller drivers for Windows.
That means PC gamers can now download the drivers for free and begin playing PC games with the Xbox One controller. Games will register the Xbox One controller as an Xbox 360 controller, which means all controller-compatible games should work without any configuration required.
Xbox One controller drivers are available for Windows 7 and Windows 8 PCs. They’re compatible with 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the operating system.
The drivers will actually be included in a future Windows update, although eager gamers can download the updates for free today to get a head start. You can download both versions of the drivers from Major Nelson’s blog here.
You will not be able to use the controller wirelessly – yet. Microsoft may release a wireless adapter dongle in the future, although they haven’t officially announced any plans to do so.
Is the Xbox One controller any good for PC gaming? How does it compare to the Xbox 360 controller? Here are some important differences:
-New Analog Sticks: The analog sticks have changed and are smaller and tighter than their predecessors. They take some getting used to after years of using the 360 controller, but most gamers appreciate the change.
-New D Pad: The D Pad is one of the most significant changes. Instead of featuring an awkward circular design, the Xbox One d-pad features a simple four point design. The D-Pad, for me, was the only weak spot on the Xbox 360 controller, so this is an excellent improvement.
-Two Triggers, One Interface: The triggers are also changed. Instead of being two separate plastic pieces, the Xbox One controller features one large lump of plastic which can be pressed in two separate areas. It makes it easier to switch between triggers. Like the new analog sticks, this feature takes some getting used to before you appreciate it, but tends to be the better option once you figure it out.
-No Vibrations: I don’t know if it’s a compatibility issue with the new controllers or what, but the haptic feedback system doesn’t work with PC games yet. The Xbox One’s haptic feedback includes small motors beneath the triggers that vibrate when you fire a gun and perform other actions.
Virtually all popular PC games today support Xbox 360 controllers in some capacity or another. As mentioned above, all of those games will now instantly support the Xbox One controller. If you’re curious whether or not your game will support the controller, then you can view the full list of compatible games here.
Once again, you can download the Xbox One controller drivers for PC here.