How to use an Xbox 360 Controller in OS X

One of the advantages of the gaming experience on consoles (XBox, Playstation, etc) is the special controller. Ever wish you could use a real controller when gaming on your Mac? As long as the game supports joysticks, its possible to use Microsoft’s XBox 360 USB controllers with OS X.

In order to get the XBox 360 controller working, you will need a driver program. Fortunately, there are two open source drivers for this. Both Tattiebogle’s Xbox HID Driver and the SourceForge Project XHD are low level drivers for the Xbox 360 controller.

Note: Unfortunately, the release dates and change logs for both are a bit out of date which means that development has stalled. Whether it works or not is entirely up to the game.

How to get it working:

I’m going to recommend Tattiebogle’s XBox 360 driver because it’s release date is the latest but both are probably quite similar.

– Download the Xbox HID Driver for OS X by Tattiebogle.
– Run the Installer.
– Restart your computer.

The driver should then recognize your XBox controller just like OS X recognizes a mouse. With a joystick enabled game, you’ll be up and running. According to the Tattiebogle’s website this driver should also work with Rockband, Guitar Hero and Dance Dance Revolution controllers.

For a non joystick enabled game, you can try GamePad Companion however that application also seems a bit old and may not work properly with later versions of OS X.

Remember that compatibility is solely dependent on the game. Some may not work, while others will.

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