Setup Xbox 360 Controller for Mac

Xbox controller

Whereas you may reserve some games like shooters for the precise mouse, others are just made for a controller. 2D side-scrollers, puzzle games and other titles that require many button configurations sometimes lack the dexterity when used with a keyboard and mouse. But there is nothing better than sitting back with a controller in your hand. Especially when you’ve got a huge iMac to play on.

There are many different Mac controllers out there. Some good choices include Logitech’s Dual Action Gamepad and Playstation’s Dualshock 3. However, for me, the ultimate controller has to be the Xbox one. I love its ergonomic design, joystick placements and front triggers. However, Microsoft being Microsoft, they have refused to allow for Mac support out of the box. But all is not lost for us Mac users. You can buy an Xbox controller and download a Mac driver to make the two compatible, allowing for some excellent laid-back gaming. Here’s how you do it.

Step 1 – Buy an Xbox Controller

This is the important part. You have to buy the official Microsoft Xbox controller. You can buy them at many electronic stores. In the UK, they are stocked in Argos for £19.99. However, be careful when buying off the internet. There are tons of fake controllers out there. I fell into this trap when buying a controller from Ebay, only for it not to work with the Mac driver. If you have bought a controller and find that it is not behaving properly, it may be that you bought a fake one.

How do I Know if My Controller is Fake?

One of the most obvious signs that you’ve bagged yourself a dud controller is the absence of a ‘X’ on the middle button. Such as here:

Xbox controller

If you have a fake, next time make sure you buy the official Microsoft controller. It’s best to buy from an official retailer – BestBuy, Argos or Amazon rather than Ebay.

Step 2 – Download The Driver

You can download the Xbox Controller Driver for Mac here. Open it up, go through installation, restart your computer and it will appear in your System Preferences (Apple>System Preferences).

Step 3 – Plug in and Play

Plug in your controller and you should see it popup on the Xbox 360 System Preferences pane. From there, your controller should work with any Mac game that supports a controller. Load up and enjoy.