Hey! Want to use an Xbox controller as a mouse? Here’s why we’re asking, if your laptop doubles as your media center, using a game controller to navigate the Windows desktop and applications just feels more intuitive. You’ve experienced how well Xbox controllers work for many PC games. Now you can use your Xbox controller to watch your favorite shows and movies on Netflix… And there are many third-party programs designed to help you ditch the mouse and keyboard by setting up your Xbox 360 or Xbox One controller as your primary input device. The process is incredibly easy!
You’ll First Need to Make Your Xbox Controller Discoverable to Your Laptop
To do that:
- First, hold down the bind button for 3 seconds (it’s the small button on the front of the controller).
- Next, in Windows 10 on your laptop, go to Settings > Devices > Bluetooth & other devicesto make sure the Bluetooth switch is ON.
- Select Add Bluetooth or other devices at the top of the Settings screen.
- On the next screen, click Everything else from the menu options then wait for your controller to be discovered. (If this doesn’t work, try the Bluetooth option instead.)
- After your controller is discovered, click your Xbox controller when it appears on the list of options, and that’s it!
The 4 Different Ways to Use Your Xbox Controller as a Mouse in Windows 10
You already know that to play games, you just need to connect an Xbox controller to an available USB port on your laptop and Windows 10 will automatically install the necessary drivers.
But Microsoft doesn’t include a feature that allows a game controller to navigate the Windows desktop – So, you’ll need a program that converts joystick inputs into keystrokes.
Fortunately, there are a few configuration utilities eager to help you use an Xbox controller as a mouse, including: JoyToKey, Xpadder, and Controller Companion.
But our favorite is…
NOTE: Before following any of the steps below, make sure your Xbox controller is powered on and connected to your laptop. Keep reading to find out how to connect a wireless Xbox controller to your laptop.
You guessed it!
Gopher360 is a free, lightweight, open-source application. We love it because unlike other choices, it works without any additional configuration – that’s a huge time saver.
To get started:
- Launch your web browser of choice from the desktop, Start menu, or taskbar.
- Navigate to the Gopher360 webpage.
- Click the Gopher360 link at the top of the page (it will contain the latest version).
- Scroll down and click the Gopher.exe download link (Gopher360 will begin downloading).
- Finally, click Run when the download is finished and follow the steps the program shows you.
It’s that easy!
Gopher360 will start automatically. You can now use your Xbox One controller as a mouse on your Windows 10 laptop. Below is a button mapping diagram with helpful descriptions for what each button on an Xbox One controller will do.
Gopher360 Xbox One Controller Layout
- A = left click
- X = right click
- B = Enter
- Y = hide the Gopher360 window
- Left analogue stick = mouse movement
- Right analogue stick = scroll wheel
- D-pad = scroll through windows
- Start = Windows key
- Left analogue stick = middle mouse button
Do You Want Gopher360 to Startup with Your Laptop Every Time?
For Gopher360 to start automatically each time you boot your laptop so you can always use an Xbox controller as a mouse, add the program to the Startup folder like this:
- Launch File Explorer from your taskbar or desktop.
- Click Downloads.
- Right-click the Gopher file.
- Click Copy.
- On your keyboard, hit the Windows key and R simultaneously and the Run Window will open.
- Type shell:startup.
- Click Ok, then the startup folder will open.
- Right-click on a blank area in the Startup folder.
- Click Paste.
Congratulations. Now every time you turn on your laptop, Gopher will startup automatically. If you decide you no longer want this feature, simply remove the shortcut from the Startup folder.
If you don’t mind paying for a configuration utility, Joy2Key is a shareware emulator that (for a nominal fee) enables your Xbox controller to take the place of the keyboard and mouse – It not only works well for Xbox, but you’ll be able to operate Windows applications with your favorite joystick!
You’ll need to download the software on the JoyToKey downloads page. The download has a fixed trial period. But you can purchase a permanent license from JoyToKey.
The file will be a Zip archive. Unzip JoyToKey and run JoyToKey.exe. We like that this program is fully customizable. But we don’t like that it’s not as plug-and-play as Gopher360. And we are as triggered by the fact that it’s not free as you are.
The user interface isn’t beautiful.
But Xpadder is a powerful utility that’ll help you use an Xbox controller as a mouse for about $10.
Like JoyToKey, the utility benevolently allows you to select from a wide number of 3rd party game controllers that would otherwise be useless in Windows, which we feel is worth the cost.
After downloading the app, all there’s left to do is map controller buttons to a variety of basic keyboard and mouse gestures.
Xpadder won’t provide drivers for your game controller of choice. But if it’s recognizable by Windows, the app will let you map controller buttons as you wish.
And last, but not least. Controller Companionis designed for use with Xbox 360 and Xbox One controllers. It provides another great way to get your Xbox controller working as a mouse. And it’s well-reviewed on Steam.
You can also get it through Steam for a bargain price of $2.99. Once you get the program, you’ll find that it includes an on-screen keyboard that you might find more convenient to use than Windows’ native on-screen keyboard.
Like JoyToKey, it’s fully customizable and works seamlessly with Steam’s Big Picture mode. There’s even an option that lets the program run when your laptop turns on like Gopher360, even if you don’t launch Steam. There’s a phrase for that – practical and useful.
How to Disable Your Xbox Controller as a Mouse Using Steam
There may come a time that for whatever reason the novelty of using your Xbox controller as a mouse and keyboard wears off.
If and when that time comes and you no longer want your laptop to detect the Xbox controller, use the steps below to disable this setup on your Windows desktop:
Stop Xbox One Controller from Controlling Windows 10
- From the Steam main application window, click Steam in the upper left corner.
- Click Settings.
- Then, click Controller tab.
- Click Desktop Configuration.
- Select Remove for each of the fields that contain map instructions (example: Mouse button 1).
- Finally, press the BACK button on your controller until you exit the menu.
Disable Xbox 360 Controller as a Mouse
- Open Steam and go to the Steam menu.
- Click on Settings.
- Next, select the Controller tab and click General Controller Settings. Or, just click the controller button at the top right next to the minimize window button.
- On the Controller Settings screen, uncheck Xbox configuration support.
- Finally, RESTART your laptop. If it’s still connected, uninstall and reinstall the device. Then unplug and reconnect the controller.
We’re living in exciting times. If you want to declutter the area in your home where you do the most entertaining with your laptop connected to your television. Turning your game controller into an all-in-one keyboard and mouse is a unique way to go about it. And it’s also a fantastic way to play PC games on a big screen. Can you imagine how awesome it’ll be for watching all kinds of video content? Now that you know the four different ways you can use your Xbox controller as a mouse, give one of these methods a shot. What are you waiting for?