Arqade is a question and answer site for passionate videogamers on all platforms. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I bought BioShock 2 on Steam in the sale a couple of weeks ago, but I'm better at playing FPSs with an Xbox 360 controller than with mouse and keyboard.

Is there any way for me to use an Xbox 360 controller to play Steam games?

share|improve this question
It makes me weep a little bit inside that you'd rather play a FPS with a gamepad than a mouse + keyboard. Oh well. – Morinar Jul 15 '10 at 16:48
I understand @Morinar, but those of us who use a mouse at work 40 hours a week just prefer to rest our hands when playing games. – MGOwen Jul 19 '10 at 2:08
I know @Morinar but thats what I'm used to. I still love RTSs though (where Mouse+Keyboard are a must), so take strength in that :) – Chris Salij Jul 19 '10 at 14:11
I should add for anyone wanting to use a controller in games that don't support it, try keyboard emulation programs. – MGOwen Aug 23 '12 at 4:25
@Morinar Very early FPS could be played keyboard only, ah the days. – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Feb 22 '13 at 18:08
up vote 14 down vote accepted

In the Store page of every Steam Game you can check that this symbol is available.

alt text Controller enabled

Usually in all recent games (2-3 years), if a controller is enabled, there are high possibility that Microsoft XBox 360 works and is well supported.

But to be sure I always suggest to take a look to that game specific forum. Most of times there are users that already asked for XBox 360 compatibility.

share|improve this answer
On steam, the game's page will often specifically say that is has 360 controller support. – MGOwen Jul 19 '10 at 2:10

An xbox controller can be used on a PC, but it really depends on the game whether it's supported or not.

Unfortunally, Bioshock 2 does not support it.
See here:

I talked to the dev team about controller support for BioShock 2, and I want to let you know that we won’t be adding this into the game in a patch. The decision not to support the controller was not made lightly, and to add it now would take a complete re-envisioning of the UI that the team worked so hard to create.

I’m sorry for those of you who are disappointed, and I want you to know that your comments and concerns have been heard and will be taken in to account when we are planning in the future.

share|improve this answer
This is disturbing, considering one of the specifications to get the Games for Windows certification is to have Xbox 360 controller support. – cowgod Jul 16 '10 at 15:42
Actually, it's not. The requirement you're thinking of is really more along the lines of "If the game supports a non-keyboard/mouse controller at all, it has to support the Xbox 360 controller." – JamesGecko Jul 28 '10 at 17:53
I added controller support for a cheapo controller of mine to bioshock 1 - do they use the same config files? If anyone's interested maybe I can find it... – MGOwen Dec 2 '10 at 0:34

You can use ANY controller that works on a PC to play ANY game you want. Just get yourself a key mapping program. Xbox 360 controller, PS3 dualshock, any 3rd party gamepad, etc. If your computer recognizes input from it, you can use it in games. I do it all the time bc I'm disabled and not physically able to use a mouse and keyboard at the same time.

There are a couple of decent keymappers out there, but imo the best by FAR is Xpadder: which uses an intuitive GUI to walk you through setting up the controller to mimic any combination of keys \ mouse that you like. It's a shareware prog that costs $10, but it's worth every penny. It'll let you create complicated macros that include mouse movements, clicks, wait periods, key presses, holding down keys, etc. -- and then assign that macro to a single button on the controller. You can even assign different macros depending on how far you tilt the stick on your controller. For example, you can set it up so that tilting the controller's left stick to less than 50% of its total range will mimic "move the mouse forwards while holding down Shift and then press the R key," but tilting the same stick to more than 50% of its range will be the same as "click the left mouse button, wait two seconds, then quickly press the Y key three times in a row".

In short, you can make the controller do anything that can BE done with a mouse and keyboard, and it includes support for "rumble" and for multiple controllers at the same time (for multiplayer games). You can even have it so that a single button or stick on the controller will mimic up to 10 different key\mouse actions, so that you're not limited by the number of buttons on the controller, because it's possible to set a button to shift the whole controller over to config #2 where config #2 is an entirely different set of key\mouse combos for each button.

And no, I'm not affiliated with Xpadder in any way... just a gamer who is incredibly thankful this program exists so that I'm able to enjoy PC games that would otherwise be off limits for someone with my limitations.

share|improve this answer

There is no correlation between Steam and the ability to play with an Xbox 360 controller. This is depending on the game you want to play only.

Usually, if a game is available for both PC and XBox 360, it will accept the controller. But again, no guarantee.

share|improve this answer

Some games are listed on their product page as supporting controllers. For most modern games, this includes the Xbox 360 controller.

For games that don't, you can use controller mapping software to translate your controller to keyboard/mouse commands. For example:

share|improve this answer

On the Steam store it will actually tell you whether or not the game will be compatible

share|improve this answer

For games that support the Xbox 360 controller (which is certainly not all of them -- and Bioshock 2 I believe does not), you can simply plug a wired Xbox 360 controller in via a USB port.

share|improve this answer

Depends on the game. For example, I have set up Borderlands, Defense Grid and Half-Life 2 (and TF2/L4D) to work with my 360 controller. It depends on the game and its support for gamepads.

share|improve this answer

I used a Wired XBOX 360 Controller and it wouldnt work, but yes some games do support it but Bioshock is not one of them

share|improve this answer

protected by Oak Jun 21 '12 at 6:48

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.