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I bought a PC gamepad at Radio Shack that appears to be functioning in windows 7, as I tested it in its configuration window. However, I cant get it to work in Black Ops II. It has the most recent drivers. Is there a way to get this to work with this game or do I need to get an xbox controller or try to use a PS3 one?

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When you say 'can't get it to work', does that mean it doesn't do anything at all in the game? Does it work in the menus? Have you looked in the in-game 'settings' menu to see if you have to enable it? Also, which game are you using? This information would all be helpful in finding an answer. –  GnomeSlice Dec 7 '12 at 13:36
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XBox controller support is a definite, however there's no way to be sure it will work with other brands & input types. Xbox controllers support the X-Input interface type. If your controller comes with a selectable switch to alternate between direct input and x-input make sure x-input is selected.

If your game pad is direct input only or not-supported look into alternatives such as XPadder

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