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How to Link your Game Controller to your PC?

Nowadays Bluetooth tethering is the primary technology in use by major game manufacturers for connecting their controllers to their consoles. What this opens up for PC users is the possibility of using the controllers of the Sony PlayStation, Microsoft Xbox, Nintendo Switch for gaming on your computer. In this simple guide, we explore the how’s and why’s of connecting a game controller to your PC.

Hot-Keys

Using a game-pad with your computer can open up a host of novel applications beyond the obvious benefits of 3D gaming. For example, games you wouldn’t normally associate with controllers, such as online poker, can be optimized for use with these input devices with the help of easy-to-follow guides available online. The basic premise is that you assign hotkey shortcuts to the various button and thumbstick inputs on your controller. By becoming familiar with this method, you can then apply it to a wide range of potential applications, such as graphic design or video editing software.

Considerations

Before connecting a controller to your PC it is good to explore whether this will benefit your gaming. While it is easy to assume that a bespoke gaming controller is always going to be the best choice for a player, there is a range of situations and games where this may not be the case. For example, many games, such as those in the real-time strategy and simulation genres, are built from the ground up to be played on a computer.

A game-pad, such as the Xbox Series X controller, typically has between 10-15 buttons, whereas a full PC keyboard has 104, not including the mouse. While many games, especially those that are also available for consoles, can be played with ease on a controller, games such as those that require a full keyboard’s worth of inputs may be unplayable. Another thing to consider is the relative experience of playing games on a controller versus a mouse and keyboard. Esports athletes generally prefer to play with a keyboard and mouse when given the option, this is due to the fact that, especially in first person shooters, it is quicker and easier to play with speed and accuracy when using a mouse. This is due to the way a mouse registers motion input differently to a controller. 

Benefits of Controllers

In most cases, a controller that is ergonomically designed for gaming will not only be more comfortable but will make PC gaming more intuitive and enjoyable, especially for those who are already accustomed to console gaming. Modern game controllers have features that can really augment your game-play and provide greater immersion. For example, all major controllers nowadays utilize haptic motors to create vibration to mimic events and actions taking place in-game. In addition to this, controllers feature multi-axis thumbsticks that help in navigating 3D environments with ease, and trigger buttons with variable pressure that can simulate the experience of firing weapons or depressing an accelerator pedal in a vehicle, making for a comprehensive and tactile experience.

Connecting your Controller to PC

  • Step 1: Begin by opening the settings menu on your Windows PC and selecting the settings panel.
  • Step 2: From the settings panel, select or search for the Device Manager.
  • Step 3: In the device manager you will see a section catering to Bluetooth connections, select this.
  • Step 4: Now, switch on your controller, ensuring it has enough battery charge for this procedure.
  • Step 5: Select the sync or pairing button on your controller that you use for connecting it to your consoles.
  • Step 6: While this is underway, select “Add new Bluetooth device” on your Windows menu and move through the wizard in order to begin pairing the controller to the PC.
  • Step 7: You should then see the controller appear as an available device in the Windows menu, select it to complete pairing.
  • Step 8: You should now receive confirmation that your controller is paired to your PC.

And that’s all there is to it. Simple, effective, and certainly worth the effort. 

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