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MacOS X – How to use a XBox 360 Controller on Mac

MacOS X – How to use a XBox 360 Controller on Mac

I honestly had zero use for a XBox 360 Controller on my Mac, since I’m a keyboard/mouse gamer … but I was toying with another article (Kodi on Amazon Fire TV) and was looking for a Game Controller for the Amazon Fire TV.

Looking around I noticed that the Microsoft XBox 360 wireless controller for Windows should work with the Amazon Fire TV and with MacOS X. Since I do play the occasional game on my Mac (yes: that is possible!) with Steam, I figured why not give it a try. The controller, with receiver, isn’t all that expensive.

So in this article: How to connect and use an Xbox 360 Controller on MacOS X …

Getting the hardware for XBox 360 Controller on Mac

The required hardware, besides a Mac of course, is straight forward.

Microsoft XBox 360 Wireless Controller for Windows

Microsoft XBox 360 Wireless Controller for Windows

Either buy a “Microsoft XBox 360 wireless controller for Windows” bundle (app. $40) or, in case you have XBox 360 controllers laying around, just get the “Xbox 360 Wireless Gaming Receiver for Windows” (app. $16).

In this article I intend to play games under Steam on a Mac, on MacOS X Yosemite (free), by using this controller.

Apple Bug waiting to be resolved for certain Wireless Controllers 

Some wireless controllers may not work well with recent macOS X versions. See also this issue report.
At least one clone USB dongle appears to work – probably due to a very different implementation in the hardware.
(Thanks Thomas for reporting this!)

About the hardware … 

  • The USB receiver can handle up to 4 XBox 360 controllers.
  • Any XBox 360 controller will work.
  • The USB receiver works fine even when connected to a USB hub.
  • The software used will also work with a wired controller.
  • The USB cable of the Wireless Play and Charge kit is just a charger cable! A USB receiver is still needed!


Note that this is not the only Game Controller option out there for your Mac. Other Joysticks/Game Controllers, even the ones from a PlayStation or Wii will work with your Mac as well. Some wired, some wireless (proprietary or Bluetooth). We’re just focussing on the XBox 360 controller in this article.

XBox One Controller and Alternative Drivers … 

For those who have an XBox One controller: good news. Well, partially anyway. There are good drivers for the XBox One Controller, but not for operating it wireless. The XBox One Controller needs to remain connected with an USB cable. The advantage would be that your rechargeable battery pack remains charged (obviously not you regular AA batteries!).

Drivers, which work with the XBox 360 controller as well, can be found for free on Github: 360Controller.
There is an alternative driver: XBoxOneControllerEnabler, little less of a nice GUI and a little less frequent maintained though.

Free Driver

MacOS X does not natively come with drivers for the XBox 360 controller, which makes sense, it’s not their responsibility to provide hardware drivers for 3rd party hardware manufacturers, especially when they choose to swerve away from standards …
Unfortunately, Microsoft, doesn’t feel the need to supply drivers for Mac users for their hardware, which is unfortunate and leaves the user with the mess to solve by themselves.

So we require a driver created by another party. And there is such a think in this case.

Colin Munro, at TattieBogle, released a driver as early as 2006, which appears not to have been updated since 2012. For this, seemingly abandoned driver, you’d need some tricks to get it to work under Yosemite – which is related to new “rules” concerning the use of Kext’s (Kernel Extensions). Not something I’d like to do …

UPDATE: There is a 360 Controller driver that is being actively maintained, a fork of the original project, you can get it from GitHub as well:


DOWNLOAD - XBox360 Controller for Mac 

Platform: Mac OS X
Filename: 360ControllerInstall_0.16.5.dmg
Version: 0.16.5
Size: 808.8 KiB
Date: May 8, 2017
 Download Now 

Step 1 – Install the driver

After downloading the driver (above), double click the DMG file, so your Mac mounts it.

Double click the “Install 360 Controller.pkg” file to start installation, and follow the instructions.
Keep in mind that your Mac has to reboot after the installation.

After rebooting your Mac, you’ll notice that you can find “Xbox 360 Controllers” in the System Preferences.

Mac System Preferences - XBox 360 Controllers settings

Mac System Preferences – XBox 360 Controllers settings

Step 2 – Connecting the XBox 360 Controller to your Mac

The next step is to connect your controller,… which is easy …

First of all, connect the USB receiver to a free USB port, either on you Mac or on a USB hub (if you use one). Once plugged in a USB port, the USB receiver’s green light should go on or start blinking.

Now follow these steps to get connect (one time only) your XBox 360 controller:

  1. Press the big XBox logo button (a.k.a. the “Guide” button) on the game controller for it to switch on.
  2. Press the button on the USB receiver.
  3. Press the Connect button on the game controller.
  4. The circle around the Xbox button should light up one quarter of the circle indicating the controller number.


Once linked, if you want to use the controller in the future, simply just press the big Xbox button on the controller to get going.


XBox 350 Controller - Get Connected

XBox 350 Controller – Get Connected


Step 3 – Testing the XBox 360 Controller

Now that the controller is connected to your Mac, time to go test if it works OK.

Go to “System Preferences”   XBox 360 Controllers” and you’ll see a screen like the screenshot below.
You can now test all buttons on the controller to see if they work properly – there is not much else going on here, except that you can shutdown the controller (use the “Power off” button) …

MacOS X - Xbox 360 Controller Preferences

MacOS X – Xbox 360 Controller Preferences


Step 4 – Playing Source (Valve) games on your Mac

Well, I’m a Steam user, so the first thing I’d like to test are some of my favorite games like the “Half-Life 2” series – yes, I know it’s OLD, but I just love the Half-Life games and Half-Life 3 is still not available (I honestly doubt it will ever see the day of light, but I’m still hoping) …

It didn’t take much effort to find this Knowledge Base Article at Steam, concerning the use of a XBox 360 Controller on Mac with Source games (Half-Life is a so called “Source” game by Valve).

First we need to get into the so called “Developer Console”, which is relatively easy for most Valve games.

  • Launch your Valve game
  • From the main menu select “Options”   Keyboard” and click the “Advanced” button.
  • Check the option “Enable developer console (~)” and click “Apply“.


Once enabled (your game will remember next time you start the game), use the “~” key (tilde) during game play, or in the main screen, to get to the console.

 Half-Life 2: Episode 2, Portal, Team Fortress 2, and Left 4 Dead

These Valve games come with XBox 360 controller support build in.

To enable the controller, type in the developers console (~): exec 360controller

To disable the controller, type: exec undo360controller

 Half-Life 2 and Half-Life 2: Episode One

 Tip: First try exec 360controller in the developer console before proceeding with these steps – it might already work!

For these two, we will need to define a configuration file (which can also be used with the other games to customize the controls). Creating such a configuration file is easy, simply use a text editor like TextWrangler to create a plain text file with the (example) content below. With the code below we will mimic the behavior seen with “Half-Life 2: Episode 2” so we can use exec 360controller  and exec undo360controller.

Save the file as “360controller.cfg” in the following location:

~/Library/Application Support/Steam/steamapps/common/<game name>/<short name>/cfg/

For example, for Half-Life 2, this would be:

~/Library/Application Support/Steam/SteamApps/common/Half-Life 2/hl2/cfg/

joy_name "Xbox360 controller"
joy_advanced 1
joy_advaxisx 3
joy_advaxisy 1
joy_advaxisz 0
joy_advaxisr 2
joy_advaxisu 4
joy_advaxisv 0
joy_forwardsensitivity -1
joy_sidesensitivity 1
joy_pitchsensitivity 1.0
joy_yawsensitivity -1.25
joy_autoaimdampenrange 0.85
joy_autoaimdampen 0.5
joy_lowend 0.65
joy_lowmap 0.15
joy_accelscale 1.4
joy_response_move 5
joy_response_look 1
crosshair 1
hud_draw_fixed_reticle 1

bind "Z AXIS POS" "+attack2"
bind "Z AXIS NEG" "+attack"

bind "JOY1" "+jump"
bind "JOY2" "+reload"
bind "JOY3" "+use"
bind "JOY4" "impulse 100"

bind "JOY5" "+speed"
bind "JOY6" "phys_swap"

bind "JOY7" "impulse 50"

bind "JOY10" "+zoom"
bind "JOY9" "toggle_duck"

bind "JOY8" "pause"

bind "POV_UP" "slot1"
bind "POV_RIGHT" "slot2"
bind "POV_DOWN" "slot3"
bind "POV_LEFT" "slot4"

joystick 1
sk_autoaim_mode 2
hud_fastswitch 2

player_limit_jump_speed 0

To mimic the “undo360controller” as described for “Half-Life 2: Epsiode 2” and others, create a file called “undo360controller.cfg” with the following content:

crosshair 1
hud_draw_fixed_reticle 0
joystick 0
sk_autoaim_mode 1
hud_fastswitch 0
hud_quickinfo 1

More details can be found here:


Step 5 – Configuring for ALL Games on your Mac

Now, I’m fully aware that there are more games for the Mac than just those awesome Half-Life games. For those you might want to consider, and even for Half-Life 2, the use of a so called JoyStick Mapper application that map a joystick action to mouse or keyboard inputs. These tools really improve the experience of your XBox 360 Controller on Mac.

Some example applications:


Do you have suggestion or alternatives? Please post them in the comment section!

Joystick Mapper

Of all the tools that can map joystick actions to key strokes or mouse moves, I’ve picked “Joystick Mapper” as my test candidate – honestly, $5 is a steal considering the amount of work that actually goes into developing a tool like this.

First off all you’ll need to get Joystick Mapper of course, it’s available for $4.99 at the Apple App Store.

Keep in mind that you have to connect your joystick before starting Joystick Mapper, or go to “Quick Options” and click “Refresh Joysticks” (or press   R ), so your connected Joystick will be seen.

We will need to create a preset for our game preferences, which is easy.
Just open Joystick Mapper and click “Add New Preset“, and a new window opens.

Joystick Mapper - Create a new Preset

Joystick Mapper – Create a new Preset

Enter a name for future reference, as it’s typically created for a specific game or user (“My Game” in the screenshot) and for each joystick/player, click “Add a new joystick“.

Now that we have identified our joystick, time to “bind” joystick inputs to keyboard or mouse moves, which is a surprisingly easy thing to do.

Click on “Add new bind“, and next click “scan” and press the button or or control of your Game Controller that you’d want to use, or select on manually. Next select a keyboard or mouse action – pretty much everything you’ll ever need is in the list.

Rinse and repeat for all the buttons you’d like to use.

Joystick Mapper - Bind keys or mouse actions to your game controller

Joystick Mapper – Bind keys or mouse actions to your game controller

If needed, you can do this again for other Game Controllers – and to make it easy there is is little “Clone” icon in the upper right corner so you can replicate for other controllers.

You can close this window when you’re done.

To use the preset, simply set a checkmark before the preferred preset (profile) you’ve created for the game you’re about to play. Once checked simply start the game and you’re good to go!

 Note : Do NOT close Joystick Mapper before starting the game – keep it running! You can use “  H ” to hide the window.

Joystick Mapper - Enable your Preset before starting your game

Joystick Mapper – Enable your Preset before starting your game

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There are 153 comments. You can read them below.
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  • Apr 28, 2015 - 4:09 PM - Wonka Comment Link




    • Apr 29, 2015 - 2:49 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Thanks Wonka for the tip.

      Controllermate is quite powerful, so for those interested:

      I did not pick that one because of it’s price ($24.99) and the fact that it seems rather large.
      I’ve been using XBox360 Controller for Mac which is free and can be downloaded above …



    • Nov 8, 2016 - 9:21 PM - Tony Comment Link

      I didn’t buy the Xbox from the store yet from gamestop and the reciever was not included so what can I do to connect me controller.



      • Nov 9, 2016 - 7:16 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

        Good question (not to mention: I’m curious what we can do with the new XBox-S controller, since it seems to be suing Bluetooth).
        Without a receiver (wireless) you would not be able to do much I’m afraid.



    • Jul 9, 2017 - 1:44 AM - john - Author: Comment Link

      why do you have to buy a receiver for this why can’t you just use it without spending your money



      • Jul 9, 2017 - 11:31 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

        Hi John,

        Good question …
        As far as I know, the XBox 360 controller uses a proprietary 2.4 GHz protocol to communicate (source) – none of the hardware in your Mac or in a PC can work with that. Unlike controllers that use Bluetooth which would communicate with the Bluetooth in your Mac/PC. For example the PS4 and Wii controllers and the newer white XBox One controllers (source).



        • Jul 15, 2017 - 1:56 PM - Connor Comment Link

          one, do i have to do the stuff in step 4 to play G-Mod with a controller? and two, is step 5 required?



          • Jul 15, 2017 - 3:33 PM - hans - Author: Comment Link

            You only have to apply what is used by G-Mod – but I have to admit that I have zero experience with Garry’s Mod. I’d start with “exec 360controller”, and see what happens. If need be define the rest.

            Step 5 is fully optional. 


  • Jul 31, 2015 - 10:11 PM - Cody Comment Link

    Ok so I’ve got the wireless 360 controller working on my MacBook, but I can’t seem to get a second one to work. Any help would be great



    • Aug 1, 2015 - 3:15 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Cody,

      wish I could help … but I don’t have a second XBox 360 controller.
      I would assume you’d need the one a second receiver (which I do not have).

      I assume that not all games support multiple controllers, but JoyStick Mapper seems to have the ability to map a second Joystick (controller) to certain keystrokes. So I would think this should work.



  • Dec 27, 2015 - 9:43 AM - Blurp Comment Link

    Really thank you man !!



  • Jan 16, 2016 - 4:40 PM - summer Comment Link

    I can’t find the step two button on connecting the controller. i do not have an actual mouse. please help!



    • Jan 17, 2016 - 5:56 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      The drawing in step 2 is actually the receiver that came with your “XBox 360 controller for Windows”.
      So if you bought the XBox 360 controller for Windows, it comes with controller and receiver dongle/unit.

      Now that I look at it (I took the image from the Microsoft website), it could be confused with a mouse indeed .



      • Aug 4, 2016 - 9:20 PM - Lauren Comment Link


        I downloaded the driver and it still doesn’t recognize the controller (the drop down menu says no devices found). I can’t do step two because my controller has a USB cable plug in. The green light around the logo is flashing, so I know my computer at least recognizes something is there and/or the controller is working. 



        • Aug 5, 2016 - 4:23 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

          Hi Lauren,

          The green light should not be blinking, it should be solid.
          You can try this driver as an alternative (I just updated the article to reflect that).



  • Jan 23, 2016 - 5:50 PM - Adam Comment Link

    I have been trying to connect a controller for a while, I have the correct .dmg and have a receiver and controller, but It still doesn’t want to connect. Any thoughts?



    • Jan 24, 2016 - 3:53 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Adam,

      First thoughts:

      Check the battery of the controller, and make sure the sync (in Step 2) worked correctly.
      You could, if available, test it on a Windows PC to make sure controller and receiver work together.

      Can you describe what is happening, or not, and/or what kind of error messages you see?
      What Mac OS X version are you running? I haven’t used the controller like this for a while, maybe the driver is incompatible with the latest MacOS X version?



  • Feb 10, 2016 - 8:15 AM - NLIWilson Comment Link

    That’s some highly subjective speculation as to why Apple don’t have copyright licences for hardware & software they don’t produce or indeed have any involvement with? Tell me, when you buy a new printer do you expect Apple to provide drivers for it? Apple provide drivers for “standard” controllers because they’re generic and loosely standardised, so don’t require any licensed drivers but xbox 360 controllers (for no reason whatsoever) are fudged so they can’t be used with a generic driver. you’re attacking Apple for 1) not providing something other people don’t expect them to provide and I’m really not sure why you do? :\ and 2) an issue Microsoft have caused, not Apple.



    • Feb 10, 2016 - 4:05 PM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi NLIWilson!

      Maybe I worded it  open for interpretation in multiple ways – I did not mean to attack Apple, I’m an Apple fan myself.  

      I was just trying to say that neither Apple nor Microsoft seem to provide the means to use such a controller on a Mac. It’s obviously not Apple’s responsibility to provide drivers for every [any] 3rd party device on the market.  It’s more of a responsibility for the hardware manufacturer to do so.

      The more correct statement should probably be more like this:
      Apple doesn’t provide drivers for 3rd party hardware like this controller, obviously, but the hardware supplier, Microsoft, doesn’t supply drivers for Mac OS X either. The message being: it’s up to the user to figure it out – which is too bad.

      I’m sorry if this if this was interpreted this way, and possibly offended anyone. I’ll correct the text. 



    • Feb 10, 2016 - 4:11 PM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      I hope you think the new text is more appropriate …. 



      • Feb 10, 2016 - 5:15 PM - NLIWilson Comment Link

        That’s much clearer, I see where you’re coming from now.

        BTW: I agree with you that there’s no reason Microsoft should withhold Mac drivers, especially as the fact that you can’t use Xbox controllers with a generic driver is an artificial limitation.

        I have an Xbox controller working with one of our MacBooks because when games are available for Mac they usually run very well with a minimum of faffing around.  :)



      • Feb 11, 2016 - 3:29 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

        No problem, I understand how it could be misread ….

        I wish the gaming world would pay more attention to other platforms than Windows. My MacBook Pro (15″ retina) can run all games I’ve tried so far just fine. Unfortunately, not all games are available for Mac … so I have to switch to BootCamp every now and then … 
        Kind-of a waste of space just for games, not to mention the expensive Windows license.



  • Feb 22, 2016 - 9:49 AM - apophasis Comment Link

    Thanks for the good info!  Controller hardware was my problem…  Hope I can save somebody a head-banging session…

    The first controller I tried was a “PowerA” “ProEX” wired Xbox 360 controller from the local Mall_Wart.  The GitHub driver got it working, but annoyingly not for the game I wanted to play; Steam could use it, but not Dirt3.  It would work the Big Picture menus, but refused to start the game, or work with the game at all.  Tried everything, remapped buttons, no joy.  After a day of frustration, I returned it and tried a cheap wired replacement Playstation controller, which didn’t work with Steam or the game, buttons wouldn’t map right, and was fail.  Tried a “PowerA” brand Xbox One wired controller- total fail. 

    Then, I tried the PDP Afterglow Xbox wired controller, in conjunction with the most recent release of the driver from GitHub.  Win!  Works perfect, dual rumble and all, works great with DiRT 3 and Portal 2.  DiRT looks great on the 27″ iMac screen at full res, runs great, and is super fun, btw.  Can’t believe I didn’t set this up before!

    The PDP Afterglow is a clear controller with LED’s, looks a little cheezy to me, but who cares?  You can turn the LED’s off, leave them on, or set them to flash and distract you every time the pad rumbles, if you enjoy that sort of thing.  

    Happy gaming, and note that not all controllers are created equal; beware aftermarket Chinese “Xbox” controllers, not all of which work as original, apparently, because of arcane driver signing, manufacturer codes, or whatever else.  Contrary to the slogan, sometimes, it just doesn’t work.   

    And unfortunately, the left stick on my new controller is slightly misaligned, pulls right constantly.  You can see it in the driver test utility; when the stick is neutral position, it is giving some right input.  I’ll return it and if the gods of mass-market consumer crap smile on me, maybe I’ll get a good one…  Fifth try is the charm?  Based on my experience, I’d avoid the local Mal-Wart for your Mac controller needs.  YMMV, good luck! 



    • Feb 23, 2016 - 4:21 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Awesome info Apophasis!

      I never had tested this with clone controllers – good to know thought that they are not all equal (interfacing wise).
      The “PDP Afterglow”, would that be the same one as this one offered at Amazon?
      (just asking for folks looking for a controller – it does indeed look cheesy )

      Now that I’m looking … Maybe it’s overpriced at Amazon, since the original (also overpriced) is just as expensive. The official wireless controller from Microsoft is only $2 more. I’m sure Walmart offered the “PDP Afterglow” cheaper … 



  • Mar 7, 2016 - 4:38 PM - Heather Comment Link

    Hi, this works great but for some reason I can’t get my d pad to work while I’m in-game. I don’t know if it is just L4D2 that has the issue or if it’s everything ’cause I haven’t tried it with anything else. But would you have to know why the d pad doesn’t work?



    • Mar 8, 2016 - 3:42 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Heather!

      It could be that you need separate configuration of the D-Pad buttons. If you see the “Half-life 2” config file, then I’d assume that Left 4 Dead 2 would be able to work with that config file as well (since they seem to share the same engine).



  • Apr 3, 2016 - 10:02 AM - Anthony Hall Comment Link

    Hi There, 

    I’ve managed to download the software and the 360 controller appears in my mac settings. Its says no device found though. When I plug the USB controller into the mac the Flashing circles appear on the controller for a second then stop. What have I done wrong?




    Anthony Hall

    • Apr 3, 2016 - 11:08 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Anthony,

      could it be that you didn’t sync the controller and the USB dongle?
      See Step 2;

      Now follow these steps to get connect (one time only) your XBox 360 controller:

      • Press the big XBox logo button (a.k.a. the “Guide” button) on the game controller for it to switch on.
      • Press the button on the USB receiver.
      • Press the Connect button on the game controller.

      The circle around the Xbox button should light up one quarter of the circle indicating the controller number.

      Other guess would be the batteries of the controller (I’m just guessing here).



  • May 19, 2016 - 1:53 PM - Chase Comment Link


    I have a wired 360 controller and downloaded the driver, but when i plug in the controller the lights go on, and i can see it under hardware in “about this mac” but it does not show up in the system preferences “xbox 360 controllers” menu.

    any help would be great, thanks!



    • May 21, 2016 - 3:19 PM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Chase,

      sorry for the late reply, I’m traveling for work at the moment.
      Which Mac OS X version are you running?



  • Jul 4, 2016 - 5:54 PM - Adam Comment Link

    Okay, everyone I figured it out finally after a few months break, and working all afternoon BUT… I now have everything mapped, to the controller, using Joystick Mapper, but I can’t figure out how to connect it to Minecraft. Any ideas, suggestions, or answers.

    Thanks, Adam



    • Jul 5, 2016 - 5:19 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Adam,

      good to hear you’ve got the controller to work.
      Unfortunately, I’ve never played Minecraft, but I did find this article, which might be helpful for you (I have not tested this).



  • Jul 8, 2016 - 8:05 AM - Kyri Comment Link

    Hi I am using an official wireless 360 controller. I have installed everything and on the xbox 360 controllers panel it says “no devices found” and when I try to sync the controller it doesn’t sync, the light on the receiver and controller flash but never establish a connection. It connects to my xbox 360 but I also have the same problem on my PC where the controller just doesn’t want to sync



    • Jul 8, 2016 - 9:16 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Kyri,

      I assume you are referring to figure 3, sync controller with the wireless/USB receiver? This process:

      Press the big XBox logo button (a.k.a. the “Guide” button) on the game controller for it to switch on.
      Press the button on the USB receiver.
      Press the Connect button on the game controller.
      The circle around the Xbox button should light up one quarter of the circle indicating the controller number.

      From the Microsoft FAQ:

      If the binding instructions are not working, try the following solutions:

      Ensure you’re within range (6 meters or less) of the adapter and it’s in line of sight to the controller.

      If you have an Xbox controller, try rebinding your controller to the console by pressing the bind button on the console, and then the bind button on the controller. The LEDs will flash and become solid when the binding is successful. If your controller does bind, you have isolated the issue to the Wireless Adapter for Windows. If your controller does not bind to your console, see Set up the Xbox Wireless Adapter for Windows.

      Unplug your adapter, reboot your device, and then plug it back in (to another port if possible), and try again.

      Maybe this Forum topic might be helpful as well.



  • Jul 16, 2016 - 4:59 PM - Imke Comment Link

    Hi! I’m using a wired xBox 360 controller and installed the driver successfully. But in the xBox 360 control panel it says that no device is found. When I plug in my controller the lights flash for a sec and then stop. I’m using OS X El Capitan so maybe thats why? Any solutions yet?





    • Jul 17, 2016 - 12:56 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      H Imke,

      I do not have a wired 360 controller, so I have not been able to test this.
      You could also try this alternative.

      Hope this helps 



      • Jul 17, 2016 - 3:46 AM - Imke Comment Link

        Hi Hans,

        it works! Thank you so much! :)



      • Jul 18, 2016 - 2:58 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link


        Thanks for posting a confirmation …. 



        • Oct 20, 2018 - 6:15 PM - Zach Comment Link

          I was having this exact issue as well, running sierra. What did you download from GitHub to get this to work?



          • Oct 21, 2018 - 5:09 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

            Hi Zach,

            You can download pre-compiled releases from this link at Github.
            I noticed that a new release has been made available less than 2 weeks ago – I have not yet tested that one though, but it may address one or the other bug. If you decide to test it, please let us know how that went! 


  • Aug 2, 2016 - 10:54 AM - Andy Comment Link

    I think in theory this could work. The same process yet not as detailed can be found on the app store, look for Joystick Doctor. It too says the 360 controller drivers can be downloaded from GitHub. I downloaded the driver, to complete installation I restarted my mac. Upon logging back in I checked system preferences the 360 controller icon was there. I started to notice my mac was running slow, web pages took mins to load before it was seconds. To be on the safe side I ran BitDefender Virus Scanner, it’s been scanning for 15 mins now and has found 60 different virus’s. I would advise people to look elsewhere for 360 controller drivers, that being said I highly doubt my comments will be posted on this site.



    • Aug 2, 2016 - 1:53 PM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Andy,

      Of course your comment will be posted …!  
      I hate viruses and malware just as much as most, and … I’m not the creator of the driver either. On my Mac it runs just fine thought, no slow downs or anything weird..

      From what link did you download the driver?
      Just so we can alert other users.

      FYI: Based on your comment, just to be sure, I ran the latest Malware bytes Anti Malware for Mac (1.2.4) and it found zero nasty stuff with the version found in the greenbox (DOWNLOAD – XBox360 Controller for Mac) in the beginning of the article.



    • Aug 2, 2016 - 4:55 PM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Did scan with Avast for Mac as well – no infections in the file hosted on



  • Aug 5, 2016 - 4:31 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link


    Just made the latest version (0.16.3) available.



  • Aug 8, 2016 - 10:03 PM - Rudah Comment Link

    Hi! Thanks for your guide.

    I did all the steps! 

    I Bought the microsoft receiver.

    I Install the driver

    Everything works fine, I can control de steam menu (Big Picture mode). Steam recognize my control, however when I launch CSGO it didn’t recognize. I’ve tried every common in the console (exec 360controller; exec controller.360.cfg; exec everythingifoundintheweb) I also have downloaded some cfg from internet that I found in the steam forum, without solution. I just wanna play CSGO with my xbox 360 wireless control. Please, Help me..



    • Aug 9, 2016 - 4:18 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Ruhad,

      I don’t have CSGO, but AFAIK this is based on the Half-Life engine as well.
      This is however a game specific issue – support by Steam does not mean automatic support in Steam games.

      I assume you followed these instructions (source) – I’m just posting it here, incase it works for others:

      • Run Steam in “Big Picture” mode, which is Steam’s attempt at making their interface more console friendly. 
      • Start a game of CSGO, choose your team and open up your console (~). 
      • Type the command: “exec controller.360.cfg”, hit enter.
      • Type the command: “joystick 1”, hit enter.
      Since it uses “controller.360.cfg”, I’d assume you have that file with CSGO. Maybe read that thread (which you probably already have done).
      One user even reported that he did none of these steps, just the home screen go into options and then press controller. Then press enable.
      This thread also describes similar steps in more detail, but I assume you’ve done that as well.
      If none of these work; consider removing and reinstalling CSGO, just so all settings and changes are back to default. Then follow the steps above. As you can see, I did try a few Valve games and got this to work as described without any issue … (but I still prefer playing with keyboard and mouse haha).



      • Aug 9, 2016 - 7:27 AM - Rudah Comment Link

        thanks for The answer ! Sorry for my bad English too. XD.

        I’ll try what you said, reinstall the cs go. I saw a lot of people saying that can play csgo with a Xbox control however I just saw in windows computer. In the steam forum I saw one guy saying that he could just enabling the controller option in csgo menu. As I said I’ll try to reinstall and will notice you if it works. The only way i found that works is using the Game Companion, but still not so good to play, the jogability is freak. Thanks again for the answer! 



      • Aug 9, 2016 - 8:32 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

        No problem, your English is good enough for me to understand 

        I read about other Mac users who’ve used the XBox 360 controller with CSGO, so I suspect that it should work.

        Let us know how things work out! 



    • Sep 13, 2016 - 11:14 PM - Kyle Comment Link

      I used to play CS GO on my macbook pro with a 360 wired controller no problem. It was wonderful but when I updated to El Capitan it stopped working. Ive tried every configuration in the console and multiple 360 drivers and .cfg files on the web to no avail. I read somewhere that the new operating system may read the controller differently so the game can’t see it. The controller works in big picture mode so I don’t know if thats necessarily true. I may try to wipe my macbook and start all over again with my original os and see if it’ll work again. I just want to play cs go with my controller again. Keyboard and mouse is just to alien to me. Please help!



      • Sep 14, 2016 - 4:10 PM - hans - Author: Comment Link

        Well, not sure what to say besides: well that sucks!
        I have not ran into this issue. My controller still works under El Capitan.
        Even though a fresh install of MacOS X should not be needed, it might clear some of the “leftovers” of the different drivers you’ve tried.



  • Aug 21, 2016 - 2:04 PM - Cheese Nip 2 Comment Link


    I have an Afterglow 360 controller and am trying to use it with my Mac (which is running Yosemite).  I have all the right things downloaded (as far as I can tell) and the controller lights up when plugged in.  I opened the .dmg and the .pkg, restarting my computer. However, when I go into System Preferences to set up the controller, the option is  grayed out and I can’t click it.  Any idea what the problem could be?  Am I missing a step?


    Cheese Nip 2

    • Aug 21, 2016 - 3:25 PM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Cheese Nip 2,

      I’m not sure if these drivers support an Afterglow 360 controller.
      The developer however offers to help and start supporting your controller (if not already), but you’ll have to submit ProductID and VendorID (from the USB device) so he can add support. More details here.

      Hope this helps, from what I’ve read so far, he seems very willing to add support.


      These can be found by accessing the Apple menu, selecting “About this Mac”, and then selecting “System Report…” on the “Overview” tab. On the left hand side of the new window, select the “USB” option under “Hardware”. If the controller is plugged in, there should be an entry in this window called “Controller”.



  • Oct 26, 2016 - 1:27 PM - Jordan Comment Link

    Hey, I’m trying to open the driver from my downloads folder but I get an error saying “Image data corrupted”, any help? Thanks.



    • Oct 27, 2016 - 9:28 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Jordan,

      are you downloading the driver fro Tweaking4All? Or from the original source?



      • Dec 23, 2016 - 6:12 PM - jason Comment Link

        is there a difference because when i downloaded the driver it also said image data corrupted. 



        • Dec 24, 2016 - 11:34 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

          There will be a difference yes … the original source is more likely to be to date.

          Which of the drivers did you download?

          – 360Controller (from Tweaking4All or Github)
          – XBoxController (Github) — that one seems a little outdated



  • Nov 26, 2016 - 4:38 AM - Drumsofmankind Comment Link

    Can you use the xbox 360 (wired) controller on the steam link (hardware) and Mac OS?



    • Nov 26, 2016 - 2:50 PM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      In all honesty, I have only tried the wireless controller, and that worked with the Steam games I tested.
      I would assume this goes for the wired model as well, but I have to say that I didn’t test it and I did test only a handful of games on Steam with the wireless controller.



  • Dec 10, 2016 - 4:59 PM - gaspachob Comment Link

    I got stuck on step 2 because the controller won’t connect 



    • Dec 11, 2016 - 12:31 PM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Gaspachob!

      Sorry to hear you’re running into issues.

      I’m assuming you’re using the official Microsoft XBox 360 controller for Windows and that pairing (controller vs dongle) isn’t working?
      In that case, you could try temporary hooking it up to a PC and see if you get pairing to work. If it fails there then we know that there is an issue with the controller and/or dongle.



  • Jan 5, 2017 - 5:38 PM - Meme Comment Link

    whenever i download the download and try and open it it says it doenst have an application to put it, What do i do?



    • Jan 6, 2017 - 9:31 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Meme,

      Which link are you using to download? From Tweaking4All or from one of the original sources (recommended).
      Do you get the message when opening the DMG (assuming you downloaded it from Tweaking4All)?
      Or after trying to open a file in the DMG?



  • Feb 7, 2017 - 2:49 PM - Danny Comment Link

    I’m using a wireless Xbox 360 controller with the charge/sync cable that came with the controller plugged in to a USB port on my Mac, I have installed the driver and the Xbox 360 Controller pane is visible in System Preferences, but it says “no device found.” The green light on the center of my controller is flashing. Any ideas how to get my controller to be found?



    • Feb 8, 2017 - 9:09 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Danny,

      I have not tried tis particular setup (wireless controller wired to the Mac), and I’m not sure if this would work.
      One thing is for sure though; your Mac is not seeing the controller.
      Either the cable is not suitable for this kind of use (can anyone confirm this?), or … the controller is simply not connecting to your Mac. For the latter; do you have the dongle/receiver available?



  • Feb 16, 2017 - 4:21 PM - Jimmy Comment Link

    idk how to use this…



    • Feb 16, 2017 - 4:24 PM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Jimmy … 

      Ehm … could you be more specific? 
      What do you mean with “how to use this”? You mean in games? Or specific games?



  • Feb 23, 2017 - 8:44 PM - Joshua Comment Link

    I hvae done everything right! I installed the drivers, I bought the receiver, and I have a microsoft licensed xbox 360 remote, but it will not connect at all. Please help?



    • Feb 24, 2017 - 9:20 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Joshua,

      Did you controller connect to the dongle?
      If not and in case you do not get it to connect; try using a Windows PC from family or a friend, to sync controller and dingle first.
      Normally that would not be needed, but I have heard of one other users experiencing issues with the initial sync as well, and this approach seems to fix it.

      Hope this helps … 



  • Mar 20, 2017 - 12:04 AM - rjgrullon Comment Link

    I’m thinking about getting a wired Xbox 360 Controller for my 15″ MacBook Pro w/Touch Bar. Has someone successfully tried this? I’m on OS X Sierra and would be using Aukey’s USB-A to USB-C adapters for some Rocket League on Steam. Thanks in advance.



    • Mar 20, 2017 - 8:51 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Rjgrullon,

      I almost bought the new Mac … well, until I noticed how Apple dropped MagSafe (which has saved me from breaking my MacBook/cable on numerous ocassions) and the regular USB connector … 

      I would assume it would work, but I have not been able to test it.
      How are you liking your MacBook w/touchbar?



      • Mar 20, 2017 - 11:15 PM - rjgrullon Comment Link

        So far it’s great, specially coming from a Late 2008 MacBook. I still haven’t found a controller that I’m sure will work. Most have shady reviews on Amazon, even the originals.



      • Mar 21, 2017 - 9:14 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

        Nice, yeah I really badly wanted to get one … (I have a MBP 15″ 2013) but was sorely disappointed by lacking MagSafe and regular USB, and no touch screen, and I had hoped for a more capable GPU (thinking VR support). Oh well, we will see how things change with the next model – truly love MacOS (yes, I tried switching back to Windows, but I just can’t hahah).

        As for buying a controller; my advise would be to buy a genuine Microsoft. The 3rd party controllers are known to have issues when it comes to working with the Mac (and sometimes even Windows). I still have to try my XBox One controller with my Mac, then newer (white) models are said to work with Bluetooth. I have seen reports that all XBox One controllers should work with the 360Controller driver (use micro USB cable). I have not yet seen anything based on the Bluetooth option.



        • May 8, 2017 - 6:53 PM - Chip Comment Link

          I haven’t had any luck getting this to work on my touch bar mac with a USB-c adapter.  The dongle won’t even light up… any recommendations?



        • May 8, 2017 - 7:02 PM - hans - Author: Comment Link

          I finally decided to get the new MacBook Pro (15″ 2016 w/touchbar) but have not been able to test this (recently moved and my controller is somewhere buried in the not yet opened boxes).

          One thing I did experience though is that some so called USB to USB-c adapters are not all that great and reliable. 

          I did have good experience with this dock (offers 3x USB3, Ethernet, HDMI, USB-c charger input, and SC-card reader) – but have not yet tested the 360 controller. Works great with my “Das Keyboard”, LG curved 34″ monitor, Logitech gaming mouse, Logitech cordless mouse, iPhone 6S Plus, Razer Gamepad, Microsoft Keyboard, a simple USB 2 hub, and some other gadgets I tested.



        • May 8, 2017 - 7:17 PM - hans - Author: Comment Link

          OK, couldn’t resist and started digging and found my corded 360 Controller faster than expected.
          However, was unable to find my cordless 360 Controller and Dongle (probably still at my mom’s place where I stored some stuff).

          Anyhoo … tested the latest 360 Controller (0.16.5 – updated the download here as well) and it just works. I tested this dock and this USB to USB-c adapter. Both worked right away without any issues. I even switched while the 360 Controle panel was visible and it just picked both of them up within seconds.

          The USB to USB-c is actually something I can recommend, not even $6 for 3 of them so I always have one on my desk, in my travel gear, and in my laptop bag. 

          FYI: I tested with a 15″ MacBook Pro 2016 with Touchbar running Sierra 10.12.4.

          Sorry I can’t test the cordless 360 Controller … 



        • May 8, 2017 - 7:27 PM - hans - Author: Comment Link

          p.s. another thing to try:

          In the 360 Controller panel in System Preferences, tab “Advanced“, there is an option called “Enable Driver” – not sure how useful this might be when trying to sync a cordless 360 Controller.



  • Apr 12, 2017 - 1:00 PM - Germán - Author: Comment Link

    Thank you very much ! Works on MacOs Sierra 10.12.4



    • Apr 13, 2017 - 10:18 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Awesome! Thanks for taking the time to post your feedback! 
      Much appreciated! 



  • Apr 13, 2017 - 6:19 PM - jim Comment Link




    • Apr 14, 2017 - 2:04 PM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Jim,

      where did get the message about corrupted files? From the download here? If so; which one?
      I’d like to triple check to make sure.



      • Apr 16, 2017 - 8:07 PM - Tom G Comment Link

        It’s when you try to download the driver. the .dmg file.


        Tom G

      • Apr 17, 2017 - 9:15 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

        Thanks Tom!

        I finally managed to reproduce the issue. I right away updated to the latest version (0.16.4).
        I tested this on my Mac, and this one should work correctly. Please give it a try! 

        Apologies for the inconvenience.



  • Apr 29, 2017 - 2:06 PM - wang Comment Link

    Hi , Thanks for your work, it works great on mac os x 10.12.4 and Steam (including force feedback) , thank you very much !



    • Apr 29, 2017 - 4:14 PM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Wang!

      Very good to hear that! Thanks for taking the time to post a thank-you note – it’s very much appreciated and motivating! 



  • Jul 1, 2017 - 6:01 AM - Ven Comment Link

    First of, thank you for the tutorial, but it seems like my Xbox360 wireless controller couldn’t be detected at all. I followed the steps, but it just wouldn’t connect. Does running OSX 10.12.2 affecting this? I tried my receiver and and the controller on my Windows (BootCamp), it worked fine and it was easy to setup. Only for my Mac it doesn’t work. Any help?




    • Jul 2, 2017 - 12:20 PM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Ven,

      sorry to hear you’re running into issues.
      Your OS version should be fine, I recently tested it on macOS Sierra 10.12.4 (see this comment) and just now again on 10.12.5.
      I used this driver and it works well with the corded controller (I misplaced my wireless controller during the last move).

      Interesting (and good!) to hear that it works under Bootcamp, at least we know your hardware is all OK.
      Which driver version did you install on your Mac?



      • Jul 3, 2017 - 12:41 AM - Ven Comment Link

        Hi Hans, I tried driver version 0.16.5 the latest one, and version 0.16.4. Both didn’t work for me.



      • Jul 3, 2017 - 9:46 PM - hans - Author: Comment Link

        I will have to do some digging to find my cordless XBox 360 controller … 

        I did some reading in the issue list, and noticed that folks with non original (read: Microsoft) XBox 360 controllers show issues, and some folks seem to have issues in 10.12.5. Not to mention quite a few folks with XBox One controllers that run into issues. According to one issue listed there, you might run into connectivity issues under Sierra.

        Did you look in this list to see if there is an issue listed that resembles yours?



        • Jul 6, 2017 - 3:36 AM - Ven Comment Link

          There’s hardly any issue resembling mine from the list, except for the connectivity issue you mentioned. I do believe I’m using original wireless Xbox 360 controller :/



        • Jul 6, 2017 - 2:23 PM - hans - Author: Comment Link

          Bummer … sorry the info was not helpful.

          The controller I use it the one that you actually buy as a bundle (sold as “for Windows”). I have the wired readily available (this one), just have no clue were I left the wireless one (the picture above is the picture I took of the wireless one I had bought).

          As you mentioned “original”, my first thought was: does it need a firmware update (not sure if that is even relevant for XBox 360 controllers – I know it might matter with XBox One controllers)? But then again; it worked under Bootcamp.

          Some silly attempts I would do;
          – make sure you remove the battery of the controller for a while, to make sure nothing is “stored” in the controller
          – use a different USB port
          – sync receiver and controller again

          I know these are pretty lame suggestions, and you might have already done these. 

          My suggestion is to post your question at GitHub but I’m not sure if you will get an answer.

          And just for reference for others: This is the info displayed at the GitHub page concerning the XBox 360 Wireless Controller. (not providing much info in this scenario though since the controller is not even recognized)



  • Jul 21, 2017 - 5:39 PM - Jaymes Comment Link

    I tried to use the older driver and it doesn’t recognize a controller. When I try to use the updated driver, it tells me that it doesn’t work on an intel-based mac. Is there any way to make my wired controller work on this computer?



    • Jul 22, 2017 - 9:03 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Jaymes,

      it sounds like you might have downloaded the wrong file?
      I’m running MacOS Sierra, on an Intel based MacBook Pro (2013 13″ and a 2016 15″ w/touchbar), and this driver works great on both.
      Give that one a try and see if it works for you as well.



  • Jul 23, 2017 - 7:13 PM - jaiden Comment Link

    ok let me tell u first off. i used my controller perfectly fine on a game insurgency right after downloading the thing you said to. steam automatically set up my controller i guess but when i went to look back at your post up here, it said to go into a valve game and type in exec 360controller which i did because unlike insurgency, the controls for gmod (the valve game i used) were not i thought hey maybe this will finalize my controller setup for all m,y games ya know maybe there will be other games that don’t work for gmod. so i typed in exec 360controller and it worked, gmod controls were fine. so i exit and go back to insurgency and now the controls are all sorts of mess up so i thought screw it ya know i don’t HAVE TO have a controller so i tried using my mouse and key board and it is all sorts of messed up. i walk forward and it wants to make me reload and the looking with the mouse is all choppy and mind you my controller is off and connector unplugged. so i went back to gmod and typed in exec undo360controller and now its saying, ‘undo360controller’ not present; not executing. and yes my controller is on and connect while it says this. thats about it as much as i love gmod and being able to play it with a controller i don’t love it to not play any other game. i hope you can figure out why this is happening to me. I’m more then welcome to do things that you can suggest but for right now I’m not gonna be able to play my game because w(walk forward)= shoot weapon for me and the same for my controller.



    • Jul 25, 2017 - 1:47 PM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Jaiden,

      I’m sorry to hear about this mess.
      As far as I know (and I have not played GMod or Insurgency), the 360controller statement is for games using the Valve (Half Life 2) engine.
      I have not seen it interfere with other games though, since I’m calling it from the console in (for example) Half Life 2.
      The Insurgency Wiki page suggests it is using the Valve engine as well – so you might need to configure your controls in Insurgency again (so you won’t shoot when you try to walk backwards …

      In the end it is unfortunate that games do not always use hardware in the same way.  



  • Sep 20, 2017 - 9:29 PM - Andrew Comment Link

    is there a code where I can use my xbox controller for garrys mod?



    • Sep 23, 2017 - 12:16 PM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Andrew,

      I don’t have Garry’s mod, but as far as I recall it runs based on one of the half-life 2 engines? So I’d carefully assume that the settings for Half-Life 2 would work for Garry’s mod as well. (better verify which Half Life version)



  • Nov 8, 2017 - 10:02 PM - Neil Comment Link

    I am using GeForce Now and trying to play Destiny 2. The Mac recognizes the Xbox controller through the driver, but when I try to use it in the game it does not recognize it. Any ideas what I can do to get this working?



    • Nov 11, 2017 - 2:56 PM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Neil,

      I’ve never tried Geforce Now – I had to even Google it to find out what it exactly does (how does game play go, latency wise and such?).

      Haha, I just found this post on the nVidia website, very cool that they mention my website! But in all fairness; I’m not the developer of the tool I’ve described here. All credit goes to the guys that did the real hard work.

      One thing you could look at is a tool like JoyStickMapper or Controllers. As far as I recall, they allow you to map actions to keyboard actions.
      Not sure if that helps …



      • Nov 12, 2017 - 7:23 AM - Jay Comment Link

        I’ve been having a similar problem. My Xbox controller works for some games in GeForce Now, but the “virtual” Steam doesn’t pick up any inputs from my controller and when I tried JoyStickMapper, it doesn’t receive inputs from there either. I think there may be a problem with the Steam in Geforce Now not sensing outside apps or drivers. It haven’t found a solution yet, but maybe this information can help find one.



        • Nov 12, 2017 - 8:38 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

          Thanks Jay for chiming in! 

          That’s interesting. Maybe Geforce Now is somehow looking (for the Steam part) straight at the keyboard?
          I’ll have to find me some time to give Geforce Now a try. How is the performance?



        • Nov 12, 2017 - 9:23 PM - hans - Author: Comment Link

          Alright, so I installed Geforce Now and did buy Destiny 2 (standard version) from
          First I tested it with regular mouse and keyboard and that worked surprisingly well – impressive.

          After closing Geforce Now, I connected my XBox One controller with a USB cable to my 2016 MacBook (w/Touchbar) through a USB to USB-c adapter.
          Next I installed 360Controller while having my XBox One controller connected. Rebooted my Mac, and the XBox One controller did get detected correctly (I did press the XBox button).

          After that I started Geforce Now and started Destiny 2 … and the controller worked exactly as I’m used to when playing Destiny 2 on my Xbox One. Same controls, etc. Everything worked fine. I did not have to do ANY settings in Destine 2 or Geforce Now. Did have to press the “A” button a few times before my Guardian started to jump (no specific reason why I choose to press “A”) but after that it work as I had hoped for.

          Now the next step will be testing Steam, I’ll leave that one for tomorrow.
          I’ll try to find my old XBox 360 controller to see if I get that one to work as well – but I haven’t used that one in a while so it might be a little search adventure to find that one again haha.



    • Nov 22, 2017 - 5:08 AM - ichocobo Comment Link

      Right now, it’s not working although it did worked on the past. Maybe in the next update…



      • Nov 24, 2017 - 2:00 PM - hans - Author: Comment Link

        The only other controller I could find in my pile of stuff was a wired XBox 360 controller – which worked as well.
        I assume that in the control panel (System Preferences – 360Controller) your controller is being detected and you can see the response to operating the controller?



        • Nov 25, 2017 - 2:15 AM - ichocobo Comment Link

          of course, but not only that, it works flawless with other games on geforce now. If you head to nvidia forums there are some posts about it.



          • Nov 25, 2017 - 3:57 PM - hans - Author: Comment Link

            Thanks for posting a confirmation – I did some more testing and I have to say that both work very well (wired). However, we had some Internet glitches here so Geforce Now had it’s moments where it impressed me and moments where it annoyed me . I just ordered a nVidia Shield, curious how well that works with Geforce Now …


  • Nov 21, 2017 - 5:13 AM Comment Link

    […] can use an XBox controller with GeForce Now but it’s complicated to setup. You can find instructions here or you may be able to use an app like Joystick Mapper which makes it much […]

  • Nov 25, 2017 - 1:30 AM - Paul Walker Comment Link

    I’m also having a problem getting mine to pair.

    I have the genuine MS Xbox 360 Controller and Receiver (bought as a pair).

    I’m running macOS High Sierra (10.13.1) on my mid-2012 15″ MBP. I’m using the latest 0.16.5 driver from GitHub.

    When I pair the controller, all 4 lights on the controller flash slowly. 

    If I take the same controller and plug it into a PC, the controller lights in Controller 1 position (Top Left) like it should. If I then immediately unplug it and plug it into my MBP it goes back to flashing all 4 lights again. 

    Any help would be appreciated.


    Paul Walker

    • Nov 25, 2017 - 3:53 PM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Paul,

      sorry to hear you’re running into an issue as well. It’s quite a challenge to troubleshoot, since I can no longer find mine.
      Some things I found;

      – Pressing the connect button on the receiver first and then after that on the controller seems to help some,
      – try removing the batteries of the controller and keep them removed for about a minute, and then try again,
      – Some users reported that High Sierra is blocking the app (Goto  -> system preferences -> Security & Privacy -> the General tab -> allow Drew Mills app),
      – Have the dongle plugged it during power-up of your Mac (sounds like a silly one to me),
      – Make sure the controller is listed as a USB device (Goto  -> About This MAc -> Overview tab -> System Report -> under Hardware you’ll find USB and under USB your controler should be listed, may take some effort to identy it),
      – Make sure you’re having a genuine Microsoft controller (which you have), other 3rd party controllers might not be supported. 

      Obviously 360Controller needs to recognize the controller first before we can look into why certain games do or don’t work. So far my experience with a wired XBox 360 and wired XBox One controller have been great. Just wish I could find my wireless 360 controller to test. 



      • Nov 25, 2017 - 8:47 PM - Paul Walker Comment Link

        I’ve already done all of those (except having the dongle plugged in when Mac turned on – since tried and didn’t work).

        I’ve been looking at the issues pages on GitHib and it seems it’s a common problem with recent versions of Sierra / High Sierra (which I have). Unfortunately, it seems the developer isn’t fixing it. The last release was April and there are issues going back a few months now.


        Paul Walker

      • Dec 2, 2017 - 2:13 PM - hans - Author: Comment Link

        Hi Paul,

        Apologies if I listed some of the obvious things – just figured it would be good for other users if they try to resolve issues,
        I agree that there are a lot of bug reports in GitHub. I wouldn’t assume that the developer is ignoring them though – I did see quite a few duplicates as well.

        I’m currently running High Sierra 10.13.1 as well, but unfortunately cannot find my XBox 360 wireless controller (I’m afraid it’s in my pile of stuff that I left at family when I moved last year).
        I can say that it works with a wired XBox 360 and a wired (USB cable) XBox One controller.

        Silly idea; did you try another USB port, and did you check if the controller [dongle] is listed in the USB device list?



      • Jan 5, 2018 - 2:03 PM - pedrosantos Comment Link

        Hello . Paul is already working ??? I also have this problem on my mac … :(



  • Dec 19, 2017 - 9:51 AM - Freddie Comment Link

    Every time I press the connect button on my Xbox remote the light on the receiver goes off and I just end up with the controller flashing as it does when you initially turn it on. I’m just going in circles 



    • Dec 21, 2017 - 9:56 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Freddie,

      does this also happen when running BootCamp or on a Windows PC (if you have either available)?



  • Jan 4, 2018 - 6:45 PM - pedrosantos Comment Link

    I have a mac the high sierra version 10.13.2

    I bought the xbox 360 wirless … I did these steps all … but then I open the app and it does not detect the controllers in the app

    Can you help me ???



    • Jan 7, 2018 - 4:00 PM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Pedrosantos,

      I’m sorry to hear you’re running into issue as well.
      Unfortunately, I’m not the developer of this application, and I can’t seem to find my XBox 360 wireless controller to test.

      Did you try both drivers (360Controller and the older XBoxControllerEnabler)?
      I assume it worked just fine under Windows (ie. BootCamp or another computer)?



  • Jan 10, 2018 - 4:31 PM - Kevin Comment Link

    Hello there! I’m having issues with getting my controller to work with Team Fortress 2. I downloaded all the drivers and have everything set up but when I typed in exec 360controller it doesn’t do anything for me. The controller works with other steam games I have and other non-steam games in my inventory but not with TF2. Any thoughts on what could be happening? Thank you for this amazing guide by the way. Without it, I’d be lost.



  • Jan 15, 2018 - 9:29 AM - Kasun Comment Link

    What is the possibility of using 3rd party generic Xbox 360 wireless receivers for this? I want connect my Xbox 360 wireless controller to my iMac.



    • Jan 21, 2018 - 1:51 PM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Kasun,

      I’m not the developer of the drivers, but as far as I recall not all 3rd party controllers are supported.
      You might want to double check the websites/pages of 360Controller and the older XBoxControllerEnabler.



      • Jan 21, 2018 - 7:16 PM - Kasun Comment Link

        Hi Hans,

        Thanks a lot. 

        Actually what I want to try is a 3rd party receiver. I got a wireless Xbox 360 controller already.

        Anyway I’ll go through above pages again.



        • Jan 25, 2018 - 12:26 PM - hans - Author: Comment Link

          If you know brand and model of your receiver, and you get it to work; please feel free to post the steps to get it to work. I’m sure others would love to see that as well. 



          • Jan 25, 2018 - 5:16 PM - Kasun Comment Link

            Sure. Will do. 😊


          • Jul 8, 2018 - 12:34 PM - Kasun Comment Link


            I just received the 3rd party wireless receiver. My Xbox 360 controller works like a charm with it with no issues.

            Lot of thanks to all the people behind this…!!


          • Jul 9, 2018 - 4:10 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

            Hi Kasun,

            that’s great news!
            Do you happen to have a link to the working 3rd party receiver?
            The developer of the driver basically states that it is designed for the original receiver, and I’m sure others are looking for a working receiver as well. 


          • Jul 9, 2018 - 6:18 AM - Kasun Comment Link

            Sure. It’s from AliExpress and below is the link.

            AliExpress link: Wireless PC USB 2.0 Receiver for Xbox 360 Controller Gaming USB Receiver Adapter PC Receiver For Microsoft for XBOX 360 with CD

            The latest feedback is from mine there. Best thing is it only cost me US$ 5.23 with a AliExpress discount. 😊😊 

            Also I can not see any Mac users has tried that before according to it’s feedbacks.

            Unfortunately there seems no way I can post any pics here.


          • Jul 10, 2018 - 3:35 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

            Hi Kasun,

            thanks for the link! Awesome and only $10 for non members … great deal! And you’re right, doesn’t look like any Mac user used it yet.
            Since you posted a mobile link, here a search result link: AliExpress XBox 360 Wireless USB dongle and this would be the product you posted.

            Awesome! Thanks for posting the link Kasun! 


          • Jul 10, 2018 - 3:43 AM - Kasun Comment Link

            Hi Hans,

            You’re most welcome. Thanks. 


          • Jul 10, 2018 - 3:44 AM - Kasun Comment Link

            Hi Hans,

            You’re most welcome. 


  • Jan 22, 2018 - 7:41 PM - max Comment Link

    this article has been really useful! but it seems that the software download only supports 1 controller and I have 2 that I would like to use. Any ideas?



    • Jan 25, 2018 - 12:19 PM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Max,

      Honestly not a clue. I never had 2 controllers so I have not been able to test it. If I recall the screenshot correctly; on top there is a dropdown that allows you to select a controller to configure – so I’d hope this means it would support multiple controllers. But from your question I gather it doesn’t.

      My suggestion: post a bug report on the github page of the developer. Sorry 

      Just a thought:
      Do both controllers share the same connection/dongle? If so; consider connecting the 2nd controller to another USB port? Might be worth a try.



  • Jan 23, 2018 - 1:35 PM - Robert Comment Link

    My 360 controller connects and works with the software in Preferences but won’t work in a downloaded COD game. Suggestions?



    • Jan 25, 2018 - 12:28 PM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Robert,

      I haven’t tried the controller with COD mostly because I don’t have a copy of COD haha.
      My experience with some of the other games is that some games require config files and/or settings in the game for the controller to respond.

      As an alternative, you can assign keystrokes to controller moves or clicks. See also “Step 5” above. Maybe that helps.



  • Jan 27, 2018 - 3:10 PM - Craig W Comment Link

    I’m using this driver with a genuine wireless MS xbox 360 controller, 2017 imac with macOS 10.12.6. All works fine except after I’ve used the controller, even turning off the controller via the settings panel (often takes multiple hits of the power button in the panel), the mac will crash when it sleeps.

    I’ve read others having this same issue, and the recommendation to first turn off the controller through settings. We already do this, and still crashes at sleep.

    Any ideas out there?


    Craig W

    • Feb 16, 2018 - 10:29 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Graig,

      oh wow, I have not encountered that issue. Did you check the GitHub page – I know the developer is not always quick in responding, but another user might have found a work-around? Did you try unplugging the dongle when you’re done playing games? Maybe you can find something in the power settings (ie. disable powernap, or something like that)?



  • Feb 7, 2018 - 8:35 PM Comment Link

    […] Riguardo i controller, funzionano quelli già segnalati per Windows, con l’eccezione di quello Xbox, per il quale c’è però un workaround. […]

  • Feb 13, 2018 - 7:47 PM - Garett Comment Link


    I have a new macbook and the version is 10.13.1 

    will the driver work with this?

    I have everything neede to connect but it isnt working



    • Feb 16, 2018 - 10:30 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Garret,

      it worked on mine when it was running 10.13.2. So I assume it would work on 10.13.1 as well.



      • Feb 19, 2018 - 3:16 PM - Garett Comment Link

        the green circle around the xbox controller only flashes it doesnt light up showing it is connected



        • Feb 26, 2018 - 12:18 PM - Kamil - Author: Comment Link

          I have got same issue…



          • Mar 8, 2018 - 5:12 PM - Scott Comment Link

            i have the same issue im using a wired xbox 360 controller


          • Mar 11, 2018 - 3:26 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

            Since multiple folks run into the same issue with the wireless 360 controller (assuming you all use the original Microsoft controller); consider opening a support ticket on the GitHub page (link). I know the developer doesn’t always respond right away, but that’s beyond my control (and developing some applications myself, I know that life has a tendency to gobble up a lot of time for the usual stiff before we [developers] get to our projects).

            Also note (from the GitHub page):

            Wireless Xbox 360 Controllers

            Always check your controller with the preference pane found at: Apple Menu -> System Preferences -> Xbox 360 Controllers before creating an issue. If the controller works in this menu, then the driver is operating as intended. If your controller works with this menu, but not with a specific game, then read the My controller doesn’t work with a game! section. Remember that wireless controllers must be connected using a wireless adapter. Plugging a “Play and Charge” kit into a wireless controller does not make it a wired controller.


        • Mar 3, 2018 - 5:04 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

          Since I do not have a clue where I left mine,… I’d probably test this on a Windows based machine first (or Bootcamp).
          If that works well (which I assume it will), switching to the Mac may (or may not) work as well.

          Apologies for the “lame” answer – I just do not have my wireless controller anywhere near by  



  • Mar 15, 2018 - 6:56 PM - bob Comment Link

    hi i am having trouble finding a usb receiver that is compatible with mac, know any good ones



    • Mar 16, 2018 - 3:54 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Bob,

      as far as I recall, the only one to work is the USB receiver from Microsoft that comes with the XBox 360 controller (see image at the beginning of this article). I have seen a few users that seem to run into issues though. So make sure you can return the product in case you run into issues.

      Maybe other users can make recommendations, and the Github page lists 3rd party receivers (AFAIK) ….



  • Mar 17, 2018 - 3:01 PM - Brendan Inkster Comment Link

    Hello there. I have bought both items for this to work. I am running on a MacBook Pro with MacOS High Sierra 10.13.2.

    I have downloaded the most recent driver, restarted my computer, opened preferences, opened the xbox 360 controllers panel, plugged in the receiver, turned it on, pressed the “xbox button” on controller, and hit the connect button on my wireless controller. My controller lights start to spin around in a circle like its trying to connect. Then the spinning circle goes back to a blinking circle and the receiver light goes off. What do I do?



    Brendan Inkster

    • Mar 19, 2018 - 3:39 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Brendan,

      Unfortunately, I’m not the developer of the drivers, and I did notice (here and at the Github page) that some users seem to experience this issue (see also this bug report).

      A few things you can try;

      1) Link controller and receiver under Windows, just to make sure it works (which it probably will),
      2) Try using different USB ports (no matter how lame that sounds),
      3) Turn on the controller before plugging in the receiver (even though it’s not linked yet),
      4) Replace batteries (although I doubt that will be an issue),
      5) Try one of the newer versions (see this bug report where some did a build a few days ago – it’s a private build so use at your own risk, but it seems to include some improvements: link).

      Please let us know if any of this helps – it’s just my checklist in case I’d run into this issue.



  • May 12, 2018 - 9:55 PM - Radioactive Isotope Comment Link

    Hey guys I’m having a bit of trouble connecting my xbox controller to my mac. I don’t have a bluetooth connection rather instead a wired connector. can anyone send me instructions on how to connect my controller to my mac? If anyone could do this is would be much appreciated :D


    Radioactive Isotope

    • May 14, 2018 - 5:11 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Mr. Isotope  …

      I have tested the instructions above with a wired XBox 360 and XBox One controller and it works.
      For the XBox One controller (since you did not mention which one you’re using) you’ll need a USB to micro USB cable that supports data and charging (they can bought relatively cheap at Amazon). For the XBox 360 you’ll need to get the wired controller for a PC (ie. with a USB connector at the end).



  • May 30, 2018 - 1:41 PM - Daniel Comment Link


    I just installed the first program on my  (the one that reads that you have an xbox 360 controller connected). I have restarted my mac and after 15 minutes, it is still loading. I have the latest of version high sierra and clicked on the download link given. Is or has anyone had the same problem and knows how to solve it?



    • Jun 1, 2018 - 2:57 PM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Daniel,

      I have not encountered this problem.
      What I would try: disconnect controller and/or dongle, force reboot by keeping the power button pressed for about 5-6 seconds, and see that the Mac boots again.



  • Dec 3, 2018 - 2:27 AM - Thomas Leavitt - Author: Comment Link

    Folks reading this article should be aware that Wireless Controllers (and specifically, the Wireless Xbox 360 controllers using the Receiver, official or otherwise) are explicitly NOT supported with the referenced open source driver. I guess I’m going to be using this device exclusively with my Windows box.

    Details here:

    “As of macOS 10.11, Wireless Xbox 360 controller support causes kernel panics. This issue cannot be resolved with minor changes to the driver, and requires that the driver be re-written from scratch to resolve the issue. Due to an excess of caution, we have disabled Wireless Xbox 360 controller support as of 0.16.6. If you want to use a wireless controller, download 0.16.5 or earlier and disable the driver before the computer enters a “sleep” state in order to prevent kernel panics. Alternatively, you can revert to a macOS version before 10.11 to avoid this issue.”


    Thomas Leavitt

    • Dec 3, 2018 - 10:09 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Excellent find Thomas – thank you for posting it here. 
      I myself do not use the controller on my Mac all that often, and I use a wired controller (XBox One), so I had not noticed the issue.
      Seems there is a bug report waiting to be solved by Apple (even though I have not found where bug “40552414” has been posted).



    • Dec 3, 2018 - 10:17 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      I’ve added this at the top of this article.

      Thanks again Thomas! 



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