How to Use a Guitar Hero Controller on a Computer

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All Guitar Hero games come with a guitar controller that works both on the console that the game was created for and on the PC. This controller can be used to play any game that has the ability to utilize a USB controller. You can connect your Guitar Hero controller to your PC to extend your control's use to PC games.


Type of Controller

The type of Guitar Hero controller you have figures into how you connect your Guitar Hero guitar to the PC. Guitar Hero controllers come in two varieties: wired and wireless. Guitar Hero's first generation of controllers were wired and feature either a USB cable or a PlayStation cable, depending on what console you purchased yours for. These controllers were released with Guitar Hero 1, 2 and 3. Guitar Hero's next generation of controllers were wireless and were released with all other Guitar Hero versions but 1, 2 and 3. These controllers do not feature Bluetooth connectivity. Guitar Hero's latest controller is the Guitar Hero Live controller, which features Bluetooth connectivity.


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Wired Guitar Hero Controllers

How you connect your wired Guitar Hero controller to your PC depends on whether you have the PS2 or Xbox version of the controller. For the PS2 version, purchase a PS2 to USB adapter from an online retailer such as eBay or Amazon and attach this to your controller's cable. Plug the USB end of the adapter into your computer's USB port. For the Xbox version, you can simply plug the USB end of the controller cable into an available USB port on your computer. Windows will download the necessary drivers automatically for your controller and will tell you when the controller is ready to use.


Wireless Guitar Hero Controllers

Wireless Guitar Hero controllers are a bit more complicated to set up compared to wired controllers, but it can still be done. Check the back of your guitar to see whether you have a PlayStation, Xbox or Wii controller. Purchase a wireless USB dongle for the console version that you have. Plug this dongle into your computer and follow the dongle's instructions for syncing the controller to your computer. Note that, if you have the Guitar Hero Live guitar, you'll need to either use your computer's built-in Bluetooth connectivity or purchase a Bluetooth USB dongle.


Guitar Hero PC Games

A Guitar Hero controller connected to the PC can be used to play a variety of music-based games including Frets on Fire, Performous and Phase Shift. All three games are free and offer the ability to load custom songs that may not exist on Guitar Hero games. You can set up the Guitar Hero guitar for PC on these games by going to the "Settings" section and then selecting "Controls." Follow the instructions on-screen to map your Guitar Hero controller to the game's controls.