How to Use an Xbox 360 Controller as a Mouse on a PC

By Jared Newman

There's something appealing about using the Xbox 360 controller as a PC mouse. Instead of hunching over your desk, you get to sit back and navigate Windows with a game pad resting comfortably in your hands. Fortunately, it's easy to set up your controller this way, thanks to a free program called Xpadder.

Things You'll Need

  • Software drivers for Xbox 360 controller
  • XPadder

Installing the Controller

Step 1

If you've never before used the Xbox 360 controller in Windows, follow the second link in Resources to download the latest drivers.

Step 2

From the drop-down menus, select "Controller" for your type of product, "Xbox 360 Controller for Windows" for your product (or "Xbox 360 Wireless Gaming Receiver for Windows" if you have a wireless controller), your current operating system and your operating system language. Click "Go."

Step 3

Follow the download link on the next page and install the driver software.

Setting Up Xpadder

Step 1

Download XPadder5-3.zip (or the latest version). Open the zip file and drag Xpadder.exe to whatever Windows directory you prefer. Then open Xpadder.exe.

Step 2

Click on the tab below the pink backdrop that says "Sticks," and the tab below it that says "Stick 1." Check the box that says "Enabled" and follow the directions on the screen to calibrate the left thumb stick. If you make a mistake, click "Detect" to recalibrate. Click on the tab for Stick 2 and repeat the process with the right thumb stick.

Step 3

Click on to the tab that says "Buttons," and press the A, B, X, Y, Left Bumper and Right Bumper, Back and Start buttons to make them appear on the pink backdrop. Click the tab that says "Triggers," click "Enabled" and push the left and right triggers.

Step 4

Optionally, drag the buttons around so the layout more closely resembles the controller in your hands. Once you're happy with the layout, click "Finish" and move on to setting up the mouse.

Making the Controller Point and Click

Step 1

Decide which stick or pad to use as your mouse, and click the wrench below the image that corresponds to those controls. Click "Settings" in the menu that pops up, and in the next menu click "Mouse." You can now move the mouse pointer on the screen with controls you've just assigned.

Step 2

In the same menu, click the button that says "Mouse Settings" and adjust the two sliders to make the mouse pointer move slower or faster with the Xbox 360 controller.

Step 3

Return to the layout with the gray background and click on the image for whichever button you want to use as the mouse's left click. On the right side of the diagram that pops up, select the left-click button, located on top of the mouse icon. Repeat the process with whichever button you want to use as the mouse's right click, as well as the middle button if you like.

Step 4

Click the controller icon toward the top left side of the layout menu and and save the controller settings you just created. Then click the icon that looks like a piece of paper (near the top-middle of the layout menu) and save your settings as a profile.

Tips & Warnings

  • Xpadder allows you to map combinations of keystrokes to a single button. Click on the button you want to map, and in the diagram, click on the keystrokes you want to combine. Alt-F4 is good for quitting applications and Alt-Tab is used to switch between programs.
  • If you intend to never use your mouse again, make sure Xpadder starts when you load Windows. Click the wrench in the top right corner of the layout menu and select "Start with Windows."