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How to connect Xbox, PS3 & PS4 controllers to your Mac

Info box
Games on the Mac have come a long way in the last few years. Before, people said that Mac’s didn’t have any big titles or good games, but with recent releases like the rebooted Tomb Raider and Hitman: Absolution, console-quality gaming is undoubtedly here to stay. And, when it comes to controlling these games, a mouse and keyboard don’t always cut it; there are times where a dedicating game controller is the only way to go.

Luckily, if you have a PlayStation 3 or PlayStation 4 controller, or a wired Xbox 360 controller, you can hook them up and be playing within a few minutes. Here we’ll show you how to connect up your Xbox controller with the correct driver, and how to use wireless PlayStation controllers to master all of your games.


Step 1

1 Drivers

First, you’ll need to get hold of a driver to enable the Xbox 360 controller to work with your Mac. Head over to to get the latest version.

Step 2

2 Install

When the driver is downloaded, open it up. It will install as a System Preferences panel, and you’ll need to input your administrator password in order for it to do so.

Step 3

3 System Preferences

When it’s installed, open up System Preferences. The new panel won’t activate until a controller is connected, so you can leave it on your Mac without using extra power.

Step 4

4 Plug in

Wireless Xbox 360 controllers won’t work without connecting an Xbox Wireless Receiver. Instead, plug in a wired controller using its USB cable so the light comes on.

Step 5

5 Check the controls

In System Preferences, open the new Xbox Controllers panel. Your connected controller will appear automatically, and you can test all of the buttons in this menu.

Step 6

6 Options

Within the menu you can also set up a number of options, including increasing the sensitivity of the two analogue sticks and inverting the X and Y-axes for each stick.

Step 7

7 Boot the game

All games from Feral offer support for controllers, as do most other games. To check, boot up the game; the opening screen should react to a press of the Start button.

Step 8

8 Multiple controls

When you’re playing the game, your mouse and keyboard will still be active. You can normally switch between the two at any time if anything goes wrong with the controller.

Step 9

9 Customise controls

Most games also contain a section for customising the controls. Here, you’ll be able to edit the functions of each button to create a perfect setup with your controller.

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