Configure Gamepads

Before using a gamepad to play games on a computer or video game console, you may need to configure it. Console gamepads typically require little configuration, if any, but PC gamepads may demand a little more customization before they can be used successfully. Specific configuration steps vary from one gamepad manufacturer to the next so you may need to refer to manufacturer-specific documentation, but this is an effective general guide to configuring each type of gamepad.


Configuring Game Console Gamepads

1. Gather any available support documentation for the game system and any games you play. You may not need this, but manufacturer-specific user guides typically provide the most direct advice on gamepad configuration.

2. Make sure that the game console is properly connected to its power source, screen and all other essential components. Plug in any gamepads that you want to configure.

3. Turn on the system. If it is an older game system that won’t run without a game cartridge inserted, put in a game cartridge before turning it on and skip to the next step. If it is a newer game system with a main menu interface, navigate to the options or settings screen (manufacturer-specific guides may be helpful here). Within the settings screen, look for gamepad configuration settings. Selecting any entry relevant to gamepad configuration should take you to a configuration screen with on-screen instructions. Follow these on-screen instructions to configure the gamepad for the entire system, then proceed to the next step.

4. Launch the game that you want to play. In older systems, you may just need to insert the game cartridge and turn on the system. In newer systems, you may need to insert a disc and select the game from a main menu screen. When the game starts, look for an options or settings screen in the main menu and select it.

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5. Navigate through the settings screen for entries relevant to gamepad configuration or controls. If you select any of these entries, you should be taken to a screen where you can configure gamepad settings by following on-screen instructions. Unlike when you configured the gamepad through the consoles main menu, any settings you modify here will only apply to gamepad configuration for this particular game.

Configuring PC Gamepads

6. Gather any manufacturer documentation and software that came with the gamepad and any games you intend to play using the gamepad. You may not need these, but they might come in handy.

7. Check to see if there is specific software that came with the gamepad. If there is, click the “Start” button in Windows and browse the program list to see if it has already been installed. If it is already installed, launch the software. Otherwise, insert the disc and install the software, then launch it. If there is no software, skip to step four.

8. Look for configuration settings in the gamepad software interface. Specific instructions for modify these configuration settings should be included in any documentation that shipped with the gamepad, but most software that accompanies these controllers is only for configuration anyway, so this should be fairly straightforward and user-friendly. You may be able to completely configure the controller for your whole PC by using the software, but to be on the safe side, you should check for additional configuration settings in the next step.

9. Click the “Start” button in Windows and select “Run.” Type “devmgmt.msc” in the Run window and click the “OK” button. This will launch the Device Manager. Expand the “Sound, video and game controllers” entry by clicking the plus sign next to it. Locate the gamepad listed in this category, right-click it and select “Properties” from the options that pop up. Check the Properties window for a configuration tab or button; if you see one, there may be additional configuration options available through this interface. Make any desired changes before proceeding to the next step.

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10. Launch a game you want to play using the gamepad. When the software starts, look for an options or settings screen on the main menu. Access this screen and look for a gamepad configuration or controls screen. Follow any on-screen prompts on this screen to configure the gamepad for this software only. Settings made here will not override any general gamepad settings you may have modified in the previous steps.