How To: Play Emulated Games on Linux with Your Xbox 360 Controller

Play Emulated Games on Linux with Your Xbox 360 Controller

I have to say, the Xbox 360 controller is the best controller ever created. When I first held it back in 2005, I swore that the dudes working at Microsoft came over and took a molding of my hands because of how great it felt. The thing felt like it was born there

What's even better about the 360 controller, is that the wired ones have a compatible driver in order for Windows to be able to game with them. This makes me not miss gaming on the Xbox so much. You can even use it for emulators, allowing you to play retro games with today's comfortable controllers! However, Linux users will fall short of being able to game with the lovely 360 controller.

How to Play Emulated Games on Linux with Your Xbox 360 Controller

Luckily for us, there exists a great open source driver that we can use to actually use our 360 controller to utilize the whole computer! The driver isn't a driver in the normal sense. It takes the raw signals coming from the controller, and then converts them to corresponding key strokes. You can actually control the mouse on your computer with a 360 joystick, allowing you to browse the internet like a proverbial "boss".

Follow along with me to learn how to set up an emulator and map the buttons with the 360 controller.


  • Linux
  • Wired 360 controller (wireless controllers with a play and charge kit do not work)

Installing the 360 Controller Driver

Watch the below vTutorial to learn how to get the driver installed and the snes9x emulator running with it.


  1. yaourt -S xboxdrv
  2. yaourt -S snes9x-gtk
  3. sudo xboxdrv

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1 Comment

Nice, time to play LoZ:OOT, the game I based my entire life around.

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