Introduction: Standard 17: How to Set Up an Xbox Controller to Play Minecraft on a Mac

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Before you begin this project, it's important to understand the background information for why this project is necessary. First, let's look at Standard 17. Standard 17 says "Students will develop an understanding of and be able to select and use information and communication technologies." This standard encompasses a lot more than it may seem. It includes talking about how information is organized, how it is translated and transferred, and the systems used to communicate it. This instructable is aimed at addressing those parts of communicating. A big part of communication systems are the tools that are involved. Specifically for this instructable, Standard 17-L says "Information and communication technologies include the inputs, processes, and outputs associated with sending and receiving information." As an example of that substandard, we will be looking at using an Xbox controller on a Mac computer to play Minecraft. The input of this scenario will be the controller itself. The controller gives players the ability to tell the game what actions they want to commit. The process here is the software interpreting the button pushes and communicating that with the game, which then leads to the output. The output of this scenario is the game performing the desired actions and consequences. Often times, Minecraft is used to teach students programming, design, or engineering processes. This is usually done with school-issued laptops. Since using keyboards and mice can sometimes be difficult for students, using a controller may be a better alternative. Given that Xbox controllers work pretty easily with PCs, this instructable will focus on connecting them to Macs.

Step 1: Materials Needed to Start

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Before getting started you will need to make sure that you have your necessary materials in order to ensure a successful setup. First, you will need a wired (micro USB) Xbox One or Xbox 360 controller (this could be a third party controller, an original controller or a new controller), your Macbook or Mac computer, access to the internet, other computer necessities, and a legally acquired copy of Minecraft. Your school may have already provided you with most, if not all of these, items, or you may be doing this with your own materials.

Step 2: Downloading and Installing the Xbox One Controller Drivers

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For those new to the mac game or those that were just unaware, Mac does not support an Xbox One Controller right off the bat. With this in mind, we need to go and find an installation that will allow us to use our Xbox controller with our Mac.

For this, we used went to the website GitHub to find our download. If you go to google and type in GitHub Xbox One controller Mac it will be the second link. Once there you will click on the 360controllerinstall (see picture above) and begin the download. Once the download is complete it will walk you through the install on your computer.

While going through the install process your computer may be asked to reboot so make sure to save all that work you've been sweating to get done at the last minute so that you don't lose it and have to start all over.

Step 3: Setting Up the Controller With the Software

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For this step, you will need to make sure that your controller is powered off. Once the download is complete you will go into your system preferences on your mac and look for the icon that looks like a controller and under it will say Xbox 360 controller. Click on that.

Don't think you have the wrong thing when you see Xbox 360. This will work for an Xbox one controller. Once you click on it and it pulls up the screen you will then use your Micro USB cord and plug that into your Mac and your POWERED OFF controller. This should allow your controller to be recognized by your Mac

Step 4: Test to Make Sure Everything Is Working Properly

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An important part of this setup is ensuring that the drivers were installed correctly and your controller is communicating with the software properly. If the controller is not properly setup within the software, your controller won’t be usable in-game. Once you’ve got the software settings up and running and you are viewing the screen with the virtual controller, you can go through a test by moving the sticks and tapping the buttons on the physical controller. Your button presses and movements should match up in real-time. If they match up correctly, then your controller is ready to go! If they don’t match up, you may need to reinstall the driver software or use a different controller.

Step 5: Calibrate and Use In-Game

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Now that you’ve got the controller communicating with the software correctly, you still need calibrate it for use in the Minecraft game. This is to ensure that the controller correctly performs the actions in-game that you are hoping to accomplish. The game should automatically adapt the default button layout for the controller, but some button mapping may be required. An example of button mapping is below. To get to this, start the Minecraft game, and under the Singleplayer, Multiplayer, and Minecraft Realms buttons, you should see Options. Clicking this, you’ll then need to select “Controls…”. This will allow you to map your buttons out to your liking.

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