Introduction: X-Box Controller Modification to Work on PC/Mac

Picture of X-Box Controller Modification to Work on PC/Mac

Electrical modification to make your Classix X-Box controller work on your PC under Windows XP or on your Mac under OS X.

Step-by-step instructions for rewiring that even a beginner can follow.

On OSX install Xbox HID Driver for Mac OS X from

For Windows XP install XBox Controller Driver (XBCD) from

Step 1: What You'll Need

Picture of What You'll Need

1. Heatshrink - I used 6mm, but I would recommend something slightly bigger
2. USB Extension cable - I used grey for the purposes of the tutorial, but black obviously looks a lot better
3. X-Box controller - pictures is a Japanese Controller-S
4. USB Extension cable - I used grey for the purposes of the tutorial, but black obviously looks a lot better
5. Cutting tools - something capable of cutting through the cables and something smaller for stripping wires.
6. Electrical tape

Step 2: Cut

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Cut both ends of the USB extension cable off about 4" / 10cm from each end.

Step 3: Remove Cable Casing

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Remove the outer rubber casing from the cable by cutting it with your smaller blade. Expose approximately 1/2" - 1" (1-2cm approx) from the end.

Step 4: Remove Cable Shielding

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Inside the cable will be some highly annoying shielding to protect the cable, some is silver foil and the other is silver wire. Simply discard of all of this.

Step 5: Remove Wire Casing

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Now expose a short piece of wire from the end of each of wire. Be careful, some of the wires are quite fine and will break easily.

Step 6: Discard Yellow Wire on X-Box Controller Cable

Picture of Discard Yellow Wire on X-Box Controller Cable

Discard the yellow wire from the X-Box Controller, it's only necessary for some of the X-Box light guns.

Step 7: Pair Your Cables

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Pair your cables up. The FEMALE USB matches up with the X-Box end of the cable and the MALE USB matches up with the controller end.

Step 8: Pair Femable USB to X-Box Adapter End

Picture of Pair Femable USB to X-Box Adapter End

This is reasonably obvious. The female end of the USB extension cable goes with the X-Box end of the cable. The reason for this is that we want the male end attached to the controller in order to plug it into your PC/Mac.

Step 9: Cut Your Heatshrink to Length

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Cut off approximately 3" / 7.5cm of heat shrink, enough to cover all of the exposed wire.

Step 10: Place Your Heatshrink

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Put the heat shrink over the cable BEFORE joining the wires or else you won't be able to get it on. I made this mistake once and it was highly annoying.

Step 11: Twist

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Twist the wires together at the end. Black to black, red to red, green to green and, amazingly enough, white to white.

Step 12: Cover Twisted Pairs With Tape

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Place a tiny amount of tape over each of the twisted pairs to ensure that none of the wires can touch each other.

Step 13: Cover Exposed Parts With Heat Shrink

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Push your heatshrink down so that it is covering the exposed wire. DO NOT bond the heatshrink until you've tested the cables are working.

Step 14: Pair Male USB With Controller End and Repeat

Picture of Pair Male USB With Controller End and Repeat

Step 15: Step 15 - Almost-final Product for Testing

Picture of Step 15 - Almost-final Product for Testing

Test your cables. Use the controller with both your X-Box and your PC/Mac in order to confirm you've done everything right. Even though it's unlikely that you've messed up such an easy mod, it would be annoying to have to strip all that heatshrink.

On OSX install Xbox HID Driver for Mac OS X from
For Windows XP install XBox Controller Driver (XBCD) from

Step 16: Final Product

Picture of Final Product

Finally, blast the heatshrink with a hairdryer or use a cigarette lighter to bond the heatshrink with the exposed pieces. Suddenly you have the final product ready to go.


iCotton (author)2016-08-31

So I cannot get the controller to work on my Mac running MacOS Sierra. Having a lot of trouble finding a working drive. I found two others that claim to work (below), but don't. Any ideas? Thanks, kinda sucks I went through all the hardware effort for the software not to work.

JuanB149 (author)iCotton2017-01-18

I used the driver that you posted from macman860, the one that's named xhd_2_0_0.dmg. I'm running Sierra as well. Maybe you need to reboot.

HenserT (author)2016-11-04

Very Good idea to keep working with xbox and pc not just pc

GÑpfrsloE (author)2016-07-19

So, I went through with this, though, since I already had two spares of the xbox plug part but no controllers for them I simply stripped down one and added the USB like so. However, the controller I'm connecting is an old Acteck joystick, now that I'm done, the acteck software doesn't recognize the controller, but Windows 10 still detects it as an "XBOX gamepad" however, it tells me there was a problem installing the driver. I then go to install the one you provide with the same results.

The printer and hardware section recognizes it only as a "generic usb hub".

Did I messed up, or is this a software issue?

Franciscob60 (author)GÑpfrsloE2016-08-25

Well the problem is the driver doesn't install because "Win10 needs to have signed INF files. And because Inf can't be signed directly - it needs to have ".cat" file that contains digital signature."

-Press Start

-Click on Power

-Hold down Shift and press Restart

-Navigate to Troubleshoot -> Advanced options -> Startup Settings and press Restart

-Wait for Windows to restart and when prompted press 7 for Disable driver signature enforcement and wait for Windows to come up

-Install XBCD and allow it to install the driver

If it's still not working
Device Manager-> Unknown device-> update driver-> search my machine -> C:\Program Files (x86)\XBCD\Driver

lhz_dun04 (author)GÑpfrsloE2016-07-21

So yeah at first I wasn't planning to do the 2 part to link back at the Xbox via USB.

But I had the same problem as you (seemingly not working, generic usb hub) so I was wondering if that was a hardware or software problem, as it's my first time doing this.

After reading this guide I did the second part (xbox connector to female usb) and tested the modified controller on the xbox: seemed to work well, so I think the link is all ok, so I guess it's a software problem.

XBCD driver is a bit of a pain it seems.

pastapal (author)2016-05-01

Anyone have any experience with this under Windows 10 before I get to work on this mod?

ColtonH10 (author)pastapal2016-07-04

worked for me

JackB36 (author)2015-08-19

I did mine different, I just used the controller port out of an old XBOX an wired the usb cable straight into the wires :)

cuth_bert (author)2014-04-19

AJBrawlLvr (author)2011-09-16

Works fantastic under Windows XP. 5* and followed!

xbox650 (author)2010-12-29

whats a "light gun"?

Cameron657 (author)xbox6502011-06-12

A pistol/rifle for shooting games. You point it at the screen and pull the trigger.

badbradmx (author)2010-03-03

just wondering, i dont have a need to try this for my PC but on the other hand, could it be used as a wired 360 controller?

BigEdSCHS (author)2010-02-18

I got a few questions man.
first, I want to know if the heat shrink is necessary or can I just wrap e-tape around it?
second, can i do the same thing your doing to the cord except splice the USB into the dongle?

bananasontoast (author)BigEdSCHS2010-02-19

Heatshrink - no not 100% necessary, but it does help to ensure there are no worries.

Yes, you can cut it into the existing dongle, but I personally prefer my method as it's less messy.

BigEdSCHS (author)bananasontoast2010-02-19

does the dongle have different wiring or something?

thanks btw 

jedikalimero (author)2010-01-19

wouldn't be easier to make a cable with a male USB at one end and the mini-DIN used in the adaptor cable at the other? this way, you can use the controller unmodified in the Xbox and swap the adapter cable when using it in the PC. I don't know if this mini-DIN is standard or MicroSoft propietary, but even so, you could build the cable with a spare one.

bounty1012 (author)2009-12-14

ok, can you help? I opened up my controllers wiring and it has a blue green red black white and yellow wire and I plug it in with my usb and go to memory but nothing happens what did I do wrong?

bounty1012 (author)bounty10122009-12-14

NVM I got it =] I guess my wires were either touching my carpet and not working or touching eachother and not working, Ty for the instructable, I wanted my controller so that I could still play with it after I modded my xbox 5/5.

fishy1boy13 (author)2009-05-13

can some one help me with getting this to work on windows vista??????? pls! pls!

abadfart (author)2009-03-26

thanks i got my xbox for free and one of the controllers didn't have the plug to go into the xbox so I'm going to try this with it

bananasontoast (author)abadfart2009-03-26

Best of luck with it, let me know how you go!

Bongmaster (author)2009-03-14

dang, i got an extender cable and it has 6 wires: black brown blue yellow white red. dont u have a pinout diagram for this ible? as in what xbox pins to what usb pins..

You've got me, never seen one like that...

its ok i worked it out eventually XD red was wat u would expect it to be, the brown was the redundant (yellow), white was white and yellow was green, blue was negative and black was gnd. now i got a controller to pc adaptor and a xbox1 usb port ;)

atombomb1945 (author)2009-02-27

An easier way to do this is to cut the controller connection off after the breakaway in the cable. That way, you can swap out between the USB and the standard connections.

Sure, but you would likely need multiple break-away connections, this saves you requiring that.

jpond009 (author)2009-02-26

I love the multitude of uses that a simple controller (both X-Box and Wii) can offer the DIY/handy person. I have seen a couple other Instructables about converting an X-Box controller into a PC-usable game controller, but this Instructable seems to top the list. Well done.

bananasontoast (author)jpond0092009-02-26

Thank you very much for your comment. This is actually the compilation of a bit of playing around, research, testing and reading other tutorials. The thing I found was that a lot of them assumed knowledge, produced poor quality at the end, or just didn't understand what people really wanted out of the tutorial. Most of them didn't describe how you could still use your X-Box controller with your X-Box after the mod was done, which was quite annoying. I am glad you enjoyed!

jpond009 (author)bananasontoast2009-02-27

That's very true. I,personally,like options when I rip something apart, putting it back together is always the trick, so I was always hesitant to completely convert one of my X-BOX controllers into a full PC controller (even though original X-BOX controllers are a dime-a-dozen these days). I guess I should have made the connection (pardon the pun), as you did, that you can simply put a female USB plug-in on the other side, but then again, that is what Instructables is all about, getting ideas that you would, probably, never think of.

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