Gaming on a Mac is not what Apple is historically known for. However, with Apple delving into the fledgling virtual and augmented reality space, some traditional game interfaces and not so traditional interfaces (think HTC wands or Valve's knuckle controllers) now need to be supported on macOS to reap the VR/AR benefits to their fullest.
To ready you for some amazing VR pilot games such as Eve: Valkyrie that utilize a traditional game Xbox game controller, we're here to show you how to connect one to your Mac! In the past this method only applied to the Xbox 360 controller, but the latest version of the software you'll be using also now supports the Xbox One controller.
How to download and install the drivers
We're assuming that you already own a wired Xbox controller, but if you're needing to buy, a standard controller is about $50. You'll need to connect it to your Mac using a microUSB cable which, sadly, isn't included. If you buy a third-party wired controller you won't have to worry about this.
Next, follow these steps.
- Launch Safari.
- Navigate to https://github.com/360/Controller/360Controller/releases.
- Download the latest release of the 360Controller driver. As of this writing, the latest release is 0.16.5.
- Go to your Downloads folder in Finder.
- Double-click the 360Controllerinstall_*.dmg file.
- Double-click the Install360Controller.pkg that pops up in Finder.
- Click Continue.
- Again, click Continue.
- Select to Agree the license agreement.
- Click Install.
- Agree to allow a restart of the computer by clicking Continue Installation.
- Click Restart.
- You can optionally have the downloaded file Moved to Trash.
- Upon restarting the computer start System Preferences from the dock or the menu.
- Click on Xbox 360 Controllers.
How to connect your Xbox 360 controller
Once you've installed the drivers, you'll now logically see that there are No devices found, since we have yet to physically connect the game controller to the Mac.
- Plug in your controller to your Mac. If you have a current model MacBook or MacBook Pro, you'll need a USB-C to USB-A adapter.
- Click OK when the System Extension Blocked warning message pops up.
- Go into System Preferences via the dock or menu.
- Click Security & Privacy.
- Under the General tab click the Lock at the bottom left.
- Enter your password and click Unlock.
- Click Allow.
Your Xbox wired controller should now be connected!
I am super stoked about developers climbing aboard the VR/AR hype train. As a mere consumer of VR, I can only hope for more and more creative minds to get on board. If you're a VR/AR developer, or even better yet, a macOS VR/AR developer, what other ways can Apple help promote virtual reality on their platform? Let us know in the comments!
Updated April 2018: Updated to reflect that this method also now supports the Xbox One controller.
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