What’s Xbox 360 emulation all about?
By installing an emulator that turns your PC into a console and managing the controls with the standalone tool, you get practically identical gaming experience. Those who have powerful PC might enjoy the emulated gaming more than they would’ve if they had the console. After all, consoles are different beasts, and they require time and grind to get used to – even if it’s an Xbox 360 that we are talking about.
Xbox emulation starts with Xpadder
Xpadder is a perfect example of a program that works better than it looks. Because of its somewhat messy interface,e the powerful functionality of the tool often gets overlooked. The software connects your computer keyboard and mouse to the emulated gaming. It feels correct as if you are playing the console.
Xpadder Windows 10 is a program of multiple uses, but its primary purpose is to control mapping. You can connect the console, and when your PC recognizes it, the app will redirect you to configuration settings. Here, you can configure control panels for specific games or set up control templates that you will use in multiple games.
To illustrate the process, we decide to analyze Minecraft – one of the most popular games for the Xbox 360. This game has a medium level of control customization difficulty. In for can set up Minecraft correctly, you‘ll be capable of dealing with pretty much any other game.
Xpadder technical characteristics
The program is available for Windows 10, 7,8, XP, and Vista. It’s compatible with 32 and 64 bit systems, too. You can connect 16 different controllers simultaneously and keep the set controls in a template. This way, you wouldn’t have to start the settings from scratch – instead, you can use other console’s configurations.
The tool is compatible not only with Xbox but also with old consoles, starting from the very first PlayStation console.
How to set up Xpadder on your PC?
The first step is, of course, installing the software. You can do this on the official Xpadder website or go to the software library to get the free version. The installation takes several seconds and is straightforward. The installer tool will walk you through the process – you have to choose the output folder, or leave the standard destination.
After the installation is done, you need to customize the tool according to your controller’s characteristics. The first step is to attack the Windows-compatible console to your PC. So, if you don’t have a wireless controller, you’ll have to ask someone who’s got one, to borrow it. It’s just for one time, anyway.
Xbox is the most straightforward console to configure due to its plug-and-play compatible feature. As soon as you connect the console, Windows automatically identifies the controller and performs automated settings.
Mapping the controls
When you connected the console to the PC, you’ll be able to see it in the Xpadder menu. First things first, choose to add a new map in the central upper menu of Xpadder. The software redirects you to the ‘Controller Settings’ panel.
We recommend using the image functionality, especially if you are a first-time mapper. Xpadder provides basic visuals of your controller where you can see exactly what functionality you need to map on your PC.
Otherwise, it’s easy to forget a crucial button or choose an uncomfortable configuration. You must keep the design and functionality of the original controller in mind so that you can transfer it in the most seamless way possible.
The only problem is, Xpadder doesn’t download console images automatically. You need to go to the Game Controller Database, pick the model of your console, and download the image.
When you have the file, upload it to the software from your desktop storage. You even drag the image, if you don’t remember the exact location.
Setting up Xbox functionality
You are in for some repetitive manual work, but it’s not that demanding. The functionality is divided into four categories: Buttons, Sticks, Triggers, and DPad.
Editing sticks is the most natural part of the process. You have a transparent menu and Xpadder huies you through every single move. You have a bunch of arrows that you need to press so that the software can make proper configurations.
Analog Sticks and the DPad
After you click the “Enabled” checkbox, the program will ask you to press the stick in specific directions. It’s relatively straightforward, so do as Xpadder tells you. Before moving on, make sure you remember to enable the right analog stick as well.
The same algorithm works for DPad, too. There are no challenges – you follow what the program tells you to do.
Configuring Buttons and Triggers
This one is a bit harder, but then again, nothing is complicated here.
All you need to do is press your controller’s buttons in the order, defined by
the program. The software will highlight the required buttons on the screen –
all you have to do is to find them on the console.
A common mistake made by beginners is starting to configure triggers in the buttons menu. The software will remember the settings, but there will be no sensitivity configuration. Even if you are playing a relatively control-simple game like Minecraft, you want to keep the sensitivity on the optimal level – not some random settings.
How to configure a game in Xpadder?
After you are done with editing the general controller settings, save the settings now that you’ve configured the controller entirely, click the “Ok” button. Now you need to attach keys from your keyboards to specific console buttons. You can set general settings, equal to all emulated games, or customize the settings for each new title. We prefer the latter – the process is not all that time-consuming, but it makes the difference between a long and mediocre experience.
Firstly, you need to open your Minecraft controls to see what keys you were using. Then, you add the corresponding keys to Minecraft’s controls settings menu – you’ll end up with something like this.
After the controls are fully added, you are done. Congratulations, now you can run Xbox Minecraft on your PC. Xpadder runs in the background mode and consumes tiny amounts of CPU. The speed, therefore, doesn’t take a toll.
Some additional tips
Figuring out optimal emulated controls is always work in progress. Sometimes, you have to get far ahead in the game before you encounter some task that you can’t perform due to uncomfortable controls.
Sometimes, you’ll find that you did not take the peculiarities of your keyboard into account. For instance, if you have a malfunctioning key, you might’ve just forgotten about that during the setting process. So, be ready to come back to settings and edit controls as you go.
Luckily, Xpadder is one of the most flexible controls managers out there; that’s also why we chose it for our review. It supports all keys and adapts new settings immediately. Even if you make a mistake, there is always a possibility to change the map.
The bottom line
Xpadder is much more than just Xbox emulation. You can use it to get access to any game, and to adapt old consoles, too. Its messy interface is a bit distracting, but once you’ve performed several customizations, you won’t pay attention anymore. Xpadder prioritizes functionality over the interface, and as far as we can tell, it’s a success.