How to Use a Game Controller as a Mouse in Windows

windows, how to

Game controllers (also known as gamepads) are the most popular way to play video games, but that’s not all they’re good for. You can use a controller to act as a mouse, opening up a range of interesting possibilities, as we shall see in this article.


  • Why Use a Controller as a Mouse
  • 1. Using Steam’s Solution
  • 2. Alternatives to Steam
  • How to Emulate Xinput With DS4Windows
  • Frequently Asked Questions

Why Use a Controller as a Mouse

The most obvious reason to turn your controller into a mouse is if you want to use your computer like a console. While it’s perfectly acceptable to control your Windows PC using a wireless mouse and keyboard from the couch, it’s not the most elegant solution. If your gamepad can also act as a mouse, it means you can navigate the operating system between games without putting the controller down.

Even if you aren’t a gamer, you may have an HTPC and would prefer the more compact nature of a controller to a wireless mouse and keyboard. There’s also an accessibility use case to consider. Since the Xbox Adaptive Controller simply appears as a standard Xbox controller for your PC, it’s one more way someone with special needs can control their computer.

Gamepads are also a great alternative to the numerous devices used to remotely control presentations. You don’t have to go buy a special remote for your work, conference, or school presentation. If you already have a game controller handy, you can use it to control a presentation, teleprompter, or any other utility for free.

1. Using Steam’s Solution

Steam is the most popular digital gaming storefront on PC and if you’re a gamer, you probably already have their client installed on your computer. If you aren’t one, however, you can still simply open an account and install the client without having to actually buy anything.

  1. Once Steam is installed on your computer, go to “Steam-> Settings”.

windows, how to

  1. From the side menu, select “Controller”.

windows, how to

  1. Now, click on “General Controller Settings”
  1. Tick the box that matches the type of controller you are using. In this case, we’re using an Xbox controller, so we’ll select “Xbox Configuration Support”. Close the Window.

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  1. Go back to Settings, and under “Controller” click on “Desktop Configuration” this time around.

windows, how to

  1. Here you can customize what key press or mouse action the buttons and sticks of the controller will emulate. Click on each control you want to customize and give it a function.

windows, how to

  1. In this particular case, we’ve made the right trigger right-click, the left trigger left-click and the right stick has been set to “Joystick mouse” under “Style of Input”. This means that the right stick now makes the mouse pointer move around.

Of course, you should choose a configuration that’s most comfortable and intuitive for you.

If you have a Sony DualShock 4 controller or PlayStation 5 DualSense controller, you can configure the controller touchpads to act as a mouse.

  1. Go back to “General Controller Settings” like we showed you above.
  2. This time, check the “PlayStation Configuration Support” option.
  3. Go back to “Desktop Configuration” to start mapping out the new controls.
  4. Now select the touchpad from the diagram in Steam.

windows, how to

  1. Simply change the input style to “Mouse”.

windows, how to

2. Alternatives to Steam

If you don’t want to install an entire digital storefront to have access to this feature, there are a number of alternative utilities that do the same job.

Gopher 360

Gopher360 is a popular free utility that instantly turns any Xinput controller into a mouse. Xinput is the native standard that all Xbox controllers use and Gopher360 works with the Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Xbox Series family of controllers. It is possible to use it with PlayStation controllers, but you need to use another application that translates those inputs to Xinput format (as shown below).

windows, how to

Using Gopher360 is as easy as downloading the .exe file and running it. Once you do, the DOS-like Terminal window will open. Simply minimize it and grab your controller. These are the default controls:

  • A: Left Mouse-Click
  • X: Right Mouse-click
  • Y: Hide terminal
  • B: Enter
  • D-pad: Arrow keys
  • Right Analog: Scroll up/down
  • Right Analog Click: F2
  • Left Analog: Mouse
  • Left Analog Click: Middle mouse click
  • Back: Browser refresh
  • Start: Left Windows Key
  • Start + Back: Toggle Gopher360 off for when you want to play games
  • Start + DPad Up: Toggle Gopher360 vibration setting
  • LBumper: Browser previous
  • RBumper: Browser next
  • Bumber + RBummper: Cycle speed
  • LTrigger: Space
  • RTrigger: Backspace

Gopher360 generates a “Config” file in the same folder where you’ve saved the executable before running it for the first time. You can edit this file to customize the default controls. If you break the “Config” file, just delete it. A new default one will be created when you run the applications next.


You may also be interested to try Keysticks, which is a more polished application than Gopher360, with an intuitive graphical interface. You can use Keysticks to control your PC overall or to play PC games that don’t natively support controllers.

Once you’ve installed Keysticks, you’ll see a helpful picture of an Xbox controller (for a DualShock one you’ll need to install a translator application first) appear at the bottom-right of the desktop. This shows which buttons on the controller will emulate which mouse or keyboard input. You can customize these key assignments in the software settings.

windows, how to

However, by default, you can move the mouse pointer using the right analog stick. Left-clicking is assigned to the left trigger and the right-click is assigned to the start button. That’s the small button to the right of the large Xbox button in the middle of the controller, known as the “Guide” button.

To activate Keysticks, double-click its icon in the notification tray. If you see the control Window and you have an Xinput (Xbox-compatible) controller connected to your PC, then you can do all the things you normally do with your mouse, except now you’re using a gamepad!

How to Emulate Xinput With DS4Windows

The DS4Windows application lets you emulate Xinput from a DualShock 4 or Dualsense controller, making Windows (and games) see an Xinput controller where there is none.

This allows you to use a PlayStation 4 or 5 controller as if it were an Xbox controller. Specifically, both of the programs outlined above will work if you also run DS4Windows at the same time. Here’s how to get it set up.

  1. First, download the application and install it. If you don’t already have it on your Windows computer, you’ll need the .NET Desktop Runtime.
  2. Don’t use the link that the DS4Windows app suggests, instead download it from this page under the “.NET Desktop Runtime 5.0.17” section. Choose the version that matches your Windows installation, which should be x64 for most people.

windows, how to

  1. Once you have DS4 Windows running, you’ll see the first-time setup. Only “Step 1” is mandatory.

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  1. Once you’ve completed the ViGEmBus installation, click “Finished”.

windows, how to

  1. Then, on the main DS4Windows screen click on “Start” in the bottom right corner.

windows, how to

  1. You should see your PlayStation controller pop up in the “Controllers” tab.

windows, how to

You can now use your controller with Gopher360 and Keysticks!

Frequently Asked Questions

Will games still work normally when using my controller as a mouse?

Using the Steam method, your controller should automatically switch between normal mode and mouse mode, but only for Steam games. If you want this to happen for other games, go to “Games-> Add a Non-Steam Game to My Library” in the Steam client. Then look for the game’s executable file and add it. If you launch it from within Steam, the auto hand-over should happen.

How do I turn the controllers off?

It’s not really obvious how to turn these controllers off without a console. To do so, just hold the Xbox Guide button or the PS button until the controller lights go out. You may have to hold them in for more than 10 seconds, but don’t let go until the lights go out.

What if my computer doesn't have Bluetooth?

If you have a computer without Bluetooth and you don’t want to use a wired connection with your controller, you can purchase a USB add-on dongle (usually USB-based) or in the case of official Xbox Controllers, you can use the . You’ll get a virtually lag-free controller experience and access to audio through the headphone jack of the controller.

All screenshots by Sydney Butler

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Palay-Palay  National ParkAbout PagudpudFive Levels of Aguinid FallsIntroducing San Pascual, MasbateMount Manmanoc ItineraryAdventures in Fortune Island of Nasugbu | LakwatseroNext Level Mobile Photography with Sony Xperia XZ1 | LakwatseroScuba Diving in Siargao: Discovering the Underwater Treasures of Daku Island | LakwatseroAbout Davao CityHow to Get to AndaJanuary: Cebu & IloiloHow to Get to Mines View ParkKamay ni Hesus: Pilgrimage Site in Lucban | LakwatseroPoon Hill: Three Days of Himalayan AdventureCalvary Hill Cemetery of SagadaHow to Get to TambobongMilford SoundTen Things To Do in Sagada: Bucket List for NewbiesDahoyhoy FallsPilot for a Day: The Ultra Light Aircraft Experience | LakwatseroReal Coffee and Tea Cafe of Boracay | LakwatseroGhorepani Poon Hill TrekAbout Maniwaya IslandHow to Get to Binanga FallsPalo Alto Falls of Baras, Rizal | LakwatseroExplore Moscow: Best Things to Do in the City | LakwatseroStairway to HeavenMount Guiting-Guiting Overnight Trek Complete ItineraryCape Melville LighthouseLa Cathedral Café: Restaurant with a View in IntramurosKapurpurawan Rock Formation: White and BeautifulDay Hike ItineraryThe Sandbox at AlvieraHow to go to Mararison IslandA Weekend of Adventures in South Cebu and DumagueteCalayan Island: A Virtual Diary of Our Epic Journey | LakwatseroFaro de Isla Jintotolo (Jintotolo Island Lighthouse)Low’s PeakAbout Taal VolcanoHow to Get to Mag-aso Falls of BoholSamar: Biri Rock Formations Up Close | LakwatseroBonbon BeachIntroducing Jomalig IslandAbout Cotabato CityAbout TabukLeyte Landing Memorial: A Memorial for a Fulfilled Promise | LakwatseroSilyang Bato, Mount MaramiPanimahawa Ridge and Cedar Falls Day Hike ItineraryFun in the World’s Best IslandSample Albay ItinerariesMagpupungko Beach and Tidal Pools6 Tips for Living in the Philippines | LakwatseroDaraga Church: The Nuestra Señora dela Porteria ChurchTulgao Rice TerracesCape Melville Lighthouse (Faro del Cabo Melville)Canyoneering to Kawasan FallsLake FewaLong Weekend: Five-Day Suggested Itineraries in Luzon | LakwatseroAbout CaponesThe Wichcraft Café of Zamboanga City | LakwatseroHow to Get to GuiuanAll-Female FloorHow to Get to Neri’s VilleDiotay’s EateryShort but Sweet Melaka Getaway | LakwatseroHow to Get to Tinuy-An FallsOslob: The Lost Grandeur of Tumalog Falls | LakwatseroIlocos ItineraryDitumabo Falls: The Mother Falls of San Luis, Aurora!Biking in Kalinga: Trek and Bike to TabukParadise Garden: A Haven for Sea TurtlesSiargao: Magpupungko Beach and Tidal Pools | LakwatseroAbout Bucas GrandeCoral GardenSagadaA Walk in Sangay Siapo Island Before it is Gone? | LakwatseroAmbaguio-Akiki ItineraryCorregidor Island Lighthouse (Faro dela Isla de Corregidor)Faro de Punta de Malabrigo (Malabrigo Point Lighthouse)About CulionNaidi Hill LighthouseBoquete IslandHow to Commute to Temple of LeahCatanduanes: The Heritage Church of Bato | Lakwatsero1. White Water Rafting or KayakingMount Fuji Overnight Climb ItinerarySip & Gogh Paint Studio: Unleash Your Inner Van Gogh | LakwatseroBatanes ItineraryHow to Get to Quitinday HillsAbout Callao CaveDiscover LakawonBiking to Taal: A Fun Ride to Batangas’ Heritage TownAntique Blooming: The Rafflesia of San RemigioMalasimbo Lights and Dance FestivalBacolod ItineraryPoon HillAttractions in Mirador Heritage and Eco ParkHulhumale Public BeachRomblon Island: Bonbon Beach, Tiamban Beach & MoreAdventure in Sabah: White Water Rafting in Padas River | LakwatseroHow to Get to Hinakpan Mystical HillsWelcome to Lake SebuAbout CasiguranAbout BuscalanHow to Go to Kalanggaman IslandFaro de Cabo Bojeador (Cape Bojeador Lighthouse)Backpacking Maldives: Budget Itinerary, Expenses & TipsHow to Get ThereOffbeat Bohol Itinerary: 3D/2N of AdventuresHow to Get to Tawi-TawiAlona BeachPangilatan Falls: The Forgotten Gem of Tapaz, CapizWorld War I: SMS Cormoran II3D/2N Taiwan Itinerary: Taipei – Yehliu – ShiffenLaos for Backpackers: Getting There on a BudgetBasic RequirementsHow to Get to Antong FallsCathedral CaveHow to Go to Gubat, SorsogonAbout SadangaHow to Get to Bugui Point LighthouseHow to Get to Cabra Island LighthouseCebu Itinerary: Three-Day Adventures in the SouthAbout AndaLuna: A Day in the Show Window of Apayao | LakwatseroMargues Blue LagoonFinding Palaui’s Cape Engaño Lighthouse | LakwatseroHow to Get to Mantayupan Falls of Barili, CebuHow to Get to MaligcongLinapacan Islands: Between Paradise | LakwatseroKLIA to KLCCHow to Get to JomaligBanaug ShoalEspadang Bato – Payaran Falls Day Hike Itinerary10 Remarkable Philippine Destinations for Solo TravelMiagao Church: A UNESCO World Heritage Site in IloiloAbout Carbin ReefAbout Parola IslandCabra WreckageCobra Falls: Ozamiz City’s Best Kept SecretBasco: The Chapel on the Hill of Tukon | LakwatseroBack in Kathmandu’s Lovely Mess | LakwatseroHimalayan Adventure: Kathmandu to Pokhara Overland | LakwatseroItineraryChinatown Vancouver (Stop #23)Situbo Falls: Tampilisan's Awesome SurpriseHow to Get to Inambakan FallsTuasan Falls: Another Camiguin’s Charmer | LakwatseroHow to Get to Lake SebuMarinduque Loop: Biking in the Heart of the Philippines1. 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Tubbataha Reefs (Cagayancillo, Palawan)IitineraryAbout Anini-yNacpan BeachAbout Legazpi CityHow to Get to Shifen FallsScuba Diving in Pearl Island of Guiuan, Eastern SamarHow to Get to Nagtabon BeachSiargao Travel RequirementsHow to Go to TanayHow to Get to Garin FarmDay 1: Paoay and San Nicolas (Ilocos Norte)Nueva Vizcaya Weekend ItineraryHow to Climb Mount HamiguitanHow to Get to Santa Cruz IslandMount TalamitamHow to Get to Sambawan IslandBacuit Grill12 Places to Satisfy Your Affogato Cravings in the MetroLion’s RockVictoria HarbourCoronPicture Perfect: The White Island of Camiguin | LakwatseroPanglao: Alona’s Allure | LakwatseroSecrets of the Lakeside: The Waterfalls of Laurel & TalisayMiyaru FaruMemorial Temple of Lord BaoHotel Siesta ShibuyaHow to Get to Tinago FallsSimunul Island: The Birthplace of Islam in the Philippines | LakwatseroBalabac: Onuk Island, Pink Beach & Melville LighthouseBike Diary: Bike and Trek to Buscalan (Mount Polis – Bontoc – Buscalan) | LakwatseroTagaytay (Cavite)Yearend Adventure with Pacsafe Venturesafe 25L GII | LakwatseroFavorite Beach: Punta Sebaring of Bugsuk Island, BalabacWelcome to Apo Reef & Pandan Island!The Ruins of A FamosaHow to Get to Canyoneering SitePacsafe Ultimatesafe Z28, My Newest Ultimate Travel Buddy | LakwatseroPulangbato Falls: The Red Waterfalls of ValenciaLocationSpider House: Boracay’s Chill Corner | LakwatseroThe 10,000 Roses Café of Cordova, Cebu’s Newest CrazeHow to Get to Asik-Asik FallsHow to Get to Dao FallsWelcome to Concepcion1. First Single-Aisle Aircraft to Fly Non-Stop from the Philippines to AustraliaHow to Get to Casino PeakMaadhoo Finolhu (Picnic Island)Cagbalete Travel RequirementsNacpan and Calitang BeachesThe RockiesBalabacPagbilao: Iringan, Malicboy, Bahay-Pagi & Katapang FallsPetronas Twin TowerSta. Fe, Bantayan IslandEverest Base Camp Trek Primer: Frequently Asked QuestionsTaraw Cliff: See the Best View of El Nido | LakwatseroHow to Get to Elephant MountainAbout MandalaySpelunking Rate in Capisaan CavesScuba Diving in Romblon: Blue Hole and Gorda WallHow to Get to Imugan FallsHow to Get to Awao Falls?About SipalayComiran Island: The Pink Beach of Balabac, Palawan | LakwatseroBagan! Oh Bagan! | LakwatseroBuntot Palos Falls, Laguna’s Hidden Grandeur | LakwatseroSandugan WallMagtutuka Rocks