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How to Connect a Gamepad to a Laptop

Despite a wide variety of gamepads, all possess the same connection methods.
joystick 1 image by danimages from Fotolia.com

Laptop computers are powerful enough to access old and modern video games. A gamepad is typically available as a universal serial bus (USB) connection, or as the older serial port. You can connect and install a native computer gamepad as well as a foreign controller through various efficient methods.

Use a computer serial port if the gamepad is a non-USB peripheral. Serial ports are available in nine-pin and 25-pin variants. These connections are found on the back of the laptop and are available for older gamepads and related devices.

Connect the gamepad to a standard USB port if the device is designed for this type of connection. USB ports are commonly used for modern devices, including printers, digital cameras and joysticks.

Use an external gamepad-to-USB adapter if your device is not a native computer peripheral. Various companies have released adapters that connect one end to the controller, while the other end is connected to your computer’s USB port. Use these types of devices if you want to connect a console gamepad to your laptop. No device driver installation is required for this type of controller.

Install the gamepad’s device drivers, if applicable. Typically, your operating system installs all necessary drivers automatically. However, this software is available to add proper functionality to the gamepad and provide features unique to the controller. Insert the gamepad’s proprietary disc and follow the on-screen instructions. Otherwise, refer to the gamepad’s website to obtain the latest software.

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