In the past everything was different. The PC was mostly operated on the monitor that was purchased and the notebook on the screen that was already installed on it and operated with a mouse and keyboard. But that has long since changed and in times when PCs serve as multimedia centers in the living room and are connected to the large HDTV, the needs of the users are also changing.
Many gamers now use the TV as a monitor for gaming and to bring in even more comfort and console feeling, of course, a gamepad / controller should not be missing. Since almost every PS3 and XBOX 360 controller (wireless versions only with PC / Bluetooth adapter) works on the PC, the entry hurdle is of course small. But there are two “comfort killers” that spoil playing with a gamepad on a large HDTV. For one thing, not every PC game still has native controller support.
A prominent example of this is unfortunately the first-person shooter Bioshock 2, which was also released for both next-gen consoles. The second problem is that you have to navigate Windows with the mouse and keyboard until the game starts, which makes these peripherals indispensable at the living room table.
To get around that there is a really great tool for Windows. This is called Xpadder and how it works is quickly explained. It simulates the keyboard and mouse on a gamepad. The way it works is as simple as it is ingenious. Shop, download & install Xpadder for € 7 or you can directly download Xpadder for free. Then, configure the controller as you wish. Every gamepad that was found and installed as such under Windows is supported.
The initial setup is a bit complicated due to the lack of schematic images of the controllers, which were probably left out for licensing reasons. Looking for something you can find it here in the xPadder forum. If the appropriate scheme is still not available, you can draw one yourself.
As already mentioned, the setting options are almost endless and even if the really cheap looking user interface wouldn’t win a beauty prize, Xpadder is still mostly easy and logical to use. Virtually every mouse and keyboard command can be placed on the gamepad buttons and sticks.
The principle is quite simple. After clicking the button to be assigned on the scheme with the mouse, another scheme opens with a virtual keyboard and mouse, which can then be used to select which key and mouse commands the selected gamepad button should receive.
This is then repeated until all buttons are set up according to your requirements. In addition to the normal commands, there are also preset complete commands such as the mouse pointer movement sequences for the analog sticks and additional multimedia buttons such as play, stop, forward, back, volume up and down.
A program start with Windows is also possible. With trigger buttons and sticks on the controller, you can also change other professional settings such as a dead zone and sensitivity. It is possible to save several profiles for one or more controllers without any problems.
With a few exceptions, Xpadder passed the practical test well. Once correctly set for the game, the already mentioned Bioshock 2, for example, can be controlled almost as comfortably on the PC as on the console with the XBOX 360 controller (if you want to do it in a first person shooter).
Controlling in Windows is a dream. You can finally operate all multimedia applications and start programs and games from the couch without a mouse or keyboard.
The only and biggest hack in the matter are the PC games that have native controller support and allow this in-game to run parallel to the mouse and keyboard control.
Because if this is the case, every input on the gamepad means a double command for the game. In this case you have to deactivate Xpadder before starting the game because there is unfortunately no setting option for the software to do this for you.
Xpadder does exactly what many have wanted for years. A function built into Windows by Microsoft to control the operating system with the controller. Xpadder can do this very well without restrictions and with a large number of configuration options.
In addition, the software offers the option of retrofitting games that do not have built-in controller support with Xpadder. Smaller compatibility problems that can occasionally occur in games, but which are heavily dependent on the game, must unfortunately be accepted. Nevertheless, for me, Xpadder is a clear purchase recommendation from the price / performance ratio for just 7 €.