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XInput Download: The Ultimate Guide to XInput Versions and Compatibility

XInput Download: How to Install and Use XInput on Windows 10

If you are a PC gamer who likes to use a game controller instead of a keyboard and mouse, you might have heard of XInput. XInput is a Microsoft API that allows Windows applications to receive input from Xbox controllers and other compatible devices. In this article, we will explain what XInput is, why you need it, how to download and install it on Windows 10, and how to use it with your favorite games.

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What Is XInput and Why Do You Need It?

XInput is a cross-platform API that was introduced in 2005 as a way to support Xbox 360 controllers on Windows. Since then, it has been updated to support Xbox One and Xbox Series XS controllers as well. XInput enables applications to process controller inputs, such as buttons, triggers, analog sticks, D-pads, vibration effects, and voice communication.

XInput vs DirectInput: The Differences and Advantages

Before XInput, there was another API called DirectInput that was used for gaming controllers on Windows. DirectInput was first released in 1995 as part of DirectX 1.0 and supported a wide range of input devices, such as joysticks, wheels, pedals, flight sticks, keyboards, mice, and more. However, DirectInput had some limitations and drawbacks when it came to modern game controllers:

  • DirectInput did not have a standard layout or mapping for controllers, so each game had to implement its own configuration and calibration system.

  • DirectInput did not support some features that were common in Xbox controllers, such as vibration feedback, triggers, and headset audio.

  • DirectInput was deprecated by Microsoft in favor of XInput, so new controllers and games did not support it anymore.

XInput solved these problems by providing a simple and consistent interface for Xbox controllers that worked across different games and platforms. Some of the advantages of XInput over DirectInput are:

  • XInput is easier to use and requires less setup than DirectInput.

  • XInput supports all the features of Xbox controllers, such as vibration feedback, triggers, headset audio, and wireless connectivity.

  • XInput is compatible with most modern games that are designed for Xbox controllers.

  • XInput is supported by both Windows and Xbox programming environments, making it easier for developers to create cross-platform games.

XInput Compatibility: Which Controllers and Games Support It?

As mentioned earlier, XInput is compatible with all Xbox controllers, including Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Xbox Series XS controllers. However, not all third-party controllers support XInput. Some controllers only support DirectInput, while others can switch between XInput and DirectInput modes. To check if your controller supports XInput, you can look for the "Xbox" logo or the "Xbox Compatible" label on the packaging or the product description.

Similarly, not all games support XInput. Some older games only support DirectInput, while some newer games only support XInput. To check if a game supports XInput, you can look for the "Xbox" logo or the "Controller Enabled" icon on the game's store page or the game's settings menu. You can also use websites like [PCGamingWiki](^7^) or [HowLongToBeat] to find out more information about a game's controller support.

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How to Download and Install XInput on Windows 10

If you want to use an Xbox controller on Windows 10, you need to download and install XInput on your PC. XInput is included in the DirectX runtime, which is a collection of software components that enable multimedia and gaming applications on Windows. Depending on the version of Windows 10 and the controller you are using, you may already have XInput installed on your PC. However, it is always a good idea to update XInput to the latest version to ensure optimal performance and compatibility.

XInput Versions: Which One Should You Use?

There are different versions of XInput that correspond to different versions of DirectX. The table below summarizes the main differences and features of each version:

XInput Version DirectX Version Supported Controllers Supported Features -------------- --------------- --------------------- ------------------ XInput 1.0 DirectX 9.0c Xbox 360 Vibration feedback, headset audio, battery level XInput 1.1 DirectX 10 Xbox 360 Same as XInput 1.0 XInput 1.2 DirectX 10.1 Xbox 360 Same as XInput 1.0 XInput 1.3 DirectX 11 Xbox 360 Same as XInput 1.0 XInput 1.4 DirectX 11.1 Xbox One Same as XInput 1.0, plus trigger vibration XInput 9.1.0 DirectX 12 Xbox One, Xbox Series XS Same as XInput 1.4 The recommended version of XInput for Windows 10 is XInput 9.1.0, which supports both Xbox One and Xbox Series XS controllers and is compatible with DirectX 12 games. However, some older games may require older versions of XInput to work properly. In that case, you can use the [Xbox Accessories app] to switch between different versions of XInput for your controller.

XInput Installation Steps: How to Get XInput on Your PC

To download and install XInput on Windows 10, you need to follow these steps:

  • Go to the [Microsoft Download Center] and search for "DirectX End-User Runtime Web Installer".

  • Click on the download link and save the file to your PC.

  • Run the file and follow the instructions to install the DirectX runtime components, including XInput.

  • Restart your PC if prompted.

Alternatively, you can also update your Windows 10 system to get the latest version of XInput. To do that, you need to follow these steps:

  • Go to the [Windows Update settings] on your PC.

  • Click on "Check for updates" and wait for Windows to scan for available updates.

  • If there are any updates available, click on "Download and install" and wait for Windows to download and install them.

  • Restart your PC if prompted.

How to Use XInput on Windows 10

Once you have downloaded and installed XInput on your PC, you can start using it with your Xbox controller and your games. Here are some tips on how to use XInput on Windows 10:

How to Connect Your Controller to Your PC via USB or Bluetooth

To connect your Xbox controller to your PC via USB, you just need to plug in a micro-USB cable from your controller to your PC's USB port. Your PC will automatically detect and install the necessary drivers for your controller.

To connect your Xbox controller to your PC via Bluetooth, you need to make sure that your controller and your PC support Bluetooth connectivity. Most Xbox One and Xbox Series XS controllers have Bluetooth built-in, but some older models do not. You can check if your controller has Bluetooth by looking at the plastic around the Xbox button: if it is part of the face of the controller, it has Bluetooth; if it is part of the top of the controller, it does not.

If your controller has Bluetooth, you need to follow these steps to pair it with your PC:

  • Turn on your controller by pressing the Xbox button.

  • Press and hold the pairing button on the back of your controller until the Xbox button starts flashing rapidly.

  • Go to the [Bluetooth settings] on your PC and click on "Add Bluetooth or other device".

  • Select "Bluetooth" from the list of device types.

  • Select your controller from the list of available devices and click on "Pair".

  • Wait for the pairing process to complete. You will see a confirmation message on your PC and the Xbox button on your controller will stop flashing.

Once your controller is connected to your PC, you can use it to navigate the Windows interface and launch your games.

How to Configure Your Controller Settings and Preferences

To configure your controller settings and preferences, you can use the [Xbox Accessories app] on Windows 10. The Xbox Accessories a


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