Fixed – Gamepad Detected but not Working on Windows


Is the controller connected but not working in games even after connecting via cable? If so, the best way to fix such issues is to update Windows and drivers. However, if you have tried that but the problem persists, in this post, we will explain other ways, like changing power settings, disabling power saver features, using Windows troubleshooter, and others, to help permanently fix the problem. 

PC gaming has come a long way. Today, instead of using a few dedicated keys to play games, you can enhance your gaming experience with a Gamepad. This is why when the Gamepad is detected but not working, gamers get frustrated as they cannot find the game control settings.

Fortunately, there are different ways to fix these issues, and in this post, we will not only learn about them but also understand the reasons behind the issue.

Before you get started, always remember to optimize your gaming PC so that you can enjoy your favorite titles without interference. 

Reasons for Controller Connected But Not Working in Game

It is uncommon to see a device recognized by the PC but unavailable to use. However, when it comes to gamepads, this issue is becoming common. This happens due to several reasons. Some of them   are listed below:

1. Issues with the USB port.

PCs have two types of ports: USB 2.0 and USB 3.0. To get the gamepad working, check device compatibility with the port. Failing to do so will result in the gamepad being connected but not responding on Windows 11 and 10.

2. Error with the supported input API of your Controller

The issue often occurs when your controller does not support the XInput API. An older gamepad might work on the DirectInput API. However, if your controller is not working, it might be incompatible with the game you want to play.

3. Broken Drivers & Client Support

When the device establishes the connection but is not working correctly, it is a trait of broken drivers. Moreover, if you use Steam or any other gaming client, the controller is detected but is not found in the game. An error might occur due to the controller’s incompatibility.

4. Controller Support on Your PC

Sometimes, the issue lies with device compatibility and support. Users often try to use their Xbox and PS controllers on their PC, but they need to remember these high-end controllers might need to be fixed on older PCs.

The reasons behind the issue are evident. Now let us move on to the fixes you can use to get over the issue.

Ways to Fix Gamepad Detected But Not Working

When the device is not working, most users instantly seek hardware support. Before seeking hardware solutions, try the following fixes.

Fix 1 – Use Windows Troubleshooter

The first thing to do in case of any malfunction is to use the built-in troubleshooter on Windows. It is practical and explains why your PC is bothering you. Here’s how to use the troubleshooter –

  • Use Windows + R to open the Run window.
  • Type Control to open the Control Panel.

run control command

  • Change the View to Large Icons in the Control Panel and look for Troubleshooting.

check troubleshoot

  • In the Troubleshooting section, look for View all options to find the list of devices connected to your PC.

computer troubleshoot

  • In the View All Section, Find your gamepad and right-click on it to run the troubleshooter as an administrator. This ensures that the troubleshooting is done without limitations.

run as a admin

  • Once you have initiated the troubleshooting, simply follow the steps shown on the screen and let the troubleshooting work.

If the issue was related to your device, this should be resolved. Once the troubleshooting is completed, disconnect the device, reconnect it, and check if the issue is fixed.

Fix 2 – Keep Your Gaming Client Updated

If you are using Steam or any other client, ensure you use the latest version and the gamepad is correctly configured. To update your Steam client, follow these steps –

  • Run Steam on your computer by double-clicking on the application icon.
  • You can find a top menu bar in the client with options such as Steam, friends, games, etc.

steam window

  • Click on Steam, and from the drop-down, click on check for updates.
  • The process is smooth as it automatically searches, fetches, and installs the updates.

Once the update is done, run the game and verify if the issue is fixed.

Fix 3 – Check for the Latest Drivers for Your Controller

You might be wrong if the drivers are not an issue because there’s a connection. Broken drivers, as mentioned earlier, can cause such problems.

Drivers may start acting weird when they are outdated, or you have interrupted an update during installation. Therefore, it is always better to look for updates rather than struggle with a malfunctioning device. However, manually fetching driver updates can take time, considering the numerous steps involved. An automated driver updater is the best way to handle the issue.

A driver updater is an application you can use to find and complete updates for any devices you use on your PC. Advanced Driver Updater is the best available if you aren’t sure which client to use.

It is easy to use and works in three simple steps –

  • Download, install and run the application.
  • Click on Start Scan Now. This will initiate the scanning process for outdated drivers on your PC.

advanced driver updater

  • Once the results are fetched, click Update All to update all outdated drivers.

scan pc for outdated driver

That’s about it. After all the processes are complete, restart the PC, and your device drivers are ready! Remember that your gaming experience depends on multiple devices and their drivers. Keeping them updated can do wonders!

Fix 4 – Enable Steam Input & Check Configuration

Sometimes, your game client configuration is the culprit. Gamepad configurations are different for every game, especially if using Steam. Hence, we recommend enabling Steam input and configurations to be made manually. 

Here’s how you can do the same – 

Step 1 – In Steam, click on the Steam menu tab and select Settings.


Step 2 – Choose the controller from the pop-up box. Click on General Controller Settings.

General Settings -Controller Tab

Step 3  – Enable by marking the controller type.

Controller Settings

Step 4 – Open Big Picture Mode by clicking the icon in the upper right-hand corner.

Big Picture Mode Icon
Step 5 – Open the game library by clicking on the Library button.

Library button

 Step 6 – Select the game you are playing from the library.

Manage Game Option

Step 7 – Click on Manage Game.
Step 8 – Navigate to Controller Configuration.

Browse Configs button

Step 9 – Click the Browse Configs button and make changes as required.

Apply Configuration button

Step 10 – Click the Apply Configuration button.

Using these steps, you can enable your gamepad while playing a game via Steam. If you can’t find your console connected in Steam, try updating the client or disconnecting and reconnecting the controller. 

Fix 5 – Try Unplugging Other Devices

If the issue lies in detecting your gamepad, you can also try disconnecting other devices from your PC while launching the game. For example, if you are using a Bluetooth keyboard, disconnect it before launching Steam. This way, when the gaming client is run, it auto-detects your gamepad as a primary device for gameplay. 

The error often occurs because the device is unable to scan and detect the connected gamepad when other input devices are connected. Try this method, and you should be able to get your gamepad detected and working on Windows. 

Controller Connected But Not Working In Game – FIXED!

Implement these three easy solutions, and you will get the issue fixed. If none of these work, consider taking assistance from your hardware provider. You can only partially rule out the chances of device errors.

With that, we have reached the end of this post. We hope this post helps fix your gamepad connectivity error on Windows. Good Luck!


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About The Author

Dishank Sharma
Dishank Sharma

A creative tech-writer who loves to explore latest tech-trends & convey them to his readers in the simplest way possible. He loves to blend the crispness of technology with a pinch of creativity while curating best practices for the readers. In his free time, he likes to scribble poetry, listen to rap & travel.

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