Android gaming with an Xbox 360 Controller

This afternoon I took delivery of an OTG USB cable for my mobile devices. I’ve previously blogged about using a PS3 controller with an Android phone but I was curious how well my wired Xbox 360 controller would work.

Plugging the OTG cable into my Nexus 7 and then into the Xbox controller was of course simple, and I had mixed results with the couple of games I tried. If you’re willing to root your Nexus 7 you can install another app that makes it easier to get things working but even with a stock Nexus 7 it worked.

First off I tried Frodo and Vice, the C64 emulators. I thought they might have support for this. Unfortunately not. Luckily Mupen64 Plus, the N64 emulator, does support an external controller! I had to redefine a few buttons, and the left analog stick but I was soon leading the races in Mario Kart 64!

I tried Shadowgun: Deadzone next. It was my first time playing this multiplayer over-the-shoulder third person shooter. The game picked up my controller perfectly! All I had to do was invert the Y axis as I normally do. I’d like to say I kicked ass but I didn’t. I got one kill to six deaths before I gave up. Looks like a good game, but it must be next to impossible to play on a small screen.

I wanted to try GTA III but I never got past the loading screen on my Nexus 7. Dead Trigger is next on my todo list. That should be fun.

I used the OTG cable to connect an external USB flash drive to my devices too. Unrooted the Nexus 7 ignores it unfortunately but my Galaxy S II picked it up and displayed a familiar USB storage notification. Here’s a video of someone playing GTA III on an SGS III. I really have to get that game working on my Nexus 7!


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Donncha

Donncha Ó Caoimh is a software developer at Automattic and WordPress plugin developer. He posts photos at In Photos and can also be found on Google+ and Twitter.

3 thoughts on “Android gaming with an Xbox 360 Controller”


  1. this was so informative thanks for sharing but i also Found a new external game controller for ipad, iphone, android, ….
    it looks so cool
    here you can see their video, the game controller is called iKazoo and you can even compose music with the controller which makes the controller more fun and more valuable to consider having one
    here a link to their video on youtube http://youtu.be/DwsOq74boVg


  2. nice one Donncha im just looking into getting an Xbox controller for my new android.

    was this the PC Xbox controller you tried it out with or just the regular one? i was going to get one of the PC controllers to use with my laptop anyway so it would be neat if it worked with android as well.

    Also, do you know anything about the new Xbox controller? id nearly go for that one instead but im not even sure if it works with the PC yet. it looks like it has a better D-pad anyway


    1. There’s only one Xbox 360 controller, and it’s either wired or wireless. The wireless one works with PC but only if you buy a receiver so I use 2 wired ones instead. They plug into USB ports. Don’t need to switch out batteries either. :)

      Nope, don’t know anything about the new controllers except they’re pricey! How often do you use a dpad anyway? 99% of games that I used a controller for I don’t need a dpad.

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