PC does not detect the gamepad? What should you do?

Many gamers prefer to use joystick or other types of gamepads instead of traditional keyboard and mouse. As a matter of fact any gaming devices are external equipment connected to the computer like a USB flash drive or printer.

If the computer cannot detect the connected device, this may indicate a hardware or software malfunction. Let us consider the main reasons why such problems occur and what can be done to address them.


Make sure the gamepad work properly

Before proceeding with any actions to troubleshoot computer problems, check that the joystick works fine. Even if the power indicator of the joystick lights up when it is connected to a PC, this does not mean that the device is working properly - the LED lights up when power is applied. The only way to check the gamepad is to connect it to another computer.

If the joystick is detected by another pc, you should troubleshoot your own PC. If you cannot connect the joystick to another pc, let us move on to another section.

Подключение геймпада

Make sure the USB ports are working

All modern gamepads are connected to a computer via a USB connection. Gamepads are connected either by wired or wireless connection. In the latter case, the gamepad uses a Bluetooth connection. But even a wireless connection will require the normal operation USB ports, as a Bluetooth adapter also connects to them.

It is quite easy to check the USB ports, you just need to connect another device to the port (USB flash drive, for example). If we talk about a desktop PC, there can be a situation when only the front USB ports do not work. That is why you should try connecting the gamepad to the ports located on the back of the PC system unit.

If your gamepad is wireless, it might be possible that only Bluetooth adapter is out of order and is not detected by the PC. All the wireless gamepads have a USB port in their design which is used for battery charge and pc connection.

Connect the gamepad to the PC using a USB cable (preferably original). If it is detected, then the problem may lay in the Bluetooth adapter.


Reinstall the gamepad driver

As in the case with any other USB device, the driver is required for smooth integration between the operating system and the gamepad. If the gamepad is connected to the computer for the first time, you will need to install its driver. Usually the driver an be found on the supplied CD. The driver can also be downloaded from the official website of the device manufacturer or found on the Internet.

If the gamepad suddenly stopped working, this may indicate a problem in the driver. In this case, you will need to reinstall it.

In order to determine if the gamepad driver is installed and / or is in working condition, you can do the following (Windows 10 instruction):

  • Perform the following steps: Go to the "Control Panel", "System and Security", "System".
  • Click on the "Device Manager" element in the left part of the window.
  • In the displayed list of computer devices, expand the "Sound, game and video devices" section. You just need to see if the name of the gamepad is present in this section.
  • The gamepad can also be located in the "Mice and other pointing devices", "HID devices" or "USB controllers" sections. These sections should be checked as well.
  • If there is no gamepad name in any of the sections, the driver is not installed in the system.
  • The same applies to the situation when the name of the gamepad has a yellow question mark, which can mean both the absence and inoperability of the driver.

If the computer does not detect the gamepad at all, the following can be observed in the Task Manager application:

It can be marked as "unknown device". It can be both the gamepad and another device. In order to check it disconnect the gamepad or its Bluetooth adapter from the computer. If “Unknown device” disappears in the “Device Manager”, then it was the gamepad you just disconnected. Next, you will need to find, download and install the driver.

Where can you find the gamepad driver?

If the existing gamepad was released by one of the well-known manufacturers of computer peripherals, then the driver can always be found on the official website. For example, Xbox gaming device drivers can be downloaded at https://support.xbox.com.

If you have a Chinese gamepad, you will have to search the driver in the internet. But it presents little problem, just perform the following steps:

  • Reopen Device Manager.
  • Find the name of the gamepad or "Unknown device" in the list.
  • Double-click it.
  • There will open a window, go to the "Details" tab.
  • In the "Property" drop-down list, select "Equipment ID".
  • In the "Value" field, copy the first line

Open any search engine and insert the line in the search bar. Very first search result should display the page that will contain the driver you are looking for. Install the downloaded driver. The gamepad should work now.

If the driver manipulation does not help

This can be observed in several cases. Basically it happens because of the operating system malfunction or virus infection. If previously it was found out that the gamepad works fine, then there is a problem with the computer software. Firs of all, scan computer for viruses.


If this does not help, you can try to reinstall the system - in most cases it turns out to be faster than finding and fixing software malfunctions. But keep in mind that you might lose save games because of that. So, safe the files before reinstalling the system. All the instructions can be found at gaming web-sites.