How to Make Joysticks Work on a PC

By Nathaniel Miller

Updated September 22, 2017

Items you will need

  • Joystick

  • PC

Logitech joysticks are popular choices for PC gamers as they are easy to install and have solid features.

One way to make the experience of playing a video game on your PC more "real" is to use a joystick. Joysticks are available in a variety of different connection types, however the most popular at this point is the USB connection type. Sometimes it may seem difficult to get the joystick to work on your PC, but by following the steps in this article you should quickly and easily be able to be get the joystick to work on the PC.

Purchase a joystick that is compatible with your version of Windows. The package that the joystick comes in should give the system compatibility requirements, so make sure before you buy a joystick that will work with your PC system. Unpack the joystick and connect the cord to the joystick.

Load the joystick drivers from the CD included with the joystick. Insert the CD into the CD drive and wait for it to start automatically. Follow the onscreen instructions to upload the drivers. If your joystick did not come with a CD, visit the manufacturer's website and download the drivers from their website.

Connect the joystick to the computer and wait for the "New Hardware Found" window to pop up. Click in the pop-up window and follow the onscreen instructions. Open the game you want to play by double clicking its icon on the desktop and then entering "Settings" and clicking the bubble box next to "Enable Joystick."

Click on "Control Panel" followed by "Game Controllers." Follow the instructions in the wizard that opens on the screen and then click "Properties, settings, and calibrate." Follow the onscreen instructions to completely calibrate the joystick.


USB joysticks are much easier to get to work as plug-and-play technology allows you to automatically install the proper drivers and set up your joystick. Parallel port joysticks can work the same way, however they may need different drivers installed in order to get them work.