Error: Gamepad not recognized or behaves erratically during gameplay

Problem: Your computer doesn’t recognize your gamepad, or either your mouse, keyboard, or controller behaves erratically during gameplay.


If your computer won’t recognize your gamepad, try these steps:

  • Make sure the gamepad you’re using is compatible with your version of Windows, MacOS, or Linux. A Bluetooth gamepad (preferably Xbox One or PlayStation DualShock 4) is highly recommended. If you do not know how to pair a gamepad to your PC, read this article.
  • Install all available updates until your computer reports it is up to date.
  • If your controller is paired but your machine doesn’t recognize it, run the Bluetooth troubleshooter. Some players have reported that reinstalling Bluetooth can solve the problem.

If either your controller, keyboard, or mouse behaves erratically during gameplay, try these steps:

  • If you’re using a keyboard and you’re playing on a laptop, there is a possibility that your hand may accidentally touch the touchpad. Lower the sensitivity of your touchpad. Skip to the next step if it doesn’t help.
  • If your cursor is moving at random speeds or selects items on its own, there is a possibility that either one of the following may have happened:
    • The driver may be outdated and/or corrupt
    • System files on your machine may be corrupt and/or mismatched with other files
    • You may have a virus or malware infection on your device
    • Some applications or services running on your machine may be causing the problem

To fix erratic device behavior:

  • Install all available updates until your computer reports it is up to date.
  • Make sure your controller or mouse’s battery isn’t low. Either replace the batteries or plug it in to charge.
  • Make sure the controller is clean. Dust collecting can also cause this issue. If this is the case, wiping it with a cloth usually fixes this. You can also use a damp lint-free cloth (use water only) to clean your devices.
  • Scan your machine for viruses. Malware can cause your machine to perform strangely or even operate without your consent. If you don’t have antivirus software installed on your machine, you can download and install Microsoft Security Essentials for free here.
  • If a specific app is causing it, close it and/or uninstall it. There is a possibility you may have found a bug in the app, and contact the app’s developer to see if there is an update.
  • Make sure there are no other devices around you that can interfere with either the mouse or controller’s wireless features.
  • There is a possibility your device may have stopped working either due to age or overuse. Contact the manufacturer to see if there is a replacement.

If none of the above worked, contact your system manufacturer for assistance.

If the problem is recurring, diagnosing the cause can be difficult due to the cursor being difficult to control. If it’s that case, consider opening a ticket at Microsoft or Apple Support, or you can take your computer to your local IT department for service. A service fee may also be charged.

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