If you’ve been playing computer games for a long time, you’re probably used to keyboards and mice as substitutes for joysticks. But console gamers may prefer standard gamepads for Mac gaming, particularly given how widely available and popular they are. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to play Mac games with Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 controllers. Start with the PS3’s DualShock 3, which uses the same Bluetooth standards embraced by every recent Mac. You’ll need a controller as well as the USB cable—any Mini-USB to standard USB cable should do the trick. Connect the cable and controller to your computer and then open System Preferences to ensure that Bluetooth is on and discoverable. Then, hold down the PS button for three seconds and unplug the cable from the Mac. That’s it: the Sony controller will have connected with Bluetooth and be ready to go, driver-free. Feral Interactive has a video that walks you through the process.
Microsoft makes things a bit more difficult if you want to go wireless with the Xbox 360 controller. First, you’ll need to purchase the company’s Wireless Gaming Receiver. Then, you should download and install Tattiebogle’s driver from this website. From there, you sync with the wireless receiver. Both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 controllers can benefit from GamePad Companion, an $8 app that helps you remap keyboard commands to these controllers if the games don’t have built-in gamepad support.