Xbox 360 Wireless Controller for PC+Rocket League+Ubuntu=Awesome

Mike Turcotte-McCusker
Jul 14, 2018
Updated • Jul 14, 2018

I’m a gamer. I’ve been playing PC games since DOS, and have no plan to ever stop, thankfully there are an increasing number of wicked games available on GNU/Linux systems, like Rocket League for example.

If you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, and have no idea what Rocket League is, it’s basically Soccer/Football (other game modes have other sports, etc, but the primary focus is as mentioned) in super high powered, jet propulsed cars; it’s awesome. However, Rocket League is not very easily played via keyboard, and having some kind of controller is essential.

I use an Xbox 360 Wireless Controller as my primary controller when playing games that support one on Linux.

Setting things up

By default when plugging it in to my Ubuntu 18.04 system, it lacks the needed drivers to work. Thankfully in Ubuntu / Mint etc., it’s quite simple to fix this issue:

sudo apt install xboxdrv

I believe that xboxdrv is technically abandonded, as the official website hasn’t been updated since what appears to be 2015, however, it still appears at least with my test setup to function properly.

The driver works with Xbox 360 wireless gamepads, Xbox 360 USB gamepads, and Xbox1 gamepads.

Installation of Rocket League can be accomplished through Steam (after purchasing the game) so if you don’t have it installed, you’ll need Steam:

sudo apt install steam

Steam should install fairly quickly, and do its usual self updates. Games should pick up the controller automatically; you may need to select it as the primary means of controlling the game in the game options but some may select it automatically when it is detected.

Game Requirements, and performance

Steam lists the Recommended requirements for SteamOS/Linux systems as:


  • Processor: 2.5+ GHz Quad core
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 660 or better, ATI 7950 or better
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection
  • Storage: 7 GB available space

My System:

  • AMD A10-6700 3.7GHz Quad Core
  • 8GB DDR3 RAM
  • NVIDIA GTX 960 4GB VRAM (using proprietary drivers, not Nouveau)
  • Ubuntu 18.04 Budgie

On my system I had no issues running the game in 1080P Resolution, max graphics, at nearly solid 60FPS and the occasional stutter that seemed random; I’ll say it runs nearly as smoothly as it does on my Windows partition, just not quite.

Well enough to win 2/3 test games I played, without any warmup, on competitive mode (Bronze rank for now, but working up!)

Last thoughts

Overall, here is a couple options that may at the least help you spark an interest in gaming on GNU/Linux systems, as the Steam library alone (not counting games available outside steam) contains over 3100 games, according to Steamdb, and this includes smash hits like Rocket League, Portal 2, Hotline Miami, or Pony Island.

It’s also a great example of how even MLG title games like Rocket League, have made their way to GNU/Linux, and natively at that. A good sign for the future!

Now You: Do you play games? If so which and on which system?

Xbox 360 Wireless Controller for PC+Rocket League+Ubuntu=Awesome
Article Name
Xbox 360 Wireless Controller for PC+Rocket League+Ubuntu=Awesome
Find out how to connect and install an Xbox 360 controller to your Linux box to play games like Rocket League on Steam.
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  1. tuxanon said on July 15, 2018 at 1:35 am

    rocket league is fun…but did you know :

    you can also play GTA V in linux with latest wine staging + DXVK and it runs well, just if your using the retail version make sure to cpulimit the gta v launcher or else it will lag your game

  2. Anonymous said on July 14, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    I’ve tried almost the exact same thing: a knock off controller + Rocket League + Mint = well… I don’t know.
    I mean, it works (out of the box, even), just not as good as keyboard and mouse. The sensitivity of analogue sticks is pretty bad, but that’s probably because I’m not using an original Xbox/PS controller. That, and the fact that this is the first time I’ve tried using a controller after about 20 years of gaming :D

  3. Paul(us) said on July 14, 2018 at 11:47 am

    After vic20 and c64 (Loderunner) I have lost all interest in action games.
    Only a chess game wants to occasionally still arouse my interest but only when Frits Chessmaster program has at least a rating of ELO 2400 points.
    But this action game looks quite nice I have to write!

    Over a year or so with a AMD’s 32-core threadripper (Ryzen) 2 (with a 32 core and 64 threads delivering a 30 percent CPU and 100 percent more GPU) (A good thing for there 400 million pc and console players) or Intel 28-core chip (5Ghz 8086K) games like this one will work as smoothly and rimples as a newly born bore baby button in any Linux version.

    But even than personly I am more waiting for deep blue or even better deep blue 2 for main occasionally game of chess.

    1. chesscanoe said on July 14, 2018 at 6:10 pm

      Since you are apparently a strong chess player, Kvetka 4.1.1 may well sufficiently challenge you. I downloaded it in March with no problems, but you may not like the latest Chrome x64 beta flags it as not secure.

      1. Martin Brinkmann said on July 15, 2018 at 7:32 am
      2. Paul(us) said on July 15, 2018 at 9:22 pm

        Thanks, Martin, I remembered your article when Chesscanoe brought Kvetka up!
        Another really nice free chess program is that you brought up in 2016 is Lucas chess and the newest release version 11.09 is quite an improvement on when you last reported on it, Martin.

        Also, I would like to mention that when there is a great chess tournament (or championship cycles) with a high rating nowadays mostly your getting a live stream with a chess grandmaster giving his or her comment on what is happing live. An example is one of the greatest chess tournaments every year

      3. Paul(us) said on July 14, 2018 at 7:12 pm

        Thanks, Chesscanoe, I have forgotten about Kvetka.
        I am still awaiting the moment that Fritz is getting rid of there old(ie but goodie) graphic shell so there can come back into the UCI version rating.
        But even with a rating, I have a sneaky (Kinglie) feeling there still number one! :-)

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