So you plugged in the cheap PC controller you bought off eBay or Amazon (say one that is coincidentally shaped like an Xbox controller) and found it doesn’t work with GTA 5?
This is probably because the controller is using the DirectInput standard as opposed to the newer XInput standard. You can read more about these standards from Microsoft by clinking on this link.
GTA 5 (or GTA V if you’re feeling fancy) was not optimised to use the DirectInput standard unfortunately. However if you’re playing the game on PC you should be using a keyboard and mouse like a grown-up anyway, it’s way better for shooters. Ah but GTA isn’t all about the shooting I hear you say and you’re right. I’ll admit I switch to a controller for flying vehciles because they are horrible to pilot with direction keys. Analogue sticks are much better suited to aircraft.
So the workaround for being able to use the cheap generic controller is quite simple but requires using an “Xbox 360 Controller Emulator”.
Download the file x360ce_x64 from the following site by clicking on the “download for 64 bit games” button at the top of the screen.
(Be sure to test the downloaded file with whatever antivirus software you have installed)
Once you are satisfied the software is safe extract the file to the root directory of where you installed GTA 5.
(If you do not know where that folder is try searching GTAV in your Windows search bar. Note a folder called GTA V is often created in the Documents folder but this is not the correct directory. The correct directory will have application files with the GTAV logo in it. The game maybe in a Rockstar folder or perhaps a Steam or Epic folder, it all depends on who you bought it from.)
Right click on x360ce_x64 and run the file as administrator and you should be given an option button to “Create”.
Click this button and a Xbox controller calibration window will open.
At this point if your controller has a large circular button at its center press it and make sure it lights up otherwise it may not send the right signals when the controller is being mapped.
Click “Auto” and then “Save”.
I found the A, B, X and Y face buttons were not mapped correctly and needed to be mapped manually.
To do this, beside each face button on the emulator interface there is a drop down menu. Click on it for each button and choose the option to record. The interface will highlight which button to press on your controller to map it correctly. Once the buttons are mapped correctly click “Save” again.
After following these steps you should now be able to play GTA V with the controller.