Question Xbox 360 PC Controller abruptly disconnects when playing certain games

Nov 16, 2021
After a recent graphics card upgrade, I redownloaded the game Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order on Steam. It had previously run a bit too sluggishly to enjoy. While performance did improve, the game continued to have a problem I'd noted previously where my (xbox 360 pc) controller turned itself off mere moments after being turned off. Since the game was playable now I decided to try and fix this well known problem. After seeing some advice about this problem, I tried changing various controller settings in the steam settings. It didn't fix the issue, and I thought that would be the end of it.

But now I'm experiencing the same problem across many, many games, both for steam and epic games store. The issue is similar across all of them: menu navigation works perfectly fine with a controller for extended periods of time, but when it comes to in-game action, it disconnects abruptly after a few seconds, sometimes immediately. Sometimes it's specific actions that trigger the disconnect, other times it's just trying to enter gameplay itself. I've of course tried reverting the settings I'd changed in Steam, to no avail. I even reinstalled the basic driver of the controller. I also tried turning rumble off, as some of the actions that triggered the disconnect might've been using the rumble feature, and that didn't work either.

I'd suspect a hardware malfunction, but the crazy thing is that when running certain games, most of them with older architecture, and when using emulators, I can play indefinitely without the controller ever turning off, no matter what buttons I press. And as mentioned, menu navigation doesn't seem to be an issue. I can only assume some sort of software miscommunication is happening, and I can't tell if it's because of the settings I changed back and forth, or if Jedi: Fallen Order installed some driver that is interfering with my controller's functions.

Here is the behavior I observed across multiple games:

  • Jedi Fallen Order (Steam) - Controller disconnects after a few moments, regardless of input.
  • Batman Arkham Asylum (Epic Games Store) - Controller disconnects after standing still for too long or trying to attack. Input worked fine throughout the entire section where you escort the Joker except for turning off during the elevator ride when I stood still for 15 seconds.
  • Fallout New Vegas (Steam) - Was able to complete character creation, walk around town, talk to people, punch the air. Shooting a gecko immediately disconnected controller.
  • Guacamelee 2 (Steam) - All gameplay works perfectly until being hit by or hitting an emeny, which immediately disconnects controller.
  • Hitman 2 (Steam) - All gameplay worked flawlessly until a gun was fired, which immediately disconnected controller.
  • Streets of Rage 4 - Controller disconnects as soon as menu navigation ends and the stage begins. Reconnecting controller seems to work until an enemy is struck or strikes player character, then is lost again.
  • Dungeons & Dragons Chronicles of Mystara (Steam) - No issues whatsoever.
  • Streets of Rage Remake (standalone game, not on any client) - No issues whatsoever.
  • Mega Man Maker (standalone) - No issues whatsoever
  • Sonic Mania (Steam) - No issues whatsoever.
I still think there's something going on with that rumble feature, but I'm not smart enough to figure what the solution is. If you have any ideas of how to solve this mystery, let me know.
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