Modchip Your XBox 360 Controller

[CyberPyrot] and [l0rdnic0] released their spitfire mod on acidmods for XBox 360 controllers. It involves some fine wiring, but a relatively low parts count. The heart of the mod is a PIC16F84A, a crystal for the clock and a few passive parts. It took me a little while to find it, but the code for the pic hiding under the parts list. For a lengthy demo of the mod in action, you can check out this video.

Related: Xbox 360 Hacks, Xbox Hacks

28 thoughts on “Modchip Your XBox 360 Controller

  1. sorry to say it but theres alot better ways of doing this(less components), AND if you know what your doing its easy to do it on the new controllers too (for all buttons)!!!

  2. i have don’t this b4 with a game elements “recoil” pad using an atmega16 and a few transistors and taps right b4 its serial to usb converter (with the help of a MAX3232(prob not needed)) so i can use button combos to do things i used this in gta sa and counterstrike source and i might do a bit in TF2

    the true orig point of this was to enter gta sa cheat codes with macros but boredom allowed me to expand … btw all my circuitry is external and in the way… this project is old if i do find it ill be sure to make an instructables

    u can still get banned with this thing although its not a system mod

  3. I agree with cyrus (and chupa)… this is pretty basic stuff (turning outputs on and off in pre-defined sequences), and there are better ways to do it… for instance, i’d use an attiny2313, there are no external components, it’s way cheaper than the 16f84, more powerful (altough we don’t need that here, but then again, cheaper :-), and it even fits better the 20-pin socket he already used

  4. This is a really interesting idea but the write up is missing some VERY important information.

    Late last year MS released a completely redesigned version of the controllers. The old controllers did NOT use a typical common ground setup but rather this weird pulsed matrix system (presumably to reduce the internal pin count). The new wireless controllers use a common ground, and the new wired controllers use a common high (1.8v)…

    we have no idea which version of the controller this writeup is meant for. if it is for the old matrix version I’d be very interested in the source code because I’m still baffled as to how it works and would like to know how he was able to emulate button presses without the use of a separate switching device.

    if you’re interested in the differences there are diagrams available:
    Old Wired/Wireless:
    New Wireless:
    New Wired:

  5. after looking at the photographs closer this IS using the new style controllers…

    It’s important to note that this mod wont work on controllers made before last november-ish..

    If any of you remember the Saturn to Xbox 360 controller adapter I made a while back:

    I had to use a bank of switches to emulate button pushes because of the way the buttons in the controller were wired, since the new controllers use a common line it’s no longer an issue, and it’s what makes this new hack possible (otherwise it likely wouldn’t fit in the controller)

  6. As everyone else said, many ways to do this better, and there is no indication as to which controller version this is for (although from the schematic, it is likely for a common ground version).

    He took his code down anyways. I’d use a better PIC for this. Internal clock and more flash to store more macros for other games.

  7. ok, fine…. every single button is basically a switch, that connects 2 (or more) contacts together! all your doing by modding a controller is bypassing the switch with your own switch, with different parameters! the switch could be a transistor, or even a relay!

    as for all the other components, and the chip, you could just use a picaxe chip… this is alot easier to program then having to worry about hex code (uses basic type code), oh, and it has a timer!

    so for example… if your button is pushed… the chip sends a current to a transistor, allowing the terminals of the original buttons to be connected. substitute the transistor for a relay if u really want :)

    hope that helps a lil :)

  8. Thanks Tim….twistedsymphony your absolutly right the board we have had success with we where able to pulse high to the corosponding buttons. As for the rest of you guys nothing is as easy as it may seem we thought of adding NPN transisters for simple switches.. Reed Relays are not an option as there would be a delay.. There seems to be some Analog pulse on the common hot/ground and when I say common hot and ground the buttons share ground and the buttons share hots in pairs so ther is some voltage measurment or some sort of analog pulse….

  9. I can confirm what cyberpyrot is saying about the difficult of working with these controllers. I too tried transistors, and reed relays, among other things and failed to get them to work effectively as a switching mechanism (go read my project notes on Xbox-Scene if you don’t believe me).

    I ultimately went with some “analog switches” since I had a bunch laying around. if those didn’t work I was going to attempt using tri-state buffers but I never got a chance to see if those would work (I’m guessing they probably would).

    In any case the new controller design is much easier to work with if you plan on doing any controller hacking.

  10. Hey I’m new to PIC programming but I have learned so much from this project. I’m sure that some of you engineers can do things better then me but not to be arrogant, you didn’t! The fact is we worked hard on this. I didn’t research anything about the controllers on line I pulled out a meter. I didn’t know that Microsoft changed the design I learned that along the way. So in a way yeah I reinvented the wheel a bit, but from what I taught myself I can tell you a lot about how both versions of this controller work. Also we know that there are better PICs out there and that they have internal osolators but we made it work with little to no space loss and I have to say that it really kicks butt when my 50cal sniper rifle can pop out three rounds before you get the chance to squeeze the trigger a second time and with less kick. Remember it’s not just that we installed a PIC we also wrote some kick butt code and tweaked it to work with a few popular games. I want to thank to for the programmers and PIC’s


  11. now you just got to tell us how we can get our hands on some of those pre-programmed halo 3 pic’s :) and when we can get them, my engineering exams end next week and id love to try some of these things out. My last rapid fire controller mod using a cmos 555 timer, a 555 timer and using npn ,pnp transistors didnt work that well in the long run.

    Pic sounds like a kick ass way to do it, if only my altera DE2board could program pic’s id be pretty happy

  12. If I get that right from the video, the reason that this works at all is that CoD4 is programmed poorly and allows for shots to be fired at arbitrary rates? If they were to query the buttons once per frame it would prevent any speedups.

  13. No sir marco.. the problem is not with the program as we would just look for other ways to do it.. and it works for many games.. Also if you limit the speed of the trigger then your capping the game to people with diffrent abilities as I have seen some gammers with natural unbelievable speed

  14. Listen my clan named Sinister needs a sponsorship. Were amazing we aren’t top 50 but in one day we got to 4-1. I promise you, you won’t be mistaken. If you need some proof i record videos so you can see us play. We are good, but we need a sponsorship to go to Columbus, Oh for the MLG event. Please contact me at

  15. What the fuck just show where to connect the wires that’s all I ask for no need for tech no bull shit, if you don’t fucking know how just say hey guys I brought a kit maybe you should ask someone else not e=mc square and thats it how the fuck did you get e=mc square

  16. Is this just a rapid fire mod?

    If so, can I just ask, why even PIC at all? I made one a while back (but still the new layout without the crystal) with a 555.

    I varied the firerate for different games with a pot, eliminating the need for hot-swapping PIC’s entirely.

  17. how do you learn about circuit boards and chips, i have just mod my first controller into rapid fire but get lost with all the technical talk above. i’d love to learn more but where do i start?

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