I need to be able to look at the data coming from an Xbox controller.

What would be the easiest way to do this?


  • Windows 10
  • Controller connected to the PC (it's USB)
  • Preferably free
  • I don't care if it comes with bloatware (I've gotten particularly good at getting rid of it)
  • Welcome to Software Recommendations! We will need much more information to give good recommendations here. Please take a look at What is required for a question to contain "enough information"? Then please edit your question and see if you can incorporate some of these improvements.
    – Izzy
    Jun 20, 2016 at 16:45
  • Is it connected to the PC? What price are you willing to pay? Which OS do you use? Please answer those questions so that this becomes reopened. I'd like to be able to provide an answer ;-) Jun 20, 2016 at 19:37

1 Answer 1



AFAIK, the defacto standard tool to sniff USB traffic is Wireshark, which comes with USB PCAP to sniff USB traffic.

From their website:

It is the de facto (and often de jure) standard across many industries and educational institutions.

Wireshark will capture the USB traffic that is redirected to it from USB PCAP. You can

  • save the data in *.pcap files
  • filter the traffic
  • save only displayed data

Wireshark will also nicely decode and highlight the data for you as far as it can. Here's a screenshot from a USB capture on my PC:

Wireshark decoding USB traffic


To find out the IDs of the USB devices in advance (before using Wireshark), you can use NirSoft USBDeview. It lists all connected devices. Use the x64 version on a 64 bit Windows.


  • is also free (but not open source)
  • runs on Windows, including Windows 10
  • comes without bloatware
  • cannot capture data, so you need Wireshark as a companion

Here's a screenshot of USB devices connected to my PC:

USBDeview scresnshot

  • Could you split these answers up?
    – Tom
    Jun 21, 2016 at 18:10
  • @Tom: usually I would, but in this case they belong together. USBDeview is not an answer on its own since it cannot capture data. Jun 21, 2016 at 19:09
  • @Tom: edited the answer to make that clear Jun 21, 2016 at 19:10

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