Chrome 86 adds full support for the Windows.Gaming.Input API

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Chrome 86 adds a full support for gaming controllers using the Windows.Gaming.Input API flag

A few weeks ago, Microsoft submitted a Chromium improvement that showed better support for gamepads by supporting the Windows.Gaming.Input API. Microsoft says there is a need to increase support for gamepads as more and more games are played online through browsers.

Chrome already has the Gamepad JavaScript API, but Microsoft is looking to add full support for the Windows.Gaming.Input API as an alternative back-end to allow greater support for the dedicated hardware on controllers, such as the rumble triggers on the Xbox One gamepad, and paddles on the Elite controllers.

According to TechDows, Microsoft has brought Windows.Gaming.Input (WGI) to Chromium to give game controller support on Windows 10 desktop, Windows Core OS (WCOS), and Xbox. The feature is currently available behind a flag in Chrome 86 Canary and can be enabled.

This change will augment the existing Gamepad JavaScript API by bringing in Windows.Gaming.Input (WGI) as another backend other than XInput to power Chromium to support a wider range of modern gamepad devices on Windows 10.

The WGI can support features added to new gaming peripherals. For example, rumble triggers on the Xbox One gamepad, and paddles on the Elite controllers. The WGI also provides support for P&P (Plug-and-Play) notifications. So let’s take a look at how you can enable the flag using your Chrome 86 version.

How to activate Windows.Gaming.Input flag in Chrome 86?

  1. Open Chrome
  2. In the search bar type “chrome: // flags”
  3. Search for “Enable Windows.Gaming.Input”
  4. Select “Enabled” from the dropdown menu
  5. Restart Chrome

The work to add the API has already been started by Microsoft, but it, of course, remains to be seen if it will be merged into the Chromium codebase, which would ultimately bring full gamepad support to Chrome, Edge, Opera, and many more Chromium-based browsers.

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