DirectInput and XInput are both APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) used for game controller input in the Microsoft Windows operating system. Whether a game controller supports one of these protocols will determine whether it can be used as input device in PC or not.
Directinput was introduced in the early 1990s and is designed for older gaming devices, such as joysticks, gamepads, and other legacy controllers. It provides a low-level input interface that allows games to directly access and control all aspects of the controller, including buttons, axes, and vibrations.
Xinput was introduced in 2006 as a replacement for DirectInput, specifically for the Xbox 360 controller. XInput is designed to provide a higher-level input interface that abstracts away some of the complexities of DirectInput and provides a simpler, more streamlined approach to gaming input. XInput provides an interface for basic input elements such as buttons, triggers, and thumbsticks, and is easier to use than DirectInput.
Knowing about XInput and DirectInput can help you determine whether a gaming device or controller will be compatible with your computer or gaming platform. This is especially important when purchasing new gaming devices or controllers, as not all controllers will be compatible with every system.
As a gamer, knowing about XInput and DirectInput can help you understand why some games work better with certain controllers and why some controllers may not work with certain games. This knowledge can also help you troubleshoot issues with controllers and improve your gaming experience.