Microsoft Sidewinder Strategic Commander in Windows 7 64-bit

Because Shattered Horizon was free on Steam the weekend I originally wrote this article and its movement system in zero-gravity space is more full-3D than most FPS games, I wanted to bust out the old Microsoft Strategic Commander. Unfortunately it hasn’t been supported since Windows XP, and I’m on Windows 7. Read on for how to get it working.

The most important thing was finding some freeware called “Strategic Engine 1.3” made by Philip Merwarth. Its user interface is more minimalist than Microsoft’s original one, but it looks like all the same functionality’s there–even timing-based scripting accurate to 10ms and getting the buttons to light up. Looks like he might’ve added a few extra features too, if my memory of the old intereface is correct.

I would tell you to check the “Donate” link in the software’s Miscellaneous menu if you want to support the coder, but given that the “check for updates” link is currently broken, I don’t know if any donation money would ever actually get to him. If you find this, Mr. Philip Merwarth, thank you.

I’ve mirrored the installer file here for anyone interested.


P.S. So far I’ve gotten two emails back from people thanking me for hosting here (both before I migrated to a site that would’ve allowed them to post thanks as comments)

Thank you so much! *kiss*


Hi Nicolas,

thank you very much for providing this article and download mirror because I had been searching for long where to download this software !

Nom I'm able to use my Strategic Commander hardware on Win7 64.







114 responses to “Microsoft Sidewinder Strategic Commander in Windows 7 64-bit”

  1. mohamed hasan Avatar
    mohamed hasan

    Thanks so so much,it work on my win7 64 bit very nice,I’ll donate when I get a way for that, day

    1. SlowJustice Avatar

      Thank you for all that you have done, without your program I probably would have given up playing, its true when they say its hard to teach an old dog new tricks…..

  2. Jack Quinn Avatar
    Jack Quinn

    Hi! Just to say you’re a hero for mirroring the drivers. 🙂

    Here are some search terms to help others find this page…

    “strategic commander driver” “strategic commander engine” “stategicsetupv1.3”

  3. Frank Avatar

    thank you..!!!!

  4. Karim Avatar


    I’m here to say: Thank you!

    I’ve been looking for a way to use this hardware gem (which I happened to re-discover a few days ago) on Windows 10 64-Bit, and this program works like a charm. Now I can use this great device again.

  5. Ramiel Avatar

    Thank you for this article and file hosting. Exactly what I needed.

  6. Arashiko Avatar

    Still working in windows 10 64Bit My eternal thanks to you and Philip Merwarth

  7. Jonny Avatar

    Just installed on windows 10 and it works like a charm

  8. Gary Ford Avatar
    Gary Ford

    Getting a Runtime Error 76 when trying to load software. I am(shall I say my son is) running Windows 8.1 but we will be getting the Windows 10 upgrade tonight. My son is really hoping to use the Strategic Commander he found while rooting around my computer “burial ground”. Please help.

    1. nwinocur Avatar

      While I can’t guarantee that an upgrade to Windows 10 will fix all problems, I will say that both I and everyone I’ve spoken to have been pleased by the improvements Windows 10 made over 8.1. Best of luck and do let us all know what happens with it.

  9. Jesse Vaughan Avatar
    Jesse Vaughan

    HOLY FREAKING CRAP!!! Got my strategic commander working on Windows 10!! YOU ROCK!

  10. dimporto Avatar


  11. Dan Alec Avatar
    Dan Alec

    omfg, thanks very much for this

  12. SlowJustice Avatar

    Thank you for keeping this going, would have to give up my shooter gaming without it..

  13. Si Avatar

    Thanks you for your page and download mirror. when I started looking I was expecting to be looking for hours. It took 10 mins. Thx

  14. Brycen Avatar

    Found one of these bad boys at goodwill I don’t know where my old one went I thought it was just a nostalgia thing is awake I can use it again

  15. Brycen Avatar

    Found one of these bad boys at goodwill I don’t know where my old one went I thought it was just a nostalgia thing is awesome I can use it again

  16. GuyFromParis Avatar

    Tons of Thanks, as an old gamer i thought i could never use this gear again.

    Moreover it work perfectly on windows 10.


  17. Roy Avatar

    ok I got the MS Commander and found this site for the software but encountering a couple of things when trying to install it. Windows 7 64bit. I get this error, failure to expand shell folder constant “userdocs” and my Virus software pops up saying “Bitdefender Ransomeware Protection” blocked a potentially unsafe app, attempting to change or delete your files: documents. Any thoughts on this??

    1. nwinocur Avatar

      The failure to expand shell folder constant sounds like a direct result of bitdefender preventing it from accessing that constant or that folder.
      Bitdefender blocking it may be based on either of two things: possibility one is that either my site and/or that file’s been compromised (in which case you’d be the first person reporting it). Possibility two is that on a global scale, it’s an uncommonly-downloaded-and-used-enough file that bitdefender’s database doesn’t recognize it, and is acting on the safe side; this has become relatively common in antivirus software and I generally like it on principle, but it gets the occasional false positive.
      If it’s any reassurance, you should be able to completely block it in your OS or bitdefender firewall settings with no ill side-effects. The only part of it that I remember using the network/internet was the built-in donation link, but as mentioned by previous posters, that’s been unusable for awhile now.
      Let us know if/how you try it out again and whether you find a solution to your problem

    2. Philip Merwarth Avatar
      Philip Merwarth

      From memory the profiles save to your documents folder so your antivirus might be sensitive to that.
      Try running my program in Administrator mode to fix the error?
      Cheers, Phil.

  18. Martin Simpson Avatar
    Martin Simpson

    Thank you so much I have fond memories of this fantastic controller from FPS gaming but wanted to use it as an alternative controller when working in Photohsop but Microsoft obviously stopped supporting it on Windows 7 64 bit(amongst others). I’d been unable to find the software from other online links and I’m extremely grateful to you for hosting it and making it available. Thanks again for making an aged gamer a happy chappy once more.

  19. Andreas Weis Avatar
    Andreas Weis

    I have written a small program that allows the Strategic Commander to be used in as a DirectInput joystick on Windows. You can find it on github:

    This relies on vJoy, a virtual Joystick device driver.

    In case you want to write your own software for the Strategic Commander, I open-sourced a small library ( that makes it very easy to interact with the device. This one is even cross-platform and runs on Linux and Mac as well.

  20. Lee Straw Avatar
    Lee Straw

    I have tried it on Windows 10 and it does work. The UI flickers but other than that it’s fine. I did not do anything special with the installer, just ran it as it was. I was amazed really. I thought it would fail and then I’d have to mess about with various compatibility modes. Not at all. Thanks Nicolas, and thanks to Philip Merwarth whereever you are. Kudos and positive karma coming your way!

  21. J Benson Avatar
    J Benson

    most Excellent dude. owned from first release but never used it. Kids grown up and got plenty time to play now. THANKYOU

  22. Casualty Avatar

    Now working on W10. Didn’t think this would be a possibility. Cheers dude.

  23. Beau Avatar

    Thankyou so much for this. Installed and works great on Windows 10, nice to see some posts about a (great) long forgotten bit of kit.

  24. Brian Dahl Avatar
    Brian Dahl

    Thank you from Canada, installed and works !!! On Windows 10 64bit just remembering how to use it and getting use to using it again. Thank you from someone who did not know how to fix it.

  25. Paul K Egell-Johnsen Avatar
    Paul K Egell-Johnsen

    Thank you very much. This driver work on Windows 10 64 bit.

    For anyone looking for a macOS, OSX, Sierra, Mountain Lion, Mavericks, Yosemite, El Capitan, or Sierra, lookup which has a fantastic utility for all USB-Connected devices.

    If anyone finds something similar to USB Overdrive for Windows. Holler!

  26. hello from france Avatar
    hello from france

    Thank you from France… preliminary trials on going (with french keyboard !)
    just a little feedback, to avoid the process stacked, I have been obliged to create a batch which “taskkill /f /im StrategicEngine.exe” before to run it again

  27. Krteček Avatar

    AAaaAAWESOME works great!!
    Thank you from Czech Republic

  28. Jake Rush Avatar
    Jake Rush

    excellent work! is there a way to use it in photoshop, CAD, 3D Max, Cinema 4D?

    1. nwinocur Avatar

      May have to create a key mapping profile for each program yourself, but I see no reason why it wouldn’t work for all of the programs you listed

  29. swen Avatar

    just loaded up om windows 10 64 bit
    lights up straight away looks great all the functions are spot on
    I take my had off to you sir and if I can donate some $$ for your trouble I will be happy to do so
    Fallout 4 is never going to be the same …..

  30. Mascaret Avatar

    Hello, thanks for hosting this file, it is much appreciated.
    I also stumbled upon a forum post where apparently the source of the MS driver is avalaible.

    Please go to :

    If anyone can tell if this is any use…

  31. ryan Avatar

    Thank you! move over razer and corsair, I just dusted off my sidewinder haha

  32. Gery Avatar

    Thank you so much for this updated driver / software for the Sidewinder Strategic Commander

  33. BugCheck Avatar

    Starcraft remastered ill back, so SW SC too! TKS!!!

  34. vacsati Avatar

    Thank you!

  35. ptick17 Avatar


    First, thank you so much for not only taking the time to make this driver, but for also sharing it with the rest of us as well. I just installed this to use while playing Guild Wars 2. I am able to setup most buttons, but am still having some small issues. One problem I’m having is that the SC makes my character walk (at random), even though I’ve remapped the buttons. I’ve changed the button configuration within the SC engine to match my keyboard bindings, but am still having issues. Would it be possible for you to make a video, with a detailed explanation and guide to setting this up , and to post it on youtube? Thank you for your time.

    1. ptick17 Avatar

      Yes, I know that you are only posting information, and a link to Mr. Philip Merwarth’s work, but I hope he will see this, and know people appreciate his work. In addition to you, for making this a bit easier to find.

  36. Pascal Monett Avatar
    Pascal Monett

    Being an avid user of the Commander, when I migrated to Windows 7 from XP, I just had to find a working driver. I found Mr Merwarth’s awesome work, which actually managed to improve on Microsoft’s original instal (you could now use more than one button at a time) and my gaming pleasure was ensured.
    I now have a niggling issue though : while my Commander works fine on my PC, on my HP 8560 laptop, it refuses to talk to 7 Days. As if it wasn’t there.
    It works fine on Minecraft, but 7 Days can’t get a keystroke from it.
    Anyone have any ideas ?

  37. Sergio Nunes Avatar
    Sergio Nunes

    Thank You!

  38. K2 Avatar

    Glad to see this able to be used again. Dumbest thing MS ever did, but then they’ve always sucked at supporting their hardware.

    And it’s not just for gaming. I used to have loads of Photoshop macros and such loaded into it.

  39. Glendathu Avatar

    WOW !

    After years of lying in a dark cupboard, I decided yesterday to throw the SC away finally. But then, a last try asked mr. google about drivers and found your site. Tried the stratecic engine today AND IT WORKED !!!!! Amazing !

    Thanks a lot, you made an old gamer very happy !!

  40. Giancarlo Avatar

    Grazie per l’ottima scoperta. Due Pc con due strategic commander installati ora ringraziano!
    Great Job MAN!

  41. Johny Avatar

    It also works on Windows 10 64 bit ! Great tool ! Thank you !

  42. Disabled Nomad Avatar
    Disabled Nomad

    StratEngine (with vJoy) gets my MS Sidewinder Strategic Commander running again on Win10-64bit and the Strategic Commander works with things like Notepad, but not within my game (Combat Arms). It’s like it’s not even there. I get no response for controls inside the game when using the device. Sad Face.


    Hi Nicolas, my dearest savior!!!

    thank you veeeeeeery much for providing this article and download mirror because I had been searching for long (an eternity) where to download this piece of software !

    Now I’m able to use my Strategic Commander hardware on Win 10-64bits.

    Cheers buddy,

    1. John Richardson Avatar
      John Richardson

      I to have been looking for this for a very long time……finally got it and it works great but is there a manual out there for this to help explain the setup ???

  44. andy b (aka ASlordASB) Avatar
    andy b (aka ASlordASB)

    2019 and i am breaking it out again, started to suffer with rsi in my fingures from using the awd keys in xcom 2 and battletech 🙂

  45. Bob Avatar

    Huge thank you!!
    I want to use it in Fortnite 🙂
    I was using it for Medal of Honor AA a decade ago.
    Really happy to be able to use it again.
    Thanks again!!

  46. MiL Avatar

    After more then 10 years in cargo boxes, i pulled out all my sidewinder controller (sensor gamepad, dual strike, joystick, wheel) and of course the scomannder. All devices are working by simply plug them in, except the scommander. But this driver brings it to live, so thank you Philip Merwarth and also thank you Nicolas Winocur, for providing this nice peace of software.

  47. Gage Putman Avatar
    Gage Putman

    I finally found your original link for downloading the Strategic Commander software for Windows 7/10. Thank you for maintaining this website/blog! For those having issues downloading software through Chrome browser, use Internet Explorer 11. Downloads perfectly 🙂

  48. Vacsati Avatar

    Thanks, it works perfectly on win10 64bit

  49. Andreas Avatar

    Thanks1 but i have a problem.
    button 2 and 3 are tied together
    also 5 and 6
    and lower and mid side button.
    no matter what i bind them 2:/

    1. Angelo Avatar

      same problem here… any workarrounds?
      Windows 10 Pro 20H2 build 19042.804.

  50. Angelo Carvalho Avatar
    Angelo Carvalho

    ok, software is working fine… I was pressing the keyboard keys to change configure the binding (it does not work). Use the virtual keyboard in the tool and it will work.

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