Floating wind turbines offer a feasible solution for going further offshore into deeper waters. However, using a floating platform introduces additional motions that must be taken into account in the design stage. Therefore, the control system becomes an important component in controlling these motions. Several controllers have been developed specifically for floating wind turbines. Some controllers were designed to avoid structural resonance, while others were used to regulate rotor speed and platform pitching. The development of a periodic state space controller that utilizes individual blade pitching to improve power output and reduce platform motions in above rated wind speed region is presented. Individual blade pitching creates asymmetric aerodynamic loads in addition to the symmetric loads created by collective blade pitching to increase the platform restoring moments. Simulation results using a high-fidelity non-linear turbine model show that the individual blade pitch controller reduces power fluctuations, platform rolling rate and platform pitching rate by 44%, 39% and 43%, respectively, relative to a baseline controller (gain scheduled proportional–integral blade pitch controller) developed specifically for floating wind turbine systems. Turbine fatigue loads were also reduced; tower side–side fatigue loads were reduced by 39%. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.