How To Connect Any Modern Xbox Controller To A Pc: 3 Easy Methods
Want to connect an Xbox One or Xbox Series X|S controller to your PC? Here are three different methods you can use.
Wondering how to connect an Xbox controller to your PC? While using a keyboard and mouse is superior for many video game genres, other types of games work better with a controller.
As you’d expect, connecting an Xbox controller to a Windows PC is easy since Microsoft handles both platforms. Here’s how to use your Xbox controller to play PC gamesthis works for both Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S controllers, since they’re nearly identical.
There are three ways to pair an Xbox controller to your PC. We’ll cover each method in turn.
Best Xbox Controllers With Bluetooth
As mentioned, not all controllers can connect via Bluetooth. Its important to purchase a controller that can connect directly to the PC with no issues.
Here is our list of controllers that can help you connect directly to your PC & Xbox
Below is a more in-depth detailed look at these controllers with Bluetooth technology.
How To Use An Xbox Controller On Android
Play your favorite games without touch controls.
With the release of the Xbox One S back in 2016, Microsoft started outfitting its Xbox One controllers with Bluetooth radios. While this feature was made mostly for PC gaming, you’ll be happy to know that it works extremely well with Android phones and their games.
While more appropriate controllers for mobile gaming are available, this is a nice trick to have in your back pocket. So for those wondering how to use an Xbox controller on Android, here’s how.
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Press The Pair Button
After the controller is turned on, press and hold the Pair button. This button is located on the top of the controller, close to the USB charge port.
Now that you know what this button is actually for, press and hold it for 3 seconds until the Xbox button in the middle of the controller begins to rapidly flash. This is the signal that your controller is ready to be paired.
List Of All Different Xbox One Controller Styles And Colors
ByMatt Brownlast updated 2 December 20
Since the Xbox One debut, Microsoft has launched an array of unique and stylish Xbox One controllers. While the standard issue gamepad gets the job done, designs based on franchises, patterns, and aesthetics make it easy to find one that truly expresses you. We’ve rounded up every controller available for Xbox One so far and where to find them.
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How To Pair An Xbox One Controller With Your Iphone Or Ipad
The iPhone and iPad finally feel like proper traditional game systems now that iOS and iPadOS support some Xbox One controllers and PlayStation DualShock 4 controllers. Were focusing on the Xbox One S controller in this article, so youll want to head here if you need to hook up a DualShock 4.
Unfortunately, you cant use any ol Xbox One gamepad. Youll specifically need the Bluetooth-compatible model that was made for the Xbox One S or the new $179.99 Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 , and youll need to be running iOS or iPadOS 13 or later.
If you dont want to bother looking for a number on a non-Elite controller, you can tell at a glance if your controller will work by looking for a segmented plate around the Xbox button . If your controller doesnt have one, youre probably good to go.
The face of the controller will look like a solid piece if it supports Bluetooth.
Making sure the controller works is the hardest part. Setting it up only takes a couple of seconds, and after that it should work with any game with MFi controller support.
Connect Your Bluetooth Xbox One Controller To Your Mac
From this point forward, I assume you have a Bluetooth enabled XBox One Controller.As always with Bluetooth you will have to make sure that your controller is physically relatively close to your Mac say within a 6 feet range, just to be sure. Also make sure the batteries in the controller have enough juice left, and if you have rechargeables make sure they are properly charged.
macOS version: 10.15 or newer
Pairing a Bluetooth enabled XBox One controller only works with macOS version 10.15 and newer!
Mapping Joystick Actions to Keystrokes
For a while Joystick Mapper was the go-to tool to map Joystick actions to keystrokes useful for games that do not natively support a controller. This application no longer seems to work with Catalina.
A better, and FREE alternative is Enjoyable which allows you to make your controller to keystrokes.
Heres how to do the rest:
Step 1: Make sure that your controller is powered on by pressing and holding the Xbox button .
Step 2: Put the controller in pairing mode, if the XBox button is not yet blinking, by pressing the small round button on the top/rear of the controller for about 2 or 3 seconds.
XBox One Controller Start Bluetooth Pairing
Step 3: Open the System Preferences and click the Bluetooth settings .
macOS Open Bluetooth Settings
Step 4: Enable Bluetooth, if it wasnt already.
XBox One Controller Bluetooth Pairing
And youre good to go the connection will even show you the battery status.
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Connect An Xbox Controller To Your Pc Easily
You have plenty of options for connecting an Xbox One or Xbox Series X|S controller to your PC. Whether you want to connect with a USB cable for the simplest option or prefer to connect wirelessly with Bluetooth, now you understand the available methods.
Meanwhile, a Windows PC isn’t the only device you can connect an Xbox controller to.
Connect The Xbox Controller To A Computer Through Bluetooth
There are a few steps you need to do before connecting your Xbox controller to a PC. Make sure you have updated your PC to the Windows 10-anniversary edition. If you need to update, visit here to learn how.
If needed, update your controller visit this website to learn how to update.
- Turn on your Xbox controller and hold the pairing button for 3 seconds and release.
Once youve selected and released the connect button on the controller, turn it over to your PC. Go to Settings -> Devices -> Bluetooth. Make sure Bluetooth is on and can be selected.
Once the picture above prompts your screen, hit pair, and your controller will be connected!
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Use The Xbox Wireless Adapter To Pair Xbox One Controller To Pc
Microsoft has a standard called Xbox Wireless that’s built into a few computers, though it’s likely not part of yours. So to sync your Xbox controller and PC wirelessly without Bluetooth, you’ll need to buy the Xbox Wireless Adapter.
This adapter lets you connect your Xbox controller to your PC wirelessly, through the same proprietary connection used by your Xbox console. Keep in mind that it’s not officially supported for Windows 11.
To use the wireless adapter, plug it into a USB port on your PC and let Windows install drivers. Once it’s done, press and hold the button on the adapter and you’ll see a light flash.
Next, hold the Xbox button on your controller to turn it on, then press and hold the Pair button on top of the controller. After a few seconds, the controller and adapter should see each other and connect.
From here, you can enjoy your Xbox controller on your PC wirelessly, just like using Bluetooth. We only recommend this method if you have an Xbox One controller that’s not Bluetooth-enabled, though. Otherwise, it’s better to add Bluetooth to your computer with an adapter that’s cheaper than the Xbox Wireless Adapter.
How To Connect An Xbox One Controller To Windows With Bluetooth
Michael Crider is a veteran technology journalist with a decade of experience. He spent five years writing for Android Police and his work has appeared on Digital Trends and Lifehacker. Hes covered industry events like the Consumer Electronics Show and Mobile World Congress in person. Read more…
The latest version of the Xbox controllerthe one included with the Xbox One S and the upcoming One Xincludes Bluetooth! Microsoft finally included Bluetooth along with the older proprietary Xbox wireless connection, so Windows users can hook it up without an extra dongle. Heres how to connect it to your Bluetooth-equipped laptop or desktop.
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Revised Xbox One Controller Taps Bluetooth To Work With Pcs
Getting rid of the dongle.
Microsoft is making several improvements to its Xbox One controller, our go-to gamepad for titles that aren’t as well suited for mouse and keyboard input, which will ship with the Xbox One S due out in August. One of those improvements is the addition of Bluetooth support so you can ditch the dongle when connecting it to your desktop PC or laptop.
It’s not a game changer by any means, but not having to buy a wireless dongle from Microsoft means you can save a few bucks if that’s the controller you’re after. The only caveat is if the device you’re attempting to connect it to needs to have built-in Bluetooth, but that’s pretty common these days.
Why wasn’t Bluetooth included in the original Xbox One controller? Microsoft boss Phil Spencer attempted to answer that question at E3.
“Yeah, the reason we didnt do this previouslyagain, trying to be transparent with ityou know, Bluetooth is great, one controller to one PC. Obviously in a console experience we support four or five people connecting at the same time,” Spencer explained to PC Gamer.
So uh, there you have it, or something. Spencer was a little more articulate when speaking with Larry Hryb, otherwise known as Major Nelson. He starts talking about the Xbox One S controller at the 1m:23s mark in the following video:
You’ll be able to buy the controller by itself for $60, presumably at the same time the Xbox One S comes out.
How To Connect Xbox Controller To Pc Via Usb Cable
The most straightforward way to connect your Xbox controller and PC is with a micro-USB cable or a USB-C cable . Simply plug the slim end into your Xbox controller and the other end into a USB port on your PC. Hit the Xbox button to turn the controller on, if it doesn’t do so on its own.
On Windows 10 and Windows 11, your computer should recognize the controller instantly. On earlier versions of Windows, the OS should automatically download drivers and your controller will be ready in a few moments.
When your Xbox controller is plugged into a computer, it will be powered by your PC, so the batteries will not drain. You can even remove the batteries and still use your controller over USB.
When you want to disconnect your Xbox controller from the PC, just unplug it. It may flash for a few seconds as it’s looking for other devices, but it will turn off before long. If you want to turn it off right away, press and hold the Xbox button on the controller for several seconds until the light goes out.
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What If Your Xbox Controller Wont Pair With The Pc
If youre having issues connecting your controller to your PC, please refer to the Xbox documentation found here, which has a list of FAQs to help resolve your issues.
There could be many reasons why the Xbox Controller wont pair with the PC. We recommend checking the documentation listed above and seeing if its a controller or PC issue.
One of the leading causes of bad connectivity is user error and not holding the button correctly or not having the proper controller to connect.
Be sure to follow the steps exactly as above and on the Xbox One guide to connect the controller properly.
How To Reconnect Your Xbox Controller To Your Console
Keep in mind that if your Xbox controller is already paired to an Xbox One or Series X|S console, pressing the Xbox button will turn the system on. You should still be able to pair it wirelessly using either of the methods above, but you’ll probably want to turn your console off after you do so . Trying to connect your controller to multiple devices at once will cause issues.
After you connect your Xbox controller to a PC using any method above, you’ll need to re-pair the controller with your Xbox next time you want to use it there. To do this with the wired method, connect the controller to your Xbox using a USB cable, then press the Xbox button to pair.
To pair the controller wirelessly, press the pairing button on the system. It’s to the left of the disc tray on the original Xbox One, and at the bottom-right of the front panel under the power button on the Xbox One S and Xbox One X. On Xbox Series X|S, it’s next to the USB port at the front of the system.
After hitting this button, turn on your controller by hitting the Xbox button, then hold the Pair button on the top to pair it. If you run into problems, see how to troubleshoot an Xbox controller.
Finally, remember that you can turn off your Xbox controller by holding the Xbox button for around five seconds. When the light on this button goes out, your controller is off.
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How Can I Make Sure My Xbox Controller Has Bluetooth Capability
For those looking to use their existing controllers, the easiest way to check is to look at the controller. If the area around the Xbox button is part of the same piece of plastic as the rest of the controller, it has Bluetooth. On the other hand, if your Xbox button is recessed within a separate piece of plastic, it doesn’t have Bluetooth. Reference the image below if you need help. If your controller has Bluetooth support, it should look like the bottom photo.
And if your Xbox controller has a Share button between the Menu and View buttons, it has Bluetooth support as well. These upgraded controllers were released alongside the Xbox Series S and Series X. The best thing to do for those who already own the controller is to try it out.
Now that your controller is connected, you can start playing all of your favorite games!
The Difference Between The Two Xbox Controller Types
To understand more if your Xbox One controller works or not, its best to learn the differences between the two devices first. Here are the following:
The original Xbox One Controller does not have any wireless connection, and can only be connected via USB cable. However, the gamepads that came with the Xbox One S and higher versions have the Xbox wireless communication and Bluetooth.
The wired controller can be identified by the plastic material around the guide button. If the plastic material is the same as the material made of the bumper buttons, you have a non-Bluetooth controller.
This type of controller also has a part of it thats not present in wireless controllers. It is the seam located somewhere between the guide button and the face area of the controller.
The very first noticeable feature that can let you identify if its a Bluetooth controller is that its less bulky at the back part. It also does not have any Xbox logo above the USB port. So if youre looking for a wireless controller, do not choose the one thats bulkier to the touch.
Another noticeable feature that can help you find out the wireless controllers is the lack of seam between the guide button and the face area of the controller. The plastic surrounding the guide button is also the same as the material made for the face area of the controller.
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Xbox Wireless Adapter For Windows
The Xbox Wireless Adapter for Windows is a USB-A dongle with a single button that allows computers using the Windows 10 and Windows 11 operating system to connect with Xbox controllers, headsets, and similar accessories via the proprietary Xbox Wireless protocol rather than Bluetooth. It was announced in June 2015 and began shipping in October of that year. Support for Windows 7 and 8.1 was added through new drivers in December 2015. It is equipped with a single white LED to indicate pairing and wireless connection status.
A revised version, now named the Xbox Wireless Adapter for Windows 10 was introduced in August 2017 with a smaller size, reducing potential physical interference with adjacent USB ports. As noted by its name, the revised Model 1790 drops support for Windows 7 and 8.1.
List Of Xbox Wireless Controller Variants
This page lists all first-party Xbox Wireless controllers that have been designed for Xbox One consoles and Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles. All controllers on this page are compatible with each console generation. This page contains every controller available through standard retail as well as some that were given away through contests or made specifically for employees of certain studios.
Four different models of the Xbox Wireless controller have been released since its first inception with the launch of the Xbox One in 2013. Each controller has been listed under its corresponding “generation”.
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