Pairing Is Quite Simple With Bluetooth
Even though instructions on the Xbox site are pretty simple and straightforward, things can still go wrong in a variety of different. The most common occurrence of connectivity issues forms in a way where the computer simply does not recognize the controller at all. Folks who have the Windows 10 installed with the latest updates were told how the controller is now plug and play which means you should only plug it in and begin using it without the need of any other actions. However, that is not the case most of the time and there are some steps you need to take to ensure quality gaming time.
Make sure that all drivers are installed. When you connect your Xbox One controller, Windows will start looking for the drivers and downloading them immediately and the same thing can be said to all supported versions of the operating system which includes Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7. However, make sure you didnt uninstall them by mistake in your Device Manager. There you will find an item called Microsoft Xbox One controller. Expand that item on the list, right-click, select Update Driver Software, and then click Search Automatically for Updated Software.
You Can Always Play Wired Instead
Depending on your setup, playing wired may be a better option. You dont need to put any batteries inside the controller to do this, either. Its worth noting that the controller feels a bit light with an empty battery compartment, so even expired batteries might be better than nothing.
The Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S consoles use a different connector for their respective controllers, but theres a good chance you have both lying around already. These are:
- Xbox Series X|S controller: USB-C connector
- Xbox One : Micro USB connector
Xbox One Wireless Controller
The standard controller that comes with every Xbox One console also happens to be one of the best you can get for the system. The basic layout of the controller is relatively similar to the Xbox 360 controller, with offset analog sticks that work perfectly for shooters, sports games, and everything in between. The bumpers on the top have been improved since the first version of the controller was released, making them easier to press, and the triggers are wide enough for hands of any size to pull them.
Its certainly simple, but the Xbox One Wireless Controller is a workhorse. Two AA batteries can easily last for weeks, compared to the PlayStation 4s DualShock 4, which must be charged regularly. The controller also can be made into a wired controller by attaching a Micro USB cable, giving you less latency for sports or fighting games.
Important note: While this model is the standard controller for the Xbox One, Microsoft has released an updated Core version for the Series X with a more durable design, USB-C connection, and new share button. Its entirely compatible with the Xbox One and, if you are looking for an upgrade, an excellent alternative .
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Controller Is Not Synced
If you sync your controller to another device, you will need to re-sync it back to your console. To do this, turn on the Xbox One and hold down the sync button on your controller. Simultaneously, hold down the sync button on your console until the light on your controller begins to flash at a rapid pace. Once this happens, release both sync buttons. Your controller should now be connected after about five to ten seconds.
Avoid Connecting Headsets To The Controller
The Xbox One controller can accept headsets via an adapter, while the Xbox Series X|S controller comes with an in-built 3.5mm jack. These may be convenient ways of connecting your headset, but they may also significantly increase battery drain. You can avoid this by plugging your headset directly into your console where possible.
If thats not an option, consider upgrading to a wireless headset. Not only will you free yourself from wires, but youll also take the strain off your controller in terms of power consumption. Keep in mind that wireless headsets also include batteries, so thats another device that youll need to keep charged if you go this route.
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Price: Affordable And Still Official
Compared to other options on the market, the newer S controller is competitively priced and very affordable. Typically you can expect to pay around $40-50 for the base model , but theres a plethora of various versions and colors you can choose if you want to pay a bit more. For the same controller in official Xbox variations and special editions for games, the price jumps to $65-70. For the user-customized versions, the ones where you can create thousands of different color combos, youll pay $70 unless you want the NFL stuff, which is a whopping $85.
Performance/durability: Decent But Still Suffering Old Issues
Much like the original, these newer controllers perform flawlessly no matter if youre on an original Xbox One, a One S, or One X. It also works perfectly with Windows 10 devices thanks to its new Bluetooth capabilities. Overall, the performance is the same, though the S controller seems a bit quieter for buttons and a bit lighter. The battery life seems a bit worse than the original controller, but not by too much. This is likely due to the increased range on the newer One S model, which claims you can be about 40 feet away and still play, though were not sure why that would ever be the case.
Much like the original, these newer controllers perform flawlessly no matter if youre on an original Xbox One, a One S, or One X.
For durability, Microsoft didnt seem to improve much here. Its not terrible, but the same old problems seem to persist. Inevitably over time, the rubber joystick pads will wear down and become smooth. They feel excellent and grippy at first, but they wont stay that way for long if youre a heavy user. Unlike the Elite controller, you cannot swap these out when they wear down. Though we didnt personally experience the analog drift and broken bumpers , there is nothing to suggest that they wont pop up later on down the line. If you search through user reviews and experiences online, they still seem to be a problem.
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Best Xbox Controller Charging Station In 2021
BestXbox Controller Charging StationWindows Central2021
Having to use standard AA batteries all the time for your Xbox One controllers can be costly and inconvenient due to the fact batteries aren’t cheap. However, you have another option: charging stations. Charging stations can be used to recharge the controller batteries that come with them indefinitely. So all you need is a one-time purchase, and you’ll never need to worry about repurchasing more AA batteries. There’s a lot of good competition on the market for charging stations, but the Fomson Dual Charging Station is the best one overall thanks to its massive maximum playtime per charge, solidly fast charging time, and sleek appearance.
Turning Off Rumble May Help
When your Xbox controller is low on battery, rumble is automatically disabled to preserve what little power remains. You can use this principle to extend the battery life of your controller even when its fully charged. You will lose rumble entirely, which means youll get less feedback from games, potentially impacting reaction time or immersion.
To do this, go to Settings and select Ease of use on the left side of the screen. Choose Controller, then disable Turn on vibration to disable the feature entirely. Its no secret that the controller is a bit lifeless and dull with rumble disabled, but theres no doubting the fact that youll get more playtime from a single charge this way.
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Hori Fighting Commander Octa
The standard Xbox One controller is great for many games, but it struggles with 2D fighting games the default layout of the buttons and the directional pad arent ideal for the quick movements needed in the genre. To solve that, Hori made the Fighting Commander line, with the most recent Octa model perfect for both Xbox One and Series X. Its a controller that bears a remarkable resemblance to a certain Sega controller from back in the early 1990s, with D-Pad, joystick, and shoulder setups made for gaming. The Octa also is wired, which is necessary for serious fighting game events.
The configuration of the Fighting Commander is a little different than other controllers, with the RB, RT, LB, and LT buttons all located on the right side and two extra buttons included on the left side. The curved design of the back is more ergonomic than the controllers of yesteryear, but it should feel perfect for anyone who played Mortal Kombat on Genesis. The controller wont set you back much, either, costing less than all other options on our list, and its much smaller than a traditional full-sized fight stick.
Power Off Your Controller To Save Battery
The easiest way to make your controllers batteries last longer is to simply turn it off when you arent using it. You can do this manually at any point while playing a game: Press and hold the Xbox button in the middle of the controller, then choose Turn Off Controller.
If you dont touch your Xbox controller for 15 minutes, it will power off automatically. Unfortunately, theres no way to override this setting at present .
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If Youre Worried About The Rubber Wearing Off The Joysticks Consider Replacement Caps:
In essence: the most common issue you will have with your controller over time will have to do with the joysticks, and theres plenty of ways you can mitigate this
Replacement caps are a great tool to supplement the rubber your controller already comes with. You can find ones from third party retailers for the PS4 ones. As for XBOX, check out the MS store or even speak to a representative if youre having issues with your controller. They can send you the exact rubber replacements that fit your controllers joystick. Its even possible to replace the entire joystick if you know thats the issue but thats beyond the scope of this article.
You can also completely replace the Nintendo Switch Joysticks if youre having issues as well. The link in this section even comes with a repair kit so you have all the tools you need to easily replace them.
If youre getting a controller for someone you know is going to put a lot of wear and tear on a controller, then consider buying replacement rubber caps for them before you actually need them! Its an inevitable outcome that the joysticks over time will need some form of maintenance, especially if you plan to have a controller for several years to come.
Comfort: Grippy And Comfortable
The original Xbox One controller, despite having a few shortcomings, is pretty universally liked for its ergonomics and comfort. This latest version remains pretty much the same with one minor difference in this area. On the original controller, the same smooth plastic was used for the entirety of the grips construction. This time around, Microsoft has added enhanced comfort and feel with a textured plastic material on the back. While very subtle, it does make a noticeable differencethough its not nearly as big of an improvement as the Xbox One Elite controllers grips. You can get custom versions of this controller online that add better grips and rubberized finishes for additional comfort, but those also cost a bit more than this base model.
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Update Xbox One Controller Through Xbox
Xbox One controller has to be updated to the latest version of firmware before they start to operate with Windows 10. Usually, if the firmware isnt updated, the computer will not recognize the controller at all. To solve this problem, plug in the controller into an Xbox One and update the controllers firmware through that Xbox One. Afterward, plug the controller into the PC and see if the issue is resolved.
Xbox One Controller Prices
Inexpensive: If youre in need of a bunch of controllers to entertain a party of players or a large family, there are plenty of cheaper wired Xbox One controllers out there. These budget devices might lack some features like wireless play or vibration feedback, but you can pick one up for as little as $28.
Mid-range: Since your Xbox One console included at least once Xbox wireless controller, you might want to buy another for couch-side co-op with a friend or to upgrade to a design that fits your personal taste. Microsofts default Xbox One controllers range wildly in price due to the scarcity of designs and colours available, but you can easily find an Xbox wireless controller for between $45 and $70. Note that some of the most common colours like white and black are often the most affordable.
Expensive: If youre interested in buying an Xbox One controller that features advanced button mapping, additional buttons, swappable thumbsticks and D-pads, and other advanced extras, expect to spend a bit more for the experience. These premium Xbox One controllers fall in the $130 to $140 price range.
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Analysis: Long Term Support
The new features are much welcome, and again reinforce Microsofts commitment to supporting its legacy platforms this generation.
Keeping in mind that Xbox One pads are forwards-compatible with the Xbox Series X console, its now smartly made them more easily adjustable for its other big play cloud gaming. Being able to quickly switch a pad from connecting to a phone playing on the Xbox Game Pass streaming app to a console again when back at home helps Microsoft to double down on its Play Anywhere mantra seamlessly.
And while being able to control a console with a TV remote is no new thing , it at least sees Microsoft listening to its audience when it comes to the return of this much-used feature.
Gerald is the Executive Editor for TechRadar, taking care of the site’s home cinema, gaming, smart home, entertainment and audio output. He loves his gaming, but don’t expect him to play with you unless your console is hooked up to a 4K HDR screen and a 7.1 surround system. Based out of TechRadar Towers, London, Gerald was previously Editor of Gizmodo UK. He dreams of the day when he can pop on a VR headset and meet Lawnmower Man-era Pierce Brosnan. Sadly, Pierce doesn’t share the dream.
Best Xbox One Controllers
Reasons to avoid
Players seeking the ultimate in comfort and customization need look no further than the recently released Xbox Elite Wireless controller series 2. It doesnt look too dissimilar to the original Elite made available back in 2015, but it sprinkles in just enough new enhancements that it easily usurps its predecessor and makes our list of the best Xbox One controllers. It still features such appreciated elements as modular thumbsticks, D-pads, and hair-trigger locks, yet the components for all three of these has been re-engineered to help all Xbox One enthusiasts to play like a pro.
It may tout a hefty price point when compared to some of the other best Xbox One controllers featured on this list, but the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 justifies it by offering players over 30 new ways to play. Shorter hair trigger locks, for example, allows for faster shooting in competitive FPS titles, while the tension of all 6 thumbsticks included can be adjusted for enhanced aiming. Its in this minute detail where the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 impresses most, serving as a great gamepad option for most Xbox One players but really shining in these subtle areas. And if that wasnt enough, like the standard option, the Elite Series 2 works just as flawlessly on PC. Note: it’s been incredibly hard to find at MSRP lately.
Reasons to avoid
Reasons to avoid
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Keep Some Disposables Handy
Its easy to throw some alkaline AA batteries in a drawer just in case. It may seem a bit old fashioned that Microsoft still provides disposable AA batteries with each controller sold, but it provides lots of options in terms of how you power your controllers.
The alternative is Sonys approach, where each controller contains a lithium-ion battery thats not accessible without taking the gamepad apart. In the case of the DualShock 4, battery life was poor from the get-go and only declined over time as the cells began to lose capacity.
If youre buying some spare AA batteries, make sure you avoid smoke detector batteries, as those are designed for low-drain devices.
Xbox Series X Rechargeable Battery Is A Huge Step Back
I’ve generally had very complimentary things to say about the Xbox Series X controller, which I actually prefer to the PS5’s DualSense. It may be a very conservative upgrade, but it’s a very conservative upgrade of one of the best controllers ever made.
The Xbox Series X controller is comfortable, intuitive and versatile. The only negative issue is that it uses wasteful, expensive AA batteries and Microsoft’s official rechargeable battery pack, sold separately for $25, doesn’t address this problem nearly as well as it should.
Like the Xbox 360 and Xbox One controllers, the Xbox Series X/S controller uses disposable AA batteries by default rather than internal, rechargeable battery packs, such as those found in the PS3, PS4 and PS5 controllers.
Without belaboring the issue, AA batteries are both wasteful and inefficient, and I’m generally not thrilled that Microsoft has passed what is essentially an additional cost onto the consumer rather than just building it into the price of the controller.
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