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The preferred method of play for shooter and strategy games is to use a computer mouse and keyboard. However, there are a few instances where having a controller is ideal. Titles such as Immortals Fenyx Rising and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, although playable with a keyboard and mouse, are more intuitive with an Xbox controller. To help, we’ll walk you through connecting your Xbox One controller to your PC so you can play Xbox games on Windows.
Luckily, Xbox is a Microsoft product, which makes it possible for a Windows computer to support an Xbox One controller without too much of a struggle. The plug-and-play support makes it easy to connect your Xbox One controller and get started with little to no additional configuration. It’s one of the best controllers for PC gaming, and with the launch of the Xbox Series X, you can snag one for cheap.
How to connect an Xbox One controller to a Windows PC
To help you play all of your favorite PC games with your favorite Xbox One controller, we’ve put together this simple step-by-step walkthrough. Before we begin, you should know that there are three ways to do this: USB, wireless, or Bluetooth. You should also make sure your controller is updated with the latest Firmware.
You might also like How to connect a PS4 controller to a PC
and How to connect Nintendo Switch controllers to a PC
How to connect your Xbox One controller using USB
Step 1: Use a micro USB cable to connect your Xbox One controller to your PC. If you have a wireless controller, simply use your charging cable. If you have a wired controller, you can just plug it in like you would with your console.
Operating system-specific limitations
Windows 10: You can have eight controllers connected at once. With chat headsets connected, that number decreases to four, and with stereo headsets, it drops to two.
Windows 7/8: You can only connect four controllers at once. No headset support.
How to connect your Xbox One controller with a wireless adapter
- Step 1: Purchase the Xbox Wireless Adapter ($25).
- Step 2: Connect Xbox Wireless Adapter to an open USB port on your PC. Complete the setup process for the adapter as outlined here.
- Step 3: Press the Guide button (Xbox logo) on your controller to turn it on.
- Step 4: Press and hold the sync button on top of the controller until the Xbox logo begins flashing (it’s the small button just right of LB).
- Step 5: Press and hold the small sync button on the adapter. The Guide button will flash faster while searching for the pair. Once the Xbox logo on the controller stops flashing and turns solid, you’re good to go.
How to connect your Xbox One controller using Bluetooth
Some Xbox One controllers have built-in Bluetooth compatibility, so you don’t need any wires to connect. To find out if you can access Bluetooth, look at the logo. This is going to sound random and specific, but on Xbox controllers with Bluetooth, the plastic around the logo will connect to the central controller body. Yes, that’s the way to tell. If this isn’t the case, we’re very sorry, but you’re out of luck. The good news is that the Xbox One S comes with Bluetooth-compatible controllers, and the two are sold together. A good rule of thumb is that if you bought your controller in August 2016 or later, it probably has Bluetooth functionality. Check out the images below as an example.
- Step 1: Go to Settings on your PC and select Devices.
- Step 2: Select the Bluetooth settings option to ensure that your Bluetooth is switched on. Remain on this menu.
- Step 3: Push and hold the Guide button and then the sync button on your controller. You should see the logo start to blink very fast.
- Step 4: On your PC, select Add Bluetooth or other device, and click Bluetooth. Doing this instructs your PC to search for your controller.
- Step 5: After your PC finds your controller and it pops up, choose Xbox Wireless Controller to complete the pairing process.
Using the Xbox Accessories app
So you’ve connected your controller, and you’re ready to get gaming. But before you start, you may want to customize your controller through the Xbox Accessories app. You can find this app through the Microsoft Store. It lets you remap buttons, switch out thumbsticks, and so much more. Those who own the heavy-duty Xbox Elite Series 2 controller can also manage all their profiles within the app. Probably the most important part is the ability to update the firmware on your controller. Firmware updates result in a variety of improvements and support for other peripherals. If you notice an update is available, make sure you connect your Xbox One controller with a USB cable. Although our team has never run into any issues, some user reports recommend bricking your controller when updating wirelessly.