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Easy Steps For Connecting An Xbox One Controller To a PC

The Xbox controller layout has become virtual by default for PC gaming. If you connect an Xbox controller to your computer, most modern games will support it natively, automatically changing the interface to work with the Xbox buttons and controls.

However, it is not always entirely clear how you actually need to connect your Xbox One controller to your Windows PC. So we’re going to show you exactly how to do this, as well as some interesting additional information about your shiny Xbox One controller and how you can do more with it than just play video games on your PC or Xbox One

Before you begin, select your console

The exact steps you need to follow to connect your Xbox One controller to your PC depend on your controller version.

First of all, do you really have an Xbox One controller? The Xbox 360 controller is compatible with all of the same PC games as they use the same xinput programming interface. The buttons and controls are identical.

However, a dedicated USB receiver is required for Xbox 360 controllers to work with a PC. So, if your controller looks like this:

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Then you need to buy one of them:

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Then just follow the instructions in the box, which essentially tells you to connect the receiver, and then press the two connect buttons on the controller and receiver respectively.

We’re not going to talk about the old Xbox 360 controller, however. It’s about starting the game with the shiny new controller released with the Xbox One

There are two versions of this controller. Older versions that came with the original Xbox One models use Microsoft’s non-standard wireless signal system. This means that you cannot connect it directly to a PC. Instead, you will have to buy one of these keys for Windows.

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The newer version of the controller that ships with modern Xbox One consoles uses plain old Bluetooth. You can connect these Xbox One controllers to your computer at no additional cost.

You can easily tell these controllers apart by looking at the area around the Xbox Guide button. On Bluetooth models, the plastic around the Xbox button matches the bezel of the controller. On the older model, this is the part of the dashboard that houses the bumpers and escapements. This is what an Xbox One Bluetooth controller looks like:

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Windows 10 Update

Make sure your copy of Windows is up to date. Not only is this good for safety and performance in general, but it is also sometimes the reason devices like Xbox controllers don’t work as expected. So eliminate this possibility right away.

Use a USB cable

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The easiest way to use an Xbox One controller (any model) with a Windows PC is to simply connect it to your computer via USB. It uses a standard micro-USB connection, so you can just use your old cable to charge your phone if you need to.

While a wireless connection makes sense in setting up a living room, most of us sit close enough to our gaming computers that a wired connection doesn’t pose any problem. Best of all, you don’t need batteries in your controller for this. It’s literally plug and play.

Connect an Xbox (Bluetooth) controller to a Windows PC

Connecting a Bluetooth-enabled Xbox One controller to a Windows 10 PC works much the same as most Bluetooth devices, with one or two oddities to avoid.

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This is it!

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Drivers for the controller are included with Windows 10, so you are ready to play any compatible game.

Connect an Xbox controller (not Bluetooth enabled) to a Windows PC using a dongle

If you have one of the older non-Bluetooth controllers, you’ll need a wireless adapter to work with Windows.

There are actually several good benefits to this. First, you can connect up to eight Xbox One controllers to the wireless panel. Even two controllers via Bluetooth can be a problem, depending on the specific adapter.

What’s more, if you are using a Bluetooth connection, you cannot use accessories like a headset or chat with your controller on Windows. The wireless adapter allows it all. Most people won’t need these features on a PC, but it’s good to know.

To connect a controller using a wireless adapter in Windows 10, do the following:

The indicator on the controller and adapter should be off, which means they are connected to each other. This is it! You are ready to go as Windows 10 already has drivers installed.

Connect Xbox One Controller to Mac

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Unlike Windows 10, macOS doesn’t have native support for the Xbox One controller. However, there are several ways to work around this, although there is no guarantee that everything will run smoothly.

You need to install this third party controller driver in order to use old 360 controllers or new Xbox One with macOS. At the time of this writing, wireless was an alpha feature not intended for mainstream use. This effectively means that you need to connect the controller using a USB cable.

Fortunately, that’s all. The above program creates an entry in System Preferences called “Xbox 360 Controllers”. Just open it to set up the control once connected.

Other devices that work with the Xbox One Bluetooth Controller

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The Xbox controller is becoming a standard device even after Xbox One and Windows! IOS recently got native support for Xbox One and PS4 controllers, which means you can play any of the hundreds of controller-enabled games in the app store using one of the best controllers on the market.

Likewise, many Android games and game emulation apps work great with an Xbox One controller connected via Bluetooth. In both cases, the controller is paired with the mobile device like any other Bluetooth device.

Even some smart TVs support the Xbox One controller. Samsung TVs that support the Steam Remote Play app can use the controller via Bluetooth (if the TV has one) or via a wired USB connection. We actually tested this with a Samsung Smart TV over a wired USB port and were able to stream Grand Theft Auto V over the LAN from the gaming PC.

You should now know everything there is to connect your Xbox One controller to your Windows 10 PC, and more.

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