Connecting your Xbox controller to a PC or phone and how to quick-swap – The Verge
If you have a current or previous generation xbox wireless controller, you already have a great option for playing controller-based games on a pc or smartphone. The key to the adaptability of these controllers is their support for both the Xbox wireless protocol and Bluetooth. after apple released ios 14.5 with support for wireless xbox controllers and microsoft tested and released firmware updates for older bluetooth equipped xbox one controllers and elite 2 (matching the functionality of newer x series models) , these controllers went from being the de facto only option for xbox or pc gamers to one of the most versatile options for use on consoles, phones, tablets and windows pc.
Connecting to all of these devices is simple, and even switching between an xbox console and a bluetooth device is easy and enjoyable.
This is how you set everything up:
- First, you need to pair your xbox series x, xbox one, or elite 2 controller with your phone or computer. You can always play wired on a PC via USB cable, but we are here to use the full capabilities of your wireless controller. Activate wireless pairing on your controller by pressing and holding the sync button on the back, which is just above the USB-C port on the X Series Gamepad. after a couple of seconds the xbox logo on the front of the controller will flash rapidly.
- Then, follow the usual Bluetooth pairing process on the device you’re trying to sync with the controller and look for the controller in the Bluetooth settings menu. For example, on iOS 15, my Xbox Series X controller instantly appeared as “Xbox Wireless Controller,” followed by a four-digit number. Once I tapped it, the name auto-filled with a longer sequence of numbers and letters, and it prompted me to pair it. I then selected the controller to pair it. Over on Windows 10 / 11 PCs, be sure to click on “Add new device” under Bluetooth and Devices.
- Once the controller is connected to your new device via Bluetooth, the white Xbox logo should go solid, and you can jump right into some games!
- To swap your controller back to your Xbox Series X / S console again, double-tap the sync button. The Xbox logo will flash slowly, and the controller should reconnect with your console.
- To switch the controller back from the Xbox to the Bluetooth device, double-tap the sync button once more. The Xbox logo again flashes slowly, and then it reconnects to your device.
that’s it! Now it’s really easy to connect an Xbox One, Elite 2, or Xbox Series X controller with Bluetooth to different devices and swap between that device and your Xbox. With remote play and an ever-increasing number of titles available through the Xbox Cloud Gaming Beta, there are more reasons to play Xbox games outside of your console, as well as, of course, computer games.
something to note: this quick swap functionality only works with the last mobile device or pc the controller was connected to via bluetooth. When you double-tap the sync button, the controller switches between Xbox Wireless and Bluetooth protocols. It can only be synced with one Xbox console and one Bluetooth device at a time. So if you want to quickly switch between your Xbox Series X/S and a different device, you’ll need to manually configure your controller with that new device first.
Also, since the xbox wireless adapter for windows uses the same wireless technology as xbox consoles, it won’t allow you to quickly switch between those two.
Update March 4, 2022 2:55 PM: This article was originally published on February 9, 2021; all addresses have been updated.