There are two ways of pairing a controller with an Xbox console. Xbox One and Xbox Series controllers are compatible with both generations of consoles, which means you can use your old controllers on your new console (and vice versa).
pair a controller with a usb cable
The easiest way to pair a controller is to use a usb cable. Make sure your console is turned on, then connect one end of the cable to your controller and the other to your console’s USB-A port. turn on the controller by holding the xbox button on the front and it should pair with the console instantly.
if the controller has an aa or rechargeable battery (which still has a charge), you can now remove the usb cable and use the controller wirelessly. If it has no battery or the charge has run out, you need to keep the usb cable connected to power the controller.
Once your controller is paired, you can charge it using another USB device like a portable battery or wall adapter, which may be more convenient if you haven’t got a sufficiently long USB cable.
An x-series or s-series xbox controller connects using a usb-c connection, while the original xbox one controller uses a mini-usb. xbox series x comes with a compatible usb cable in the box, but xbox one owners may need to purchase a play and charge kit.
pair a controller via bluetooth
If you can’t find a usb cable and you have a controller that powers up (with a battery), you can always pair via bluetooth. First, turn on your console and wait for it to boot up. then turn on the controller by pressing and holding the xbox button on the front.
now look for the pairing button on your console. On an Xbox Series X and Series S, this button is located next to the USB-A port on the front of the console.
On the Xbox One X and One S, the button is located on the right-hand side of the console near the Xbox button.
On the original Xbox One console, the button is located on the left edge of the console, around the corner near the optical disc slot.
Press this button and the Xbox will enter pairing mode. Now press and hold the pairing button on your Xbox wireless controller, located along the top edge of the controller.
The Xbox button will flash to signify it is in pairing mode, then it should pair with the nearby Xbox console.
xbox emulators, game pass and more
xbox series x and series s can play arcade and retro games when you install an emulator, play game pass titles with an active subscription, make use of xbox cloud gaming, and is packed with features like auto hdr and fps boost to give old titles a new lease on life.
related: what is xbox game pass and is it worth it?