Guide: How to Connect Your Xbox One Controller to Your PC

By Sam Quirke, 18 days ago
How do you connect your Xbox One controller to your PC, tablet or laptop? As Microsoft continues to push for cross-platform capability, it's more likely than ever that players may want to play their Xbox One games on other devices — especially with the Xbox Play Anywhere games on offer that allow you to play on Xbox One or PC with the same purchase.

Here's a guide to the best ways to connect your Xbox One Controller to your PC or laptop. We'll start with the various ways you can get the Xbox One controller and PC to connect, and then we will guide you through updating the controller, syncing and troubleshooting.

Controller

How To Connect Your Xbox One Controller To Your PC or Laptop Via USB Cable

Naturally the simplest way to connect your Xbox One controller to your PC or laptop is to use a USB cable, effectively turn it into a wired controller. All Xbox One Controllers have a micro-USB port regardless of which generation you own. If your device has Windows 10 installed, simply plug a cable from the Xbox One controller to the PC and turn the controller on. If you have the latest Windows 10 updates, the PC should immediately recognise the controller and take a few moments to set it up.

If you're having trouble connecting automatically, you should head to Settings > Devices and Printers and hit "Add Device". If your PC is able to find a "Game Controller", choose to connect to it. You may need to update or configure the controller — skip ahead to Set Up Your Controller Via The Xbox Accessories App.

How To Connect Your Xbox One Controller To Your PC or Laptop Via Wireless

If you don't have the latest generation of Xbox One controller with Bluetooth and you don't want to have a wired connection, you can pick up a Xbox Wireless Adapter for Windows 10. This is a small USB stick which will then wirelessly pick up a connection to your Xbox One controller.

Here's how to pair your Xbox One controller to the Adapter. Plug the Adapter in and, if you haven't set it up before, wait for the automatic setup to take place. Push the button on the Xbox Wireless Adapter to allow it to discover the Xbox One controller. Now turn on the controller and hit the round connect button on the top of the controller. The flashing LEDs on both the Adapter and the controller will go solid once connection has been made. You may need to update or configure the controller — skip ahead to Set Up Your Controller Via The Xbox Accessories App.

How to Connect Your Xbox One Controller To Your PC or Laptop Via Bluetooth

If you have the latest Xbox One controller designs with Bluetooth functionality and a PC or laptop with Bluetooth functionality, you don't need the Xbox Wireless Adapter to connect the Xbox One controller wirelessly. All you need to do is make sure that your PC's Bluetooth connection is on — Search for "Bluetooth and other devices Settings" from your Taskbar.

In theory, you should be able to connect your Xbox One controller simply by pressing the power button, and then pressing the circular connection button on the top of the controller next to the Micro USB port. The controller's power light should flash quicker, and then "Xbox Wireless Controller" should appear in the list of devices to connect to on the "Bluetooth and other devices Settings" page.

However in our testing we struggled to get the PC to find the controller. There is a workaround — hit the + symbol next to "Add Bluetooth or other device" on the "Bluetooth and over devices Settings" page. From the screen that appears select "Bluetooth". The Xbox One controller should hopefully appear in the list after a few seconds — choose to pair to it. You will know if you were successful if the Xbox One controller power light goes solid.

You may need to update or configure the controller — skip ahead to Set Up Your Controller Via The Xbox Accessories App.

How To Work Out If Your Xbox One Controller Has Bluetooth

If you have an older model of Xbox One controller, you may not have Bluetooth functionality. There is a quick and easy way to tell if your Xbox One controller should have Bluetooth capability. If your controller's Xbox logo (the Power button) is sat directly on the face of the controller, you have a newer model and should have Bluetooth functionality. If the Power button is instead on a plastic plate that wraps around the top of the controller (including the bumpers and triggers), you have an older model which does not have Bluetooth capability. Here's an image from Microsoft Support to show you the difference — the older controller is at the top.

Microsoft Image

How To Set Up Your Controller Via the Xbox Accessories App

Once you have connected your Xbox Once controller to your PC or laptop, you may need to make some adjustments. You can use the Xbox Accessories App to do this, available via the Microsoft Store.

In the App, you will be able to create a new Profile in which you can re-map buttons, configure the X and Y axis and turn vibration on or off. You can also use Test Mode to test the responsiveness of each button on the Xbox One controller. Finally, you can also update the Xbox One controller's drivers. You must connect the Xbox One controller to the PC via USB in order to update its drivers — check the instructions above on how to do so. Of course, if you also have an Xbox One chances are your controller is already up to date via the console. The controller will update wirelessly if you have a newer Xbox One controller (one with a 3.5mm audio jack). If not, you can connect the controller to your Xbox One via a USB cable to get the latest update.


How to Re-Sync Your Xbox One Controller With Your Xbox One

Re-connecting your Xbox One controller to your Xbox One after you have finished with it on PC is very easy. You can either re-connect the controller to the Xbox One with a USB cable, or you can hit the connect button on the side of the Xbox One (the power button will flash) and then hold the same button down on the controller. Once it starts pulsing, let go of the buttons and just wait for the Xbox One and controller to pair up, and you should be good to go.

Can You Connect Your Xbox One Controller to A PC Running Windows 7 or 8.1?

You can, though we recommend upgrading to Windows 10 as soon as possible as Microsoft continue to switch off support for older Windows versions. You will need to connect the controller to older versions of Windows via USB cable — Bluetooth is not supported. The controller may not automatically update with the relevant drivers, meaning you will need to go to "Device Manager" and locate the controller to see if it needs any updates. There will be no audio from the controller on older versions of Windows, so there's no point in connecting a headset to the controller.

These are our best tips for connecting an Xbox Controller to your PC. Be sure to check out our list of Xbox Play Anywhere Games to see which Xbox One games you can start playing on your PC today.
Sam Quirke
Written by Sam Quirke
Sam has been a Newshound since 2016 and is now the Editor for both TrueAchievements and TrueTrophies. He loves gaming on all devices and in all genres. He still plays Pokémon GO with his wife.