How to Connect Xbox Controller to Xbox in 5 Steps, With Photos

Xbox Games with Gold

How to Connect Xbox Controller to Xbox in 5 Steps, With Photos

New Xbox consoles come with standard wireless controllers. Right out of the box, you can pair the controller by hitting the Xbox button. If you’re buying your first Xbox, you will need to know how to pair a new controller. The Xbox One and Xbox Series consoles use the same controllers, meaning you can swap between the two.

This cross-compatibility allows you to bring old and new controllers together for a multiplayer experience. Microsoft also made it easy to connect wireless controllers to the Xbox consoles. Below we will show you how to connect Xbox controller with an Xbox console. Additionally, we will look at a built-in feature that allows you to swap between an Xbox and another Bluetooth device.

Step 1: Turn on the Xbox Console

The first thing you need to do to connect an Xbox controller to the console is to turn the console on. You can do this with a controller already paired or with the power button on the front of the console.

Press the power button to switch on the console.


Step 2: Turn on the Xbox Controller

After the console is powered on, turn on the controller you want to pair. Before you do that, go ahead and insert batteries if you haven’t done so. Then, press the Xbox button on the top of the controller to power it on.

Press the power button to turn on the controller.


Step 3: Press the Pair Button on the Xbox

With the controller and Xbox powered on, it is time to pair the console. To do this, you need to locate the small pairing button on the console. On the Xbox Series consoles and newer Xbox Ones, the button will be on the front, but on the older Xbox One, it is on the side. When you find it, press the button briefly.

Xbox pairing button is typically on the front, but in older models, at the side.


Step 4: Press and Hold the Pair Button on the Controller

Now that the Xbox is looking for a controller, you need to go over to the powered-on controller and activate its pairing mode. Simply press and hold the pairing button on the back of the controller near the USB port.

Hold the button until the light in the Xbox button starts flashing.


Step 5: Start Playing

Jump into your favorite Xbox game.


The controller will flash a few more times before staying lit up. Once you connect Xbox Controller to the console, you can proceed to launch a game and start playing. Don’t forget to power all your controllers if playing a multiplayer game.

For an easy walkthrough of these steps, you can also check out this video:

Getting the Right Controller

Surprisingly, not all Xbox controllers are made equal. If you are concerned about whether your controller will work or not with a console, don’t worry. All the newer controllers for the Xbox One and Series consoles are completely interchangeable. This also includes the Xbox Elite controllers.

However, the older Xbox 360 controllers are not compatible with the Xbox One or Series consoles. With that in mind, there are some differences between the Xbox One, Series, and Elite controllers. The Xbox One’s are the most basic, while the Series controller adds rumble motors in the triggers. The Elite controllers are the most advanced, with swappable controls and extra buttons.

Using Xbox Controller on Other Devices

One of the great features of the Xbox controller is that it can be used on many different devices. Besides working on both the Xbox One and Series consoles, your Xbox controller will also work on computers as well as mobile phones. The only thing it requires is a Bluetooth connection. To connect your controller to one of these devices, you need to simply hold the pair button and select it on your device.

Quick Switch

Some people think connecting their Xbox controllers to a computer will be a hassle when switching back to an Xbox. Fortunately, you don’t have to go through the pairing process over again, though. The Xbox controller has a quick switch function. Simply double-tap the pairing button to switch between your computer and Xbox.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many controllers can you connect to an Xbox?

The Xbox One and Series consoles can connect up to eight controllers at a time.

Are Xbox One and Series controllers the same?

No, the controllers that come with the Xbox One and Series consoles are slightly different. For instance, the Series controllers have rumble motors in the RT and LT buttons.

Does the Xbox controller work with other devices?

Yes, you can connect your Xbox controller to other devices like a phone or PC using Bluetooth.

What is the Xbox Elite controller?

The Elite controller is a higher-end option that you must purchase by itself. The benefit is that the buttons are customizable.

Can you use Xbox One and Series controllers interchangably?

Yes, although the controllers are slightly different, you can use Xbox One controllers on Series consoles and Series controllers on the Xbox One consoles.

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