The Xbox Wireless Gamepad isn’t limited to consoles. The controller works wirelessly with Windows 10 and Windows 11 games. How to use an Xbox gamepad on a PC.
Identify your Xbox controller
If you just bought a new Xbox gamepad, skip this paragraph. If you received one recently, you’re good there, too. The Xbox Wireless Gamepad supplied with Series S/X supports Xbox wireless and Bluetooth. Most Xbox Wireless Gamepads included Bluetooth after the original wave of Xbox One systems. Bluetooth or cable connections are available.
Original Xbox One controllers lack Bluetooth and use Xbox’s wireless protocol. This works for Xbox but not PCs. You can use one with a PC, but you need a wireless dongle.
Check the Guide button’s plastic on older Xbox One gamepads. If it’s the same plastic as the controller’s face, it’s Bluetooth. However, the Guide button has a seam between it and the controller’s face, it’s not Bluetooth. If it has a rectangular Capture button between Menu and View buttons and a USB-C port instead of micro USB, it’s a modern Xbox Series controller and has Bluetooth.
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Wired Xbox controller-PC connection
You need a cable to connect the controller to your PC. How-to:
Plug a USB-to-micro USB or USB-to-USB-C cable into the controller.
Finally! It works with Windows 10 and 11 and most PC games.
Bluetooth Xbox controller-to-PC
Bluetooth pairing is almost the same as partnering with an Xbox One or Xbox Series. Hold the Guide button, then the Pairing button for three seconds until the Guide button flashes. Pairing mode. Hold the Pairing button on the system to attach a controller. You must navigate menus to connect the controller to a Windows 10 PC. If your PC lacks Bluetooth, you’ll need a dongle. Step-by-step instructions:
To turn on the controller, press Guide.
Hold Pairing for 3 seconds until Guide flashes.
Right-click the Bluetooth icon.
“Add a Bluetooth Device.”
Select Bluetooth under “Add Bluetooth or other Device”
“Xbox Wireless Controller.” Wait until the Guide button is white and Bluetooth says it’s connected.
You can use the Xbox Wireless Gamepad with your PC to play most controller-supported games. Like Sony’s DualShock 4 and DualSense controllers, the gamepad has no headset jack. Audio isn’t sent through the jack when the controller is linked to a PC through Bluetooth.
USB adapter for Xbox controller
If you want to use your Xbox One controller with Microsoft’s wireless connection instead of Bluetooth (and receive headphone connectivity), you need an Xbox Wireless Adapter for Windows 10. It’s a USB dongle that connects to your Xbox gamepad without Bluetooth. Plug in the dongle and couple it to your controller as you would an Xbox by clicking the Pairing button on both.
This adaptor is discontinued. You can still find it online for $40 to $75, but good luck. Microsoft recommends using only one gamepad at a time with Bluetooth, but the adaptor lets you use up to eight. The adaptor enables the headset jack, with settings on the Xbox app.
Connecting Game Controllers to PC
We also have advice for connecting Nintendo Switch and PS4/5 controllers. Check out our controller guide for extra help.
Check out our favourite PC games. Read how to utilise a PS4 DualShock 4 controller on a PC if you’re a PlayStation gamer. We explain the complex process.