How to Connect Xbox Controller to PC – Overview
If you’d like to use a controller, the Xbox gamepad is the most convenient. The Xbox controller gives you a dead easy plug-and-play experience and functionality, making it the obvious choice. After all, it’s one of the best gaming controllers out there.
Learning how to connect an Xbox controller to a computer gives you the best of both worlds. You get the unrivaled power of a gaming rig alongside the more available control scheme that you get with a console controller.
Fortunately, Microsoft has made its console controller compatible with Windows OS. What’s more, they have simplified the pairing process by giving you a host of options.
That said, let’s look at the various ways of hooking up an Xbox controller to a computer, including using Bluetooth, the wireless Xbox PC adapter, and a USB cable.
Connect Xbox Controller to PC using the Wireless Adapter
Connecting an Xbox controller to a PC using an adapter is almost as easy as connecting it with a USB cable. It’s basically the same process of connecting the gamepad to the Xbox console.
- Start by acquiring the Xbox wireless adapter.
- Next, connect it to a vacant USB port on your PC.
- Press the controller’s Xbox logo (guide switch) to turn it on.
- Press and hold the Sync switch until the guide button starts to flash rapidly. The guide button will flash faster when searching for a discoverable device. Once the logo on the guide button stops flashing and the light becomes solid, you’re good to go.
Connect Xbox Controller to PC via Bluetooth
If you’d rather avoid the cable mess and ensure the Xbox controller lives up to the hype, you can connect it to your Windows computer using Bluetooth connectivity. The Bluetooth connection process is relatively simple, and it’s as follows:
- Start by clicking on the Start menu on your computer.
- Next, click on the gear icon to launch ‘Settings.’
- Inside the settings, the app clicks on ‘Devices.’
- Inside the ‘Devices’ tab, head to the ‘Bluetooth and Other Devices.’
- Now a window labeled ‘Add a Device’ will appear.
- Click on ‘Bluetooth.’
- Next, put your Xbox gamepad in pairing mode. To do this, you need to power up the controller by pressing and holding the Xbox logo (guide button).
- Now the Xbox logo will light up, then press and hold the pairing button for a couple of seconds until the Xbox logo starts to blink rapidly.
- In the ‘Add a Device’ tab, click on the ‘Xbox Wireless Controller’ when it appears.
- Finally, click on ‘Done’ to complete the Bluetooth pairing process.
Connect Xbox Controller to PC via USB Cable
Before we detail the step-by-step process, it’s vital to note that this method of connecting an Xbox gamepad to a computer differs slightly depending on the Xbox gamepad you have Xbox Adaptive, Xbox Elite Series 2, and Xbox Series X gamepads require a USB Type C cable while the older Xbox one controller uses a Micro USB cable.
- Start by connecting the USB cable to your computer and Xbox controller.
- Now that you’ve established a link between your Xbox controller and computer, press the Xbox logo (guide button) to switch on the gamepad.
- Allow Windows to install the required drivers. This should only take a couple of minutes, and your controller will be linked to your PC. The next time you connect your controller to your computer, you won’t go through this step because the setup has been done.
Connect Xbox Controller to PC Using Internal Wireless Adapter
- The Xbox controller has an internal wireless adapter that you can use to pair the gamepad to a computer wirelessly. The process is relatively easy, and it’s as follows
- Turn on your Xbox wireless gamepad.
- Press and hold the Bind and Xbox switches on the gamepad for about three seconds.
- Hold until the light inside the Xbox logo starts to flicker rapidly.
- Switch on your computer and open the ‘Settings’ application
- Then click on ‘Devices.’
- Then click on ‘Bluetooth or Other Device.’
- Next, click on the ‘Bluetooth or Everything Else’ option.
- Click on ‘Xbox Elite Wireless Controller’ or’ Xbox Wireless Controller’ depending on which one you have. Windows will set up the controller, and you can begin using it.
Note: The biggest challenge you’ll encounter after connecting an Xbox controller to a computer is getting specific games to function with the controller but hopefully this can be fixed with software updates from Microsoft and various game developers.
Now you know the various ways you can use to hook up your Xbox controller to your PC. However, the method you use will depend on the Xbox controller you have. What’s more, you will take a couple of additional steps to switch off your controller once you’re done playing.