How to use an XBOX controller with PC

How to use a XBOX controller with PC

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The XBOX controller range are widely considered to be the most ergonomic controller pads available in today’s market and are becoming more versatile by the day. With many games not lending themselves to keyboard and mouse (think driving games and combat games) you’ll be happy to hear that you can actually pair your XBOX controller with your PC with minimal fuss. In the following article we will touch on all XBOX controllers (one S, one and XBOX 360) which are compatible with PC games and talk you through how to pair them up for instant usage. But first, let’s discuss the newer additions.

Do I have a XBOX one or one S controller?

You’re probably sat reading this now thinking, why does it matter? They’re both wireless, right? Well to cut a long story short the XBOX one S has integrated bluetooth support which makes pairing it with your laptop or PC much easier. Whereas the XBOX one and 360, which are still wireless, require a dongle to be compatible.

So, how do I tell? Ok so let’s use what Microsoft published on their website to distinguish between XBOX one S and XBOX one. On your controller locate the XBOX button, then pay particular attention to the plastic that surrounds the button. If the plastic around the button is a part of one solid piece that makes up the entire front plate then you have an XBOX one S controller. And life is good. However if the plastic that surrounds the XBOX button is not a part of the front face and is 2 individual pieces of material, then you have an XBOX one controller. Which is still great but will require you purchasing a dongle for compatibility.

How do I pair my XBOX one S controller to my PC ?

So, now the annoying stuff is out of the way, let’s get your controller paired up! Now the good news is pairing your controller with your PC is almost as easy as pairing it to your XBOX so do not fear.

Follow these step-by-step instructions to pair your controller:

1.Firstly, make sure your windows 10 has the anniversary update installed and also make sure your controller is up to date via windows as well. (You can check this by going to Windows Update)

Step 1 - Xbox controller guide

2. Start by pressing and holding the XBOX button to switch the controller on

3. Once your controller is switched on, open up Windows settings. You can do this by typing ‘Settings’ in the Windows search bar at the bottom left. Once in settings, click Devices.

Step 2 - Xbox controller guide

4. Once in devices select Bluetooth and other devices

Step 4 - Xbox controller guide

5. Now select the Add bluetooth or other device

Step 3 - Xbox controller guide Step 5 - Xbox controller guide

6. When inside the Add bluetooth or other device window select everything else

7. Your XBOX one s controller should be one of the options

8. Select and pair the control to your PC

And that’s all there is to it, your controller is now paired and can be used with any game that supports a controller. One downside of the controller is that it doesn’t support your xbox headset so you will have to use an alternative one which is plugged into the jacks. But apart from this it’s as good as playing your XBOX!

XBOX one & 360

If, like many, you own an XBOX one or 360 controller then don’t worry, the above isn’t completely irrelevant. The process is actually the same however you will first have to purchase an XBOX wireless adapter for windows. This is a USB dongle which sits in your computer and gives your XBOX controller the ability to connect to the PC via it. The process of pairing the device to your PC is actually the exact same as above and it comes with some neat advantages. Take its ability to house up to 8 controllers at once for example. Further to this you can use your xbox headset along side your controller and alter the settings via the windows Xbox app. For around $30 we feel it’s certainly a viable option over buying a whole new controller. Once you have plugged in your newly purchased XBOX wireless adapter you’re going to want to make sure that it’s fully up to date where drivers are concerned. Don’t worry it’s a fairly simple task. Just go to the Microsoft XBOX support website and search either XBOX one or 360 PC drivers. Install and you’re away. Just follow the above steps once you’ve done this to complete the installation.

Can I just use the wire?

A lot of people will want to skip the wireless setup altogether and just plug it straight in via it’s wire, which is an option Windows and XBOX catered for long ago. All you need is any standard micro USB – USB cable, plug one end in the computer and one end in the controller and you’re away. You wont need to download any updates, drivers and apps. However the wired route doesn’t give you the flexibility of a wireless setup so we would always lean towards wireless.

So whether its wired, wireless or bluetooth, it’s always good to know that pairing and using your XBOX controller with a PC can be done with minimal ease.


So in conclusion, pairing your controller to your PC is an extremely simple process to do. It makes life a hell of a lot easier in certain games but it also gives console gamers the ability to switch over to PC without having to get used to keyboard and mouse.