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The Xbox controller is just like the Playstation controller for Playstation users when maximizing their gaming experience with a PC. The PC versions of your Xbox games can be played and accomplished the same way you did on your Xbox. This is also recommended for those who find it easier to perform button or command combinations in certain genres such as fighting or racing games.
All Xbox controllers work on the PC as of today. However, there are Xbox controller models that do not work through the plug-and-play method. But this does not mean there is no way to connect them anymore.
In this article, I will provide you with all the reasons some Xbox controllers are not working when using a PC. You will also learn the proper steps needed to connect your controller to the PC without fail.
You will become more knowledgeable about connecting the controllers, and how the controllers look based on their type.
Table of Contents
Your Xbox One controller works on your PC through the means of what I call indicators for this post. These indicators vary on the scenario.
You might see it as a message on the PC, or in the form of LED lights if they are blinking or going solid and steady.
To understand more if your Xbox One controller works or not, it’s best to learn the differences between the two devices first. Here are the following:
The original Xbox One Controller does not have any wireless connection, and can only be connected via USB cable. However, the gamepads that came with the Xbox One S and higher versions have the Xbox wireless communication and Bluetooth.
The wired controller can be identified by the plastic material around the guide button. If the plastic material is the same as the material made of the bumper buttons, you have a non-Bluetooth controller.
This type of controller also has a part of it that’s not present in wireless controllers. It is the seam located somewhere between the guide button and the face area of the controller.
The very first noticeable feature that can let you identify if it’s a Bluetooth controller is that it’s less bulky at the back part. It also does not have any Xbox logo above the USB port. So if you’re looking for a wireless controller, do not choose the one that’s bulkier to the touch.
Another noticeable feature that can help you find out the wireless controllers is the lack of seam between the guide button and the face area of the controller. The plastic surrounding the guide button is also the same as the material made for the face area of the controller.
These two known types of controllers are identical because they provide the same feel to the touch when using it to play games. But if you look closer, all of their differences are right in front of your eyes.
The Xbox Series controller is the new type of controller that’s known to be more expensive than the two. However, it will never confuse you whether to choose between a wired or wireless controller. This type of controller is the best as it can provide a wired connection via USB, and Bluetooth as well.
This handy controller can easily be identified once you spot a little rectangular button between the view and menu buttons. This is the capture button of the controller, which lets you record your gameplay so then you can share it with your friends or if you want to keep a memorable moment in your favorite game.
Another unique feature found in the Xbox Series Controller is the USB Type-C port, which is known to be more adaptable than the micro-USB. It is located at the top part of the controller – the same as the old location of the micro-USB port for older models.
To determine which one works, all you have to do is to test out the device itself. Here are the indicators which show that your controller finally works on the PC:
The only way for you to find out if the wired controllers work on the PC is once Windows is done installing its driver.
Accessories available to connect to a computer such as a USC flash drive or the Xbox controller have drivers for the PC to understand the functionality of the accessories.
These drivers can be automatically installed on your PC once you plug in the actual device.
Once the PC starts installing the wired controller, it means the device is almost ready to be used. The real sign that it works on your PC is when the installation completion message comes out of your PC after a few seconds of minutes.
In the future, you only need to plug in the device every time you want to use it.
The wireless controllers have different indicators which prove that it is connected to a PC already. But these indicators will show up depending on the method that you have done so far.
Because of this, I categorized the indicators depending on the following methods used for wireless connection:
The LED light of the Xbox controller and its adapter will both blink for a while. Once it goes solid, that means you are finally connected to the PC using your wireless adapter.
The indicator for Bluetooth is very easy to identify, especially if you use other Bluetooth devices. Once the PC says that the device is already connected, you have to go ahead and use it for your favorite games.
Note: The Xbox Series controller which has the same USB and Bluetooth capability also shows all of the mentioned indicators once connected to the PC.
All you have to do is know the Xbox controller you’re using to find out if it’s working on the PC.
To make sure that you made a worthy purchase for your Xbox controller, I will tell you about the different methods to connect it to your computer as we proceed further in this article.
The steps needed to be done to connect your Xbox controller to your PC depending on the type of connection it provides. You will never find the steps very complicated to do.
To properly provide you all the steps possible for all PC-connectable Xbox controllers, here the following steps according to connection type:
When using either a micro-USB or USB-C Xbox controller, the steps are just the same:
- Attach the small end of the USB cable to the Xbox’s jack located at the bottom part of the controller’s area that’s facing the TV.
- Connect the USB’s large end to the PC’s USB jack.
- A message on your PC saying that it’s installing a driver will show up. Wait for it to finish after a few seconds.
- Once the installation is complete, you can use the device and enjoy it!
- Micro-USB controllers are cheaper than the Bluetooth Xbox controllers.
- Great for those who like to play old-school-style.
- It is good when going to serious mode because you cannot slouch that much since wires have a length limit.
- The wire’s length can hinder you from playing far from the TV. It also hinders you from being more comfortable with your playing posture such as playing while laying down.
- Some say using wires is an “old thing” nowadays.
For a Bluetooth connection to work on your PC, your PC should have a Bluetooth receiver first. There are USB receivers found in computer shops, which cost a very cheap price.
This is enough for your PC to read the Xbox controller once its Bluetooth is also on. This is what makes computers great – they can easily adapt to almost any device.
For laptops, you will never have a problem using a Bluetooth connection for the controller because Bluetooth is a built-in feature in all laptops. Here are the steps to connect via Bluetooth for both PC and laptop:
- Turn On Bluetooth on your PC.
- Press the controller connect button found near the USB port for 3 to 5 seconds.
- On your PC, go to Start Menu to find Settings. Then go to Devices > Bluetooth.
- Add the Xbox controller on the Bluetooth menu, then click Pair.
- An indicator showing the Xbox controller is connected to the PC can be seen at the Bluetooth menu.
- At last! You can now enjoy playing games on your PC with your favorite controller!
- It gives you a range that can let you play in a more comfortable posture or position of your preference.
- Bluetooth is very fast and easy to set up and connect.
- You need to buy a Bluetooth adapter for most PC models.
The PC or wireless adapter is an accessory that looks like a USB modem but has the Xbox logo on it. What made this great is that it can provide you wireless connection without Bluetooth. Here are the steps for you to do it properly:
- Plug the wireless adapter into your computer first.
- Wait for the driver for the Xbox controller to be installed. The USB connection transmits the driver installer found inside the controller. This version installs the driver from the wireless adapter.
- Press the blind button for the LED light to blink on both the controller and adapter.
- After a few minutes of blinking, it will go solid. You may enjoy playing games at this point!
- It does not need Bluetooth, which is good for PCs who don’t have a Bluetooth receiver, or when the laptop’s Bluetooth driver is not working.
- It covers a wide range like Bluetooth.
- You might need to buy the wireless adapter unless you got it along with the unit.
- Controllers that don’t have Bluetooth (or those who have Bluetooth issues on the controllers) might have to resort to using a USB cable if the wireless adapter is lost or broken.
All Xbox controllers, particularly the latest models, actually work on PC. It’s just that some types do not work in an instant.
The reason all Xbox controllers work on PC, despite the differences of each device, is because Windows can read the controller’s drivers for it to be usable for your computer.
Remember that Xbox and Windows are both owned by Microsoft! This is the reason you will have no problem using the Xbox controllers on your PC.
Technology nowadays aims for a better user experience, which is why your gaming experience can become more convenient and comfortable.