How to connect your Xbox controller to a PC or phone and swap back to your console


imageIf you own any wireless Xbox controller from the current or previous generation, you already have a great option for playing controller-based games on a PC or smartphone.The key to the adaptability of these controllers is their support for both the Xbox Wireless protocol and Bluetooth.After Apple rolled out iOS 14.5 with support for wireless Xbox controllers and Microsoft tested and rolled out firmware updates for the older Bluetooth-equipped Xbox One controllers and the Elite 2 (matching the functionality of newer Series X models), these controllers went from being the only de facto option for Xbox or PC gamers to one of the most versatile options for use across consoles, phones, tablets, and Windows PCs.Connecting to all these devices is simple, and even swapping back and forth between an Xbox console and a Bluetooth device is nice and easy.

Here’s how you set everything up: That’s it! It’s now really simple to connect a Bluetooth-enabled Xbox One, Elite 2, or Xbox Series X controller to different devices and swap between that device and your Xbox.With remote play and a growing number of titles available via the Xbox Cloud Gaming Beta , there are more reasons to play Xbox games away from your console — as well as, of course, PC games.

One thing you should be aware of: this quick-swap functionality only works with the last mobile device or PC that the controller connected to via Bluetooth.When you double-tap the sync button, the controller is switching between its Xbox Wireless and Bluetooth protocols.It can only be synced with one Xbox console and one Bluetooth device at a time.So if you want to quickly swap between your Xbox Series X / S and a different device, you’ll need to manually set up your controller with that new device first.

Also, since the Xbox Wireless Adapter for Windows uses the same wireless tech as Xbox consoles, it won’t let you quick-swap between those two.Update March 4th, 2022, 2:55PM ET: This article was originally published on February 9th, 2021; all the directions have been updated..

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