The latest version of the Xbox controller—the one included with the Xbox One S and the upcoming One X—includes Bluetooth! Microsoft finally included Bluetooth along with the older proprietary Xbox wireless connection, so Windows users can hook it up without an extra dongle. Here’s how to connect it to your Bluetooth-equipped laptop or desktop.
What You’ll Need
First of all, you need to see if your Xbox One controller is the updated kind or the older one that needs a dongle. There’s an easy way to tell: the newer design has its central “Xbox button” molded into the same plastic piece as the face buttons (like A, B, X, and Y). The older design molds that button into the plastic on the top of the controller, the same part that has the shoulder buttons and triggers. To put it simply, the new version has Bluetooth, the old version doesn’t.
You’ll also need a PC running Windows 10, with at least the Anniversary Update (August, 2016). And of course, you’ll also need Bluetooth. If you’ve bought a laptop in the last five years or so it’s almost certainly capable, but many desktops (if they don’t include a Wi-Fi card) don’t have it installed by default. In that case, you’ll need a USB Bluetooth dongle. And sure, it’s still a dongle, but at least it’s useful for more than just an Xbox controller.
Connect the Controller
Connecting the controller to Bluetooth is fairly simple. We’re using a Windows desktop because it’s one of the only things that the controller is explicitly designed to work with. You can connect it to other things, like an Android phone, but the proprietary layout means it probably won’t work for any actual gaming.
To begin, make sure there’s nothing else turned on in the room that might interfere with the connection—like an Xbox One console or an Xbox Windows adapter dongle. Turn the controller on by pressing the center Xbox button, then press and hold the wireless connection button on the top of the controller, to the left of the charging port. The light in the Xbox button should begin flashing rapidly.
On your computer, open the “Bluetooth and other devices” page from the main Settings menu, or just click the Start button and type “Bluetooth” to find the link quickly. Click “Add Bluetooth or other device,” then click “Bluetooth” again.
Select your controller from the list, and then click it. It should connect automatically. Now you’re ready to start playing any game compatible with the standard Xbox controller input.