How to Connect an Xbox Series S/X Controller to Windows

Microsoft hit another home run with the Xbox Series S/X controller. Some folks might say it’s too similar to the Xbox One’s controller, but we say if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And just like the previous generation’s controller, the new one can be used on your Windows 10 PC. If you play any PC games that benefit from a controller over a keyboard and mouse, you’ll want to use your Xbox Series S/X controller, as it is easily one of the best PC controllers available.

Connect via the USB-C Cable

Using a micro USB cable is the easiest way to use your Xbox Series S/X controller with your PC. First, plug in the USB-C cable to the charging port on the top of your Xbox Series S/X controller. Next, plug the other end (USB Type-A) into a USB port on your computer.

Xbox Controller Usbc

Windows should automatically install the correct driver needed to use your controller. If it doesn’t, it could be because the controller is asleep. Press the Xbox button to wake up the controller. This should make your Windows PC recognize the controller and download the appropriate driver. When your controller is ready to be used, the Xbox button will illuminate white.
Connecting your controller via the USB-C cable is quick and painless. That being said, you’ll have to live with being tethered to your PC during gaming sessions.

Pair Over Bluetooth for Wireless Gaming

Back in the day, Microsoft used its own proprietary wireless technology known as Xbox Wireless to connect controllers to consoles. (it’s still around – more on that later.) Fortunately, they have seen the error of their ways. The new Xbox Series S/X controllers have standard Bluetooth functionality alongside the Xbox Wireless protocol. This makes wirelessly using an Xbox Series S/X controller with your PC super easy.
Note: if you don’t have Bluetooth on your PC, this method won’t work.

Bluetooth Windows Settings

The first thing you’ll want to do is prepare your PC. Press the Start button on your Windows PC and open the “Settings” menu by clicking on the cog icon. In the Windows Settings menu, click on “Devices.” Make sure “Bluetooth & other devices” is selected in the column on the left. Next, make sure your PC’s Bluetooth is turned on by toggling the switch to the “On” position.

Xbox Controller Bluetooth

Next, switch over to your Xbox Series S/X controller. Turn on the controller by pressing the Xbox/Guide button, then press and hold the Pair button. (Refer to the image below for how the button looks.) Doing so will cause the Xbox/Guide button to blink rapidly. This indicates that the controller is now in pairing mode.

Xbox Controller Sync

Switch back to your PC and click the button labeled “Add Bluetooth or other device.” A window called “Add device” will pop up. Select “Bluetooth.” Your Windows PC will now scan for Bluetooth devices in the area. Your controller will appear as Xbox Wireless Controller. Once your controller is paired successfully, you’ll be able to use it to game on your PC wirelessly.

Use the Xbox Wireless Adapter

Xbox Controller Wireless Adapter

If your computer doesn’t have Bluetooth, then you can use the Xbox Wireless Adapter to connect your controller to your PC wirelessly. Plug the Xbox Wireless Adapter into a free USB port on your computer. Next, turn on your Xbox Series S/X controller by holding down the Xbox button, then press the Sync button to put the controller into pairing mode.
Finally, press the Sync button on the side of the Xbox Wireless Adapter. Once the Guide (Xbox) button stops blinking and turns solid, your controller is paired. The Wireless Adapter is known to have better range than standard Bluetooth and has the ability to connect up to eight controllers to your PC at once.

How to Use an Xbox Series S/X Controller with Steam

Generally speaking, regardless of how you choose to connect your Xbox Series S/X controller on your PC, it should just work. If you use Steam, you can use your Xbox Series S/X controller to play games via the Steam client – provided the controller is connected to your PC by USB-C or Bluetooth. Furthermore, you can remap the buttons to better suit your playing style.

Xbox Controller Steam

To do so, open Steam on your PC. Next, open Steam settings. Head to “Controller -> General Controller Settings.” Steam should recognize your Xbox Series S/X controller and give you the option of remapping any buttons you wish. Finally, ensure that you tick “Xbox Configuration Support,” and you’re ready to go.

Xbox Seriesx Controller

The Xbox Series S/X controller is an excellent upgrade to one of the best available. By design it is super easy to set up on a PC, so if you’re looking to ditch the mouse and keyboard, look no further than the Xbox Series S/X controller.