How To Connect Xbox One Controller To Xbox Series X|S

It's surprisingly easy to connect an older Xbox One controller to the newer Xbox Series X and S systems.

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If you just got a new Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S, you might be in a rush to go out and buy more controllers for it. After all, game systems have almost all only come with one controller dating back to the Sega Genesis. However, even though the Series X|S follows suit, the Xbox One controller is fully compatible with both systems. You can use it not only for playing Xbox One games on the newer consoles, but also all Xbox Series X|S games, which is different from how the PS5 supports DualShock 4 controllers.

How to connect Xbox One controller to Xbox Series X|S

Xbox One controllers lack the share button in the center.
Xbox One controllers lack the share button in the center.

The controllers are so similar, in fact, that you won't see one labeled "Xbox One" or "Xbox Series X" when you purchase a new controller. Instead, they're labeled "Xbox Wireless Controller" and can be used across either generation.

Turn the controller on like you would if using it with Xbox One--press the Xbox button and it will start to flash. From there, press the pairing button on the console itself. The small, circular button is located right next to the front USB port on Xbox Series X and in a similar spot on the Series S.

Pair button location on both versions.
Pair button location on both versions.

Next, hold down the pairing button on the controller. It's located on the top of the controller near the USB port, and you'll see the Xbox button start to flash rapidly. Within a few seconds it should stay solid, meaning the controller is paired.

You can alternatively connect the controller via a USB cable (either USB-C or micro-USB, depending on the controller) to pair it with your system and reduce latency. This can be helpful if you're playing fighting or sports games, and all you have to do is connect the cable to the USB port on your controller and the system.

A small warning

One problem we've encountered in the past can make pairing a controller a headache, and it oddly has nothing to do with the controller itself. If using certain faulty external hard drives (in our case, it was a Seagate model) some of the Xbox Series X's functions will not work until it is removed. This includes pairing a controller, even if it previously worked without issue on the system. Should your controller suddenly disconnect upon startup and you're using an external drive, try unplugging it first.

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