Most modern PC games allow you to use an Xbox controller which gives you the superior power of a computer with the ease of use of a console controller.
You can connect an Xbox controller via Bluetooth, with a USB cable, or via a specialized dongle called a Xbox Wireless Adapter.
How to tell if your Controller is Bluetooth capable
Xbox Series X or S controllers are Bluetooth capable and can be identified with a USB-C port instead of a micro USB and a small, rectangular capture button.
Some older Xbox One gamepads are also Bluetooth capable and can be identified by the plastic surrounding the guide button, which will be the same as the face of the controller and without any seams. If the plastic around the face of the controller is the same as the bumper buttons then it is not Bluetooth capable.
Another way to check for Bluetooth capability is to look for a 3.5mm headphone jack on the bottom, which shows it is a Bluetooth capable model.
Connecting your gaming controller via Bluetooth
- Click on Start ⊞ and select Settings ⚙, or use Windows + I to quickly open Settings.
- Click Bluetooth and Devices and make sure Bluetooth is turned on.
- Turn on your Xbox controller by pressing the Xbox button, then hold the Sync button on the top of the controller until the Xbox logo begins to flash.
- On your computer, click Add Bluetooth or other device and then select Bluetooth.
- Wait until your Xbox controller appears on the list, then click on it to pair your Xbox controller to PC.
Connecting your gaming controller with a USB cable
Depending on your Controller model, you will need a USB-to-micro USB or USB-to-USB-C, however the process for connecting them will be the same.
- Plug one end of the cable into the controller and the other end into your PC.
- On your Xbox controller, press the Xbox button to switch it on.
- Allow Windows to automatically install any necessary drivers. This is only necessary the first time it is connected.
Connecting with a Xbox Wireless Adapter
If your Controller is not Bluetooth capable, you can still connect it wirelessly using an Xbox Wireless Adapter. This will also give you headset connectivity.
- Plug the Xbox Wireless Adapter into a USB port on your PC.
- On your Xbox controller, hold down the Xbox button to turn it on.
- Hold the Sync button until the logo begins to flash.
- On the Xbox Wireless Adapter, hold down the Sync button for a few seconds. When the light on the Xbox logo on your controller stops flashing and stays solid, your controller is connected.