Using a joypad to play with your smartphone or tablet can certainly improve the gaming experience, especially with those titles most downloaded on the Android Play Store or the iOS/iPadOS App Store. It is not difficult to find controllers for smartphones, some of which are also quite cheap, but those who own an Xbox console already have a solution “at home” and are ready to use.
Starting in 2016, Microsoft has included Bluetooth technology in its joypads, thus admitting the possibility of associating the latter with devices other than consoles, such as smartphones, tablets, computers, and smart TVs.
Taking advantage of this function, gamers will be able to associate an Xbox controller on Android or iOS, with a very simple procedure, considering that many games for Android and iOS work perfectly with Microsoft’s joypad.
Without further ado, let’s see how to do it.
However, we would like to point out right away that this procedure unfortunately does not involve the old Xbox 360 controllers, as they are not equipped with Bluetooth technology.
Pair Xbox controllers on mobile or tablet: requirements
The first thing to do is to check for Bluetooth technology on your Xbox controller. As we finished saying earlier, this feature is not present on the older Xbox 360 joypads, but more specifically involves the Xbox One S and One X consoles. Therefore, even the first Xbox One controllers are not equipped with Bluetooth technology.
As shown in the image above, the aesthetics of the joypads are also particularly significant to help us solve any doubts. The Xbox controllers with Bluetooth are characterized by an important element: the Xbox button in the center is set in the same plastic area as the controller (the second joypad in the image above).
Conversely, Xbox controllers without Bluetooth are those that have the Xbox button in a separate area, as specified in the first joypad of the same comparison image.
As for the requirements to be met on smartphones and tablets, these depend on the operating system in use. In particular:
- If it is an Android operating system, the device must run Android 5.0 and higher (therefore, we can say that it is rather wide compatibility)
- On iPhone and iPad, however, you need to have iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 or later versions installed
How to pair Xbox controllers on Android
Having made the necessary checks, let’s now see how to associate Xbox controllers with Android. The first thing to do is to first retrieve the Xbox controller and turn it on, holding down the Xbox button in the center. Now locate the sync button (“Pair“) located at the top left of the joypad and hold it down for a few seconds (usually three seconds) until it starts flashing.
Bring the controller close to the smartphone or tablet with the “green robot” on board, as Bluetooth has a limited range.
Now move to the mobile device (smartphone or tablet), unlock it if it has an authentication method (fingerprint reader or face recognition) and opens the Settings app, then enters the menu dedicated to Bluetooth.
The steps, mind you, may vary depending on the graphical interface of the device: however, these options are generally found at the top of the Settings app.
Alternatively, from the main screen of the smartphone or tablet, lower the notification curtain with a swipe from top to bottom and press and hold the Bluetooth icon (which is generally located next to the Wi-Fi one), to enter the relevant settings directly.
NB: A simple short press on the icon is not enough, it will only serve to quickly activate or deactivate Bluetooth. Rather, you need to press and hold on to the Bluetooth symbol to enter the settings.
Activate Bluetooth now. You should see, at this point, among the Bluetooth devices nearby, identified with the words ” Xbox Wireless Controller “. If you do not find it, click on the ” Scan ” button to start a new search.
Once the Android device has identified the Xbox controller, click on it to start the pairing procedure.
Wait for both devices to communicate with each other via Bluetooth. Hopefully, the Xbox button on the Xbox controller will stop blinking and the ” Xbox Wireless Controller ” device will finally appear as a paired device.
Now you can enjoy your favorite games on the Play Store directly with the Microsoft joypad.
How to pair Xbox controllers on iOS
Let’s see now how to pair the Xbox controller on the iPhone or another Apple device, such as an iPad.
First turn on the Xbox Wireless Controller by pressing the Xbox button, then turn off the joypad and press and hold the ” Pair ” button (located at the top left) for three seconds: the Xbox button will start blinking.
Now move to the iPhone or iPad and take the joypad with you. Unlock the device with any authentication method set (Touch ID, Face ID, or code), open the Settings app, and enter the Bluetooth section (third item of the app): turn on the relevant switch.
Locate the Xbox Wireless Controller on the screen and click on the relevant item to start the pairing procedure. If pairing fails, turn Bluetooth off and on again on your iOS / iPadOS device.
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Abram left his e-business studies to devote himself to his entrepreneurial projects. In 2017, he created the company Inbound Media and wrote articles about high-tech products for his Chromebookeur site. In 2019, Chromebookeur was renamed Macbound and became a general purchasing advice site. Today, Abram manages the development and growth of Macbound, surrounded by a young and talented team.