PC Gamers Rejoice — Bluetooth Added to Xbox One S Controller for Windows 10

When Microsoft recently released the new Xbox One S, their slimmed-down version of the Xbox One, there were a couple important updates for PC gamers as well. The biggest change from a Plugable point-of-view was the addition of Bluetooth connectivity to the Xbox One S controller!

For quite some time Xbox 360 and Xbox One controllers have been essentially the standard for PC gamepads. By default, most native PC games and emulators include button and control mapping specific to the Xbox 360/Xbox One controller layout. However, connecting these controllers meant you either needed a wired USB connection to the controller or you used an official Microsoft wireless adapter to connect wirelessly. This was because previous models of the controllers used proprietary radio signals.

By adding Bluetooth, Microsoft has embraced a widely-adopted standard that enables the controller to work on more platforms with ease and removes the need for the pricey propriety adapter. This means the controllers not only work on computers with Bluetooth adapters, such as Plugable’s USB-BT4LE Bluetooth adapter, but they can connect to mobile phones as well.

However, not all is perfect with Bluetooth and the Xbox One S controller in Windows. In this article we’ll cover some common issues and how to resolve them.

How can I tell if my controller can connect via Bluetooth?

Microsoft launched the Xbox One S controller in August 2016. If your controller was purchased before August 2016, it will not have Bluetooth. The white controller, controllers bundled with Xbox One S consoles, and controllers customized on the Xbox Design Lab website will have built-in Bluetooth. There are also some exterior changes such as a new shoulder button shape and locating the Micro USB port much closer to the pairing button on the controller. These changes are described on Microsoft’s website.

Bluetooth-supported version of the Xbox One Controller

On Bluetooth-supported controllers, the plastic around the Xbox button is part of the face of the controller. On controllers without Bluetooth, the plastic around the Xbox button is part of the top, where the bumpers are.

Note: Bluetooth does not support any attachments, such as headsets, chatpads, or the Xbox Stereo Adapter.

Besides having Bluetooth, is there anything else my computer needs?

Yes, your computer must be running at least the Anniversary Update version of Windows 10. Windows 10 installations without the Anniversary update applied do not have support for the Xbox One S controller. The easiest way to check is to open a Command Prompt window and examine the version number. You will want at least version 10.0.14393.

Command Prompt can be accessed by right-clicking the Start Menu button, then choosing the “Command Prompt” option. Alternatively, you can search in the Start Menu for it.

Windows 10 Command Prompt Menu

I know my controller has Bluetooth and my computer supports the Xbox One S controller. Now what?

First, be sure to update the controller’s firmware through a USB connection to your computer. You’ll need the Xbox Accessories app from the Windows Store. See Microsoft’s Xbox support page on how to update the Xbox One S Controller firmware.

Can I actually use my controller and play games now?

Almost. The last step is to pair the controller to your computer via Bluetooth. First, you’ll need to turn on the controller by pressing the Xbox button in the center of the controller. After that, hold the pairing button (wireless enrollment button) on the shoulder of the controller for 3 seconds, then release. The controller should now be discoverable for Bluetooth pairing.

More details regarding the pairing process and limitations of the Xbox One S Controller can be found on Microsoft’s support pages.

Once the controller has been paired to your system, it should be ready to go in all your favorite games that take advantage of the Xbox 360/Xbox One controller layout. If you do encounter any issues such as latency or connectivity problems when using the Xbox One S Controller with the Plugable Bluetooth adapter, please contact us at support@plugable.com for assistance. We’re happy to help!

If yes, please share an Amazon review of your Plugable product. If no, please contact us so we can help!

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2 comments on “PC Gamers Rejoice — Bluetooth Added to Xbox One S Controller for Windows 10”

    • Andy D. Reply

      Thank you for your question.

      There are a variety of reasons why vibration may not be working on the controller when connected via Bluetooth. Be sure that:

      • The controller’s firmware is up-to-date (connect it to your PC via USB)
      • Your Windows installation is up-to-date
      • Your game is up-to-date

      There are various user reports online in forums about vibration issues when connected via Bluetooth. Usually it is a game bug, or something that is corrected after a major Windows update (such as the Creator’s Update). Be sure to try another game and see if the vibration function is working for it to see if it is game-specific.

      Lastly, be sure that the vibration function is turned on for the controller in Windows’ settings — https://support.xbox.com/en-US/xbox-on-windows/accessories/change-controller-vibration-windows-10

      I hope this helps!

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