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.
The Bluetooth-capable Xbox One S controller has three distinct differences.
The white controller depicted above is the Bluetooth-capable Xbox One S Controller. The two controller types can be recognized by the placement of the Micro USB charging port very close to the pairing (wireless enrollment) button on the new controller, the inclusion of the Xbox button within the main faceplate of the new controller, and different trigger shapes between the two controllers.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance. We’re happy to help!