How to pair Xbox One controller to iPhone?

Bethany Walsh

May 26, 2022

Pairing an Xbox controller with your iPhone is a great way to enhance your games. You can now pair up nearly every popular video game controller to your iPhone due to some recent updates. Apple’s support website mentions the four Xbox controllers.

  1. Xbox One controller with Bluetooth (Model 1708)
  2. Xbox Elite Wireless Controller
  3. Xbox Adaptive Controller
  4. Xbox Wireless Controller (Series X/S edition)

The controllers that shipped with the Xbox One console at its launch in 2013 didn’t support the Bluetooth functionality. Microsoft didn’t build this functionality into Xbox One controllers until Xbox One Revision S came out in 2016 that supports Bluetooth. So if you have an older Xbox One controller, it would not work with your iPhone.

Over the last few years, many excellent games have become available on iOS. To pair an Xbox one controller to your iPhone, make sure that you are running at least iOS 13. IOS 13 is a completely free update for most iPhone users. It is highly recommended that you update your device’s operating systems and connect an Xbox controller in the official way described below. iOS 13 operates on various iPhone models ranging from the iPhone SE and up.

This means you can use any new Xbox gamepad as an iPhone controller to play iOS video games. No special cables, hacking, or third-hardware is needed—many video games on iPhone support Xbox controllers. The iOS versions of Stardew Valley and Fortnite are two of the most famous titles that Xbox controllers can support. Some other games you can use with your controller are: The Deer God, Don’t Starve: Pocket Edition, Attack The Light: Steven Universe Light RPG, and Pang Adventures.

Connecting an Xbox One controller to your iPhone is pretty straightforward and should take no more than a few minutes to complete. Here is how to do it.

This method assumes that your Xbox One controller has Bluetooth technology. As Microsoft has made things confusing by introducing multiple versions of the Xbox One console, not all controller versions support Bluetooth technology. If your controller has the face material having the same material that goes around the Xbox logo, then your controller supports Bluetooth. If your controller shares a texture with the plastic surrounding the shoulder buttons and triggers, it does not support Bluetooth. Only Xbox controllers having Bluetooth technology can connect to your iOS device.

So if you got an Xbox Controller after 2016, it is okay. If not, it is time to upgrade.

Pairing an Xbox controller to your iPhone

Before beginning, make sure that Bluetooth is enabled on your iPhone and that the latest version of iOS is installed. Connecting an Xbox One controller to your iPhone is the same as connecting a Bluetooth speaker or a pair of headphones.

  • Go to “Settings” then “Bluetooth” on your iPhone, and tap the toggle switch to turn on the Bluetooth.
  • Turn on the controller by pressing and holding the Xbox logo button.
  • Firmly press the Sync button at the top of the controller for about 3 seconds. When the Xbox button flashes, the controller is in pairing mode. If it does not flash and instead glows solidly, it is already paired to a nearby Xbox. If this is the case, hold the small button next to the charging port until the Xbox logo starts to flash.

The Sync button is a small black button with three curved lines next to it. It is the same button you use to pair the Xbox Controller to the Xbox One console or your PC.

  • Then look for the Xbox wireless controller as a Bluetooth device; tap on it, and it should pair within a few seconds.
  • Your Xbox one controller should appear on the list of other devices. Tap its name to connect to your iOS device.

If you want to use your Xbox Controller with your Xbox One after pairing it with your iPhone, you should repair it to the console. It would be good to get one controller for your Xbox One console and the other to use as an Xbox phone controller.

  • The light on your Xbox controller button should stop flashing and stay lit. This means your Xbox One controller is now paired.
  • You can test maneuvering the Apple device menu or start up the iOS video game of your choice and start using the controller.

Now the controller is paired and ready to go. Now you would be able to use your comfortable Xbox controller with whatever games are available on your App Store.

  • Later if you are done using the controller and want to disconnect it, go to the Bluetooth menu again, tap the small “i” icon next to the device’s name, and then tap disconnect.

Pairing and unpairing your controller to the iPhone is simple. As you have seen above, it doesn’t take long.

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