How to Connect an Xbox Series X or S Controller to an iPhone

Play your favorites more easily

What to Know:

  • Hold down the small button at the top of the controller until the Xbox button begins to flash to turn on Bluetooth pairing.
  • On your iPhone, tap Settings Bluetooth, select your controller, and tap Pair.
  • You can stream games to the Xbox app from your games console and play. Not all iPhone games are compatible with controllers.

This article teaches you how to connect and use an Xbox Series X or S controller with your iPhone. On Android? You can also connect an Xbox Series X or S controller to your Android smartphone.

How to Connect the Xbox Series X or S Controller to an iPhone

With so many games available on iPhone and the ability to stream your games console via the Xbox app, it's useful to be able to use a traditional games controller to control the action. Here's how to connect Xbox controller to iPhone or, specifically, how to connect an Xbox Series X or S controller to your iPhone.

Note:

These instructions will also work with all Bluetooth-compatible Xbox One controllers as well as the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2.

  1. Turn your Xbox Series X or S controller on by holding down the Xbox logo in the middle of the controller.

  2. Hold down the small button at the top of the controller until the Xbox button begins to flash.

  3. On your iPhone, tap Settings.

  4. Tap Bluetooth.

  5. Your Xbox controller should now appear as one of the devices to pair.

  6. Tap the Xbox controller name. 

  7. Tap Pair.

    Steps required on iPhone to pair a wireless controller via Bluetooth
  8. The controller is now paired with your iPhone.

How to Disconnect Your Xbox Series X or S Controller From Your iPhone

Want to disconnect your Xbox Series X or S controller once you've finished playing? Here's what to do on your iPhone.

Note:

You can also hold down the glowing Xbox button on the controller for a few seconds to switch it off.

  1. Open Control Center on your iPhone by swiping down from the top right corner of your iPhone. 

  2. Press and hold down the Bluetooth icon in the top left quadrant of Control Center.

  3. Tap Bluetooth to disconnect the controller.

    Steps required to disconnect a wireless controller via the iPhone's Control Center
  4. Tap Bluetooth again to switch Bluetooth connectivity back on. The controller is switched off until you hold the Xbox button down again.

What Can I Do With the Connected Controller?

Wondering what to do now you've connected your Xbox Series X/S controller to your iPhone? Here's some tips on what you can and can't do with it.

  • It's possible to stream your Xbox games to your iPhone. Hook up a controller and load up the Xbox app and you can remotely play your games console via your phone. It relies on your local network but it's convenient if you're in a different room or someone's hogging the TV. 
  • You can play any game that supports controllers. This includes many Apple Arcade games but not all of them. Look for the controller icon under the game's landing page to see if it has controller support.
  • Some games play better with touchscreen controls. Not all games play better with a controller as some have been designed with the touchscreen in mind. Be willing to experiment and see what works best for you.
  • You can't navigate your iPhone's home screen with the controller. You can't use your Xbox controller like a mouse and switch between apps or negotiate menus with it. It's solely for playing games with.