How to Connect the Xbox One Controller to Android

Why buy an Android controller if you already own an Xbox One

Xbox One Controller Comparison

Want to play games on your Android phone or tablet, but despise on-screen touch controls? With many games now including controller support, it's good to know how to connect the Xbox One controller to Android.

Controller Support in Android Isn't New

Technically, you can connect any wired controller if your Android device's USB port supports On-The-Go (OTG). Phones and tablets use USB Micro-B and USB-C ports for charging and sending data to and from a connected PC, but OTG adds support for USB-based devices like mice, keyboards, flash drives, and so on.

Not all devices have OTG connectivity, and there’s no good way to find out if your device supports OTG without digging through its product page–which typically lists generic information–or installing a questionable app. You also need an adapter connecting the wired controller’s USB-A male connector to the Android device’s female Micro-B or USB-C port.

That said, wireless is the way to go. Bluetooth is the norm for all controllers connecting to Android, including the Xbox One controller. Microsoft's peripheral uses proprietary Wi-Fi technology when it's connected to the Xbox One and certain PCs, but it switches to Bluetooth for all other devices.

Does Android Have Xbox One Controller Support?

Google added Xbox One controller support to Android 9 Pie, but as previously stated, the Xbox One controller needs Bluetooth when used with Android. Not all models have this component, especially units that shipped with the original Xbox One console. You can tell a difference by looking at the controller’s design.

Xbox One Controller Comparison

The model on the left sports one complete faceplate that extends to the Xbox button and back edge. This model includes a Bluetooth component. On the right, you’ll see the original Xbox One controller without a Bluetooth component. The faceplate and Xbox button housing are separate.

In summary, you need to meet three requirements:

  • Android 9 Pie or newer
  • A device with Bluetooth
  • An Xbox Controller with Bluetooth

How to Connect an Xbox One Controller to Android

  1. Open Settings on your Android device. This may be represented by a gear icon located on the Home screen or app drawer.

    Android tablet app drawer with Samsung's One UI

    Typically, you can also swipe down from the screen’s top edge to open the Quick Settings bar, then tap the Gear icon to open the settings.

  2. Find the Bluetooth settings. This may or may not be tucked away under a different category, depending on the device’s interface. For instance, Samsung’s One UI interface (shown below) places Bluetooth under Connections.

    Access Bluetooth using Samsung's One UI interface
  3. Enable Bluetooth if it’s not already. 

    Android toggle Bluetooth on Samsung One UI
  4. On the Xbox controller, press the Xbox button until it’s lit. This turns on the device.

    Xbox One Controller Button
  5. On the back of the controller, you’ll see a small USB Micro-B port and a sync button. Press the sync button until the Xbox button on top starts blinking. It's now in Bluetooth pairing mode.

    Xbox One sync button
  6. Go back to your Android device and tap Bluetooth.

  7. Your device will scan for other Bluetooth devices. Tap the Xbox Wireless Controller when it appears on the list and the two devices will automatically pair.

    Android scan for Bluetooth devices

For a simple check to see if pairing was successful, move the Xbox One controller's thumb sticks to navigate the Android device’s interface.