Rock Band 4 Xbox One Instrument Compatibility FAQ

Rock Band 4 box
Rock Band 4 box with legacy adapter. Harmonix / Mad Catz

When Rock Band 4 was first announced Harmonix promised that it was working on making as many of your old Xbox 360 drums/guitars/microphones compatible with the new game as possible, but no details were given at the time. We finally have news on compatible hardware, and it is mostly good news, but also some bad for Xbox One fans. Here are the details.

Legacy Adapter Required on Xbox One

The first and most important thing is that using your old wireless Xbox 360 instruments on Xbox One will require an extra adapter.

 Because the Xbox 360 controllers used a proprietary wireless signal and the Xbox One uses WiFi Direct for its controllers, they can't really talk to each other easily, which is why the adapter is required. For the record, the PS3 and PS4 both just use bluethooth, so no adapter is needed on PS4.

This Legacy Adapter for Xbox One is a small USB device you'll plug into your Xbox One. It will then be able to receive signals from your wireless Xbox 360 drums and guitars.  

Availability of the Legacy Adapter is going to be a little strange, however. It has been announced as coming bundled with the standalone version of Rock Band 4 (with no new hardware) with an MSRP of $80. You won't be able to buy Rock Band 4 standalone on Xbox One without either the Legacy Adapter or new the new hardware. If you buy the digital version of Rock Band 4 on Xbox One, you'll be given instructions on how to get the Legacy Adapter.

On that note, the new hardware bundles that come with the game along with new Xbox One guitars/drums/microphones, will NOT come with the Legacy Adapter. The new peripherals obviously work with the Xbox One natively and don't need the adapter. 

Where does this leave folks that want to buy the new hardware but also have older Xbox 360 instruments lying around they want to use?

 Well, we have confirmed with Harmonix that the Legacy Adapter will also be sold by itself at launch, but they couldn't give us any details on pricing. Based on the price of the game/adapter bundle, we can assume that the standalone Legacy Adapter will be around $20-30.

And, finally, you can mix and match the new RB4 instruments with your old X360 instruments as you please up to four instruments total at a time. 

Why Is Instrument Backward Compatibility Important?

Why should you care about this news? Because you have a ton of guitars already sitting in your closet.  Because you have a favorite older guitar you want to keep using. Because why spend money on new stuff when you have lots of old instruments already. For me personally, I actually really dislike the Rock Band guitars and would rather use my favorite Guitar Hero World Tour or Guitar Hero 5 guitars.

List of Xbox 360 Instruments Compatible With Xbox One Rock Band 4

So what Xbox 360 instruments will be compatible with Rock Band 4 on Xbox One?  Just about all of the wireless ones, thankfully, wired instruments like the RB1 drums and guitar or GH2 explorer guitar will not be compatible, however. It also must be noted that only instruments from the same console family will be backward compatible, so only PlayStation 3 (and some PS2) instruments will work on PS4 and only Xbox 360 instruments will work on Xbox One.

This list isn't 100% complete and more instruments may be added as we get closer to launch, but it is pretty comprehensive and includes all of the most popular instruments already. 

Guitars

  • Rock Band 1 wireless Strat
  • Rock Band 2 Strat
  • Rock Band 3 Strat
  • Beatles Rock Band Hofner Bass
  • Beatles Rock Band Rickenbacker 325
  • Beatles Rock Band Duo-Jet Guitar
  • Guitar Hero 5 guitar
  • Guitar Hero World Tour guitar
  • Guitar Hero 3 Les Paul
  • Guitar Hero Warriors of Rock guitar
  • Guitar Hero Aerosmith Les Paul
  • Mad Catz Precision Bass
  • Mad Catz Fender Telecaster

Drums

  • Guitar Hero World Tour drums
  • Rock Band 2 drums
  • Rock Band 3 drums
  • Beatles Rock Band Ludwig drums

    Microphones

    • Any wired USB microphone released with previous music games will work