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Xbox Series X Controller Won't Connect: Here's How To Fix It

Though Sony's PlayStation 5 is outpacing Xbox in a major way, the Xbox Series X|S has done well to firmly establish Microsoft's footing in this generation of gaming. The systems sport respectable performance in the console market and Xbox's subscription service, Game Pass, continues to be worth getting despite some warnings from former Xbox execs. That said, even with its impressive specifications and features, the Xbox Series X|S consoles aren't without their issues.


As is standard with current gaming consoles, the Xbox Series X makes use of a wireless controller that connects to the console via Bluetooth. Still, there are some differences between the Series X controller and its Xbox One counterpart. For one, it's equipped with a USB-C port as opposed to the micro USB connection featured on previous iterations. While the controller itself contains many useful inputs — some of which gamers might not even be aware of — it is prone to have a few issues connecting every now and then. Here's how players can solve any connection issues that arise.

Troubleshooting your Xbox Series X controller

On Xbox's official support page, a list of potential remedies can be found for when players experience any issues where controllers not connecting to the Xbox console as it should. The first thing players should always do is make sure the controller is paired with the console. To do this, simply press and hold the pair button to the right of the LB button until the Xbox button light is pulsing. Then press the pairing button on the front right of the Xbox console, to the right of the USB port. 


It's also worth mentioning that players should be sure to check their batteries. If using interchangeable AA batteries, swap them for new ones. If the controller has a rechargeable battery pack, connect the controller to either a charger or the Xbox Series X console itself via the USB-C adapter.

Connectivity issues can also appear if players are using a controller that is running out-of-date firmware. This is especially common with new controllers, as they're unable to update between the time they are manufactured and packaged, and a player purchases the item. To update a controller, all players need to do is connect it to the Xbox console with a USB-C wire, and go to Profile & System in the console menu. From there, go to Settings, Device & connections, Accessories, then choose to update the controller.


Should none of these remedies work, there's a chance the controller may have more going on than simple troubleshooting can resolve and it's worth reaching out to Microsoft for next steps.