3 ways to update your Wireless Xbox Controller

Get the full Xbox experience by updating your controller! Here’s how…

14 May 2021

If your Wireless Xbox Controller is on the fritz, don’t start thinking about binning it! It might just be that its firmware needs updating.

Firmware is a special type of software that helps your hardware (like accessories) work the way they should- whether that’s by interacting with your console or PC properly or unlocking updated features. And, if you’ve got an Xbox One Stereo Headset Adapter, updating your controller’s important to keep your adapter working too!

Luckily, updating a Wireless Xbox Controller is super easy and there are quite a few ways to do it. And this advice works for both Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One too! Let’s check them out.

 

1. Update your Xbox Controller wirelessly

Xbox Wireless Controller with the 3.5mm port at the bottom of the controller circled

Did you buy your wireless controller after June 2015? If so, you can update it without having to plug in a USB cable. Not sure? Just check the bottom of your controller. If it can be updated wirelessly it’ll have a small, circular 3.5mm port there- like in the picture above.

So, if you’ve got the right controller type, here’s how to do it:

1. If you don’t have a stereo headset adapter, skip straight to step 3. If you do have one though, this will update that too. So plug your adapter into the bottom of your controller.

2. Plug a headset into your stereo headset adapter to turn it on.

3. Press the Xbox button to open the guide, choose Profile & system > Settings > Device & connections > Accessories and then select the controller you want to update.

4. On the Xbox Wireless Controller screen, select to check the firmware version for your controller.

5. If it says Update select Firmware version, and then follow the steps onscreen!

 

2. Update your Xbox Controller with USB

Xbox Controller with USB C cable

Maybe you’ve got a pre-2015 controller that doesn’t support wireless updating… or maybe you just want to kick it old skool. Either way, here’s how to update with USB.

1. If you don’t have a stereo headset adapter, skip straight to step 3. If you do have one though, this will update that too. So plug your adapter into the bottom of your controller.

2. Plug a headset into your stereo headset adapter to turn it on.

3. Plug your controller’s USB cable into your Xbox’s USB port. It should have come included with your controller.

  • For Xbox Series X, the port is on the front right below the Pair button.
  • For Xbox Series S, the port is on the front left next to the Pair button.
  • For original Xbox One, the port is on the left side of the console, around the corner from the disc tray. For Xbox One X and Xbox One S, the USB port is on the front under the Power button.

4. Plug the other end of the USB cable into the top of the controller.

5. Now, you should get update instructions automatically appearing on your screen. Just follow those, making sure you keep your USB cable connected the whole time. It should take about 3 minutes.

6. If update instructions didn’t appear automatically, don’t worry. You can start the process manually instead.

  • Press the Xbox button to open the guide, choose Profile & system > Settings > Device & connections > Accessories and then select the controller you want to update.
  • On the Xbox Wireless Controller screen, select to check the firmware version for your controller.
  • If it says Update select Firmware version, and then follow the steps onscreen!

 

 

3. Update your Xbox Controller on PC

Front and back of a Wireless Xbox Controller

If you’re updating your controller using a PC, you’ll need to do it through the Xbox Accessories app. It’s easy to find in the Microsoft Store!

1. Open the Xbox Accessories app.

2. Connect your Xbox Wireless Controller by using a USB cable or the Xbox Wireless Adapter for Windows.

3. When the controller’s connected, you’ll see the message Update Required if an update is needed.

4. Install the update and you’re ready to go!

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