Microsoft has always put backward compatibility at the forefront of console support. Still, running old games is just one part of the equation; using old peripherals like controllers is another. As hardware moves on, the connections and protocols used for gamepads often change. Unfortunately, that often means your old gamepads will become redundant. But, is that the case? Can you use an Xbox 360 controller on an Xbox One?
Can You Connect Xbox 360 Controller to Xbox One?
You cannot directly connect an Xbox 360 controller to an Xbox One. The newer console will not recognize the older controller, regardless of the USB connection. The only way to get your 360 controller to work on the Xbox One is by using a third-party adapter. Alternatively, you can connect it to a Windows PC and configure the console for wireless streaming through the Xbox app.
For whatever reason, the Xbox One was not designed to accept 360 gamepads. It’s a puzzling move, considering that the 360 controller is a very popular choice when it comes to PC gaming. However, as with all things electronic, where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Use A Third-Party Adapter
The simplest way to connect a 360 controller to your Xbox One is to buy a third-party adapter. The Brook Wingman XB adapter on Amazon is a popular choice, and offers wide compatibility. Effectively, you plug your controller into the adapter, and then plug the adapter into the console. Through electronic wizardry, the input is adjusted such that it can be recognized by the console.
There’s a catch, though, and it’s a rather obvious one: The adapter costs more than a new controller does. If your old gamepad broke and you need a proper replacement, this isn’t the most economic choice. To save money, you may want to try streaming your games from the console to a PC.
Stream Your Games Through the Xbox PC app
This process is a little complex, and naturally, it requires that you have a Windows PC available. However, it’s arguably the cheapest way to use your Xbox 360 controller to play Xbox One games. Simply put, the Xbox app on Windows can communicate with your Xbox One over your local network. By doing so, you can stream your games from your console to your PC. And, since it’s a PC, your computer can make use of any controller you like.
Here’s how the process works:
- Ensure that both PC and console are on the same network.
- Power on the Xbox One, and make sure that game streaming is enabled.
- This option is found in System > Settings > Preferences > Xbox app connectivity
- Boot up your Windows PC, then open the Xbox app
- You must be signed into the same account on both console and PC
- Click the Xbox One icon on the left sidebar
- Find your console on the list, then click Connect
- Finally, click the Stream button
Once this is done, you’ll be streaming everything from your Xbox One to your Windows PC. Using this method, you’re free to use almost any modern controller you like, including your old 360 gamepad.