can you use xbox 360 controller on xbox one?

Hi readers, I’m Mira the tech girl here to walk you through how to use your trusty Xbox 360 controllers on the latest Xbox One console. With some simple accessories and settings changes, you can save money by continuing to use your existing controllers while still enjoying the full Xbox One experience.


The Xbox 360 controller was a fan favorite of the last console generation, known for its comfortable ergonomic design and responsive buttons. Even years after the Xbox One release, many gamers still prefer their worn-in 360 controllers over the new models.

Luckily, Microsoft made the Xbox One fully backwards compatible with Xbox 360 controllers. With the right extra equipment, you can use your Xbox 360 wireless or wired controllers to play any game on the Xbox One or Xbox One S.

In this comprehensive guide, I’ll go over the step-by-step process for getting your vintage Xbox 360 controllers working on the latest console. We’ll cover:

  • What you need to connect Xbox 360 controllers
  • How to sync wireless Xbox 360 controllers
  • Setting up wired Xbox 360 controllers
  • Getting the controllers to work fully in Xbox One games
  • Optimizing controls and schematics for gameplay

Follow this guide, and you’ll save money by continuing to use your existing controllers on your new Xbox One. Keep reading to learn how!

What You Need to Connect Xbox 360 Controllers to Xbox One

To use your Xbox 360 controllers on an Xbox One console, you’ll need:

  • Xbox 360 controller – Either wireless or wired. Third party models also work.
  • Xbox One console – Original Xbox One, Xbox One S or Xbox One X.
  • Xbox Wireless Adapter (for wireless controllers) – This small USB adapter pairs your Xbox 360 wireless controllers with the Xbox One.
  • Micro USB cable (for wired controllers) – To physically connect your wired Xbox 360 controller.

The Xbox Wireless Adapter is the key to making this work. This small USB dongle pairs with Xbox 360 wireless controllers, essentially tricking the Xbox One into thinking the controllers are actually made for that console.

For wired Xbox 360 controllers, all you need is a standard micro USB cable, which generally comes included with the controller.

That’s all you need to use your trusty Xbox 360 controllers on the latest Xbox One console and enjoy your favorite games. Now let’s go through the steps to get it set up.

Syncing Wireless Xbox 360 Controllers

If you have wireless Xbox 360 controllers, follow these steps to sync them up with your Xbox One:

Step 1: Plug in the Xbox Wireless Adapter

Simply plug the USB end into any USB port on your Xbox One console. The console will automatically detect and install it.

Step 2: Press the Sync Button

Press and hold the sync button on top of your Xbox 360 wireless controller until the guide button in the middle starts flashing.

Step 3: Press the Pair Button

On the Xbox Wireless Adapter, press its pair button. This syncs the adapter with your Xbox 360 controller.

Step 4: Repeat with Other Controllers

Follow steps 2 and 3 to sync additional Xbox 360 wireless controllers to the adapter one at a time. The adapter can handle up to 8 controllers.

That’s it! Your Xbox 360 wireless controllers are now synced and ready to use your Xbox One. The console will detect them just like regular Xbox One controllers.

Setting Up Wired Xbox 360 Controllers

For wired Xbox 360 controllers, just plug them into your Xbox One console using a micro USB cable.

The Xbox One will automatically detect the controller and install the proper drivers. You don’t have to sync or pair wired controllers.

Once connected via the cable, the wired Xbox 360 controller will function just like a wired Xbox One controller.

Getting Your Xbox 360 Controllers Working in Games

With your Xbox 360 controllers synced or plugged in, they should work automatically with any Xbox One game. The console will detect them the same way it would an Xbox One controller.

However, here are some tips to get your vintage controllers working smoothly in Xbox One games:

  • Update controller drivers – Make sure your Xbox One console is updated with the latest system update. This ensures you have the newest controller drivers.
  • Set controller order – Go to Settings > Devices & connections > Accessories and set the controller order to determine which gamertag is assigned to each controller.
  • Check button mapping – In the controller settings, you can remap buttons to better match Xbox One controls if needed.
  • Update games – Install the latest game updates. Developers often improve Xbox 360 controller compatibility in patches.
  • Power cycle the Xbox One – For any issues, power cycle the console and reconnect controllers. This often resolves connection problems.

With the steps above, your Xbox 360 controller should work flawlessly on the Xbox One. Time to sit back and enjoy playing your favorite games!

Optimizing Xbox 360 Controller Performance on Xbox One

To get peak performance out of your vintage Xbox 360 controllers on Xbox One, try these tips:

  • Use fresh batteries – Pop in a fresh pair of AA batteries in wireless Xbox 360 controllers. Weak batteries can cause syncing and input lag issues.
  • Update controller firmware – Check online to see if any firmware updates are available for your Xbox 360 controller model and install them. This improves compatibility and button responsiveness.
  • Adjust stick and trigger sensitivity – Go to Settings > Devices & accessories > Accessories to tweak the sensitivity and ranges of your Xbox 360 controller’s sticks and triggers to better suit Xbox One games.
  • Set up profiles for games – You can save custom button maps and sensitivity settings as unique profiles for each game. Switch profiles to optimize controls.
  • Keep controllers updated – When new Xbox One system updates roll out, reconnect your Xbox 360 controllers to ensure they get any compatibility improvements.
  • Use controller stands/docks – Storing controllers on stands or docks ensures they remain powered on and stay connected to the Xbox Wireless Adapter.

With some personal fine-tuning, your trusty Xbox 360 controllers will offer the same great performance you remember on the latest Xbox One console.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some common questions about using Xbox 360 controllers on the Xbox One:

Will any Xbox 360 controller work on Xbox One?

Yes, all official Xbox 360 controllers by Microsoft, both wired and wireless, work with the Xbox One console. Third party wired and wireless Xbox 360 controllers by brands like PDP and PowerA are also compatible.

Do I need an adapter for wired Xbox 360 controllers?

No adapter is needed. Just connect wired Xbox 360 controllers directly to the Xbox One using a standard micro USB cable.

How many controllers can I sync to one Xbox Wireless Adapter?

Each Xbox Wireless Adapter can sync up to 8 Xbox 360 wireless controllers. You can use multiple adapters on one Xbox One console for more controllers.

Why does my Xbox 360 controller disconnect randomly on Xbox One?

This is likely caused by weak batteries if using a wireless controller. Also make sure the controller has the latest firmware and your console is updated.

Can I use Xbox 360 controller chargers with Xbox One?

Yes, Xbox 360 Play & Charge Kits and chargers will work to charge Xbox 360 controllers paired to an Xbox One console.


That wraps up this guide on how to use your Xbox 360 controllers on the Xbox One! With the simple Xbox Wireless Adapter, you can economically keep enjoying the excellent ergonomics and familiarity of Xbox 360 controllers on Xbox One while saving money.

Re-syncing or reconnecting vintage controllers is quick and painless. With some fine-tuning, your Xbox 360 gamepads can offer superb performance on par with the newer Xbox One controller models.

I hope this guide has been helpful and provided everything you need to know to easily use Xbox 360 controllers on your Xbox One console. Let me know if you have any other questions!


  • Mira Edorra

    I'm Mira Edorra, your go-to gadget gal! I’m originally a California girl, born and raised in Silicon Valley, where people are as busy as bees, making all sorts of amazing tech stuff. But now, I live all the way over in the UK! At 32, I’m living the dream as a digital nomad, Traveling is my jam and gadgets are my peanut butter - a perfect combo, don't you think? As I bounce around the globe , I get my hands on loads of cool gizmos, and I just can't wait to share all my discoveries with you!From testing drones on mountain peaks to troubleshooting laptops in cozy cafés, my travels fuel my tech expertise. Got a gadget query? I'm your girl. Even if I don’t have the answer right away, Google and I are like Sherlock and Watson - we leave no mystery unsolved.

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