If you’re new to PC gaming or simply prefer using a control pad over a keyboard and mouse, then you’re in luck. It’s easy to grab yourself a controller and hook it up to your PC so that you can transition from console gaming with ease, or just feel more at home with something familiar. 

When it comes to competitive online gaming, it’s worth noting that you might find yourself at a disadvantage when using a control pad against players using a keyboard and mouse, but as long as you’re having a good time and don’t feel uncomfortable, you should opt for your preferred method. And of course, controllers are great for single-player games ported over from consoles, that are optimised for that particular control scheme, especially when it comes to Xbox Play Anywhere titles that let you play select games on both your Xbox One and Windows 10 PC as long as you’ve bought it digitally on either platform. 

So with that being said, just how do you connect your Xbox One controller to your PC? You actually have a few options at your disposal, so let’s take a look. And if you need it, here is our guide to the best gaming PC options in 2018.

USB Cable

For a quick plug-and-play option, get yourself a micro-USB cable. You’ll need to make sure that it’s not a charging-only cable, but the vast majority of cables aren’t limited to that single functionality. If you’re having issues, this is probably the first thing to check.

Plug one end into your control pad and the other into your PC, and you’re away. Windows 10 PCs will recognise the controller straight away, while Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 will automatically download and install the appropriate drivers which won’t take long. If you’re running into problems, check that your Device Manager for updates. It could be that it’s not set to download updates automatically. To do this, simply search for Device Manager, select Microsoft Xbox One Controller, right-click and select Update Driver Software, then hit Search Automatically for Updated Software. 

Windows 10 will let you connect up to eight control pads, while Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 will limit you to four. There’s no audio support for the controllers on Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, so forget about trying to plug in a headset. Windows 10 does support audio, but there are restrictions. If you’re using Xbox Chat Headsets, the number of pads you can connect drops to four. If you’re using Xbox Stereo headsets, you can only connect two pads at any one time. 

Wireless Adaptor

If your PC doesn’t have Xbox Wireless built-in, you’ll need to get yourself an Xbox Wireless adapter for Windows, and plug it into a USB port. As with the USB cable option, Windows will automatically download and install the relevant drivers.

Turn on your controller by pressing and holding Guide button in the middle, then press the sync button located on the top of the pad, until the Guide button flashes, letting you know that your controller is connected. 

Windows 10 will allow you to hook up eight wireless controllers, dropping to four if you’re using Xbox Chat Headsets, and just two if you have Xbox Stereo Headsets plugged in. 



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