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How to Connect Xbox Controller to iPhone

by | Nov 20, 2023

Gaming on your iPhone has become increasingly popular, and for avid gamers, having the right controller can greatly enhance the experience. If you’re an Xbox fan, you’ll be delighted to know that you can connect your Xbox controller to your iPhone for seamless gaming sessions. In this article, we will show you how to connect Xbox controller to iPhone and start gaming like a pro.

Which Xbox Controllers Can You Use with an iPhone or iPad?

According to Apple, here are the Xbox controllers you can use with an iPhone or iPad:

Xbox Controllers
  • Xbox Wireless Controller with Bluetooth (Model 1708)
  • Xbox Wireless Controller Series S
  • Xbox Wireless Controller Series X
  • Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2
  • Xbox Adaptive Controller

Which iPhone Models Are Compatible with Xbox Controllers for Gaming?

Most iPhones should be compatible, but you need to have iOS 13 or a newer version. Some older iPhone models can’t update to that version anymore. 

Follow these steps to check your iPhone’s operating system (OS) version:

  1. Open Settings and tap on General.
  2. Tap on About.
  3. Look for the iOS Version.
  4. If your iPhone doesn’t have at least iOS 13, try updating it. Go to Settings > General > Software Update. Make sure your phone is connected to Wi-Fi and has enough battery life.
iOS Version

How to Connect Xbox Controller to iPhone or iPad?

Here’s how you can connect an Xbox controller to an iPhone or iPad:

  • Make sure you have iOS 13 or iPadOS 13 or a newer version installed on your device.
  • Turn on the Xbox controller.
  • Press and hold the Connect button on the controller for a few seconds to activate pairing mode. You can usually find this button at the top-center of the controller, with the Xbox logo on it.
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How to Connect Xbox Controller to iPhone or iPad?
  • On your iPhone or iPad, go to Settings and select Bluetooth.
  • Find the name of your controller in the list and tap on it to pair it with your phone.

How to Disconnect Xbox Controller from an iPhone or iPad?

To disconnect Xbox controller from an iPhone or iPad, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings on your device.
  2. Tap on Bluetooth.
  3. Look for the name of your controller in the list of connected Bluetooth devices.
  4. Tap on the information icon (usually represented by an “i” or “!” symbol) next to the controller’s name.
  5. Choose the option to forget or disconnect the device.
Disconnect Xbox Controller from an iPhone

The Benefits of Connecting an Xbox Controller to an iPhone

Gaming on your iPhone can be even better when you connect an Xbox controller. 

Here’s why:

  • Familiar and Easy Controls: Xbox controllers are designed to be comfortable and easy to use. When you connect one to your iPhone, you can enjoy the same familiar controls you’re used to on Xbox consoles.
  • Better Gameplay: Touchscreen controls on mobile games can be tricky. With an Xbox controller, you’ll have more precise control over your movements, making gameplay smoother and more enjoyable.
  • More Game Options: Many games on the App Store support controller input. When you connect an Xbox controller to your iPhone, you unlock a wide range of games optimized for controller gameplay. Play popular titles like Fortnite, Minecraft, and Apple Arcade games with enhanced control and responsiveness.
  • Immersive Experience: Using a physical controller can make your gaming experience more immersive compared to touchscreen controls. With an Xbox controller, you’ll feel more connected to the game, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the virtual world.
  • Multiplayer Fun: Connect an Xbox controller to your iPhone and enjoy multiplayer gaming with friends. You can connect multiple controllers to your iPhone, enabling local multiplayer experiences and cooperative gameplay.
  • Accessibility Features: Xbox controllers, including the Xbox Adaptive Controller, offer features that cater to different types of gamers. These features make gaming more inclusive and enjoyable for individuals with disabilities.
  • Seamless Transition: If you’re already an Xbox gamer, connecting your Xbox controller to your iPhone allows for a smooth transition between gaming platforms. You can continue playing your favorite games and enjoy a consistent experience across different devices.
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Troubleshooting Xbox Controller and iPhone Connection Issues

If you’re experiencing problems with your Xbox controller’s connection to your iPhone, follow these sections to resolve the issues:

Problem 1: Xbox Controller Keeps Disconnecting from iPhone

When you’re playing a game, your Xbox controller may suddenly disconnect from your iPhone. This can be frustrating, but you can fix it easily. Try the following solution:

  1. Turn off the Xbox controller by holding the Xbox button for a few seconds.
  2. Turn off your iPhone and then turn it back on.
  3. Forget the Xbox controller by going to Settings > Bluetooth > (i) next to the controller > Forget Device. Then, pair it again.

Problem 2: Your Xbox Controller Needs an Update

If you’re facing issues like requiring a pin to connect or buttons not working correctly, it means your Xbox controller needs an update. 

Here are three different ways to update your Xbox controller:

1. Update your Xbox One controller wirelessly:

  • Turn on your Xbox One controller and press the Xbox button.
  • Select “System” and then “Settings.”
  • Click on “Devices & streaming” and then “Accessories.”
Update your Xbox One controller wirelessly
  • Choose the controller that you want to update.
  • Click on “Device info” and select the “Firmware version” option.
Update your Xbox One controller wirelessly
  • Click “Update Now” to start the update process for your Xbox One controller.
Update your Xbox One controller wirelessly

2. Update Your Xbox One Controller Using a USB:

  1. Connect your controller to your Xbox One using a USB cable.
  2. You should see instructions on the screen for installing the update automatically. If the instructions don’t show up, press the Xbox button on your controller.
  3. Press the Xbox button on your controller if the instructions didn’t appear automatically.
  4. Go to “System” and then “Settings.”
  5. Click on “Devices & streaming” and then “Accessories.” Choose the controller that you want to update.
  6. Select “Device info” and click on the “Firmware version” option.
  7. Click “Continue” to proceed with the update.
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3. Update Your Xbox One Controller Using a Windows 10 Computer:

  1. Turn on your Windows 10 PC and open the Xbox Accessories app. If you don’t have it, download it from the Microsoft Store.
  2. Connect your Xbox One controller to your PC. If it’s wireless, connect it using a USB cable or the Xbox Wireless Adapter for Windows.
  3. Once the Xbox Accessories app is open, a message will appear if a controller update is required, saying “Update Required.”
  4. After the update is complete, click “Close” to exit the Xbox Accessories app.

Problem 3: Xbox Controller Isn’t Showing Up in Available Devices

Another common issue is when the Xbox controller doesn’t appear in the Available Devices list. However, you can easily fix this problem. Here’s what you can do:

First, double-check if your Xbox controller appears as a series of random numbers and letters. Sometimes it may not be obvious. If you see a random device, let the pairing mode turn off on your Xbox controller. If the device disappears, that was your Xbox controller. Put it back in pairing mode and tap it to connect the controller to your iPhone.

Next, review the steps in the first section to ensure that your devices are compatible. You may need to update your phone, update your controller, or consider getting new tech if necessary.


Now that you know how to connect Xbox Controller to iPhone and enhance your gaming experience, feel free to reach out to us via email or leave a comment if you have any further questions or need additional assistance. We value your feedback as it helps us improve our service to provide you with a better experience.

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