How To Sync An Xbox One Controller

How To Sync An Xbox One controller

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Knowing how to sync an Xbox One controller – indeed any Xbox controller – is essential to kicking off your gaming journey.

With the Xbox One you can turn on the console without one, but to do anything beyond that you do need a certified and official Xbox One controller. If you don’t have one, you can’t even move through the menu.

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So here’s a short and simple-to-follow guide on how to sync your Xbox One controller, as well as a few things to keep in mind about the handheld device.


How To Sync An Xbox One Controller Wirelessly

This is the standard and easiest method to connect an Xbox One controller to the console. Once you have done this method once, it’s likely you’ll remember how to do it from that point on.



Turn On Your Console

First, turn on your console. This can be done on the body of the console. There should be a big button on the front panel next to the disk drive. Press it and it should turn on.



Grab Your Controller

Once the console is on, grab your controller. On the front of the controller, there’s a big button with the Xbox logo on it – in the middle of the controller above the joysticks. Push and hold this button until it begins to flash. When this flashes, it means the controller is turning on.




On the console, there is a ‘Pair’ button. Pressing this button allows the controller to sync with the console. In most cases, this is a small button either next to the disk drive or the on button of the console.



Pair Button

Once the Pair button has been pressed on the console, you need to find the pair button on the controller. This is on the top of the controller, in between the LB and RB triggers.

Press and hold this button. It will flash and then turn a solid color. Once it has turned a solid color, the controller is synced and connected.

Once this process has been completed, then you are free to control and play the games on the console as you like.

How To Sync An Xbox One controller - pair button
Xbox One controllers have a pair button near the middle of the back of the controller

Using A Cable To Sync A Controller

You may also use a cable to sync a controller to the Xbox One console. This method is slightly easier, but it does require the hassle of getting and using a cable.



Turn On Your Console

Turn on your console by pressing the main power button.



Get Your Controller

Grab your controller and connect the cable to the outlet in the top of the controller. Once done, put the other end of the cable into the USB port on the Xbox. This will be near the disk drive or power button.



Sync Your Controller

Press the Xbox button and hold it until the controller syncs with the Xbox.

Once the controller is synced, you actually don’t need the cable anymore, and you can disconnect it from both the controller and the Xbox. The controller will stay synced, and you can play to your heart’s content.

Things to keep in mind

People sometimes have problems connecting their Xbox Ones and their controllers, but these issues are often the result of factors outside the electronics themselves.

As such, here are some things to keep in mind before assuming your controller or console is broken. 

  • Controllers need batteries or charging, both of which can run out. If your controller doesn’t turn on, check the batteries on the back of it. If you use disposable batteries, try replacing them. If you use a single rechargeable battery, possibly check whether it has run out of charge. 
  • Syncing is only effective for a limited range. Most wireless products, like Wi-Fi, have an effective limited range of about 20 to 30 feet. This is also true of wireless syncing. Therefore, keep the controller close to your console when trying to sync otherwise it may not work. 
  • Wireless devices interfere with one another. If you have a lot of wireless devices on at once in a room, it can interfere when you introduce a new one, like when syncing a controller. Make sure that other potentially conflicting devices are off and not transmitting when you try to sync the controller. 


Connecting a wireless controller to your Xbox One should not be too hard, and it definitely shouldn’t be a hassle. It is one of those things that is really easy to do once you have done it once.

If you are still having problems with your controller or Xbox after the steps above, then it is time to seek some professional advice as you may have a fault that needs addressing.

Finally, don’t forget, you can also use Xbox One controller on PC if you have games that would benefit from a controller over mouse and keyboard.