Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How to sync an Xbox controller

If you’ve just picked up a brand new Xbox One or Xbox Series X/S then the first thing you’ll want to do after plugging everything in is learn how to sync an Xbox controller up with the console.

Pairing an Xbox controller with an Xbox is a fairly simple process that doesn’t require any cables. Xbox consoles use a Bluetooth pairing system to connect controllers, with special buttons you need to press to put the device and the peripheral into pairing mode.

In this guide, we’re going to walk you through the process of pairing an Xbox controller to an Xbox console. This guide also works for pairing additional controllers to the Xbox should you need them.

Hardware Used

  • Xbox
  • Xbox Wireless Controller

The Short Version

  • Press the Xbox button on your controller to turn it on
  • Press the sync button on your Xbox console
  • Hold the sync button on your Xbox controller
  1. Step

    Hold the Xbox button on your controller to turn it on

    On the Xbox controller, find the Xbox insignia button in the centre and hold it to turn the controller on.

  2. Step

    Find and press the sync button on your Xbox console

    Position yourself in front of the Xbox and make sure it is turned on. On the Xbox Series X, there are two sets of extruding buttons, and you’re looking for the one that is next to the USB input port. On the Xbox Series S, there is no disc tray, so there’s only one button next to the USB port, and this is the one you need. Press it and the console power button will start flashing, engaging pairing mode.

  3. Step

    Press the sync button on your Xbox controller

    Now that the console is in pairing mode, you need to do the same thing on the controller. Look at the top of the Xbox Wireless Controller to find a sync button next to the USB-C input port. Hold this button down until the controller power button flashes, just like the one seen on the console.Xbox controller pairing button

  4. Step

    Complete the sync process

    When both the controller and the console power lights are flashing, they will endeavour to find each other using Bluetooth. You’ll know that the process is completed when the power light on the controller stops flashing and becomes static.Xbox controller connected to PC


How do I connect multiple controllers?

You can repeat this process for any other controllers that you want to pair with your Xbox console.

How do I connect the Xbox controller to other devices?

The process outlined above is also used when pairing an Xbox controller to a device that is not an Xbox console, such as a PC or an iPad for remote play. If you’re trying to connect it to another device, just make sure you find that device’s Bluetooth menu and make sure it’s on, so that the accessory can be found and paired.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2003, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.