• Welcome to TechPowerUp Forums, Guest! Please check out our forum guidelines for info related to our community.

Microsoft Xbox Wireless Controller (Series X|S)

VSG

Editor, Reviews & News
Staff member
Joined
Jul 1, 2014
Messages
2,212 (0.81/day)
Microsoft's first-party native support of their Xbox brand has had them bring out relevant hardware and software on Windows as well. The Xbox controller is synonymous with PC gaming today, and we take a look at the latest Xbox wireless controller to compare to previous-generation controllers and the competition.

Show full review
 
Joined
Jan 5, 2006
Messages
12,293 (2.11/day)
System Name Desktop / Laptop
Processor Intel i7 6700K @ 4.5GHz (1.270 V) / Intel i3 7100U
Motherboard Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / HP 83A3 (U3E1)
Cooling Noctua NH-U12A 2 fans + Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut + 5 case fans / Fan
Memory 16GB DDR4 Corsair Vengeance LPX 3000MHz CL15 / 8GB DDR4 HyperX CL13
Video Card(s) MSI RTX 2070 Super Gaming X Trio / Intel HD620
Storage Samsung 970 Evo 500GB + Samsung 850 Pro 512GB + Samsung 860 Evo 1TB x2 / Samsung 256GB M.2 SSD
Display(s) 23.8" Dell S2417DG 165Hz G-Sync 1440p / 14" 1080p IPS Glossy
Case Be quiet! Silent Base 600 - Window / HP Pavilion
Audio Device(s) SupremeFX Onboard / Realtek onboard + B&O speaker system
Power Supply Seasonic Focus Plus Gold 750W / Powerbrick
Mouse Logitech MX Anywhere 2 Laser wireless / Logitech M330 wireless
Keyboard RAPOO E9270P Black 5GHz wireless / HP backlit
Software Windows 10 / Windows 10
I'm still using my wireless xbox360 controller, bought in 2014....
No Xbox accessories app or active Xbox ID needed... :p
 
Joined
Oct 18, 2019
Messages
255 (0.33/day)
Location
NYC, NY
The Xbox One's controller is literally the WORST controller I've ever owned.

The Controller itself is comfortable and functional, but the reliability was TERRIBLE. I had to replace it SEVERAL times. Triggers fail, sticks drift, etc.

I don't know if I want the XBox SX controller.
 
Joined
Jan 5, 2006
Messages
12,293 (2.11/day)
System Name Desktop / Laptop
Processor Intel i7 6700K @ 4.5GHz (1.270 V) / Intel i3 7100U
Motherboard Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / HP 83A3 (U3E1)
Cooling Noctua NH-U12A 2 fans + Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut + 5 case fans / Fan
Memory 16GB DDR4 Corsair Vengeance LPX 3000MHz CL15 / 8GB DDR4 HyperX CL13
Video Card(s) MSI RTX 2070 Super Gaming X Trio / Intel HD620
Storage Samsung 970 Evo 500GB + Samsung 850 Pro 512GB + Samsung 860 Evo 1TB x2 / Samsung 256GB M.2 SSD
Display(s) 23.8" Dell S2417DG 165Hz G-Sync 1440p / 14" 1080p IPS Glossy
Case Be quiet! Silent Base 600 - Window / HP Pavilion
Audio Device(s) SupremeFX Onboard / Realtek onboard + B&O speaker system
Power Supply Seasonic Focus Plus Gold 750W / Powerbrick
Mouse Logitech MX Anywhere 2 Laser wireless / Logitech M330 wireless
Keyboard RAPOO E9270P Black 5GHz wireless / HP backlit
Software Windows 10 / Windows 10
In the past it was always Plug 'n Play, I don't need Xbox accessories app and I don't want an active Xbox ID when I just use it for PC.
 
Joined
Mar 18, 2015
Messages
92 (0.04/day)
The Xbox One's controller is literally the WORST controller I've ever owned.

The Controller itself is comfortable and functional, but the reliability was TERRIBLE. I had to replace it SEVERAL times. Triggers fail, sticks drift, etc.

I don't know if I want the XBox SX controller.
All modern controllers seem to be built out of the cheapest materials possible so that they break easily and you have to buy a new one. I have controllers from the 90s (like my original DualShock) that still work flawlessly despite young me not doing anything to take care of them, yet every Xbone controller I've owned has developed stick drift. I haven't had a DualSense yet, but I've seen tons of complaints about the build quality of those too, and the Switch's drift issues are a meme at this point. Even the Xbox Elite controllers seem to have a myriad of common issues, despite their cost. It's embarrassing.
 
Joined
Apr 29, 2018
Messages
92 (0.07/day)
Why in the hell does it require a wired connection for a firmware update? The damn controller doesn't even come with a wire does it?

The Xbox One's controller is literally the WORST controller I've ever owned.

The Controller itself is comfortable and functional, but the reliability was TERRIBLE. I had to replace it SEVERAL times. Triggers fail, sticks drift, etc.

I don't know if I want the XBox SX controller.
I've never had one single freaking issue with my Xbox One controller in the four years that I've had it. Every game that works with a controller works perfectly fine just like my Xbox 360 controller before that did. I bought the wireless adapter from Microsoft plugged it in to sync the controller and never done a damn thing since that.
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2012
Messages
714 (0.21/day)
Location
Malaysia
System Name Cypher-C4
Processor Ryzen 5 3600
Motherboard MSI B450 Tomahawk Max
Cooling Cooler Master Hyper 212+
Memory 32GB Crucial Ballistix Elite 3200MHz
Video Card(s) Palit GTX 1060 Jetstream 6GB
Storage 250GB Crucial MX500 + 2TB Crucial MX500 + 2TB WD Black + 4TB Toshiba + 1TB Samsung F3
Display(s) Acer XV272UP
Case Corsair Obsidian 750D
Audio Device(s) Behringher UMC202HD Audio Interface + Mackie HM-4 + Sennheiser HD 280 Pro + Shure SM58
Power Supply Corsair HX750i
Mouse Steelseries Rival 310
Keyboard Keychron K8 + Kailh BOX Crystal Jade switches + Ducky Good in Blue keycaps
Software Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
All modern controllers seem to be built out of the cheapest materials possible so that they break easily and you have to buy a new one. I have controllers from the 90s (like my original DualShock) that still work flawlessly despite young me not doing anything to take care of them, yet every Xbone controller I've owned has developed stick drift. I haven't had a DualSense yet, but I've seen tons of complaints about the build quality of those too, and the Switch's drift issues are a meme at this point. Even the Xbox Elite controllers seem to have a myriad of common issues, despite their cost. It's embarrassing.
The people who have issues will of course voice their concerns louder than most. I've had two Xbox One controller (sold one to a friend and one still being used by myself) over the years. Never any problem. I did replace the thumbsticks just a couple weeks ago because the rubber grips were starting to came off but that's just normal wear and tear and an can be fixed easily by buying a pair of grips or buying a pair of thumbsticks.

Why in the hell does it require a wired connection for a firmware update? The damn controller doesn't even come with a wire does it?
Not really an issue considering the plethora of USB Type-C cables available around most people who would be the potential buyer. I mean, it would be great if they could do OTA firmware update (which can be done), but it is what it is.
 

KrazedOmega

New Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2019
Messages
22 (0.03/day)
I had to buy the Xbox Wireless adapter when I bought my controller since I don't have Bluetooth. What a nightmare. What should have been "just plug it in and it works" turned into almost an hour of searching and watching Youtube to finally find drivers that worked. The drivers are supposed to be built into Windows 10 but that's a load of crap. The controller refused to connect until I finally got working ones installed.

EDIT: Also, with the Xbox Wireless adapter you do not need to plug the controller into a wired connection to update the firmware with the Xbox Accessories app.
 
Last edited:

Easy Rhino

Linux Advocate
Staff member
Joined
Nov 13, 2006
Messages
15,028 (2.73/day)
Location
Mid-Atlantic
System Name Desktop
Processor i5 7500 Kaby Lake
Motherboard AsRock MicroATX Z170M Extreme4
Cooling Stock
Memory 2x 16 Gb Gskill Ripjaws 2400
Video Card(s) AMD Radeon 5700
Storage Samsung 970 EVO 1 TB m.2 NVMe + Samsung 860 EVO 2 TB SATA3 SSD
Display(s) LG 34GK950F-B 34" 21:9 Ultragear WQHD Nano IPS Curved Gaming Monitor with Radeon FreeSync 2
Case Corsair Carbide 400C
Audio Device(s) On Board
Power Supply Seasonic SSR-650GD Flagship Prime Series 650W Gold
Mouse Logitech G900 Chaos Spectrum
Keyboard Logitech G915 Wireless Clicky
Software The Matrix
Does anyone know if you can have two of these connected to your PC over bluetooth at the same time? I assume this model does not come with a bluetooth dongle ?
 

INSTG8R

Vanguard Beta Tester
Joined
Nov 26, 2004
Messages
7,180 (1.15/day)
Location
Canuck in Norway
System Name Hellbox 4.0(same case new guts)
Processor Ryzen 5 5600X
Motherboard Gigabyte Aorus X570 Pro
Cooling TT Kandalf L.C.S.(Water/Air)EK Velocity CPU Block/Noctua
Memory 2x16GB Gskill Trident Neo Z 3800CL18
Video Card(s) Sapphire 6700XT Nitro+
Storage 970 Evo Plus 500GB WD Caviar Black SATA 3 1TB x2 RAID1 2xSamsung 850 Evo 500GB RAID 0 1TB WD Blue
Display(s) Samsung Odyssey G5 34” 3440x1440 165hz
Case TT Kandalf L.C.S.
Audio Device(s) Soundblaster ZX/Logitech Z906 5.1
Power Supply Seasonic X-1050W 80+ Gold
Mouse G502 Proteus Spectrum
Keyboard G19s
VR HMD Oculus Quest 2
Software Win 10 Pro x64
Love my Elite V1 and just this week I treated it to the BT dongle and the charge pack. This is literally the first time I’ve had a wireless peripheral(okay I guess my Quest 2 counts).
I’ve always owned PS’s but can’t deny how great the Xbox controller is.
 
Joined
Oct 2, 2015
Messages
2,807 (1.24/day)
Location
Argentina
System Name Ciel / Yukino
Processor AMD Ryzen R5 5600X / Intel Core i3 5005U
Motherboard Asus Tuf Gaming B550 Plus / HP 240 G5
Cooling ID-Cooling 224-XT Basic
Memory 2x 8GB Geil Orion AMD Edition 3600MHz@3800MHz
Video Card(s) Dell 1660 SUPER + Sentey RX 550 2GB
Storage SSD ADATA FALCON 512GB PCIe3.0 + HDD WD 4TB
Display(s) Samsung S22F350
Case Cougar MX410 Mesh-G
Audio Device(s) Realtek ALC S1200A
Power Supply Aerocool KCAS-500W
Mouse Logitech G203
Keyboard VSG Alnilam
Software Windows 10 x64 / Manjaro x64
Lack of motion support is a negative for me. No Switch emulation with it.
 

isvelte

New Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2020
Messages
28 (0.06/day)
I bought my xbox one controller that includes the dongle, and it was only 15$ more than the controller only option. I think its worth it if you wanna use the headphone jack.
 
Joined
Dec 10, 2014
Messages
1,187 (0.46/day)
Location
Nowy Warsaw
System Name SYBARIS
Processor AMD Ryzen 5 3600
Motherboard MSI Arsenal Gaming B450 Tomahawk
Cooling Cryorig H7 Quad Lumi
Memory Team T-Force Delta RGB 2x8GB 3200CL16
Video Card(s) Colorful GeForce RTX 2060 6G V2
Storage Crucial MX500 500GB | WD Black WD1003FZEX 1TB
Display(s) AOC 24G2 24" 144hz IPS | LG 22MP68VQ-P 22" 75hz IPS
Case In Win Mana 136
Audio Device(s) HyperX Cloud X | iVOOMi iVO-169SUFBT 2.1
Power Supply Cooler Master G550M
Mouse Razer Viper Mini | Cooler Master MM711 | Logitech G102 | Logitech G402
Keyboard Fantech MK871 RGB TKL Outemu Blue mechanical keyboard
Software Windows 10 Education 21H1 x64
I've had my Xbox 360 Wireless controller for six years now. The left analog sticks have rashes after scratching with the collar, the rubber coating on both sticks has worn off a little, there's slight intermittent drift that can be somewhat circumvented by deadzone settings and I'm still not comfortable with the battery placement affecting my grip. But my god will I never buy any modern controller. I've never heard any Xbox One or later variants living past one or two years among my acquaintances. Only some early Xbox One controllers when one friend bought XB1 back in 2014.

Luckily there's bunch of unopened Xbox 360 controllers floating in our market. So I may be safe for another decade or so.

In the past it was always Plug 'n Play, I don't need Xbox accessories app and I don't want an active Xbox ID when I just use it for PC.
Correct me if I'm wrong but the app is only for customizing and shit. If you want plug and play, don't download and install the app I guess.
 
Joined
Nov 7, 2016
Messages
135 (0.07/day)
Processor 5950X
Motherboard Dark Hero
Cooling Custom Loop
Memory Crucial Ballistix 3600MHz CL16
Video Card(s) Gigabyte RTX 3080 Vision
Storage 980 Pro 500GB, 970 Evo Plus 500GB, Crucial MX500 2TB, Crucial MX500 2TB, Samsung 850 Evo 500GB
Display(s) Gigabyte G34WQC
Case Cooler Master C700M
Audio Device(s) Bose
Power Supply AX850
Mouse Razer DeathAdder Chroma
Keyboard MSI GK80
Software W10 Pro
Benchmark Scores CPU-Z Single-Thread: 688 Multi-Thread: 11940
I have quite a few games that don't support keyboard and mouse, but after reading this review I'm still don't which controller to buy, eg there is no comparison with the Razer and Steel Series Ones.
 

VSG

Editor, Reviews & News
Staff member
Joined
Jul 1, 2014
Messages
2,212 (0.81/day)
I have quite a few games that don't support keyboard and mouse, but after reading this review I'm still don't which controller to buy, eg there is no comparison with the Razer and Steel Series Ones.
Can't do much if I don't have any of those, especially with Razer being terrible at marketing and PR here. The rep keeps promising and apologizing but ultimately nothing is actually sent.
 
Joined
May 2, 2016
Messages
130 (0.06/day)
I had to buy the Xbox Wireless adapter when I bought my controller since I don't have Bluetooth. What a nightmare. What should have been "just plug it in and it works" turned into almost an hour of searching and watching Youtube to finally find drivers that worked. The drivers are supposed to be built into Windows 10 but that's a load of crap. The controller refused to connect until I finally got working ones installed.

EDIT: Also, with the Xbox Wireless adapter you do not need to plug the controller into a wired connection to update the firmware with the Xbox Accessories app.
I bought an Xbox One S gamepad some years ago to use it exclusively with PC as I don't have an MS console.
I bought a USB BT adapter for less than 5 euros and it took me less than 5 minutes to set it up.
Hell, it even works with Edifier BT speakers at the same time.
No drifts or any other problems during these years. My only complaint is that the white version I bought gets dirty easily...
 

isvelte

New Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2020
Messages
28 (0.06/day)
I have quite a few games that don't support keyboard and mouse, but after reading this review I'm still don't which controller to buy, eg there is no comparison with the Razer and Steel Series Ones.
Im thinking of getting a dual sense. It has a gyro for switch emulation (my xbox dont). At the moment the dualsense haptic triggers and feedback is only supported by 1 game on PC, Metro Exodus.

Sony just started making things happen for PC (buying a porting studio), who knows they might fully support the dualsense features on their PC games coming out in the future.
 
Joined
Nov 7, 2016
Messages
135 (0.07/day)
Processor 5950X
Motherboard Dark Hero
Cooling Custom Loop
Memory Crucial Ballistix 3600MHz CL16
Video Card(s) Gigabyte RTX 3080 Vision
Storage 980 Pro 500GB, 970 Evo Plus 500GB, Crucial MX500 2TB, Crucial MX500 2TB, Samsung 850 Evo 500GB
Display(s) Gigabyte G34WQC
Case Cooler Master C700M
Audio Device(s) Bose
Power Supply AX850
Mouse Razer DeathAdder Chroma
Keyboard MSI GK80
Software W10 Pro
Benchmark Scores CPU-Z Single-Thread: 688 Multi-Thread: 11940
Im thinking of getting a dual sense. It has a gyro for switch emulation (my xbox dont). At the moment the dualsense haptic triggers and feedback is only supported by 1 game on PC, Metro Exodus.

Sony just started making things happen for PC (buying a porting studio), who knows they might fully support the dualsense features on their PC games coming out in the future.
Is the Dual Sense compatible with PC games irrespective of whether haptic triggers and feedback are supported or not?
 

isvelte

New Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2020
Messages
28 (0.06/day)
Is the Dual Sense compatible with PC games irrespective of whether haptic triggers and feedback are supported or not?
Yup its supported on steam natively, but you can also use ds4windows like how you would use a ps4 controller, touchpad even works as mouse input. Not all games have playstation button prompts though, just some, but not an issue coz you probably have muscle memory of xbox letters anyway. Theres even a tutorial on how to convert game sounds to dualsense haptics.

 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 7, 2016
Messages
135 (0.07/day)
Processor 5950X
Motherboard Dark Hero
Cooling Custom Loop
Memory Crucial Ballistix 3600MHz CL16
Video Card(s) Gigabyte RTX 3080 Vision
Storage 980 Pro 500GB, 970 Evo Plus 500GB, Crucial MX500 2TB, Crucial MX500 2TB, Samsung 850 Evo 500GB
Display(s) Gigabyte G34WQC
Case Cooler Master C700M
Audio Device(s) Bose
Power Supply AX850
Mouse Razer DeathAdder Chroma
Keyboard MSI GK80
Software W10 Pro
Benchmark Scores CPU-Z Single-Thread: 688 Multi-Thread: 11940
Yup its supported on steam natively, but you can also use ds4windows like how you would use a ps4 controller, touchpad even works as mouse input. Not all games have playstation button prompts though, just some, but not an issue coz you probably have muscle memory of xbox letters anyway. Theres even a tutorial on how to convert game sounds to dualsense haptics.

I am familiar with PS3 controller, but never have any xbox console:(. I have to say the dual shock was great great in games that supported it. So I would say not every game in PS5 would support the haptic triggers or whatever.
 
Joined
Jul 6, 2008
Messages
31 (0.01/day)
I just got a shock blue a month ago. I'm coming from an Xbone controller I've had for 2 years and came from many 360 controllers before that. With each revision, the controller gets better, it's just always hard to say how much is it worth to upgrade from an older one if it's still working. My biggest reasons for this upgrade was "ooh blue", to be able to dedicate my other controller to my new Shield TV Pro if I want, and that I was getting a little joystick drift once in a while on the Xbone, which really kinda stinks considering how NOT often I use a controller on my PC.

Overall though, I went for the upgrade anyway. It's been performing just fine with the xbox wireless adapter (that I also use with the xbox wireless headphones). I do like the extra texture they added to the triggers and I like the d-pad a little more. They also made the back surface of the controller a little more rougher than the Xbone, so it's less slippery. I could squeeze my hands on the Xbone and it would slide up out of my hand (I'd have to do this on purpose, wasn't really an issue during games), but with the blue controller, it won't move.

I haven't tried using the new one in BT mode. When I originally bought my Xbone, I planned on using it as BT controller, but I always found it would miss button presses sometimes. So I ended up getting the wireless adapter and it's been 100% stable with the controllers and headphone.

It's always hard to say how to recommend these, cuz would I say it's the best xbox controller yet, yes. Is it worth upgrading from an older working controller? Maybe not if you're not having any issues with it. If you are, then sure.
 
  • Like
Reactions: VSG
Joined
Feb 18, 2013
Messages
1,982 (0.62/day)
Location
KL, Malaysia
System Name Rainbow Unicorn
Processor Intel Core i5-11400 (MCE enabled, all-core boost at 4.2GHz)
Motherboard ASUS STRIX B560-G GAMING WI-FI mATX
Cooling Corsair H60i RGB PRO XT AIO + HD120 RGB (x3) + SP120 RGB PRO (x3) + Commander PRO
Memory Corsair Vengeance RGB RT 2 x 8GB 3200MHz DDR4 C16
Video Card(s) Zotac RTX2060 Twin Fan 6GB GDDR6 (stock)
Storage Corsair MP600 1TB M.2 PCIe Gen4 SSD (boot and games)
Display(s) LG 29WK600-W Ultrawide Monitor + Dell U2417H Monitor (set to Portrait orientation)
Case Corsair iCUE 220T RGB Airflow (White) w/Lighting Node CORE + Lighting Node PRO RGB LED Strips (x4).
Audio Device(s) ASUS ROG Supreme FX S1220A
Power Supply Corsair RM750x 80 Plus Gold Fully Modular
Mouse Corsair M65 RGB FPS Gaming (White)
Keyboard Corsair STRAFE RGB Mechanical Keyboard (MX Red RGB)
Software Windows 10 Professional x64 (Update 21H1)
still have my XB1 and XB360 controller with me. Didn't have any drifting issues as both controllers are well-maintained. XB360 controller is 10 years old and still works like a charm. XB1 is almost 5 years. The only gripe I have with the XB1 controller is the sticks worn out way quicker than the 360's. Good thing there are replacement sticks out there (they're much better than the stock ones, imo).
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 14, 2011
Messages
109 (0.03/day)
Author is clearly a filthy casual :D
Xbox controllers are way inferior to steam controller or DS4/Dualsense for PC gaming due to not having gyro built in. Flick Stick and gyro aim are vastly superior. Look at this beauty:
I recommend watching all his videos.
Steam controller is way better as well:
There is a lot of videos about Steam controller configs for various games, I like RambleTan.
In short gyro is a must for comfortable aiming from couch that is not retarded like analog stick. I like that they are still using normal batteries - thumbs up! BTW Steam Deck will have gyro as well so FPS will play great on it after some fiddling with steam input configurator :)
 
Top