Xbox One Controller

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Xbox One Controller
Xbox One controller
Manufacturer Microsoft
Type Video game controller
Generation Eighth
Release date
  • NA November 22, 2013
  • EU November 22, 2013 (some countries, 2014 for others)
  • AU November 22, 2013
  • BR December 1, 2013
Retail availability 2013 - Current

Wireless, Micro USB

  • 2× clickable Analog sticks
  • Digital D-Pad
  • 2× Analog triggers
  • 11× Digital buttons
  • Wireless pairing button
  • 3.5mm Stereo Audio Jack (newer revisions)
  • Current firmware: 2.3.2381.0
Predecessor Xbox 360 Controller

The Xbox One Controller is the primary controller for the Microsoft Xbox One console. The controller maintains the overall layout found in the Xbox 360's controller, but with various tweaks to its design, such as a revised shape, redesigned analog sticks, shoulder buttons, and triggers, along with new vibrators within the triggers to allow for directional haptic feedback.

Since launch, there has been one minor revision to the Xbox One controller: the addition of a 3.5mm stereo headset jack and an improved bumper mechanism.[1]


Microsoft invested over $100 million into refining the controller design for the Xbox One; internal designers had created prototypes with various tweaks and refinements to the design over the Xbox 360 controller, along with those including unorthodox features such as embedded screens and speakers (which were rejected due to their effects on battery life, and redundancy to the main display and sound system), and the ability to emit odors.[2]

The Xbox One controller maintains the overall layout found in the Xbox 360's design, but with enhancements such as redesigned grips, a smoother build (including a slimmer battery compartment) and "Menu" and "View" buttons replacing "Start" and "Back". The controller also contains light emitters that allow it to be tracked and paired using Kinect sensor, and to detect when it is not being held to automatically enter a low-power state. The controller contains a micro USB port, enabling wired use of the controller with the console or on computers running Windows 7 or later with drivers, and firmware updates.[3][4][5][6] For communication, the controller uses a new proprietary protocol with a larger amount of bandwidth than the wireless protocol used by the Xbox 360 controller, reducing wireless latency and allowing higher quality headset audio.[4][5]

The analog sticks feature a new textured rim, while the D-pad was changed to use a more traditional 4-way design rather than the circular 8-way design of the 360, factoring criticism by players of fighting games (who, ironically, despite the use of "sweeps" across the D-pad in these games as motivation, felt that the Xbox 360's D-pad performed poorly in fighting games), and their use as "keys" in some games.[7] The design of the face buttons were designed to improve their legibility, using a three-layer design consisting of a black background, colored letter, and a clear covering intended to make the letter appear to "hover" inside it. The buttons themselves are also spaced slightly closer together.[8]

The bumpers and trigger buttons were overhauled with a new curved shape to improve their ergonomics, as the user's fingers now naturally lie at an angle upon them unlike the straighter design on Xbox 360 controllers. The bumpers were also made flush with the triggers. The triggers themselves now have a smoother feel, and were made more accurate.[8] Each trigger features independent rumble motors called "Impulse Triggers", which allows developers to program directional vibration. One trigger can be made to vibrate when firing a gun, or both can work together to create feedback that indicates the direction of an incoming hit.[9]


A standard Xbox One controller features ten digital buttons, a syncing button, two analog triggers, two analog sticks and a digital D-pad. The right face of the controller features four digital actions buttons; a green "A" button, red "B" button, blue "X" button, and amber "Y" button. The lower right houses the right analog stick, in lower left is a digital D-pad and on the left face is the left analog stick. Both analog sticks can also be "clicked in" to activate a digital button beneath. In the center of the controller face are digital "View", "Menu" and "Guide" buttons. The "Guide" button is labelled with the Xbox logo, and is used to turn on the console/controller and to access the Dashboard. Unlike the Xbox 360 controller, the Xbox One controller features a white, glowing Xbox logo on its guide button and does not feature the "ring of light". The left and right "shoulders" each feature a digital shoulder button, or "bumper", and an analog trigger.

Elite controller[edit]

Xbox One Elite controller, featuring two unique pairs of analog sticks, a new d-pad, and two differently sized pairs of paddles

On June 15, 2015, during its E3 2015 press conference, Microsoft unveiled the Xbox One Elite Wireless Controller, a new controller which Xbox division head Phil Spencer described as being "an elite controller for the elite gamer". It features a steel construction with a soft-touch plastic exterior, along with interchangeable rear paddle buttons (with either short or long forms), analog stick tops (concave and convex), and directional pad designs (either the traditional four-way design, or a convex disc-like design), and "hair trigger locks" for the triggers that allow users to reduce the amount of distance they must be pressed to register a press. Through software, users can customize button and paddle mappings and adjust the sensitivity of the triggers and analog sticks. Two button profiles can be assigned to a switch on the controller for quick access. The Elite Controller was released in October 2015.[10][11][12]

PC support[edit]

On June 5, 2014, official drivers were first released, to enable the use of the Xbox One controller in Windows PCs.[13] These drivers, however, only enabled the use of the controller while connected via a micro USB cable to the computer. Soon after, a new SKU of the controller, called "Xbox One Wired Controller for Windows" was released, which included the regular black controller together with the necessary cable, intended for Windows PCs.[14]

Finally, on March 3, 2015, a wireless receiver was announced to launch coinciding with the release of Windows 10, which would enable the use of the controller on PCs wirelessly.[15]

The driver is now available as a recommended update on Windows Update for Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 users. The drivers for the Xbox One Controller come pre-installed in Windows 10.


Stereo headset adapter[edit]

The Xbox One Stereo Headset Adapter allows the use of headsets with 3.5 millimeter headphone jacks with the Xbox One controller. An adapter for 2.5 millimeter headphone jacks (except for ones with a dongle-like adapter) is also included.[16]

PC wireless receiver[edit]

The Xbox One wireless adapter is a USB dongle that allows wireless use of Xbox One controllers exclusively on Windows 10 PCs.[17]


A keyboard chatpad attachment, similar to the Xbox 360 Messenger Kit, was unveiled at Gamescom on August 4, 2015.[18]


Standard variants[edit]

  • A standard controller in black is shipped with all standard Xbox One consoles and are also available for standalone retail purchases. Per a partnership between Microsoft and Oculus VR, Xbox One controllers will be bundled with the Oculus Rift.[19] Bundles with white Xbox One hardware (such as the Sunset Overdrive bundle, and one given exclusively to employees on the release of Xbox One), include a white version.[20][21]
  • On June 9, 2015, Microsoft unveiled a revised version of the standard controller, bearing model number 1697, in contrast to the previous controller's 1537. Its shoulder buttons were redesigned for improved responsiveness, a 3.5 mm headphone jack was added near the controller's expansion port, and it now supports wireless firmware updates.[22][23]

Limited and special edition colors[edit]

  • White controllers inscribed with "I made this, LAUNCH TEAM 2013" were included in a special bundle for Microsoft employees.[24]
  • Controllers inscribed with "Day One 2013" were bundled with limited "Day One Edition" Xbox One bundles at launch in November 2013, primarily for those who pre-ordered the console.[25][26]
  • Titanfall limited edition controllers were released in March 2014 to coincide with the launch of Titanfall. The controllers have a white, black and orange design that was inspired by the in-game R-101C carbine, and also accompanied by a similarly-styled console given to Respawn Entertainment employees.[27]
  • Armed Forces special edition controllers were released in October 2014, carrying a green camoflauge pattern, and optionally bundled with a matching stereo headset.[28] A blue-colored variant, Midnight Forces, was released in November 2014.[29]
  • Call of Duty Advanced Warfare limited edition controllers were released in November 2014 to coincide with the release of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. The controllers are inspired by the aesthetics of the in-game Sentinel Task Force, featuring its emblem, monochromatic buttons, a gold-colored D-pad, and gold, silver, and grey accents.[30]
  • Forza Motorsport 6 special edition controllers were released in September 2015 to coincide with the release of Forza Motorsport 6. The controller is colored in dark blue with a "racing stripe" pattern down the centre, similarly to its corresponding Xbox One edition.[31] A concept edition of the Elite controller based on the Ford GT, including redesigned thumb sticks and trigger buttons inspired by the vehicle, were also presented by Microsoft in collaboration with Ford Motor Company.[32]


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  2. ^ "The Xbox One controller: Projectors, smells (!), and other stuff that didn't make it in (part 1, exclusive)". VentureBeat. 2013-11-18. Retrieved 2015-04-09. 
  3. ^ "Update your Xbox One Controller to use the Stereo Headset Adaptor". Microsoft. Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  4. ^ a b "The Xbox One controller: A look at the new rumble, faster speed, smooth design, and everything else (part 4, exclusive)". VentureBeat. Retrieved 11 June 2015. 
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  8. ^ a b "The Xbox One controller: What’s new with the buttons and triggers (part 3, exclusive)". VentureBeat. Retrieved 11 June 2015. 
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  12. ^ Martin Robinson (June 16, 2015). "Microsoft Introduce the New Modular Xbox Elite Wireless Controller". Eurogamer. Retrieved June 21, 2015. 
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  29. ^ Makuch, Eddie (2014-09-09). "$65 Xbox One "Midnight Forces" Controller Revealed". GameSpot. Retrieved 2015-04-09. 
  30. ^ "Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare-branded Xbox One controller is pricey". Polygon. Retrieved 2015-04-09. 
  31. ^ "Forza 6 bundled with limited-edition blue Xbox One for Forza's 10th anniversary". Polygon. Retrieved 17 October 2015. 
  32. ^ "Xbox One's Forza 6 Gets Custom Concept Controller". GameSpot. Retrieved 11 November 2015.