Xbox One controller

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Xbox One Wireless Controller
Xbox One Controller (11044311844).jpg
Xbox One controller ("Day One" launch edition)
TypeVideo game controller
Release date
  • NA: November 22, 2013
  • EU: November 22, 2013 (some countries, 2014 for others)
  • AU: November 22, 2013
  • BRA: December 1, 2013
  • JP: September 4, 2014
ConnectivityWireless, Micro USB
  • Digital D-Pad
  • 2× Analog triggers (LT, RT)
  • 2× Analog sticks
  • 11× Digital buttons
    (Y, B, A, X, LB, RB, Left Stick (clickable), Right Stick (clickable), Menu, View, Xbox)
  • Wireless pairing button
  • 3.5mm Stereo Audio Jack (after 2nd revision)
  • Bluetooth 4.0 (third revision)
Current firmware2.3.2385.0
3.1.1221.0 (third revision)
PredecessorXbox 360 Controller

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

It has had three revisions with several changes to the controller's design and functionality. Microsoft also markets the Elite Wireless Controller, a premium version geared towards professional gamers, including interchangeable parts and programmability features. In turn, each of the aforementioned variations has been offered in various color schemes, some featuring special designs tying into specific games.

Per a partnership between Microsoft and Oculus VR, Xbox One controllers are bundled with the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.[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, the removal of the protruding 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. This change was made partially due to criticism by players of fighting games who, 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 said fighting games. The updated 4-way design is also better suited for use as individual keys in games that use them for item selection.[7] The design of the face buttons was revised 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 yellow "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 backlit Xbox logo on its guide button and does not feature the "ring of light" that served as an indicator for the controller's assigned number (1 to 4). The left and right "shoulders" each feature a digital shoulder button, or "bumper", and an analog trigger.

Hardware revisions[edit]

2015 revision[edit]

On June 9, 2015, Microsoft unveiled a revised version of the standard controller. Its shoulder buttons were redesigned for improved responsiveness, a 3.5 mm headphone jack was added near the controller's expansion port, and support for wireless firmware updates was added.[10][11]

2016 revision (Xbox One S)[edit]

A third revision of the controller was introduced alongside the Xbox One S, an updated model of the Xbox One console, unveiled in June 2016. It features textured grips, and additionally supports Bluetooth, which allows it to be used wirelessly on Bluetooth-enabled PCs without the need for the proprietary Wireless Adapter.[12][13] Users can also custom-order this controller revision via the "Xbox Design Lab" service, with their choice of colors, and an optional inscription of their Xbox Live screen name for an additional fee.[14]

It has been made available in white, black, red, and blue colors, as well as other limited edition colors.[15]

Xbox One controller model summary
Model[a] Introduced Discontinued 3.5mm jack Bluetooth Thumbnail Notes
1537[b] 2013 2015 No No No No Xbox One Day ONE controller.jpg Controllers packed with launch-day systems are marked "DAY ONE 2013" with chrome d-pad.[16]
1697 2015 2016 Yes Yes No No Xbox One controller white (39802077275).jpg Standard 3.5mm audio jack added to bottom of controller.[17] Capable of receiving firmware updates wirelessly from Xbox One console.[18]
1698 'Elite' 2015 Yes Yes No No[19] Gamescom 2015 Cologne 2015 Xbox Elite Wireless Controller (19704848714).jpg Interchangeable thumbsticks and d-pad; detachable paddles on underside duplicating face buttons; rubberized grip; trigger locks.[20] Standard color scheme is black and silver, but the Elite controller was also available in a predominantly red special edition Gears of War 4-branded theme.
1708 2016 Yes Yes Yes Yes Xbox One controller model 1708 (39160219920) (cropped).jpg Introduced with Xbox One S.[12] Externally distinguished from earlier versions by texture & color of plastic surrounding Xbox home button, which now matches the rest of the controller body. Internally, Bluetooth wireless capability provides an alternative to the proprietary wireless dongle when used with Windows PCs.
  1. ^ The model number is printed on the sticker in the battery compartment
  2. ^ Part number 7MN-0001

Colors and styles[edit]

Besides standard colors, "special" and "limited edition" Xbox One controllers have also been sold by Microsoft with special color and design schemes, sometimes tying into specific games.

  • Day One Edition. Versions with the inscription "DAY ONE 2013" were bundled with limited "Day One Edition" Xbox One bundles at launch in November 2013, which were intended for those who pre-ordered the console.[21][22]
  • White controller. A white version of the standard controller is bundled with white Xbox One hardware, such as the Xbox One S,[13] the previous Sunset Overdrive bundle, and one given exclusively to Microsoft employees on the release of Xbox One.[23][24] The ones in the employee bundle contain the inscription "I MADE THIS LAUNCH TEAM 2013";[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]
  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare limited edition controllers were released in November 2014 to coincide with the game. The controllers are inspired by the aesthetics of the in-game Sentinel Task Force, featuring its emblem, monochrome lettering on the face buttons (colored dots indicate the face button colors), a gold-colored D-pad, and gold, silver, and grey accents.[28]
  • "Forces" controllers, featuring camouflage pattern, and optionally bundled with a matching stereo headset.[29] First, the Armed Forces controller, in green color, was released in October 2014.[29] The design was also made in a blue-colored variant called Midnight Forces, released in November 2014,[30] and a grey and black Covert Forces version, released in June 2015. The Covert Forces version is based upon the revised Xbox One controller with 3.5 mm headset jack.[31] In November 2015, Microsoft re-issued the Armed Forces edition, now based on the second-generation controller.[32]
  • Forza Motorsport 6 special edition controllers were released in September 2015 with a limited edition of the console, to coincide with the game's launch. The controller is colored in dark blue with a "racing stripe" pattern down the centre, similarly to its corresponding Xbox One special edition.[33] A concept edition of the Elite controller based upon the Ford GT, including redesigned thumb sticks and trigger buttons inspired by the vehicle, was also presented by Microsoft in collaboration with Ford Motor Company.[34] Three more controllers to commemorate with Ford's Cobra Daytona, GT40 Mark II and Mark IV. All of these controllers are now in the Petersen Automobile Museum [35]
  • Halo 5: Guardians — The Master Chief and Halo 5: Guardians limited edition controllers were released to coincide with Halo 5: Guardians in October 2015 (the latter was also packaged with the Halo 5: Guardians console bundle). They are inspired by the armor designs of Master Chief and Spartan Locke respectively; the Master Chief version features a military green color scheme with a gold "chrome" d-pad and triggers, and the Spartan Locke version has a silver color scheme with a blue "chrome" d-pad and accents. Both are based upon the revised controller with 3.5 mm headset jack, and feature monochromatic face buttons, etched detailing and texture effects, and are bundled with codes to unlock in-game customization items in Halo 5.[36]
  • Lunar White special edition controllers were released on September 22, 2015. They are based upon the revised Xbox One controller with 3.5 mm headset jack, and feature a white body, gold-colored "chrome" d-pad and triggers, and monochromatic face buttons.[37]
  • "Shadow" controllers were unveiled in March 2016. They feature metallic color schemes with a gradient effect that fades to black. The Shadow line was unveiled in copper Copper Shadow and blue Dusk Shadow versions; in the U.S. they are exclusive to GameStop and Best Buy stores respectively, as well as Microsoft Store.[38]
  • Pizza Hut Red controller. Pizza Hut offered "The Triple Treat Box Instant Win and Sweepstakes" from November 7 to December 24, 2016. Candidates entered a code for a chance to win one of 1,140 prizes consisting of an Xbox One S console and controller bundled with an additional special edition gloss red Xbox One S controller featuring the Pizza Hut logo. One additional grand prize winner was also drawn at random to win a 4K television and an audio system in addition to the Xbox One S console.[39][40][41]
  • Recon Tech was unveiled in April 2017, featuring a grey base color scheme with gold, futuristic military-inspired accents.[42]
  • Minecraft-themed controllers were released in October 2017, with versions based on the Creeper and pig characters. The face buttons utilize a blocky font reminiscent of the game's visual style. The Creeper controller is also included in a special edition Xbox One S bundle.[43][44]
  • Sea of Thieves Limited Edition controllers were announced on February 7, 2018.[45]
  • PlayerUnknown's Battleground Limited Editionwere released on October 30, 2018, via the Microsoft store. It features a black digital camouflage design coinciding with the game. On the front, it has a laser scratch-like chrome D-pad, a blue circle surrounding the left analog stick, grips on the back triggers with a red 'X' on the back of the right trigger, and the 'PUBG' logo on the back battery cover. [46]

Elite controller[edit]

Xbox Elite Wireless Controller

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 (original Xbox one stick, a concaved version and a extended version for increased accuracy ), and directional pad designs (either the traditional four-way design, or a concave 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 customise 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 on October 27, 2015.[47][48][49] A special Gears of War 4-themed limited edition variant of the Elite controller was unveiled during Microsoft's E3 2016 press conference. It features a rustic, dark red color scheme with a blood splatter effect and the series emblem on the rear of the controller, and a D-pad disc with weapon symbols corresponding to the in-game weapons bound to these controls.[50]

Plans for a revised version of the Elite controller were leaked in January 2018, with a number of new features, including USB Type C connector, and other hardware improvements.[51] These plans, however, were apparently canceled, and a White Special Edition of the controller was announced on August 29, 2018 as another cosmetic variant of the original Elite. The White Special Edition does not include the leaked features such as USB-C connectivity, three-level Hair Trigger Locks, or adjustable tension for the thumbsticks, nor does it include Bluetooth connectivity introduced with the revised Xbox One S controller.[52]

Support on other platforms[edit]

Drivers were released in June 2014 to allow Xbox One controllers to be used over a USB connection on PCs running Windows 7 or later.[53] The Xbox One Wireless Adapter for Windows is a USB dongle that allows up to eight controllers to be used at once wirelessly. Upon its release in October 2015, it was supported only by Windows 10. Drivers for Windows 7 and 8.1 were released in December 2015.[54][55] The adapter was updated in August 2017 with a smaller form factor.[56]

Windows 10 features include button remapping for the Elite Controller, audio through the controller, and firmware updates. On Windows 7 or 8.1, drivers are required, and the aforementioned features are not available.[57]

Microsoft also supports Bluetooth-enabled Xbox One controllers on Android, specifically listing support for Minecraft: Gear VR Edition on certain Samsung Galaxy devices.[58]


Stereo headset adapter[edit]

The Xbox One Stereo Headset Adapter allows the use of headsets with 3.5 millimeter headphone jacks with the original Xbox One controller, which does not include a 3.5 mm jack. An adapter for 2.5 millimeter headphone jacks (except for ones with a dongle-like adapter) is also included.[59]


A keyboard chatpad attachment, similar to the Xbox 360 Messenger Kit, was unveiled at Gamescom on August 4, 2015.[60]

Play & Charge Kit[edit]

Similarly to the Xbox 360 version, the Play & Charge kit is the official rechargable battery pack for Xbox One controllers.[61]


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External links[edit]