You can connect your Xbox controller with your iPhone to play games. It only takes a few steps to make it work and we’ll show you how to do it in this guide.
If you play a lot of games on your iPhone and you own an Xbox, you may want to try connecting your Xbox controller to your phone to enhance the experience.
Unfortunately, iOS doesn’t support every Xbox controller so you’ll need a newer model if you want to use one with your iPhone. The iPhone currently supports the Xbox Wireless Controller with Bluetooth (Model 1708), Xbox Wireless Controller Series S, Xbox Wireless Controller Series X, Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2, and Xbox Adaptive Controller.
Before you take these steps, make sure your Xbox controller is running the latest firmware. You can update your controller wirelessly, via USB, or via your PC.
- How to Connect Xbox Controller to iPhone
- How to Customize Xbox Controller on iPhone
- How to Fix Xbox Controller iPhone Problems
So without further ado, here’s how to quickly connect an Xbox Controller to iPhone.
How to Connect Xbox Controller to iPhone
Once you’ve updated your controller(s) and iPhone with the latest firmware, grab your controller and your phone so you can get started.
When you have both of those in hand, you will need to pair your Xbox controller with your iPhone via Bluetooth. Here’s how to do that:
- First, press your controller’s Xbox button to power the controller on.
- Once the controller is powered on, press and hold the controller’s Connect button for a few seconds. This will put it into pairing mode and will allow your iPhone to find it.
- Next, on your iPhone, open up the Bluetooth settings in the Settings app.
- Find your controller on the list of nearby devices and tap it to connect it to your iPhone.
How to Customize Xbox Controller on iPhone
After you’ve successfully connected your Xbox controller to your iPhone, note that you can now customize your controllers settings via iOS. Note that you need to be running newer iOS software on your iPhone in order to make these changes.
If you want to customize your controller, follow these steps:
- Go to the Settings app on your iPhone.
- Tap on General.
- Tap on Game Controller.
- Tap the name of your controller.
- Tap Default Controls.
In here you can remap buttons however you want and you can also get your applications to remember the customizations you make so you don’t have to do it over and over again.
How to Fix Xbox Controller iPhone Problems
Sometimes this process may not work properly. We’ve seen a number of complaints about Xbox controller issues on the iPhone. These problems can be tricky to fix, but here are a few solutions that have worked for us in the past.
If you’re having trouble connecting your controller to your iPhone, go into your Bluetooth settings and tap the i symbol next to its name. Tap Forget This Device and try again.
We also recommend reducing the number of Bluetooth devices connected to your iPhone. This can help ward off wireless interference.
Apple also notes that support for specific buttons and features varies by controller and the app you’re using with it.
Install iOS 16.1.2 for Better Security
If security is important to you, think about installing Apple's iOS 16.1.2 update right away.
iOS 16.1.2 doesn't have a whole lot on board, but it does bring important security patches with it. Apple hasn't outlined those changes yet, but the company will do so right here whenever it's ready.
If you skipped iOS 16.1.1, you'll get its security patches when you upgrade. You can learn more about them right here.
If you missed the iOS 16.1 update, it brought 19 security patches to the iPhone and you can learn about the particulars of those over on Apple's website.
If you failed to download iOS 16.0.3, it had one security patch on board, a fix for a potential exploit within the Mail app. For more about the fix, check out Apple's security site.
If you're still running iOS 15 your iPhone, you'll get a bunch of other patches when you upgrade.
iOS 16.0 brought a ton of security patches to the iPhone. If you're interested in the exact nature of these improvements, you can read about them over on Apple's security website.
In addition to those patches, iOS 16 brings some additional enhancements to privacy and security including Safety Check which, according to Apple, will help "people in domestic or intimate partner violence situations review and reset the access they’ve granted others."
The feature also resets system privacy permissions for apps and restricts Messages and FaceTime to the device on hand.
Apple's also made some improvements to Passkeys in Safari. iOS 16 brings a brand new sign-in method that's end-to-end encrypted and safe from phishing and data leaks.