Having your Xbox Series X controller fail to connect can certainly be frustrating, especially when you want to dive into playing games. You likely expect the wireless connection between your controller and console to be quick and seamless but failed. Thankfully, most controller connection issues stem from simple interference or misconfigurations that are easy to reverse.
With some informed troubleshooting, you can get your Xbox Series X controller connecting wirelessly again smoothly. This guide will cover the most common connectivity problems and practical solutions to get your controller paired and operational. Just a few tweaks can have you gaming again in no time.
Common Xbox Controller Connection Issues
Some typical reasons an Xbox Series X controller may fail to connect include:
- Console too far away – Controllers have a 30-foot wireless range. Make sure you are within range.
- Bluetooth interference – Other Bluetooth devices can interfere with controller connectivity. Turn them off.
- Wrong sync button – Using the Bluetooth sync instead of the Xbox sync button prevents pairing.
- Outdated controller – Controllers require firmware updates for connectivity fixes. Update your controller.
- Faulty wireless card – The console’s internal wireless card may be defective and unable to communicate. Professional repair may be needed.
- Interference from USB – Having a wired headset plugged in can sometimes interfere with wireless signals. Unplug when using wireless controller.
- Obstructed line-of-sight – Keep the console and controller unobstructed for best wireless performance.
If your Xbox Series X controller won’t connect, try the following procedures to determine the underlying cause and fix the problem.
1. Move Console Closer
Make sure the controller is within 30 feet of the console for pairing. Walls and obstructions reduce range.
According to Microsoft, the Bluetooth proximity range for the Xbox Series X is up to 10 meters. However, the actual range may vary depending on the environment and other factors, such as walls, furniture, and other electronic devices.
Here are some things that can affect the Bluetooth range of the Xbox Series X:
- The environment: The Bluetooth range can be affected by the environment, such as walls, furniture, and other electronic devices. If the Xbox Series X is placed in a room with a lot of walls or other obstructions, the range will be reduced.
- The distance between the Xbox Series X and the device: The Bluetooth range is also affected by the distance between the Xbox Series X and the device. The closer the Xbox Series X and the device are, the better the connection will be.
- The quality of the Bluetooth signal: The Bluetooth range can also be affected by the quality of the Bluetooth signal. If the signal is weak, the range will be reduced.
- The battery level of the Xbox Series X: The battery level of the Xbox Series X can also affect the Bluetooth range. If the battery level is low, the range will be reduced.
If you are having trouble with the Bluetooth range of your Xbox Series X, try to move the Xbox Series X closer to the device. Also remove any obstructions between the Xbox Series X and the device.
2. Disable Other Bluetooth Devices
The Xbox Series X has a limited number of Bluetooth connections it can support at once. By disabling other Bluetooth devices when attempting to pair with the Xbox Series X, you can reduce the chances of interference and make it easier for the Xbox Series X to connect to the device you want to pair it with.
Here are some other reasons why it is necessary to disable other Bluetooth devices when attempting to pair with Xbox Series X:
- To prevent interference: When multiple Bluetooth devices are turned on in the same area, they can interfere with each other. This can make it difficult to connect to any of the devices. By disabling other Bluetooth devices, you can reduce the chances of interference and make it easier to connect to the device you want to pair with.
- To prevent accidental connections: If you have multiple Bluetooth devices turned on, it is possible that the Xbox Series X could accidentally connect to the wrong device. This can be frustrating and inconvenient. By disabling other Bluetooth devices, you can prevent this from happening.
- To conserve battery power: Bluetooth devices use battery power even when they are not in use. By disabling Bluetooth devices when you are not using them, you can conserve battery power.
If you are having trouble pairing your Xbox Series X with a Bluetooth device, you can try disabling other Bluetooth devices in the area. Turn off phones, headphones and other Bluetooth gadgets temporarily that could cause interference.
3. Use Xbox Sync Button
Use the sync button on top of the controller near Xbox logo. Don’t use Bluetooth sync which won’t pair it.
The Xbox Sync Button is a small, circular button located on the top of the Xbox Series X controller. It is used to pair the controller with the Xbox Series X console. To use the Xbox Sync Button, follow these steps:
- Make sure that the Xbox Series X console is turned on.
- Press and hold the Xbox Sync Button on the controller for 3 seconds.
- The Xbox button on the controller will start flashing.
- On the Xbox Series X console, go to Settings > Devices & connections > Controllers & headsets.
- Select Add a new device.
- The Xbox Series X console will search for the controller. When the controller is found, select it to pair it with the console.
Once the controller is paired with the Xbox Series X console, the Xbox button on the controller will stop flashing and will remain lit.
Here are some things to keep in mind when using the Xbox Sync Button:
- The Xbox Sync Button must be pressed and held for 3 seconds in order to pair the controller with the console.
- If the Xbox button on the controller is not flashing, it means that the controller is not in pairing mode.
- If the Xbox Series X console does not find the controller, make sure that the controller is turned on and that it is within range of the console.
- If you are still having trouble pairing the controller with the console, you can try restarting the console or the controller.
4. Update Controller Firmware
Updating the controller firmware can also help fix the problem, especially if it’s tied to some software bugs and glitches.
There are two ways to update the firmware of an Xbox Series X controller:
- Over-the-air (OTA) update: This is the most common way to update the firmware of an Xbox Series X controller. To do an OTA update, you will need to connect your controller to an Xbox Series X or Xbox One console. Once the controller is connected to the console, it will automatically check for updates. If there is an update available, the controller will download and install it.
- Manual update: If the controller is not connected to an Xbox Series X or Xbox One console or if you are having trouble updating the controller over-the-air, you can manually update it using a computer. To do a manual update, you will need to download the update file from the Microsoft website and then install it on the controller.
Here are the steps on how to update the firmware of an Xbox Series X controller using each method:
Over-the-air (OTA) update:
- Connect the controller to the Xbox Series X or Xbox One console using a USB cable.
- Turn on the console.
- Wait for the controller to check for updates.
- If there is an update available, the controller will download and install it.
- The controller will restart once the update is complete.
- Go to the Microsoft website and download the update file for your controller.
- Connect the controller to your computer using a USB cable.
- Open the update file that you downloaded.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to install the update.
- The controller will restart once the update is complete.
Here are some things to keep in mind when updating the firmware of an Xbox Series X controller:
- Make sure that the controller is turned on and has enough battery power before you start the update.
- Do not disconnect the controller from the console or the computer while the update is in progress.
- If you are having trouble updating the controller, you can try restarting the console or the controller.
5. Reseat Wireless Card
Reseating the wireless card can help when dealing with a Bluetooth connection error on an Xbox Series X by ensuring that the card is properly seated in the console. If the card is not properly seated, it can cause interference with the Bluetooth signal, resulting in connection errors.
To reseat the wireless card on an Xbox Series X, follow these steps:
- Turn off the Xbox Series X and unplug it from the power outlet.
- Remove the side panel of the console.
- Locate the wireless card. It is a small, rectangular card that is located near the top of the console.
- Gently press down on the wireless card to release it from its slot.
- Carefully remove the wireless card from the console.
- Inspect the wireless card for any damage. If the card is damaged, you will need to replace it.
- Reseat the wireless card in its slot.
- Secure the wireless card in place by pressing down on it.
- Replace the side panel of the console.
- Plug the Xbox Series X back into the power outlet and turn it on.
If you are still having trouble with the Bluetooth connection after reseating the wireless card, you can try updating the firmware of the console or the controller.
6. Try Wired Controller
Plug a controller directly into a USB port on the console to test if wireless card is potentially defective and preventing connections.
A wired controller works by sending data to the Xbox Series X console through a USB cable. The cable provides a direct connection between the controller and the console, which ensures a reliable and responsive connection.
To use a wired controller on an Xbox Series X, follow these steps:
- Connect the USB cable to the controller and the Xbox Series X console.
- Turn on the Xbox Series X console.
- The controller will automatically be detected by the console.
- The controller will be ready to use.
Here are some things to keep in mind when using a wired controller on an Xbox Series X:
- Make sure that the USB cable is properly connected to the controller and the console.
- If the controller is not detected by the console, try restarting the console or the controller.
Advantages of using a wired controller:
- Reliable connection: A wired controller provides a reliable connection to the Xbox Series X console, which is important for gaming.
- Low latency: A wired controller has low latency, which means that there is less delay between the time you press a button on the controller and the time the action is registered on the console.
- No batteries required: A wired controller does not require batteries, so you do not have to worry about running out of power in the middle of a game.
Disadvantages of using a wired controller:
- Limited mobility: A wired controller is limited by the length of the USB cable, so you cannot move around as freely as you can with a wireless controller.
- Can be more expensive: Wired controllers can be more expensive than wireless controllers.
Ultimately, the best way to use a wired controller on an Xbox Series X is to decide what is most important to you. If you are looking for a reliable and responsive connection, then a wired controller is a good option. However, if you need more mobility, then a wireless controller may be a better choice.
7. Factory Reset Console (optional)
As a last resort, choose Reset Console in system settings to wipe all data and do a fresh install, just leaving controller pairing.
There are two ways to factory reset an Xbox Series X console:
- From the console: This is the easiest way to factory reset your Xbox Series X console. To do this, follow these steps:
- Press the Xbox button on the controller to open the guide.
- Select Profile & system > Settings > System > Console info > Reset console.
- Select Reset and remove everything.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the reset.
- Using a USB drive: This method is more complicated, but it allows you to keep some of your data, such as your saved games. To do this, follow these steps:
- Download the factory reset image from the Microsoft website.
- Create a USB drive that is at least 8GB in size.
- Format the USB drive as FAT32.
- Copy the factory reset image to the USB drive.
- Connect the USB drive to the Xbox Series X console.
- Press and hold the Xbox button on the console for 10 seconds until it turns off.
- Once the console is turned off, unplug the power cable from the back of the console.
- Wait 30 seconds and then plug the power cable back into the console.
- Hold the Pair button (located on the front of the console next to the USB port) and the Eject button (located just above the disc drive) for 10-15 seconds.
- Listen for two power-up tones a couple of seconds apart.
- Once the second power-up tone is heard, you can release the Pair button and the Eject button.
- The console will start up in the factory reset mode.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the reset.
When you factory reset an Xbox Series X console, it will erase all of your data, including:
- Your account: This includes your username, password, and any other account information.
- Your saved games: This includes all of your saved games, progress, and achievements.
- Your settings: This includes your console settings, such as your language, time zone, and privacy settings.
- Your installed apps and games: This includes all of the apps and games that you have installed on your console.
The only thing that will not be erased is the operating system. The operating system is the software that runs your console.
If you want to keep any of your data, you should back it up before you factory reset your console. You can back up your data to an external hard drive or to the cloud.
Contact Xbox Support
If connection issues persist after troubleshooting, contact Xbox Support to arrange professional console servicing for wireless card or hardware issues.
Here are the ways you can contact Xbox support:
- Phone: Call 1-800-469-9269. You can reach customer support from Monday to Friday, 9 AM to 9 PM ET. Phone support is the fastest way to get help from Xbox support. However, it may be difficult to get through to a representative during peak hours.
- Email: Email support is a good option if you can wait a few days for a response.
- Chat: You can chat with a customer support representative on the Xbox website. Chat support is a good option if you need help right away. However, the wait time may be longer than phone support.
- Social media: You can contact Xbox customer support through their social media channels, such as Facebook and Twitter. Social media support is a good option if you want to get help quickly. However, the response time may vary depending on the social media platform.
- Live chat: You can also chat with a customer support representative on the Xbox website. Live chat is a good option if you need help right away and you are comfortable chatting with a representative online.
When you contact Xbox support, be sure to have the following information ready:
- Your Xbox console’s serial number
- The problem you are experiencing
- Your contact information
With some informed testing and isolation, you should be able to successfully reconnect your Xbox Series X controller again wirelessly. But don’t hesitate to contact Xbox Support if problems continue.
FAQs about Xbox Series X controller not connecting
What are some common reasons an Xbox Series X controller won’t connect to the console?
Typical causes include the console being too far away or having line-of-sight obstructions, nearby Bluetooth devices interfering, using the wrong sync button, outdated controller firmware needing an update, a faulty console wireless card, plugged in USB accessories disrupting wireless, loose wireless card connections, and incompatibility issues.
How can I troubleshoot and fix an Xbox Series X controller that won’t connect?
Solutions include moving the console closer with fewer obstructions, turning off nearby Bluetooth devices, using the proper Xbox sync button, updating controller firmware through console settings, reseating the wireless card inside the console, trying a wired controller, factory resetting the console to wipe issues, and contacting Xbox support if problems persist indicating a hardware defect.
What should I do if my Xbox Series X controller still won’t connect wirelessly after troubleshooting?
If your controller continues having wireless connection problems after moving the console closer, clearing interference, syncing properly, installing firmware updates, reseating the wireless card, attempting wired connection, and factory resetting, contact Xbox Support for assistance. Provide your full troubleshooting details. Further wireless diagnostics may be required.