How do you use an Xbox One controller with Windows Mixed Reality?

The time we've had so far with Windows Mixed Reality (WMR) has been quite enjoyable, thanks to plenty of apps and a relatively simple setup. If you received motion controllers with your headset, you're no doubt enjoying some truly immersive VR, but there are still situations where an Xbox One controller makes more sense. If you're wondering how to use an Xbox One controller with Windows Mixed Reality, just follow this guide.

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How to pair an Xbox One controller with wireless adapter

First-generation and Elite Xbox One controllers do not support Bluetooth, so you will need to use a wireless adapter (about $25) that plugs into your PC via USB-A. If your Xbox One controller didn't come with an adapter, you can buy them separately.

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Now that you have a wireless adapter, follow these steps.

  1. Plug the wireless adapter into a USB-A port on your PC.

    Plug the wireless adapter into a USB-A port.

  2. Insert two AA batteries into your Xbox controller.

    Insert two AA batteries into your controller.

  3. Press and hold the Xbox button on the front of the controller until it lights up.

    Press and hold the Xbox button on the controller.

  4. Press the sync button on the wireless adapter that is plugged into your PC.

    Press the sync button.

  5. Press and hold the sync button on the controller for three seconds.

    Press and hold the sync button on the controller for three seconds.

The Xbox button should flash quickly while pairing, and will go solid once it has successfully paired.

How to pair an Xbox One controller with Bluetooth

Newer Xbox One controllers (about $60) feature Bluetooth for easy, adapter-free connectivity. If your PC also has Bluetooth capability, follow these steps.

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  1. Press and hold the Xbox button on the front of the controller until it lights up.

    Press and hold the Xbox button on the controller.

  2. Press and hold the sync button on the controller for three seconds.

    Press and hold the sync button on the controller for three seconds.

  3. Right-click the Start button on your PC.
  4. Click Settings.

    Right-click the Start button. Click Settings.

  5. Click Devices.
  6. Click Bluetooth & other devices.

    Click Devices. Click Bluetooth and other devices.

  7. Click Add Bluetooth or other device.
  8. Click Bluetooth.
  9. Click Xbox Wireless Controller from the list of discoverable devices.

    Click Add Bluetooth or other device. Click Bluetooth.

Your Xbox One controller should now be paired with your PC.

How to pair an Xbox One controller with Micro-USB cable

Using a Micro-USB cable

If your PC doesn't support Bluetooth and you don't have a wireless adapter, the next best thing is to connect your controller via Micro-USB cable. All you have to do is plug in the controller, and your PC will automatically recognize what's happening and take the necessary steps to pair the device.

The only issue here is that there's another cord running from your PC to you, and you're busy having fun in VR. The less cables the better in this scenario, so definitely do what you can to get a wireless connection in order.

Using an Xbox One controller with Windows Mixed Reality

As long as you've properly paired your Xbox One controller with your PC, whether with a wireless adapter, Bluetooth, or cable, WMR should automatically pick it up when you launch the Mixed Reality Portal.

If you're in your headset yet can't click anything with the controller, remove the headset and have a peek at your physical monitor. Do you see a blue bar at the top? If not, it's likely that input is switched over to your regular desktop. Use the shortcut Windows Key + Y on your keyboard to switch input over to WMR, and you should be good to go.

More resources

Are you enjoying Windows Mixed Reality with motion controllers, or are you sticking to an Xbox One controller? Drop us a line in the comments section! Also, be sure to check out these other resources for plenty more information.