How to Connect Xbox Controller to iPhone?

Modern iPhones are powerful devices with many games available in the App Store. Moreover, Apple Arcade provides access to almost two hundred games, many of which support gamepad input. There are many solid controllers for iPhones, and Xbox Wireless Controller is one of our favorite. It is inexpensive, works with multiple platforms, and provides solid ergonomics and quality material. Here is how to pair an Xbox controller with a modern iPhone.

Which Xbox Controller Works With iPhone?

The following gamepads from Microsoft (Xbox-branded) work with iPhones that support iOS 13 and newer:

  1. Xbox Wireless Controller with Bluetooth (released in 2016 with Xbox One S).
  2. Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2.
  3. Third-gen Xbox Wireless Controller with a Share button and a USB-C port (released in 2020 with Xbox Series X).

The original Xbox One Wireless Controller does not work with iPhones because the gamepad has no Bluetooth. You can connect an Xbox controller to the first-gen iPhone SE, iPhone 6S/6S Plus, and all the subsequent iPhones with iOS 13 and newer.

Connect Xbox Controller to iPhone

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone and turn on Bluetooth.
  2. Grab your Xbox controller you want to connect to the iPhone and press the Xbox button. It will start flashing white.
  3. Locate the connection button on the back of the gamepad next to the USB port. Press and hold the button until the Xbox button starts flashing swiftly. Now your gamepad is ready to connect to your iPhone.
  4. Return to your iPhone and open Settings > Bluetooth.
  5. After a few seconds, your iPhone will show “Xbox Wireless Controller” in the list of available devices. Tap it to connect the Xbox controller to iPhone.
    how to connect xbox controller to iphone
  6. Tap Pair to confirm pairing.
  7. Wait a few seconds until the Xbox button on the gamepad stops flashing. Tip: On iPad, press the Xbox button to open the Games folder in the App Library. It is a neat shortcut that lets you quickly jump to your games.

Tip. Did you know you can connect your Xbox controller to several devices and switch between them without re-pairing the gamepad every time? We have a dedicated article that describes how to connect Xbox Wireless Controller to multiple devices.

That is how you connect the Xbox controller to iPhone.

Cyril Kardashevsky

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