In this post, we’ll learn how to connect Xbox 360 controller to PC Bluetooth!
Even though the primary connection is usually referred to as “Bluetooth”, the wireless connectivity is quite different. Bluetooth is not in the equation so let’s learn more!
The Xbox 360 controller connects to a computer via 360 receivers that you can purchase online for a low price. The receiver plugs into the PC’s USB port and after the driver installation, users can sync the Xbox 360 controller to the PC for better gaming.
Let’s learn more about why Bluetooth cannot be used in this case and what’s the true method:
Can You Connect an Xbox 360 Wireless Controller to PC?
The short answer to that question is yes, it is possible to wirelessly hook up an Xbox 360 controller to a PC.
However, the wireless connection with Xbox 360 is NOT Bluetooth.
The Xbox 360 controller uses a wireless protocol, which is not Bluetooth, and luckily the computers do support this connection so there is a way. Let’s learn more!
Well, there are a couple of things you need to acquire for the wireless connection to work.
For instance, the drivers only work when the wireless receiver is connected to your PC.
Here’s what you will need to connect your 360 controllers to a PC:
- A wireless Xbox 360 receiver
- A working Xbox 360 controller (that charges)
- Peripheral drivers for Windows 10
- A free USB port on your PC
In conclusion, your Xbox 360 controller can be connected semi-wirelessly, through a receiver that physically plugs into a USB slot on your PC.
Alert: Since 360 controllers don’t support Bluetooth, they are only compatible with Windows due to Microsoft drivers in the OS.
Let’s now learn how to connect Xbox 360 controller to a computer easily:
Although the Xbox 360 controller doesn’t support Bluetooth, it has a wireless connection of its own.
You may also refer to it as some type of Bluetooth, but the joystick won’t work with a general receiver that only supports Bluetooth wireless connection.
Here’s how to hook up a 360 controller to your PC wirelessly in easy steps:
As we’ve already mentioned, the 360 controller supports a wireless connection that requires a wireless receiver to connect.
Those Xbox wireless gaming receivers can be purchased from Amazon or any other online technical store. Their prices vary from around $10-15.
If you already have such a receiver, make sure that it is compatible by looking at its back.
If it has a button on the back (that is used for syncing with the controller), you will know that it is the correct one.
It is not proven that other wireless PC gaming receivers will work with the controller so it’s best if you get the compatible one.
Once you have the wireless receiver, move on to the next step to get it set up with your PC.
Tip: Do not purchase second-hand 360 wireless receivers!
Your next step is to get the wireless receiver set up with your PC.
Taking into consideration that you’ve already examined the port of the receiver, you must free up a USB port on your PC to connect the device.
Make sure that you don’t plug it into the back of the PC case, since you must have a good line of the sign with the receiver for a smooth connection at all times.
Additionally, make sure that your PC sends a noise notification for a successful pairing of a USB device.
If you have speakers or headphones plugged in, there should be a little “ding” sound to notify you that the 360 receivers are connected successfully. Then you can proceed to the next step.
Tip: Most computer cases have at least 2 USB ports on the front panel.
Before applying the appropriate drivers to the receiver, you must first locate it in the device manager.
Sometimes the wireless Xbox controller receivers may not be recognized by Windows immediately and you will have to download the drivers yourself.
Here’s how to locate the 360 receivers in the device manager of your PC device:
- Press the “Windows” button on your keyboard.
- Write “Device Manager” in the search field.
- Hit the Enter button.
- Browse the list and go to “Other Devices”.
- Double-click the left mouse button.
- Locate the wireless 360 receiver.
Note: The 360 receiver should be labeled as “Unknown Device” under the “Other Devices” section.
In most cases, a 360 wireless receiver cannot be recognized by Windows right off the bat.
You will have to apply certain Xbox 360 drivers to the receiver, to make it compatible with the controller so you can connect it later.
Windows has in-built 360 drivers (available for download), but they will have to be manually applied to the wireless receiver.
Here’s how to install the Xbox 360 drivers to your 360 wireless receiver in easy steps:
- Once you’ve found the receiver in the drivers, right-click it.
- Press “Update Driver”.
- Next, hit the “Browse my computer for drivers” button.
- Now choose “Let me pick from a list of available drivers on my computer”.
- Scroll all the way to the bottom of the list that will appear now.
- Select “Xbox 360 peripherals”.
- Press “Xbox 360 wireless receiver for windows”.
- Hit the “Next” button and press “Yes” on the prompt.
- Wait for Windows to update the driver for your wireless receiver.
Note: The confirmation prompt for driver installation will display a connection warning for the receiver. Ignore it and proceed further.
Now that you have the required drivers applied to your wireless receiver, let’s learn how to connect Xbox 360 controller to PC Bluetooth.
It will only take moments and it will make the controller compatible with your Windows PC.
Here are the full instructions to get your 360 controller synced with the wireless receiver:
- Make sure that your 360 controller has enough battery.
- Locate the small SYNC button on the controller (on the front side of the device, on the left of the connection port).
- Press the SYNC button and hold it.
- While holding, press the SYNC button on the wireless receiver.
- Wait for the LED on your controller and wireless receiver to blink.
- Once the LED turns solid green, it means that your controller has synced.
Note: If the green LED keeps blinking rather than turning into solid green, it means that the syncing hasn’t undergone properly. Try again.
There could be many reasons why your 360 controller is not syncing with the wireless receiver.
The problem may be with the USB port on your PC, the PC itself, or a battery-related issue with the Xbox controller.
Here’s what you should verify to make sure that your 360 controller will sync:
- Charge the controller to its maximum (100%).
- Connect the wireless receiver to another USB port on your PC.
- Check if the wireless receiver is not obstructed by other devices.
- Clear the path between the receiver and the Xbox 360 controller.
- Reboot your PC.
If the syncing is still not working after attempting each of these steps, either your receiver or 360 controller is faulty.
In case you’ve got another controller to test with, feel free to check whether it will be able to connect without any issues. If not, replace the receiver.
Tip: For the receiver’s drivers to be installed, the computer has to be connected to the internet.
Thus, the Xbox 360 controller does not use Bluetooth to connect to a PC. Instead, the wireless controller has a dedicated wireless protocol that requires a receiver plugged into the computer as well as drivers installed. Then the sync can be established.
Read Next: How to Fix Xbox 360 VGA Cable No Sound?
Now that we’ve learned how to connect Xbox 360 controller to PC Bluetooth – not utilized, we know that the connection is different.
In case the connection fails, regardless of what you attempt, you may need a better working receiver or a different Xbox 360 controller to test with.
We hope that this post was helpful and to discover more related topics, make sure to check our tech blog for step-by-step tutorials on any smart devices!
Kevin has over five years of experience working in various Tech startups and providing Technical solutions. He has contributed to many Tech publications and websites.