Recent developments are making it harder to use Xbox One controllers on
Windows PCs, according to
. In spite of Windows Bluetooth support, new Bluetooth-powered
controllers for the Xbox One S are part of the problem.
This support thread
has details, and Ars says, "Some games no longer
recognize when Xbox One controllers are connected via Bluetooth or through the
official Xbox One wireless adapter. Other games, as well as Steam's Big Picture
mode, think a single Xbox One controller is two controllers simultaneously." At
the same time, the recent Windows 10 anniversary update seems to have broken
homebrew workarounds for third-party controllers. Finally, they also note only a
single Bluetooth controller can connect to a PC at once, and this must be
running Windows 10. Here's a summary of the mess that leads them to suggest
gamers uninstall the Win10 anniversary update:
Another issue is less
likely to receive an update: the new Xbox One controllers' Bluetooth support is
severely limited. As in, only one pad can be connected via Bluetooth at once.
Microsoft isn't advertising this limitation, but
an official Xbox Support page confirms it: you can only connect one
Bluetooth pad to a Windows 10 PC at a time, and those Bluetooth pads require
running on Windows 10 with the Anniversary update. If you want to use more
wireless Xbox One pads on a single PC, you'll need to purchase the official Xbox
One wireless adapter. Otherwise, don't rush out and buy a bunch of updated Xbox
One pads expecting them to sync up to any laptop for the sake of wild, on-the-go
multiplayer sessions of Push Me Pull You or Towerfall: Ascension.
The situation gets worse. Your sole Bluetooth controller won't even function in
Windows 10's Anniversary update until you update the controller's firmware,
which users aren't told when they connect the pads. Instead, users must manually
find and install the Xbox Accessories app from the Windows Store. Boot that with
the Xbox One pad connected via Bluetooth, and you'll then get the prompt to
update the pad's firmware. The new Xbox One controller does not include
instructions to this effect, possibly because Xbox One consoles automate this
process in a way that Windows 10 PCs do not.
Until Microsoft announces an update to these controller-based woes, the gaming
geeks at Ars recommend that you avoid the Anniversary update. If you've already
updated and want to return to the "it just works" days of XInput support on
wireless controllers, toggle to the "revert to your previous install of Windows"
option, which isn't hard to find in the options menus.