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How to Connect Xbox Controller to Mac

Sometimes you might want to control a computer using an Xbox controller. For instance, if you like first-person shooter games, an Xbox controller will allow you to tinker with all the controls precisely.

An Xbox connects seamlessly with Mac, thus allowing you to enjoy an unrivaled gaming experience. In this post, we have discussed how to connect the Xbox controller to Mac. Keep reading to find out……

Can You Connect an Xbox Controller to a Mac?

Yes, you can connect an Xbox One controller to a Mac. The process is almost identical to connecting an Xbox One controller to an iPhone or iPad. The only difference is that you'll need a USB-C cable instead of Lightning.

To connect your Xbox One controller to your Mac, you'll need the controller and a Mac with macOS 10.15 Catalina or later. You'll also need a micro USB cable (remember: some Xbox One controllers come with a micro USB cable) or a USB-C cable to plug it into your Mac.

Xbox One Controllers Compatible with Macbook

It is important to note that not all Xbox One controllers can be used with Macbooks. Here are some Xbox One controllers that are compatible with Mac:

Xbox One Series S Wireless Controller

Xbox One Series S Wireless Controller

Xbox One Series S Wireless controller is compatible with Macbook. It has a built-in battery that features up to 40 hours of playtime. Also, it has a 3.5mm stereo headset jack that lets you plug your favorite gaming headphones right into the controller. The Xbox Wireless Controller is compatible with PCs running Windows 10.

Xbox One Series X Wireless Controller

Xbox One Series X Wireless Controller

Xbox One Series X Wireless Controller is also compatible with Macbook. It features a new Share button, which allows you to save your favorite gameplay moments or upload them to social media networks like YouTube and Facebook. Also, the new D-pad gives you more control over your games, making it ideal for fighting games, as well as platformers and action-adventure titles.

Xbox Wireless Controller with Bluetooth

Xbox Wireless Controller with Bluetooth

If you have the latest Xbox One Wireless Controller, you can easily connect it to your Mac. The new controller has a built-in Bluetooth radio so that you can connect it to your Mac with no extra hardware. Pair the controller with your Mac as you would pair it with any other Bluetooth device, and you'll be gaming in no time.

Xbox Adaptive Controller

Xbox Adaptive Controller

If you have a physical disability that makes traditional gaming controls more difficult, the Xbox Adaptive Controller is a great choice. Designed for accessibility, this controller has numerous ports that allow you to attach external buttons, switches, mounts, and joysticks so that you can play in whatever configuration is most comfortable for you.

Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2

Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2

If you want the ultimate fine-grained control over your game inputs, the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 is outstanding. With four removable paddles that can map to any standard button on the controller, hair-trigger locks for quicker responses, and trigger stops to reduce travel distance and eliminate accidental presses. With dozens of other options for customizing its behavior, it's an excellent choice for serious gamers.

Connect Mac to Xbox Wirelessly via Bluetooth

One method of connecting the Xbox controller to your Macbook is via Bluetooth. Here is how to do it.

Step 1: Get a Bluetooth receiver for your Xbox. The receiver will convert the Xbox's USB port into a Bluetooth radio.

Step 2: Install the driver for your Xbox receiver on your Mac by following the instructions that came with the receiver.

Step 3: Turn on your Xbox and controller, then turn on Bluetooth on your Mac if it isn't already on.

Step 4: Activate pairing mode on your Xbox controller by pressing and holding the “sync” button until the light flashes rapidly.

Step 5: Open the Bluetooth settings window on your Mac and click the “pair” button next to your Xbox controller's name in the list of devices.

Connect Xbox Controller to Mac via USB

Apart from Bluetooth, you can also connect Xbox to your Macbook via USB. This is the most commonly used method. Here are the steps to get it done easily and fast:

Step 1: Plug the micro-USB cable into the front of your Xbox One controller and plug the other end into an open USB port on your Mac.

Step 2: Launch System Preferences from the Apple menu.

Step 3: Depending on which version you have, click on “Xbox 360 Controllers” or “Xbox One Controllers,” depending on which version you have.

Step 4: Click the “pair” button next to the controller you want to pair with your Mac. You may have to wait a moment for it to be detected.

Step 5: You should see a message that indicates a successful connection between your Xbox One controller and Mac.

Why Can't I Connect Xbox Controller to Mac?

Connecting an Xbox One controller to your Mac isn't as easy as simply plugging the device into the machine like you would with an Xbox One console. Instead, you'll need to use a third-party app like 360 Controller or TattieBogle (as detailed below) or buy an Xbox Wireless Gaming Receiver for Windows. Once everything is set up, you can use an Xbox One controller on your Mac, just like any other gamepad.

Why is My Xbox Controller Connected to my Mac but Not Working?

Connect Xbox Controller to Mac

Your controller may be out of range. The Xbox One controller has a maximum operating distance of roughly 19 feet, but environmental factors such as wireless interference can reduce this range. If your controller is too far away from the console, it may not sync or connect to a console even if it's within range of one.

Your console may have a hardware problem. Your console may have a hardware problem preventing the controller from connecting properly. Try connecting to another controller to see if the problem persists.


The Xbox controller is the most versatile gaming controller, exclusive to being used on a Microsoft console. It is a great accessory many gamers use on their Xbox gaming consoles. It is easy to use and offers great features that enhance the gaming experience.



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.