How to Use an Xbox One Controller with a Mac

The recent rise of Apple Arcade brings new opportunities and questions for gamers. Although Apple isn’t renowned for its appeal to gamers, the company is making strides to move in that direction. Of all the peripherals one may want to connect to their macOS device, Xbox controllers were an afterthought. Until now.

How to Use an Xbox One Controller with a Mac

This article will teach you how to control your Xbox One controller to your Mac computer.

Things to Know

If you’re familiar with pairing your Xbox One controller to other devices, then you probably already know that it needs a good charge before pairing. A dying controller will not pair properly to any device, let alone your Mac.

Next, your Xbox One controller may be Bluetooth capable or corded. Depending on which one you’re using, the instructions below may differ.

Lastly, the ability to pair an Xbox One controller to your Mac will heavily depend on the model of the Xbox One controller you’re trying to use. Here is a list of compatible controllers:

  • Xbox Wireless Controller with Bluetooth (Model 1708)
  • Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2
  • Xbox Adaptive Controller
  • Xbox Wireless Controller Series S and Series X

It’s also important to know that your Mac needs to run at least macOS Catalina or higher. Now that we have everything in order let’s learn how to pair an Xbox One Controller with a Mac computer.

How to Pair an Xbox One Controller and Mac Using Bluetooth

Fortunately, the process used to pair the two devices via Bluetooth is really simple. Here’s how:

  1. Turn on your Xbox One controller by holding the Xbox button until it lights up.
  2. Next, hold the pairing button until the Xbox button flashes.
  3. Now, click the Apple icon on your Mac. Then, click System Preferences.
  4. Click the Bluetooth option.
  5. Click Connect next to your Xbox controller.

Now, your Xbox One Controller is connected to your Mac. Although the process is incredibly simple, you can run into some complicated problems. If, for some reason, this didn’t work you, we’ll cover the troubleshooting steps below.

How to Connect an Xbox One Controller to Mac Via USB

If you don’t have a Bluetooth-capable device, you may wonder if you can connect the two devices using the Micro-SD to USB option. Although it isn’t as simple as the method above, you can still connect your non-Bluetooth controller to most Macs. Xbox One Contollers aren’t natively compatible with Mac in way of a USB connection. For this section, we’ll need a little help from some third-party software. But don’t worry, we tested this software in August of 2021 and it’s still working fine.

Here’s how:

  1. Head over to GitHub and install 360Controller.
  2. Move through the prompts as they appear to complete the installation process.
  3. Now, you need to let 360Controller have access to your Mac. Open System Preferences and click on Security & Privacy.
  4. To allow access click the Lock icon in the lower left. Input your Mac password and click Allow.
  5. Upon completion, restart your Mac. Then, go back to System Preferences and click on the 360Controller icon.

Plug your Xbox controller into your Mac’s USB port and you should be good to go.

Similar to most games you’ll play on an Xbox, 360Controller gives you options to switch controls, invert options, and more.

30 thoughts on “How to Use an Xbox One Controller with a Mac”

Freeda Bees says:
The latest version – 5 – didn’t work for me, it couldn’t see the controller. I uninstalled it and then installed the older version 3 from the projects Github page and voila! it worked and the controller was recognised. After more futzing, I finally managed to get an Xbox One X controller to work in El Capitan and in Half Life One.
Gravemind1 says:
Apparently “You can’t open Xone Controller preferences because it doesn’t work on an Intel-based Mac.”
-.- what the hell..?
Moh says:
is this completely safe? I really want to play with a controller but I’m not quite sure about this, a bit skeptical if you will.
TheFurryPugcart says:
My Xbox one controller is not lighting up at all even on a windows computer
David Siegmund says:
my problem is that we still run snow leo (10.6.8). Driver is installed, dialog shows up but the controller (pluged with original cable) is not shown.
Any suggestions please?
Annalise Meder says:
I tried with 2 Xbox One controllers. It seems to be connecting, because when I go into system preferences it registers the calibration, and knows what I’m doing. But it doesn’t seem to work on any OpenEmu games, even after adjusting the input settings. Is there something I’m missing?
Jason Dunn says:
I installed the driver on my iMac, and while it seems to work OK according to the driver, when I load up Borderlands 2 the controller “pulls” down – meaning when all stickers are neutral, the game pans down. I want a “trim” button on the controller – any ideas how to fix something like this?
Nicholas Willis says:
I have an elite controller I use on my PC but when I use it on my mac with this program it recognises the controller and all seems to work but doesn’t work in any game on steam?
BerthaEartha says:
Because the people who add it to steam has to have controller support
Norman says:
The only way I got it to work with Steam is to check the box for ‘Pretend to be an Xbox360 controller’. All buttons work, except for Rumble/Vibration. I can’t get Rumble to work on my Mac.
Kristoph says:
Ive done everything but my light wont turn on help!!
Simeon Schmimeon Aitken says:
Thank you for this! Worked for me with an Xbox One controller on my Macbook Pro Mid-2015
Ambassador Pineapple says:
You need to do some more testing on the latest OS. Currently, it just doesn’t work for me, even after restarting multiple times.
Frigid FuryCore says:
Ok, so I’m using the XBox One AfterGlow color select controller, and I when I get to the System Preferences, and go to the controller option, it doesn’t have anything there neither when I click on the option. I’m using the same USB cable that came in the box so I don’t know if that’s the problem.
James says:
will it work on steam
TekRevue says:
It depends entirely on the game. Steam is just a distribution platform; the game developers need to add controller support themselves.
James says:
I understand that, but it is usable with mac so long as the game has controller support?
TekRevue says:
In general, yes.
ArthurEilering says:
any idea on if this works with the keyboard attachment made for the controller?
matt says:
hi, ive done all this, but i cant use it on steam. any suggestions? really tryna play terraria. please respond!
faust7 says:
Wont the new xbox one s controller work just like ps4 controller now?
with the new one(as it has bluetooth now) we dont need these software right?
TekRevue says:
The new controllers that were introduced with the Xbox One S support Bluetooth, but Microsoft states that they only officially work with Windows 10 devices (i.e., the wireless protocol is Bluetooth, but there are extra things going on in software that only Windows 10 can interpret). We don’t yet have an Xbox One S console in hand to test, so we’re not sure how the controllers will operate in OS X. My guess is that the operating system will be able to see and pair with the controller, but that some functionality may be missing in the absence of third party utilities like the Xone-OSX project.
TekRevue says:
The new controllers that were introduced with the Xbox One S support Bluetooth, but Microsoft states that they only officially work with Windows 10 devices (i.e., the wireless protocol is Bluetooth, but there are extra things going on in software that only Windows 10 can interpret). We don’t yet have an Xbox One S console in hand to test, so we’re not sure how the controllers will operate in OS X. My guess is that the operating system will be able to see and pair with the controller, but that some functionality may be missing in the absence of third party utilities like the Xone-OSX project.
faust7 says:
oh i see… Thank you for replying so fast.
Owen1120 says:
I downloaded the first XONEOSX app and tried to use it on Steam, and while it seems to be connected (the light is flashing and steam has a controller symbol lit up) none of the buttons are doing anything. Help please.
Xavier Cruz says:
Just go to big picture and go to the settings cog in the upper right hand corner, (make sure the controller is connected via bluetooth AFTER you’ve updated the firmware on the controller with the Xbox Accessories App on windows 10), click on add/test select the Xbox One S controller, map the buttons and you’re golden.
BerthaEartha says:
I’ve tried this it’s supposed to work but doesn’t work for me.
Dumm Tier says:
hmm.. works with one controller but not the other. Very weird.
M3di Baby says:
can i instal this on the mac, make it work, and then go on parrerls windows 7 and play games??
Arne says:
This is only if you want to use it on a Mac and the Mac OS itself.
If you’re using Parallels, it’ll probably ask you if you want to use the device with Mac or Windows, select Windows, and it should work out of the box with Windows (so I suppose it’ll work with Parallels and Windows as well, without you having to install a driver on Mac, because it’s actually Windows that’s talking to the controller). 🙂
Calan Barclay says:
Can you recommend a USB cable to me plz? Thx
TekRevue says:
Any micro-USB to standard Type-A USB cable will work.
Curtpertino says:
Are you sure? I have two of those cables (for my Vape pens) but when I plugged either one into my controller, the light just blinks on my controller. On the Troubleshooting page for the driver, the author says it’s because it’s a charging only USB cable if the light just blinks. So it just can’t be any USB cable as it needs to be able to transfer data too.
HRAUTV says:
when i press on “Xone Controller” there’s nowhere “Controller 1” i tried to refresh but that doesn’t help
PLS HEEELP!!!
ian says:
I downloaded this and when I go to install it won’t get off verifying it.
Bradley says:
The new xbox one controller update disables this though. When you plug it in it just vibrates the controller, so if you want to keep using it you maybe not want to update the controller
we r me go boom says:
actually, when a wire is plugged into the xbox one controller, it’s fully wired, and the wireless radio turns off.
it wasn’t that way on the 360, no, but they changed it on the x1.
Anthony Affee says:
Xone-OSX project is now deprecated… use new one: https://github.com/360Controller/360Controller/releases
BerthaEartha says:
I WAS USING THIS FOR Minecraft but it doesn’t work.
GuardianSpartan says:
Does this work on minecraft
bill says:
i did everything and what now?? the controller is just lit up and it is showing mw what i am pressing but how do i get it to work on CS GO for example how do i get the controller to actually do stuff
Jimmy Forsberg says:
i have the same issue the mapping-test works – but games doesn’t register the controller (yosemite 10.10.5)
Carolina R Lopes says:
Nice Tutorial!!!
Brother Neil says:
How to use an XboxOne controller on a Mac:
– Download the ‘Xone-OSX project by Drew Mills’ (http://goo.gl/R0J6ms).
– Download JoystickMapper from the app store (http://goo.gl/sAqvaG).
– Watch this video on how to use JoystickMapper (http://goo.gl/ZHlyfW).
————————————————————————————-
– Setting up the controls in the mapper, allows support for all old games that don’t have built in joystick capabilities.
————————————————————————————-
Written by https://twitter.com/Neiljaff
Guest says:
How to use an XboxOne controller on a Mac:
– Download the ‘Xone-OSX project by Drew Mills’ (https://github.com/FranticRain/Xone-OSX).
– Download JoystickMapper from the app store (https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/joystick-mapper/id528183797?mt=12).
– Watch this video on how to use JoystickMapper (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HpTEp9d2JqQ).
————————————————————————————-
– Setting up the controls in the mapper, allows support for all old games that don’t have built in joystick capabilities.
————————————————————————————-
Written by @Neiljaff
[email protected]_$101_Is_A_Done_Deal_:) says:
It’s rather disappointing that Apple doesn’t offer its own controller hardware considering Apple is a hardware company. How difficult would it be for Apple to sell and support a gaming controller like Microsoft and Sony does. Heck, even Amazon has its own Fire TV game controller. I can only guess is that Apple prefers to let third party hardware companies make some money. I don’t have a problem with that. I simply would like to know some of the reasons Apple does what it does. I’d been using a BT-connected PS3 controller for quite a while and it works just fine in OSX for the emulated games I like to play.
Mick says:
Apple doesn’t do videogames, maybe that’s why. But i believe soon you’ll have it.
Plasmus Ang says:
both of you shut up look the apple tv 4 is the “iphone 4” gaming console its literaly using 1phone 4 compatible games and runs the iphone 4 processor but it has a controller called the nimbus worst gaming console ever apple really the pippin also failed why try again
Joshua Kimmich says:
Apple sucks, they don’t invent anything. They just copy
BerthaEartha says:
I think they do, i’m pretty sure its called SteelSeries or something like that. But it comes at a high price it’s about 50 usd

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Disclaimer: Some pages on this site may include an affiliate link. This does not effect our editorial in any way.

Todays Highlights
How to See Google Search History
how to download photos from google photos