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 Controllers 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.

Xbox One Controllers and Macs

Given the popularity of the Xbox One and Mac laptops, it is no surprise that there are several ways to use an Xbox One controller with your Mac. Whether you decide to use Bluetooth, cables, or third-party apps, you can easily setup your Xbox controller to work with your Mac in no time.

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