Do Old Xbox Controllers Work on Xbox One

If you are reading this, it means that, like me, you are a gamer. It also means that you have a lot of old gaming stuff lying around your house or in your cupboards. Depending on how old you are or how much you love older equipment, you could have too much-unused stuff lying around. The question is, can this old equipment still be used? More specifically, can your old Xbox controllers work with the Xbox One?

Unfortunately, the Xbox 360 controller does not work with the Xbox One. It does work if you use the streaming feature to stream your Xbox One to your PC. You can also use your Xbox 360 controller on your PC and play Xbox One games with your 360 controllers through the Microsoft store.

I have so much stuff lying around, and I like finding new uses for them. If that sounds like you and you are interested in old, new and/or upcoming gaming controllers, keep reading, we have some good stuff to cover in this article.

Can you connect any controller to Xbox One

You cannot connect any controller to the Xbox One, but there is a pretty long list of third-party controllers that do work.

One thing that is important to note, using cheap third-party controllers that are not licensed by Microsoft or Xbox can actually be a bad experience. You can never know how the accuracy is with cheap non-licensed controllers. You also have to consider things like latency.

Speaking about accuracy in this article, I am talking about when you press a button, how many times that button registers. That accuracy and the latency are so important when playing games. It is especially important when you are playing multiplayer games.

The last thing you want is to make mistakes in a game like Rocket League or Call Of Duty. In Rocket League, one mistake can mean conceding a goal, and one goal could mean the difference in a match. The same for COD, one death can make a difference in a match. The worst is if those mistakes aren’t your fault but rather the fault of a bad controller.

I recommend only buying good quality controllers, especially licensed ones like the Razer Wolverine. Not all third-party controllers are bad. Some people prefer them as they tend to offer different features compared to first-party controllers.

Backward compatibility

Microsoft introduced its revolutionary feature, backward compatibility, back in 2013. The feature has received a lot of praise from the gaming community. It allows you to play select games all the way from the original Xbox and the 360 on an Xbox One.

How backward compatibility works

It is pretty simple, if you own one of the select OG Xbox or 360 games on disc, just put the disc in the Xbox One, and it will work. You can also buy these older games digitally from the Microsoft store.

The programming behind backward compatibility is very technical. The developers have to reprogram the 360 code and use a Virtual GPU on the Xbox one. Then they have to recompile the code for each game. Not much is known about the specifics, though.

Do old Xbox games look better on the Xbox One

Most old Xbox games that are part of the backward compatibility program are adapted to run better on the new hardware. So they don’t just look better, they also run better at higher FPS.

Why is backward compatibility so important

Well, it provides us with peace of mind that our favorite games aren’t just going to fade away when we upgrade our systems. It also gives us a chance to play previous generation classics that we might not have had the chance to play before.

Backward compatibility with the Series X

Microsoft has stated that all games that are currently in the backward compatibility program will work on the Xbox Series X. They also plan to make every Xbox One game run on the Series X.

The main difference is that all your Xbox One controllers will work on the new Series X, so you shouldn’t throw anything away if and when you do upgrade to Series X.

What does backward compatibility mean for your old controllers

You might be worried that for you to play these old games on your Xbox One, you need to use your old controllers. You shouldn’t worry about this. All the backward compatible games work perfectly fine with the Xbox One controller.

Using old controllers on PC

The best use for your old Xbox 360 controllers would be to use it on PC. For a wired connection, the process is simple; just plug it in via USB.

For wireless, you would need a separate wireless adapter plugged into your computer. These adapters normally cost over $50 so it would be best to just buy a new controller. That is of course unless you prefer the 360 one. All games on PC that support controller input will work with the 360 controllers.

You can also use the OG Xbox controller on PC, but it requires some engineering. For this reason, I do not think that it is worth it at all. You will have to splice a modern USB connector to the controller as the OG Xbox used a proprietary connection that is not found on PCs.

Can you throw away old controllers

Yes, you can throw away old controllers. Most controllers do not have harmful materials found in batteries, so they are not hazardous. If your controller does have an internal battery, then I recommend checking with your local guidelines on how to dispose of it.

If you live close to a Microsoft store, they will take in your old controllers. You may be given store credit for this.

Buying new controllers

If you want to buy a new controller for your Xbox One, I recommend choosing between three.

The Xbox One wireless controller is compatible with Xbox One, One X, One S, and Windows 10 PCs. As far as we know, they will also be compatible with the Series X

The Elite Series 2 controller is Xbox’s premium wireless controller. It offers super-low latency, extra programmable buttons in the form of back paddles at the back, trigger stops, and more. The controller also has easy, endless customization with interchangeable analog sticks and D-pads. The elite series can be used on PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X. The controller has an MSRP of $179.99 and can be bought on Amazon.

The Razer Wolverine Ultimate is a great alternative to the Elite series. It offers pretty much the same features, but it comes with a quick control panel for controlling things like mic chat, volume, and controller modes. It also has some signature Razer RGB goodness. The Wolverine can be used on PC and Xbox One. The wolverine can be found on Amazon for $149.99.


One habit that we develop as gamers, well, most of us at least, is that we tend to hoard a lot of our old gaming gear. It could either be out of sentiment or even because we feel like they might come in handy at some stage.

I am one of those people. I collect my stuff, but I never actually use it. I always buy the latest for whatever I need, and even if that is not the best thing to do, for me, it is the most convenient.

David Sacks

I have worked in the IT industry since 2011 and have been an avid gamer my whole life. My first consoles were the sega genesis and the Nintendo SNES. I play both console and PC games, I love both. I decided to become combine my passion for gaming with my passion for writing.

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