How To Connect An Xbox Controller To Your Apple TV

Traditional gaming consoles are no longer a requisite for quality gaming experiences. Devices like the Apple TV have only gotten more powerful with time. They're extremely popular as streaming boxes that offer a gateway to your favorite shows and movies, band game developers have consistently tapped into this growing market with new and repurposed titles, plus some exclusives.

Although the Apple TV comes with its own Siri Remote, you might find it limiting and uncomfortable depending on the games you play. This is where pairing a traditional controller can be a literal game changer. The Apple TV supports most Bluetooth controllers out of the box. If all you have is an Xbox controller, you're in luck: most of the newest models connect easily.

Once connected, you can search the App Store on your Apple TV for games and filter results to only show titles that support gaming controllers. You may not be able to use every feature like haptic feedback, but you'll have an infinitely more comfortable way to enjoy your games. Read on, and we'll guide you through the process step-by-step.

How to connect your Xbox controller to Apple TV

Before you start, you'll need to ensure your Xbox controller supports Bluetooth connections. You should have it if you own one of the following models:

  • Xbox Wireless Controller with Bluetooth (Model 1708)

  • Xbox Wireless Controller Series S

  • Xbox Wireless Controller Series X

  • Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2

  • Xbox Adaptive Controller

Ready to play? Let's get your controller connected:

  1. Use the Siri Remote to turn on your Apple TV and select the Settings app from the main screen.

  2. In the Settings menu, select "Remotes and Devices," then choose "Bluetooth."

  3. Press the Xbox button at the controller's top center to turn it on.

  4. Press and hold the Connect button (located at the top of the controller, between the LB and RB buttons) for a few seconds until the Xbox button starts flashing rapidly. This indicates that the controller is in pairing mode and can be discovered by your Apple TV.

  5. The Xbox controller should now appear on your Apple TV's Bluetooth menu under "Other Devices." Select the controller's name to begin the pairing process. Once the pairing is complete, the Xbox button on the controller will stop flashing and remain lit, indicating a successful connection.

Your Xbox controller is now connected to your Apple TV. To disconnect, press and hold the Xbox button until the controller turns off. You can reconnect it anytime by following the same steps outlined above.