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Connect a controller to your Xbox 360

Learn how to connect a wireless or wired controller to your Xbox 360 console.

Connect a wireless Xbox controller

  1. Turn on your console.
  2. Press and hold the Guide button on the controller until it turns on.
An index finger presses the Guide button on an Xbox 360 controller.
  1. Press and release the connect button on the console.
Xbox 360 E console
An index finger presses the connect button on the lower-right part of the front of an Xbox 360
Xbox 360 S console Original Xbox 360 console
An index finger presses the connect button on the lower-right part of the front of an Xbox 360 An index finger presses the connect button near the centre of the front of an Original Xbox 360 console.
  1. Within 20 seconds, press and release the connect button on the controller.
An index finger presses the connect button on the front of an Xbox 360 controller.
  1. The lights around the console's power button will stop flashing once the controller connects to the console.

On the Xbox 360 S console, connected controllers have one of four positions. Each position appears as a lighted section around the console power button and the controller Guide button.

On the 360 E console, a solid green light on the front of the console shows that the controller is connected. To see the player position, look at the ring of light around the Guide button on your controller.

The upper-left quadrant is lit around the power button on an Xbox 360 S console and around the Guide button on a controller. A ring is lit around the power button on an Xbox 360
The battery compartment is open on the front of a controller. Two batteries are being inserted.

If the controller doesn't turn on, check the batteries. Insert fresh AA batteries into the battery case and make sure you place them correctly.

You can also use the Xbox 360 Play & Charge Kit or the Xbox 360 Quick Charge Kit to power the controller. Learn more about Xbox controllers and chargers.

To connect more controllers, follow these steps again. You can connect up to four controllers. Each connected controller appears as a lighted section around the console’s power button and around the Guide button in the middle of each controller.

  • To disconnect a wireless controller, press and hold the Guide button for three seconds, and then choose to turn the controller off.
  • When you turn off the console, the controller will reconnect the next time you turn on the console.
  • The controller can be connected to one console at a time. You can connect the controller to a different console, but the controller will lose the connection to the previously connected console.

Connect a wired Xbox controller

A cable connects a wired controller to the front of an Original Xbox 360 console.

Plug the Xbox 360 Wired Controller into one of the two USB ports on the front of the Xbox 360 console. To disconnect the controller, pull on the connector, not the cable.

The two plugs of the inline release are disconnected.

The cable on the Xbox 360 Wired Controller features an inline release. If someone pulls the cable, the inline release reduces the chance of the Xbox 360 console falling.

Wireless controller troubleshooting

If your wireless controller disconnects or can't connect to your console, see Xbox 360 Wireless Controller disconnects or can't connect.

If your wireless controller doesn't turn on, or if it loses power, try the following solutions:

Solution 1: Replace the batteries

Insert a new set of AA alkaline batteries into the Xbox 360 Wireless Controller, and then try to turn it on.

Solution 2: Try a different battery pack

If you have another Xbox 360 Wireless Controller, take the battery pack from that controller and attach it to your controller. Then, try turning on your controller. If it works with the different battery pack, your original battery pack might be defective. If your controller is under warranty, you can order a replacement battery pack from Xbox Support. For more information, see the Contact Us section at the bottom of this page.

If your controller is out of warranty, you can buy a new battery pack from a retail store.

Solution 3: Try a rechargeable battery pack

If you or a friend has an Xbox 360 Rechargeable Battery Pack, attach that battery pack to your controller. If your controller works with the rechargeable battery pack attached, you can buy a new battery pack from a retail store or order a replacement from Xbox Support. For more information, see the Contact Us section at the bottom of this page.

What are other users saying about these topics?

To see what other users are saying about these topics, or to ask your own questions, go to our Xbox Support Forums and view the following conversations:

Please note that Xbox Support Forums content is available only in English. To translate Xbox Support Forums content into another language, paste the URL into an online translation tool such as Bing Translator.

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