Jul 6th, 2020

While there are plenty of games that take advantage of a smartphone’s touchscreen, there are certain genres of games that just feel better with a physical controller. This includes fighting games, racing games, and also RPGs, just to name a few. If you happen to have an Xbox 360 controller lying around somewhere, here’s how you can connect it to your Android device to use as a physical controller.

How to connect an Xbox 360 controller to Android

Now, Microsoft sells the Xbox 360 controller in either a wired or wireless version. Depending on which model you have, the connection methods to your Android smartphone or tablet will be different.

Wired Xbox 360 controller

For those who own the wired version of the Xbox 360 controller, you will need to purchase an OTG cable. This will feature a USB-A port on one end and a micro USB/USB-C connector on the other end. Depending on your phone, if it uses a USB-C port, you’ll need to get a USB-C to USB-A cable, but if your phone still uses micro USB, then you’ll need to get a micro USB to USB-A cable.

Now that you’ve gotten yourself a cable:

  1. Plug the micro USB/USB-C connector to your smartphone
  2. Plug your Xbox 360’s cable into the USB port on the cable
  3. The lights on the controller should turn on and you’re good to go.

Wireless Xbox 360 Controller

Unlike the newer Xbox One controllers that rely on Bluetooth, the wireless version of the Xbox 360 controller uses its own wireless connection. This means that it isn’t quite as simple or straightforward as pairing it with your Android phone or tablet. You will need to purchase an OTG cable like the ones we’ve listed above, along with a wireless receiver.

Once you’ve gotten yourself a wireless receiver:

  1. Plug the micro USB/USB-C connector to your smartphone
  2. Plug the wireless receiver into the USB-A port on the cable
  3. Turn on your Xbox 360 controller
  4. Hold down the Xbox button on the controller
  5. Press the small button on the wireless receiver
  6. Hold the sync button on the controller
  7. The lights should start flashing and lights around the Xbox controller should start spinning
  8. Once it stops spinning and flashes again, your Xbox 360 controller should be connected

For those with the Xbox One or PS4, you can check out our guides here as well on how to connect your controllers to your Android smartphone or tablet:

Compatibility with games

Unfortunately, this is where your mileage may vary. Some games may support the Xbox 360 controller right off the bat without any issues, but there may be some games that might require you to switch from touchscreen input to controller input, which you can find in the settings.

Also, since most games do not offer the ability to button map, you will be stuck with whatever the default button layout is, so you might need to take some time to adjust to the new controls, and this may vary from game to game so you will need to explore this yourself.

How to connect other gaming controllers to your Android smartphone

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