Is the Series X controller backward compatible?

Updated: Nov 15

The Xbox Series X is the latest evolution of the Xbox family of game consoles. Not only is the hardware updated, but the controllers as well, Microsoft is rolling out an all-new gamepad for their latest product.


With the release of Series X comes a couple of very important questions, and that´s wherever the console is compatible with your old Xbox controller and if its new controller is also compatible with your old Xbox One. So, let´s answer both questions.


Is the new Xbox Series X controller backward compatible?

Yes, you can use the new Series X controller on your old Xbox One. It is backward´s compatible.


While there have been many changes to the design of the controller, the technology still uses the "Xbox wireless radio", Microsoft patented wireless that is employed instead of Bluetooth because is supposedly better for playing games, with less latency and a more potent signal. You will have no problem connecting the controller to your old console or even your PC, via the Xbox Wireless adapter.


However, Microsoft also learned their lesson in that it not only can connect with the aforementioned "radio", these new gamepads also come with Bluetooth, which lets them have access to more devices than their predecessors did (at least without having to buy adapters). You can now more easily connect your new Xbox controllers to a PC, iOS, Android devices, and even other consoles (theoretically).


But the connectivity options don´t end there. The new controller will come with a USB-C port ( although it will still use bog-standard batteries for power). It hasn´t been confirmed yet, but it stands to reason that you will be able also to use this port to play with your new gamepad on PC or maybe even other gaming platforms with a USB cable.


In summary, the new controller not only is backward compatible, but it also has hosts o new alternatives to play on other devices and consoles.


Is the Xbox Series X backward compatible with previous controllers?

Yes, you can use your old Xbox Wireless controller to play on your Xbox Series X just like we reported before. What´s more, you can use it to play any game you want, unlike what happens with the Playstation 5 and their old Dualshock 4 gamepad that can only play old games on their new system.


Microsoft has admitted that compatibility is important for them in the design of their new console, and so any officially licensed Xbox accessory that worked on the Xbox One will also be able to connect with the Series X. Not only is your old gamepad still compatible, but so is your old steering wheel, elite controller, keyboard, and even fighting stick.


To help with the quest for compatibility, Microsoft is updating its guidelines and introducing a Designed for Xbox label that will work similarly to Apple´s "Made for iPhone". New accessories for Series X will have to include this label and indicate exactly in which systems will they work and how to connect them.


Sadly, this push for compatibility is only for the Xbox ecosystem of accessories. The Series X will not have Bluetooth, unlike its competitors, which limits its ability to connect to third-party hardware. Every accessory has to be made specifically for the Xbox environment, unlike, say those Bluetooth gamepads that work with your computer, Switch, Playstation, and even phones.


In conclusion


Yes, the Xbox Series X is backward compatible with its controller in both senses of the phrase. The console will work with older gamepads, like the one you used to play on Xbox One, and the new controller will also work on previous generations of Xbox, like the One, or the Series S.


So, your old accessories will still work. If you want to take a look at the controllers available now for the Xbox One, check out our page here, they will still work for the Xbox Series X and are a tad cheaper. You might be interested in a couple of rechargeable batteries as the new controller still uses the same old AA pack as before.