How to Connect an Xbox Controller to the Steam Deck

In this quick guide, we will be showing you how to connect an Xbox controller to your Steam Deck.

Steam Deck Connect Xbox Controller

The Steam Deck is a super versatile gaming device thanks to it being packed with functionality. Like the Nintendo Switch, the Steam Deck also has a docked mode.

Using the Deck’s docked mode, you can play all your games on a much larger screen, such as a TV.

Of course, docking your Steam Deck means you lose access to its controls. Luckily, the Steam Deck has built-in support for third-party controllers such as the Xbox Controller.

The gaming mode’s button prompts will even automatically update to reflect your newly connected controller.

There are a couple of ways you can connect an Xbox Controller. If you are using it wired, you simply need to plug the cable in to your Dock and you can immediately start using it.

However, if you use an Xbox controller with Bluetooth support, you can connect it wirelessly to your Steam Deck. All versions of the Xbox Controller released since the Series S/X have support for Bluetooth.

Additionally, the third generation of Xbox One controllers also have Bluetooth support. If you are unsure if your controller has Bluetooth support, visit the official Xbox documentation.

Over the following sections, you will learn how easy it is to connect your controller to your Steam Deck by using Bluetooth,

Connecting an Xbox Controller to the Steam Deck

Connecting the Xbox Controller is a super simple process thanks to the Steam Deck’s built-in support.

Before continuing, we highly recommend updating your controller to its latest firmware. Recent versions of the controller’s firmware fix problems connecting to the Steam Deck.

You can update an Xbox Controller through your Xbox or connect it using a cable to a Windows PC and the Xbox Accessories app to update the firmware.

Getting to the Bluetooth Menu

1. To pair an Xbox Controller with your Steam Deck, you must first go to the settings.

Let us start this process by opening the Steam Menu. You can open this menu by pressing the STEAM button or clickingSTEAM MENU” in the bottom-left corner.

Open Steam Menu

2. Once you have the Steam menu open, select the “Settings” option.

Change to Settings Screen

3. Now that you are in the settings menu, change to the “Bluetooth” screen.

Open Bluetooth Menu

4. Once you have the Bluetooth menu open, you must ensure Bluetooth is enabled on your Steam Deck (1.).

The toggle will be blue if Bluetooth is enabled, and the text “Searching for devices” (2.) should appear at the bottom of the page.

Ensure Bluetooth is Enabled

Pairing your Xbox Controller with the Steam Deck

4. Now, turn your Xbox Controller on by pressing the Xbox logo (1.).

Next, hold down the pairing button (2.) until the Xbox logo starts flashing rapidly. This indicates that the controller is now in pairing mode and should be findable by your Steam Deck.

Put Xbox Controller in Pairing Mode

5. Back on your Steam Deck, you should see “Xbox Wireless Controller” under the “Available to pair” heading.

To connect your Xbox controller to your Steam Deck, you only need to tap the entry.

Pair Xbox Controller to Steam Deck

6. Once the Steam Deck finishes pairing your Xbox Controller (1.), you can use it to navigate the gaming mode menus.

You should notice that all prompts are automatically changed to reflect the Xbox controller (2.).

Xbox Controller paired to the Steam Deck

If your controller is paired but continually disconnects, you must try updating its firmware. This problem usually occurs with an Xbox controller running a buggy firmware version.

After updating the firmware, you may have to unpair and pair the controller again.


Hopefully, you will now have a good idea of how you can connect your Xbox Controller to the Steam Deck.

Thanks to its decent battery life and great title support, the Xbox controller is a popular choice with the Deck.

Please feel free to leave a comment below if you are having issues with getting your Xbox controller to connect.

If you found this quick guide to be helpful, we recommend checking out our other Steam guides.

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