Mac’s trackpad and keyboards are not the best controllers in the world, so if you want to play some games, better get yourself an Xbox One Controller. It is simply the best gamepad you can play with. Comparing with Windows 10, where Xbox One Controller is natively supported, macOS works a bit strange with Microsoft’s gamepads. Luckily enough, connecting Xbox One Controller to Mac is very simple. Sometimes it works natively and wirelessly, but sometimes it requires wired connection and third-party app (driver). This article has all you need to know about connecting Xbox One Controller to Mac.
Tip. Xbox One Controller works better with Windows 10, so our advice is to use Windows 10 (Bootcamp is fine). In addition to better gamepad compatibility, you will get better performance in your games.
How to Connect Xbox One Controller to Mac Wirelessly?
First, make sure you have an updated controller which supports Bluetooth connection. As we mentioned in the article How to Connect Xbox One Controller to PC, only update Xbox One Controller (2016) supports Bluetooth. You can find out which model you have using the picture below:
- Make sure Bluetooth on your Mac is enabled. You can simply ask Siri to turn it on, use menu bar or open System Preferences > Bluetooth and press Turn Bluetooth On.
- Now it is time to take your Xbox One Controller and press big Xbox One button at the center of the gamepad. It will start blinking slowly. At the back of the gamepad, there is a small button in between LB and RB. Press and hold it until the Xbox logo on the gamepad starts blinking swiftly.
- Now you should see the Xbox Wireless Controller. Press Connect. Xbox One logo on your gamepad should stop blinking. This means the connection is set and you can start playing games.
Pretty straightforward, isn’t it? The thing is some games do not “see” Xbox One Controller connected to the Mac using this method. It all depends on the developer. If you can open game and gamepad works perfectly, you can stop reading this. If the gamepad is connected but seems to be not working, proceed to the next section of this article.
How to Connect Xbox One Controller to Mac via Micro USB Cable?
If the wireless connection does not work with your games, find a micro USB cable and connect your gamepad to the Mac. The gamepad will vibrate, but Xbox logo won’t light up. That is fine, don’t worry. MacOS has no built-in driver for the wired connection, so we are going to help this system learn how to work with your gamepad.
Tip. Although we are talking about Xbox One Controller, this method allows you to connect Xbox 360 to Mac as well.
- Open this link and download file 360ControllerInstall_0.16.10.dmg. Open it and follow the on-screen instructions. Important: this procedure requires administrator-level access, therefore make sure you know administrator password.
- Restart the Mac after the procedure is done and open System Preferences.
- At the bottom of the screen, you will see new Xbox 360 Controllers entry. Click it.
- Go to Advanced tab and make sure Enable Driver is enabled. Gamepad won’t work if this option is turned off. Again, you will need to enter the Administrator password in order to enable the driver.
- You will see Xbox One Wired Controller (Wired) in the drop-down menu at the top of the window.
- Switch to Controller Test and make sure all input elements work fine.
- Your controller is ready to rock.
As you see, there are plenty of options allowing you to disable vibration, spoof controller as an Xbox 360 Gamepad, map buttons, invert sticks, etc. Spend some time messing around with app’s elements and you will be able to use your Xbox One Gamepad with Mac like a boss.