Smartphones have found a way to enhance our video gaming lives. They now offer a way to connect to our systems and give us new ways to play and experience video games in a way we haven’t been able to before. Smartphones don’t just play game apps, but can work as a second controller. Although a regular Xbox controller is easier to play with, using your smartphone as an Xbox controller can have its own benefits.
Your smart device will need to be up to date and connected to your app store in order to sync it as an Xbox controller. As long as these two things have happened, we can help guide you in connecting your smartphone to your Xbox console easily.
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How to connect your phone to an Xbox One
Step 1: Download the Xbox app
Before downloading the Xbox app for iOS or Android, you’ll want to update your smartphone or tablet to the latest version of its operating system (OS). Users of iOS need version 10.3 or higher to run the app. Microsoft recommends Android users have version 4.4 or higher. Once updated, head over to either the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store and enter “Xbox” in the search field to locate the app.
Tap the Install button to begin downloading the app to your smartphone or tablet, and launch it once it’s installed. Then, sign in to your Xbox account when prompted.
Step 2: Connect to your network
To sync your Xbox One and your phone, both devices must be online. To check your network on the Xbox One, go to Settings > Network > Network Settings.
On your smartphone, go to the network/Wi-Fi menu in your device’s system preferences or settings. If your Xbox One is not connected, select Set Up Wireless Network, choose your desired network, and enter the respective password when prompted. Both devices must be within the range of your network to connect.
Certain features, like using your phone as a remote control for the Xbox One, require both your Xbox One and phone to be connected on the same Wi-Fi network. Others, such as checking your achievements and activity feed, work as long as both devices are on an internet connection.
Step 3: Sync your smartphone with your console
While using the Xbox app, tap the three horizontal bars in the upper left corner to bring up the main menu. From here, you can access most features, but for now, just tap Console. After a second, a Connect to Your Xbox One option should appear near the top of the screen.
Tapping that should bring up a list of available Xbox consoles that you can connect to. Assuming yours is the only one on the list, tap the icon — labeled Xbox-SystemOS, unless you’ve renamed it — and then tap Turn On.
Voilà! Your smartphone and your Xbox are now soulmates. You should now be able to use your smartphone as a controller and keyboard, though this functionality is limited to the Xbox OS. There’s currently no in-game, second-screen integration.
Step 4: Use the app
Connecting is easy, but learning how to use the Xbox app takes a little time and understanding. Again, tapping the three horizontal bars in the upper left corner of the app will bring up the menu. This allows you to view your profile, achievements, recorded clips, and screenshots, and you can also access the Xbox Store, among other things. Tapping your avatar icon will bring up your friends list, while the icons next to it control messages and notifications. A new icon, represented by three avatars, even allows you to start a party chat while on the go.
Step 5: Control your Xbox One with the app
We’re not entirely sure why you’d choose to control your Xbox One with your phone instead of a controller, but the Xbox app makes it possible. Once you’ve connected your Xbox One to your phone, you’ll see a small remote symbol in the bottom right corner of the app’s screen. Select it, and you’ll be taken to a mostly black screen that features all four face buttons, as well as the home button, view button, and menu button.
You can now control your Xbox One by dragging your finger across the screen to select a tile, then pressing A in the center of the screen to confirm it. Will you ever use it? Probably not, but it’s an option!
If you want to connect your Xbox controller to your PC, we’ve also found a guide for that.
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