Microsoft is testing a new Xbox controller firmware that will make it a lot easier to use with iPhones and iPads. The update will enable Bluetooth LE connections with iPhones or iPads on every Xbox One controller with Bluetooth support, including Xbox Elite Series 2 controllers. On the Apple side, all you need is iOS 15 or iPadOS 15, which is currently in beta and should be released in the next few weeks.
In addition, the new firmware adds a really big quality-of-life improvement: it will remember one Xbox Wireless host (like an Xbox console) and one Bluetooth host (like an iPhone, iPad, or Mac), then switch between them with a double-tap of the pair button. This eliminates a really annoying process of re-pairing your Xbox controller if you use it for both mobile and console gaming. Microsoft recently made Xbox Cloud Gaming available on iOS through the browser, but it’s one of your best options for playing even native iPhone games that support game controllers.
Read our step-by-step guide for how to pair your Xbox controller with your iPhone or iPad. The firmware that adds Bluetooth LE support and quick switching between Bluetooth and Xbox Wireless is currently being beta-tested with Xbox Insiders, and should roll out widely this fall.