How to fix Xbox controller not connecting to Steam Deck

How to fix Xbox controller not connecting to Steam Deck

How to fix Xbox controller not connecting to Steam Deck

The Steam Deck is a great system that lets us play games on the go, including games that offer a local multiplayer mode. But sometimes, playing a game with a friend might be put on hold when your Xbox controller is not connecting to the Steam Deck.

Since it's a handheld PC, the Steam Deck has a lot of issues in common with a typical computer - things like connection issues and the touchscreen not working issue.

This article will aim to get your Xbox controller set up properly on the Steam Deck so you can start playing with your buddies while out on the road.

Why isn't the Xbox controller not connecting to Steam Deck?

Most users who encounter this problem experience it when trying to connect their Xbox controller for the first time. Others have reported being able to pair a controller with their Steam Deck and then having it suddenly disconnect later on.

It's hard to pinpoint the exact reason why your Xbox controller isn't connecting to the Steam Deck. There could be several things behind it like low batteries, interference from other Bluetooth devices, outdated software, or damaged hardware.

Since there are several different potential causes for your Xbox controller not connecting to Steam Deck, there are just as many fixes you can try to resolve the issue.

How to fix the Xbox controller not connecting to Steam Deck

Here are some things you can try to get your Xbox controller working on the Steam Deck:

Update controller firmware

Doing this isn't as straightforward as one might hope so here's the step-by-step on how to do it:

  • Download the Xbox Accessories app onto a PC or Xbox. You can get it from the Microsoft Apps Store.
  • Connect your controller to the PC or Xbox via a USB cable.
  • Click on the three dots below the Configure button.
  • Choose "Update now" then click on "Continue" when prompted.
  • Wait for the progress bar to reach 100%.

After that, your controller should be updated. If your controller's firmware is up to date, you'll see "No update available" instead of the "Update now" button.

Reboot your Steam Deck

This is a basic troubleshooting step that works on many devices for several different problems. It should only take a minute or two to do, so it's worth giving it a try.

Disable other Bluetooth devices

Bluetooth connections can be a finicky thing to deal with, especially when you're trying to use several devices at once. Try to turn off any other Bluetooth devices you might have nearby to see if it helps solve the problem.

Check on your batteries

From our wall clocks to our cell phones, sometimes we forget to check the batteries on our devices. The Xbox controller is no exemption to this, so make sure it still has some juice in it!

If none of these worked for you and your Xbox controller remains disconnected from your Steam Deck, then it's probably time to contact Xbox support. While you're waiting for them to respond, you can check out what games you can play on Steam Deck.

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