Microsoft Says It's Investigating a Fix for Disconnecting Xbox Series X Controllers

Illustration for article titled Microsoft Says It's Investigating a Fix for Disconnecting Xbox Series X Controllers
Photo: Alex Cranz

While millions of gamers are still struggling to find a retailer that have an Xbox Series X in stock, those who already have their hands on the device may have noticed that their controllers aren’t staying connected to their consoles. Microsoft is now acknowledging the problem and is promising to fix it.

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For many Xbox Series X users, controllers disconnecting from the console can appear random or sporadic. In other cases, it occurs while playing a specific game, which some (including our own reviews editor Alex Cranz) have attributed to interference with their home wireless network.

However, for anyone who has spent some time browsing Microsoft’s support forums or threads like this one on Reddit, it’s clear the Xbox Series X’s troubles maintaining a connection with its controllers isn’t an isolated issue. Microsoft has acknowledged the problem. In a statement provided to the Verge, a Microsoft spokesperson said: “We are aware some players may be experiencing disconnects with their new Xbox Wireless Controllers and our teams are actively working on a solution to be included in a future update.”

The challenge for Microsoft is that the issue of controllers disconnecting from the console happens in a few different ways. For some, the controller just won’t stayed paired to the console, while for others, a controller may seem to be properly synced even though the console doesn’t register any inputs or button presses. And in other cases, disconnected controllers seem to be a much more common issue when playing titles such as Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.

Alex Cranz said the problem can be resolved by removing the batteries from the controller and then reinserting them (essentially turning the device off and on again). Unfortunately, it’s not clear what’s causing the disconnects in the first place, and while Microsoft said it’s investigating, there’s currently no timetable for when a new patch or fix might be available.

The one small bit of good news is that if you’re a PC user who has suffered from the Xbox Series controller disconnecting from a Windows computer via Bluetooth, Microsoft has already released a patch via Windows Update for that.

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So for anyone out there who was wondering why their Xbox Series X controller may have been randomly disconnecting from their console, at least you know that it’s a real problem. Hopefully Microsoft can figure out a solution soon.

Senior reporter at Gizmodo, formerly Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag. Was an archery instructor and a penguin trainer before that.

DISCUSSION

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I’ve been talking to A LOT of people who’ve been having this issue, because it’s not isolated to the Series X, but the One X as well. The common thread is almost always a wireless headset in combination with an tri-band 802.11g/n/ac router with three networks (instead of a merged one).

Literally every person I’ve talked to has had the issue disappear when turning off the 2nd 5ghz channel band. The 149-161 or 165 channels specifically.

It almost never happens when users DON’T have a wireless headset turned on (or own one).

There’s an interference problem, at least for the “looks like it’s connected but the xbox doesn’t recognize it is” examples. I suspect high in/out traffic related to vibration signals (the console telling the controller to do something vs the controller ... well controlling) might be to blame as the trigger sometimes.

Alex Cranz said the problem can be resolved by removing the batteries from the controller and then reinserting them

That’s... not really helpful for anyone with the Elite Series 2, which only has an integrated battery.