How to Use an Xbox One Controller with a Mac to Play Games

Key takeaways:

  • You can connect an Xbox One controller to your Mac via Bluetooth or USB cable
  • Connecting the controller allows you to play compatible games with more precise control
  • Some setup is required, including installing drivers for wired connections
  • Not all Xbox One controllers have Bluetooth capability, so check your model first

Playing games on a Mac can be a great experience, but sometimes using a keyboard and mouse just doesn’t cut it. If you’re looking for a more console-like gaming experience on your Mac, connecting an Xbox One controller is a great option. With a little bit of setup, you can use your Xbox One controller to play compatible games on your Mac via Bluetooth or USB connection.

Check your Xbox One controller model

Before you start, it’s important to note that not all Xbox One controllers have Bluetooth capability. Here are the compatible models:

  • Xbox Wireless Controller with Bluetooth (Model 1708)
  • Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2
  • Xbox Adaptive Controller
  • Xbox Wireless Controller Series S and Series X

If you have an older Xbox One controller without Bluetooth, you can still connect it to your Mac using a micro-USB cable.

Connecting via Bluetooth

Connecting your Xbox One controller to your Mac via Bluetooth is a simple process:

  1. Press and hold the Xbox button on the controller to turn it on.
  2. Press and hold the Connect button on the top of the controller until the Xbox logo starts flashing rapidly. This puts the controller into pairing mode.
  3. On your Mac, click the Apple menu and go to System Preferences.
  4. Click on Bluetooth. Your Mac will start searching for nearby Bluetooth devices.
  5. When “Xbox Wireless Controller” appears in the list, click Connect.

That’s it! Your Xbox One controller should now be connected to your Mac via Bluetooth.

Connecting via USB

If you have an older Xbox One controller without Bluetooth, or if you prefer a wired connection, you can connect it to your Mac using a micro-USB cable. However, this requires installing a special driver:

  1. Download the latest release of the 360Controller driver from GitHub.
  2. Open the downloaded .dmg file and run the included .pkg installer.
  3. Follow the prompts to install the driver, and restart your Mac when prompted.
  4. After restarting, open System Preferences and go to the Xbox 360 Controllers pane.
  5. Plug your Xbox One controller into your Mac using a micro-USB cable.
  6. The controller should power on automatically and be recognized by the driver.

You can now configure the buttons and axes in the Xbox 360 Controllers pane if desired.

Playing games with your Xbox One controller

Once your Xbox One controller is connected to your Mac, you can use it to play compatible games. Many popular games support controllers out of the box, including:

  • Fortnite
  • Minecraft
  • Rocket League
  • Stardew Valley
  • Cuphead

Some games may require additional configuration in their settings menus to enable controller support. If a game doesn’t seem to be recognizing your controller, check its settings or consult its documentation.

Using your Xbox One controller with Steam

If you play games through Steam on your Mac, you can take advantage of Steam’s built-in controller support. This allows you to use your Xbox One controller with any game that supports Steam Input, even if it doesn’t natively support controllers.

To enable Xbox One controller support in Steam:

  1. Launch Steam and go to Preferences.
  2. Click on Controller, then General Controller Settings.
  3. Check the box next to Xbox Configuration Support.
  4. Your connected Xbox One controller should now be recognized by Steam.

You can now customize your controller configuration for each game in your Steam library. Many games will have community-created controller profiles that you can use as a starting point.


If you’re having trouble getting your Xbox One controller to work with your Mac, here are a few things to try:

  • Make sure your controller has fresh batteries or is fully charged.
  • If connecting via Bluetooth, make sure your controller is within range of your Mac.
  • If connecting via USB, try a different cable or USB port.
  • Make sure your Mac and controller both have the latest software updates installed.
  • Restart your Mac and power cycle your controller.

If you’re still having issues, you may want to consult the support documentation for your specific controller model or reach out to Microsoft or Apple for further assistance.


Using an Xbox One controller with your Mac can greatly enhance your gaming experience, providing more precise control and a console-like feel. Whether you connect via Bluetooth or USB, with a little bit of setup you can be gaming with your favorite controller in no time.


Can I use an Xbox 360 controller with my Mac?

Yes, you can use an Xbox 360 controller with your Mac by connecting it via USB and installing the 360Controller driver. However, Xbox 360 controllers do not support Bluetooth, so a wired connection is required.

Do I need to install any special software to use an Xbox One controller with my Mac?

If you’re connecting your Xbox One controller via Bluetooth, no additional software is needed. However, if you’re connecting via USB, you’ll need to install the 360Controller driver.

Can I use my Xbox One controller with games that don’t officially support controllers?

It depends on the game. Some games may have hidden or unofficial controller support that can be enabled through mods or config file tweaks. However, if a game doesn’t support controllers at all, you may be out of luck.

How do I customize my Xbox One controller’s button mapping for a specific game?

Many games will allow you to customize your controller’s button mapping in their settings or options menus. If a game doesn’t have built-in customization options, you can use a tool like Steam’s controller configuration feature or a third-party app like Enjoyable to remap your controller’s buttons system-wide.