Do Xbox Series X Controllers Work on Xbox One?

A common trend with technology is that accessories and tools of older models are usually forward compatible and will therefore work on newer models. However, it is relatively rare for them to be backwards compatible, allowing you to use newer technologies on older models, but does the latest Xbox console, the Xbox Series X, follow this general rule? Is it possible to use an Xbox Series X controller on the Xbox One?

Xbox Series X wireless controllers are backwards compatible and work on your Xbox One. In fact, these controllers will work on all the same devices that its predecessor works on including PC, mobile devices and the Xbox One S and X. However, that does not guarantee the Series X controller is the best choice for your Xbox One gaming. 

In this article, we will discuss the overarching differences between the Xbox One wireless controller and the new Xbox Series X controller, so you can determine which option suits you and your gaming needs best.

Xbox Series X Controllers VS. Xbox One Controllers

There are distinct differences between the Xbox Series X controller and the tried and true wireless controllers designed for the Xbox One. Knowing these differences will help ensure you choose the right one for your gaming experience.

The overarching features and designs unique to the new Xbox Series X wireless controllers include:

  • Improved hybrid D-Pad design
  • Integrated Share button
  • Matte button finishes with tactile dots
  • USB-C port
  • Enhanced texture on back hand grips
  • Built-in Bluetooth support
  • Dynamic Latency Input system

These new ergonomic features help ensure the controller is easier to grip, hold, and navigate compared to previous models. A great deal of effort was also put into making these controllers more responsive using the new dynamic latency input system which reduces lag by matching your button-presses to frames on-screen.

The USB-C port allows gamers to more conveniently charge their controller using standard chargers that work on most cellphones rather than relying on batteries or micro-B cables.

Probably the most influential feature this controller has that will drive people to upgrade from their Xbox One controllers is the Share button. This cool feature allows gamers to quickly and easily take gameplay screenshots, record short videos, or access your gallery. You can then send your gaming images or recordings to friends, followers, and the general public via your profile’s activity feed, clubs, and messages. 

Which Controller Is Better?


One reason why we started this discussion with the Xbox Series X/S controller’s new features is because very little else sets it apart from its predecessor. If you were to place the new Xbox Series X/S controller next to a standard wireless Xbox One controller, you might have a hard time distinguishing them from one another. The biggest giveaways would be the new controller’s D-pad and Share button.

Many gamers and gaming experts predict that these minimal changes are the reason why these controllers are backwards compatible. If gamers are content with how their current Xbox One controller functions, then they can stick with it and don’t have to spend the extra cash on a Series X/S controller. However, if they want to reap the benefits of the new controller’s ergonomic upgrades and technical inclusions, then they are free to upgrade. 

Overall, while some of the Xbox Series X/S controller’s new features does give it an edge over the Xbox One, particularly in terms of ergonomics, responsivity, and sharing your gaming content, this isn’t too significant for most casual gamers. 

One difference we will mention that might make a difference is that the new Xbox Series X/S controller is tailored towards the typical eight-year old’s hands and, therefore, is slightly smaller in size and button orientation compared to the Xbox One. Therefore, if you’re an adult gamer and/or an individual with larger hands, then you might want to stick with your Xbox One controller rather than upgrading. 

Can You Use the Xbox One Controller on the Xbox Series X

We have another article dedicate to answering this question, which you can find here. However, for those of you looking for a brief answer…

Yes, the Xbox One controller is forward compatible with the Xbox Series X and the Xbox Series S consoles. 

It would appear that, in their efforts to create a next gen console and controller, Microsoft was adamant to improve on what was necessary and not to fix what isn’t broken. This is likely why the new Xbox Series X/S controllers are so similar to the Xbox One because, in essence, that controller is designed fairly well and only needed a few tweaks to make it more convenient, comfortable, and modern. 

Final Thoughts

It isn’t every day that a gaming company allows their next gen controllers and accessories be backwards compatible with the previous generation, as well as those tools being forward compatible, but we think this decision is going to work extremely well in Microsoft’s favor. It is one that their leading competitor, Sony (PlayStation), isn’t following, and they might discover fairly soon that they regret this choice amongst others they made for their next gen console, the PS5.


John Hammer

Hi i'm John Hammer, Founder and Author of Gizbuyer Guide. Ever since the original Xbox, PlayStation, and iPhone I've purchased and worked on all kinds of consumer tech products, gaming gadgets and operating system softwares. To this day my curiosity has never left, and my aim is to guide and share my knowledge on technology as I continue to experience the latest of the consumer electronics industry.

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