Xbox One Tip: Completely Configure the Controller

Posted on January 9, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Xbox One with 0 Comments

Xbox One Tip: Completely Configure the Controller

I was finally able to purchase an Xbox One Elite Controller, and while I’ll be writing about that little purchase separately, here’s a related tip that impacts all Xbox One users, regardless of which controller you’re using. You can now customize and configure how your controller works.

Two caveats. First, this capability arrived with the New Xbox One Experience in late 2015, so you must have updated to this latest OS version. (Which of course virtually all Xbox One owners have done, since it’s basically automatic.)

And second, the degree to which you can customize the controller varies wildly, from just a few buttons (the basic Xbox One Wireless Controller) to virtually all of the buttons and switches available (the Elite Controller).

You customize how the controller works with the Xbox Accessories app, which was installed as part of the New Xbox Experience. You can find this by navigating to My Stuff (at the very bottom of the Home view in the Xbox One Dashboard, My Games & Apps, Apps. You’ll see Xbox Accessories in the list.


Note: You may need to update the firmware in the controller before you can configure it with Xbox Accessories. You’ll be guided through the process.

Xbox One Wireless Controller


When you select a basic Xbox One Wireless Controller, you will see only one option: Configure, which is where you’ll customize how this controller works.


The following options are available:

Button mapping. This interface lets you amp the A, B, X, Y, LB, RB, LS, RS, and DPAD (Up, Down, Left, Right) buttons, each, to any other button. Since there’s no Swap Bumpers function, you can use this option to swap LB and RB.

Swap sticks. This option lets you swap the Left and Right Sticks.

Invert right stick Y axis.

Invert right stick X axis.

Swap triggers. This option lets you swap the Left and Right Triggers.

Xbox One Elite Controller

While you do get basic customization for the Wireless Controller, the customization capabilities of the Xbox One Elite Controller are particularly amazing. You could spend/waste a lot of time mucking around in here.


With an Xbox One Elite Controller, you use the More Options list to name the controller or learn more about this special (and expensive) controller type. But you’ll spend most of your time in Configure, where you can customize how this controller works to any amazing degree.


Here’s what’s available.

Two primary configurations. Using the unique Config switch on the front of the Elite Controller (its just below the Menu and Options buttons in the center), you can select two primary configuration slots. For example, you may have configurations for specific games and scenarios (Halo 5: Guardians – Campaign), or for general game types (Shooters).

Pre-built game configurations. The Xbox Accessories app comes with neat built-in configurations for specific games and game scenarios, or you can create your own.

Button mapping. Press any button on the controller (A, B, RB, LT, etc.) to complete manage the mapping for that button. You can even control how bright the light is for A, B, X and Y buttons, and other options.


Stick, trigger and vibration configuration. You can control vibration, stick and trigger behavior (including inverting the axis on sticks, swap triggers, adjust trigger or stick sensitivity, and more.


Manage paddles. Unlike the standard controller, the Elite Controller includes four paddles on the rear, which can be completely configured. You can map them to other buttons, for example.

Store multiple configurations. Each user account can store up to 256 configurations in the cloud, and 2 can be stored on the controller (and controlled via that Config switch). Configurations are synced to the cloud so you can access them on any console, and you can provide custom names for each configuration.

I’ll have a further write-up about the Elite Controller soon. But in the meantime, be sure to read Brad’s more timely Review: Microsoft’s Elite Xbox Controller. Among other things, he has some good advice for how one might configure the controller. So I’m testing various configs now.


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