The new Xbox Wireless Controller offers several improvements over the Xbox One Wireless Controller. But its new Share button might be my favorite.
I wrote a bit about this new controller in my Xbox Series X review, but here’s the short version: The new Xbox Wireless Controller is a subtle evolution of its predecessor, the Xbox One Wireless Controller.
The new controller offers the same basic design and button layout as the Xbox One Wireless Controller, but it has a new textured grip, triggers, and bumpers.
It features a hybrid d-pad that’s similar to that found on the Elite series of controllers.
It connects and, if used with a rechargeable battery, charges via USB-C, not micro-USB.
It has faster pairing capabilities than its predecessor, and it supports low-latency connections with the Xbox Series X|S. And it works, I should mention, with all Xbox One consoles in addition to the newer consoles.
But its best new feature, perhaps, is that new Share button.
Nestled between and a bit below the View and Menu buttons, the Share button can be pressed once or pressed and held to initiate two sharing-related actions. By default, those actions are “Take screenshot” and “Record what happened,” respectively. But you can change each of those to other related sharing actions if desired.
The reason this button is so useful is that triggering screenshots and video clips via previous-generation controllers is a two-step process and is thus somewhat tedious and time-consuming, especially if you’re in the middle of a heated multiplayer match or another action sequence: You had to press the Xbox button to display the Guide—which can be slow on Xbox One consoles—and then press “Y” to capture a screenshot or “X” to record what happened.
Now, you can just press—or long-press—a dedicated button to do so much more quickly.
If you don’t like the default actions, you can configure them using the Xbox Accessories app. Just select the controller in that app, create a new profile if needed, and then select Edit (the pencil icon) to view the Mapping (button mapping) screen.
By default, “Share button, press” is the top action that can be configured. It’s set to “Take screenshot” by default, but you can change that to “Record what happened” or “Start/Stop recording” if desired.
Likewise, the second available action is “Share button, hold.” This is set to “Record what happened” by default, but you can choose one of the other two options instead. In case it’s not obvious, if it’s configured to “Start/Stop recording,” that means that the first long press will start a video clip recording, and that the second one will stop the recording.
Beyond this, you can further configure your console’s capture settings in Capture & Share settings, which can be reached by navigating to Settings > Preferences > Capture & share. (Or from the Guide, where you’ll find a Capture & share tab.)
There are a number of useful options here, but if you’re going to keep the Share button’s long-press action on “Record what happened,” you might want to just peek at “Record what happened” in this interface: By default, it’s set to record the previous 30 seconds of action, but you can change that to 15 seconds, 45 seconds, or 1 minute if you want.
The only worry here is that it’s so easy to capture screenshots and video clips that you may actually run out of space in the Xbox cloud. You can avoid this by not saving captures to the cloud in that Capture & Share settings screen: Select “Automatically upload” and change it from “Captures by me” to “Don’t upload.”
Otherwise, you’ll need to manually manage your captures. There’s no truly good way to do this—I haven’t found a way to do things like select some range of captures and then download them or delete them all at once—but you can access them using the Xbox Console Companion app on Windows 10 or the Xbox app on mobile. You’ll just need to download/delete them one-by-one. Yes, it’s tedious.