I’m a bit behind on this one, but Microsoft has been shipping its Xbox One Wireless Adapter for Windows for the past week or so. And if you’re looking for a way to game wirelessly on Windows 10 using Microsoft’s top-notch controllers, well. This is pretty much your only choice.
The good news? the Xbox One Wireless Adapter for Windows is inexpensive enough at $25, though I have to sort of wonder why Surface devices, at least, don’t just work natively with the controllers. Also, to be clear, this adapter is not designed for the Xbox 360 controller.
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The bad? This is fairly huge dongle, as big as Microsoft’s Wireless Display Adapter, and if you’re using a smaller device like the Surface Pro 4 I tested this on, it looks gangly and awkward hanging off the USB port.
That said, Microsoft does at least include a USB extender cable, which might help matters. And of course for those with desktop PCs, this cable will help you get the adapter closer to the controller for better reception.
There’s not a lot to say here, of course.
When you plug in the adapter, it automatically registers with the system and doesn’t require any driver download, though the packaging recommends getting a controller firmware update to enable the audio functionality on the newer controller type (which features a standard 3mm headset jack).
From there, you just need to bind the controller to the adapter. This work as it does on the console: You press the pairing buttons on each (on the controller and on the adapter) and then the two are paired and you’re good to go. (You can apparently pair up to 8 controllers per adapter, but I can’t think of a single use for that.)
You can use the adapter with an Xbox One controller to play Windows 10 games—of which there are 2-4 decent examples—or to stream Xbox One games to your Windows 10 PC. Since neither of these scenarios makes a heck of a lot of sense, this adapter is currently only of passing interest. But hopefully that will change over time.
Long story, short: It works exactly as expected.
You can snag the Xbox One Wireless Adapter for Windows at Amazon.com, the Microsoft Store, or from other retailers.