Microsoft removes Xbox Game Pass gamepad from Surface Duo, seemingly by accident

Surface Duo Gaming
(Image credit: Future)

What you need to know

  • The Xbox Game Pass app on Android no longer shows a gamepad on the second screen of the Surface Duo.
  • Previously, the Surface Duo had the ability to show gameplay on one screen while displaying a gamepad on the other.
  • There's a chance that the removal was a mistake, as it is a key feature for the app when used on the Surface Duo.

Microsoft's Surface Duo just lost a fan-favorite feature among gamers. Following a recent update to Xbox Game Pass for Android, the app no longer shows a gamepad on the second display of the Duo. The reason for the removal is unclear, especially given the popularity of the feature. There's a chance that Microsoft removed the feature by accident.

"I just noticed that the recent update on Xbox Game Pass app there's no gamepad on the second screen," said HautamekiPL on Reddit. "Can you check on yours? I have Surface Duo 1."

In response to that post, several Duo owners confirmed the removal of the gamepad on the second screen of the foldable.

"Can confirm, it doesn't work," responded yugabe. "It's like it doesn't detect a [second] screen and just plops the game in the middle. Way to NOT go!"

Microsoft began testing dual-screen support with Xbox Game Pass on Surface Duo back in May 2021. The functionality later rolled out to general availability, greatly enhancing the gaming capability of the device. When the feature was new, our gaming editor Jez Corden discussed how the Surface Duo could become a Nintendo DS-like device due in large part to the gamepad.

It seems unlikely that Microsoft would remove such a popular feature without explaining the move. We'll have to wait to see if it was simply an omission by the Xbox Game Pass team.

YouTuber Shane Craig showed off the issue in a video, as well as directions for how to roll back to a previous version of Xbox Game Pass that still shows a gamepad on the second screen of the Duo.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at