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How to use an Xbox One controller with a small Windows 10 tablet

Embedded in Windows 10 are the necessary drivers to use the Xbox One controller without any additional software. You just plug it in and it works. While there are games available in the Store and from other sources you might want to use it with, there's also the Xbox One game streaming feature that you'll want to use it for.

Whether you connect using the microUSB cable or the upcoming wireless adapter, you still need one crucial thing; a USB port. But what about on a small tablet like the HP Stream 7 or Dell Venue 8 Pro that doesn't have a full sized USB port?

There's a simple solution and it doesn't cost a lot at all.

What you need is a microUSB to USB adapter. That way you can plug the microUSB cable from the controller into one end, then plug the other end into the microUSB charging port on the tablet. From here on it's just like using the controller with a Windows 10 PC, and that includes being able to stream your Xbox One games.

The controller pulls its power from the tablet, just as it would if you had it plugged into a PC. When you attach it you'll feel the controller vibrate and from there you're good to go.

The adapters you need are readily available online, we've dropped a suggestion below to get you started.

Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

52 Comments
  • If one had a micro to micro cable, would that work?
  • Imagine if this works for Windows mobile too..
  • Well, it should work. Logically it makes sense.
  • Except that W10 Mobile hasn't built-in drivers for controllers.
  • beg to differ since it works for me on my Lumia 930
  • Really? Obviously in Windows 10 Mobile version right?
  • nice try kiddo.
  • probably not.... what isn't mentioned in the article (but is in the link) is that this is an OTG or On The Go cable. not a passthrough USB cable. This cable will also work with various Android devices as well.  
  • Yeah, that works too. I have one myself.
  • Yes, it would help big time if we could connect an Xbox One controller to play Windows Phone games. Then I'd finally be able to beat Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1. The touch controls right now are too annoying.
  • From what I understood is sega goofed on implementing physics engine properly and decided not to patch on any platform
  • I guess the rumble will be taking a lot of juice from the tablet...so it would be safe to assume that a fully charged tablet will manage around 2 hrs max of gaming, right?
  • I get way more then that on venu pro 8... The controller has batteries..... Biggest issue I have is the USB controller wakes tablet from sleep or prevents it... So I always unplug the controller
  • Oh damn...i forgot that xbox one controller has got its own batteries...I'm used to my old xbox wired controller...
  • schrödinger's cat
  • The only thing I don't like about this setup, especially with the venue pro 8 in the picture, is that you can't charge the tablet while you have the USB adapter plugged in. And games run down the battery fast on my venue pro 8, but maybe streaming doesn't use much power compared to games, that would be nice.
  • It's not a perfect setup by any stretch. But it works, so it's worth pointing out :)
  • There are adapters that allow you to do that, one from Dell themselves and other solutions. Problem most likely will be if the charger can keep up with the battery drain of gaming and stop it depleting regardless.
  • $20 from dell
  • This only works on some tablets, so your mileage may vary.
  • The simplest/cheapest solution is just use your xbox one controller thats already hooked up to your xbox. if the console is within range, you can still use it wirelessly while streaming to your tablet.
  • That works for game streaming in close vicinity, sure. But if you connect the controller you can use it in other games which support it. Not just game streaming.
  • yep, thats totally a good reason to connect them. I wish there was a simpler pairing process for the controller though when taking it back to the xbone from the tablet(or I'm doing it wrong). since I'm cheap, i only have one controller, and I'd like to have the controller recognize when I want to use the xbone versus the tablet. sounds like i need to visit uservoice...
  • I was going to suggest this very thing.  And since it has to be over the same network, most people will still be within range of their Xbox One.  All you have to do is hit continue when it asks to plug in a controller.
  • I have successfully streamed to both my desktop PC and my HP Stream 7 this way.  On the HP Stream 7, since the processor of the tablet is so low spec, I encountered a little graphical tearing when streaming NBA Live, however, with arcade style games I think it would handle it just fine.
  • I have an Xbox one day one pass that I kept alongside the packaging, however I sold the actual console... This won't work for me right?
  • Don't forget www.utorcase.com !!!! A little heavy with 8" tablet but my 5 year old just props controller on the table , will be perfect with 7" Tablet balances surprisingly well for being pretty heavy with such a small mount
  • Hmm, never considered trying to use it wirelessly within. I'm surprised I never thought of that. When's the XB1 wireless dongle for PC coming out again?
  • Been using my xbone controller on my linx 7 tablet with 8.1. Installed steam and it runs burnout paradise like a champ.
  • Yep! Me too totally happy with streaming quality, love this feature.
  • What version of the Xbox One controller is that pictured? It has the thumbsticks of the 360, but everything else of the One! Doesn't look like the new pro one, either...
  • Could be modified
  • Its got some Kontrol Freeks or something on it.
  • Hey so when I plug my xbox controller into my computer it registers as a gamepad correctly (says so in device manager) but when I launch the xbox app and stream from my xbox one it says no controller connected. I've looked online but havent found a single thing about it. Anyone have some tips? Happens both on my desktop and surface pro 1...driving me nuts :S
  • Are you using an official Microsoft Xbox one controller? Nothing else will work, as far as I know.
  • definitely an official controller
  • Not true. I've been able to use the xbox streaming while using a dualshock 4. Imagine how hard my mind was blown playing xbox with a ds4
  • Reboot xbox
  • Have you updated your controller?
  • Ahh yes, affiliate linking. Gotta make that $$$ eh?
  • Seriously? We wrote this as an interesting tip. We also have ads on the site and yes, we need to support our families too. Alternatively, if we are giving a site, a company, or a product coverage should we not profit from it? Who is doing whom the favor there?
  • How dare you try and feed yourself. You must make us content and starve! The fans demand it
  • Omg calm down gurrl. It's okay, you go on with your bad self ;-)
  • Would love to be able to do this on my Lumia 2520! Sigh.... 
  • Any news on DualShock support? Prefer the layout, use to work in win7 any progress with 10 cause I couldn't get it to work in 8, wired or Bluetooth. MotionJoy guys need to step up
  • It worked for me, at least on a previous build (can't remember which one) I was able to use the xbox streaming while using a dualshock 4.
  • I was using my dualshock 4 to play Tomb Raider on my Windows 8.1 via Bluetooth. Posted via the Windows Central App by OnePlus One
  • Is about time for they to release the xbox one wireless adapter for pc.
  • I can't wait.
  • I've been doing this since the release of the Dell Venue 8 Pro with my 360 and Xbox One controllers and that very same StarTech OTG adapter. It works great.
  • Game streaming isn't available on my HP Stream 7. The Xbox app doesn't have the feature. It automatically removes a couple of sections and streaming is one of them. Works on my Surface 3 though.
  • I would be a lot more excited if MS would stop being obtuse and just use the bluetooth radio in nearly every device made in the last 10 years. Needing a wireless dongle to connect to the PC is just stupid. Peripheral manufacturers have dropped the ball on supporting bluetooth. It is 2015, time to go ahead and support standards and things like that.