New Xbox controller firmware brings Bluetooth Low Energy support

by Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Passionate about technology, Windows, and everything that has a power button, he spent most of his time developing new skills and learning more about the tech world. Coming... read more
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  • Microsoft decided that it was about time to implement some well-deserved changes for their gaming consoles.
  • Testing has started for a new firmware update to existing Xbox One, Xbox Elite 2, and Xbox Adaptive Controllers.
  • Insiders can now quickly switch between paired devices on an Xbox controller, by tapping the pair button.
  • Also new is DLI, feature that reduces the input latency on controllers and makes gameplay more responsive.
xbox controller firmware update

The Redmond-based tech company is starting to test a new firmware update for existing Xbox One, Xbox Elite 2, and Xbox Adaptive Controllers.

This will bring some important improvements to existing hardware, with the biggest addition being the ability to quickly switch between paired devices on an Xbox controller.

Microsoft is also adding Dynamic Latency Input (DLI) to improve input latency on older gamepads.

Much needed improvements brought to Xbox peripherals

What’s also interesting is that this new firmware update includes Bluetooth Low Energy support for compatible controllers.

Most of Microsoft’s existing Xbox One controllers include Bluetooth support for use on smartphones or PCs, but the controller itself still connects to Xbox consoles through the Xbox Wireless protocol.

The latest firmware update will now make it easier to switch between the two, allowing the controllers to remember your Bluetooth phone and console and quickly transition between connected devices by double-tapping the pair button.

Developers call this the double-tap to switch devices upgrade, and note that it’ll work on console, PC, and mobile, among other supported platforms.

For a long while, the Xbox controller has been a weapon of choice for pretty much everything users can get it to work with, and these sort of easy firmware updates encapsulate why.

Whether it’s the Xbox Series X or either Elite model, gamers are really looking forward to seeing this come to fruition eventually when it goes live.

Keep in mind that the Xbox controller update will apply to Xbox One controllers with Bluetooth support, Xbox Elite Series 2s, and Xbox Adaptive Controllers. So most modern devices will get this in the near future.

Another main addition is DLI, which reduces the input latency on controllers connected to Xbox Series X / S consoles to make gameplay more responsive.

What this means is that any older Xbox One controller will have reduced latency with an Xbox Series S or X console, just like the latest controllers that ship with these consoles.

Both are new features that the latest Xbox Series X / S gamepads already support, but it feels nice to see the Redmond tech giant extend this to older hardware.

We believe it’s important to maintain backward compatibility with Xbox accessories people already have in their collection and to ensure we deliver the best gaming experience no matter how you choose to play. 

This is what the product marketing manager for Xbox accessories, Daniel Ruiz, had to say about the changes coming to your favorite gaming station.

Thus, the tech company is starting to test this new controller firmware with Alpha Skip-Ahead and Alpha Xbox Insiders today, and it should arrive for all Xbox owners in the coming months.

How excited are you about the new improvements brought by Xbox? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

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