Video game controllers once were just sticks and buttons. But now, they’re in an astonishing array of places, from cockpits of flying drones to classrooms for virtual surgery.
The Xbox controller was a groundbreaking departure from traditional gaming controllers, using body motion to control games. This creative take on gaming has inspired applications in robotics, education, and healthcare.
The standard Xbox controller is a solid pick for most gamers, but several alternatives are worth cross-shopping if you want more out of your gaming experience. These include excellent low-cost choices and high-end models.
Because of its extensive customization options, interchangeable sticks and buttons, and programmable rear buttons integrated into the grips, the Elite series 2 is among the best Xbox controllers.
While this accessory might not be the most practical for every gamer, it’s perfect for a troll who wants to give their best bud something that tells them they are boring. Just don’t expect them to take it well. Three controller sections have customizable colors and brightness to match them to your mood or other light-up gear. With this feature enabled, the controller will also sync with other Xbox One controllers, so you can have an entire party of luminous trolls on your side. You can even remap the controls using an app to make the controller better suited to your play style. You’ll need to sync the controller before changing the settings, though. To do this, press and hold the Xbox button on the controller until the Xbox logo lights up.
Make It a Game
Aside from blasting aliens or scoring a goal in virtual worlds, video game controllers have become much more than the simple peripheral devices that started them all. These days, they’re used in a wide range of applications, from pilots controlling drones to medical students practicing through virtual surgery.
Mobile gaming has carved out its niche, offering a quick and easy way to entertain yourself on the go with various cheap, ad-supported titles. But most of these games’ touch and gyro controls are only ideal for some, mainly dedicated gamers who prefer tactile, physical buttons and precision.
Fortunately, most Xbox controllers can act as gamepads for many popular mobile games, providing a more console-like experience. While some games require special button remapping or third-party apps, most can be played with an Xbox controller by simply connecting it via Bluetooth and selecting it from the available devices.
Hold the Xbox button for a few seconds to connect an Xbox wireless controller to a mobile device until the indicator light blinks. Next, navigate to the device’s settings menu and tap Bluetooth and other devices. Select the controller from the list and enter a PIN, if applicable. Then, open the game and begin playing. The controller will stay connected automatically, though you may have to re-pair it occasionally.
Turn It Into a Speaker
Xbox controllers have long been a staple for PC gamers, thanks to the fact that they require no special drivers and are immediately recognized by most games. The latest Xbox series controller is even better, with a clicky D-pad and mappable rear buttons built into the grips.
Using your Android phone or tablet with an Xbox One controller is surprisingly easy. To get started, make sure Bluetooth is enabled on both devices and that the two are within range of each other. When they do, go into your device’s Bluetooth settings and look up “Xbox One.” When the Xbox button shows up in the list of compatible devices, press and hold it to start pairing mode. As soon as the light stops flashing, the controller is paired and ready to use with your Android device.
Once you’ve paired your device to the controller, it’s time to test it out in-game. You’ll be surprised at the audio quality compared to your phone or tablet’s internal speakers. If you’re playing on a large screen, you can even hook up external speakers for an immersive gaming experience.
Turn It Into a Light
Gaming controllers took a long time to grow up to their current ergonomic form. But they’ve become so advanced at controlling our progress through virtual worlds that they’re finding new uses far beyond the first-person shooters and football simulations that inspired them.
Xbox controllers can be used to control a wide variety of electronic devices and applications. The ergonomics and functionality have been built into the controller, which can be used to rotate intuitively, pan, zoom, and fly through a display much more accessible than a mouse and keyboard.
A standard Xbox controller must be modified with LED legs on the bottom to make this work. A screwdriver will be needed to open the controller, and a soldering iron will be required to add wires for power and to control the light brightness. A hot glue gun can also help secure the legs and prevent them from falling off.
Although turning off the LED lights on a standard Xbox controller is impossible, you can quickly dim them. It is helpful for players who play in the dark and need to adjust the lights to a more comfortable level.