Illustration for the article titled How to Swap an Xbox Controller from a Console to Your PC or PhonePhoto: MatJC (Shutterstock)

For Xbox Series X | S controllers have a relatively unknown feature that makes using them with multiple devices a lot easier: the controller’s Sync button has built-in shortcuts that let you switch between your last Xbox console and your PC or mobile device automatically .

Oddly enough, this handy feature is basically hidden. Microsoft barely mentions it in any official documentation, and it wasn’t until the last few posts on Reddit and Twitter that the feature was ever shown on vide0 – which is strange since it’s a feature that’s basically only for the Xbox Series X | S-controller applies now. You can’t do this to one PlayStation 4 or 5 gamepad, the Joycons or Pro Controller of the Switch or even the Xbox One or Xbox Elite controller.

Illustration for the article titled How to Swap an Xbox Controller from a Console to Your PC or Phone

The controllers of the X | S support two types of wireless communications – Bluetooth and Microsoft’s proprietary Xbox Wireless – and remember recently used devices of each type. So you can connect the controller to an Xbox console and to a smartphone, tablet, or PC with Bluetooth using Xbox Wireless (or an Xbox Wireless adapter dongle), and the controller will remember both. Other controllers can only remember one Bluetooth device at a time.

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Microsoft intentionally made the feature clear, and thoughtfully made clear inputs for swapping connection types so you don’t get confused or mistakenly connect to the wrong one:

  • To connect to your Bluetooth device: Press and hold the Sync button on top of the controller. The Xbox icon will blink twice once connected.
  • To connect to your Xbox wireless device: Press the Sync button twice. The Xbox icon will pulse once once connected.

Of course, you can’t use the controller on both devices at the same time (you don’t want to anyway). The controller can only switch between an Xbox One or Series X | Switch your S console (or a PC with an Xbox wireless adapter) and a PC, phone, or tablet with Bluetooth. You cannot switch between two Xboxes or two cell phones. However, you can switch between two PCs as long as one is using the Xbox wireless dongle and the other is using Bluetooth.

Limitations aside, this is definitely useful if you are using the same controller to play games on your Xbox at home. and on your Android or iPhone through the Xbox app.