Xbox 360 Controller

Xbox 360 controller
Black Xbox 360 S wireless controller
Black Xbox 360 S wireless controller
TypeVideo game controller
GenerationSeventh generation era
Release date
  • 2× Clickable analog sticks Left analog stick press Right analog stick press
  • 2× Analog triggers Left shoulder trigger Right shoulder trigger
  • 2× Shoulder buttons Left Bumper Right Bumper
  • 4× Action buttons A B X Y
  • 3× Other buttons Back Start (wireless)
  • Digital D-Pad
ConnectivityWireless (proprietary 2.4 GHz protocol), USB, 2.5 mm headset jack
PowerNickel-metal hydride battery; 2 × AA; USB host powered
DimensionsWireless version:[1]
154 × 105 × 61.3 mm
6.05 × 4.13 × 2.41 in
Wired version:[2]
152 × 107 × 54.0 mm
5.98 × 4.21 × 2.13 in
(Cable 3.0 m / 9.8 ft)
MassWireless version (with batteries):[1]

265 g / 9.35 oz
Wired version:[2]

300 g / 10.6 oz
PredecessorXbox controller
SuccessorXbox One controller

The Xbox 360 controller is the primary game controller for Microsoft's Xbox 360 home video game console that was introduced at E3 2005.[3] The Xbox 360 controller comes in both wired and wireless versions.[4] The Xbox controller is not compatible with the Xbox 360. The wired and wireless versions are also compatible with Microsoft PC operating systems, such as Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10.

The wireless controllers run on either AA batteries or a rechargeable battery pack. The wired controllers may be connected to any of the USB ports on the console, or to an attached USB hub.


The Xbox 360 controller has the same basic familiar button layout as the Controller S except that a few of the auxiliary buttons have been moved. The "back" and "start" buttons have been moved to a more central position on the face of the controller, and the "white" and "black" buttons have been removed and replaced with two new bumpers that are positioned over the analog triggers on the back of the controller. The controller has a 2.5 mm TRS connector on the front, allowing users to connect a headset for voice communication.[5] It also features a proprietary serial connector [6] (which is split into 2 parts on either side of the headset connector) for use with additional accessories, such as the chatpad.

On August 31, 2010, Microsoft's Larry Hryb (a.k.a. Major Nelson) revealed a new design of the Xbox 360 controller which is set to replace the Wireless controller bundled with the Play & Charge Kit. Among small changes such as the shape of the analog stick tops and grey-colored face buttons, the new controller features an adjustable directional pad which can be changed between a disc type D-pad or a plus shaped D-pad. The control pad was released in North America exclusively with Play & Charge Kits on November 9, 2010 and was released in Europe during February 2011.[7]

The Xbox 360 controller provides a standard USB Human interface device software interface, but is designed for the Microsoft XInput interface library.[8] Although many PC video games support the XInput library, some games might not work with this controller.


A standard Xbox 360 controller features eleven* digital buttons, two analog triggers, two analog sticks, and a digital D-pad. The right face of the controller features four digital action buttons: a green A button, red B button, blue X button, and yellow Y button. The lower right houses the right analog stick, in lower left is a digital D-pad and on the left face is the left analog stick. Both analog sticks can also be "clicked in" to activate a digital button beneath. In the center of the controller face are digital "Start", "Back" and "Guide" buttons. The "Guide" button is labelled with the Xbox logo, and is used to turn on the console/controller and to access the guide menu. It is also surrounded by the "ring of light", which indicates the controller number, as well as flashing when connecting and to provide notifications. The left and right "shoulders" each feature a digital shoulder button, or "bumper", and an analog trigger.

Xbox 360 guide button.

*Wireless controllers also feature an additional "connect" button located between the "bumpers" to facilitate syncing with the console.

Button layout of a wireless Xbox 360 controller

Standard colors[]

Wired controllers are only available in white and black (Xbox 360 S color scheme).[9] However, wireless controllers are available in numerous different colors including:

Limited and special ion colors[]

Limited Edition Halo 3 "Spartan" controller
Special Edition Halo 3: ODST controller

Transforming d-pad controllers[]

Transforming d-pad special ion controller in "8-way" configuration. The d-pad in "4-way" configuration is shown in the bottom right corner.

Non-retail colors[]

Wireless controller bundled with the "Launch Team Edition" Xbox 360

Guide button[]

The Xbox 360 controller has a guide button in the center of its face that provides a new functionality. This button is surrounded by a ring of lights divided into four quadrants that provide gamers with different types of information during game play. For instance, during a split screen multiplayer match, a particular quadrant will light up to indicate to a player which part of the screen they are playing on at that time. In this case, when the user pushes the button, they access the Xbox guide; a menu which provides access to features like messaging friends, downloading content, voice chat and customizing soundtracks, while staying in the game. The Guide button also allows users to turn off the controller or the console by holding the button for a few seconds (rather than simply pressing it).


Play and Charge Kit[]

Battery Pack, Play and Charge Cable and Quick Charger

The Rechargeable Battery Pack is a nickel metal hydride (NiMH) battery pack, which provides up to 24 hours of continuous gaming for the wireless controller. It is recommended in place of disposable AA batteries, which differ slightly in voltage and have higher disposal costs (financial and environmental). It ships as part of, and can be charged by, the Play & Charge Kit and the Quick Charge Kit. To fully charge the battery pack takes approximately 2 hours with the Quick Charge Kit; the Play & Charge Kit takes longer (and depends on whether the controller is being used). An upgraded, 35-hour version is included with "transforming d-pad" controllers.

Wireless Gaming Receiver[]

The Wireless Gaming Receiver for Windows

The Wireless Gaming Receiver (sold as "Crossfire Wireless Gaming Receiver" in the UK) allows wireless Xbox 360 accessories, such as wireless gamepads, racing wheels and headsets, to be used on a Windows-based PC.[33] The device acts in a similar manner to an Xbox 360, allowing up to 4 controllers and 4 headsets at a time to be connected to the receiver. The device has a 30-foot (10 meter) range and a six-foot (2 meter) USB cable.[34] It is specifically designed to work with games bearing the "Games for Windows" logo, but will function with most games that permit a standard PC gamepad. The official Xbox website noted that the adapter will work with "all future wireless devices".[35]

Messenger Kit[]

Xbox 360 Chatpad from the Messenger Kit attached to a wireless controller

The Messenger Kit consists of a wired Xbox 360 headset and a small keyboard known as the "Chatpad". The Chatpad connects to the front of the controller and may be used for any standard text input on the console. It is not currently compatible with the wireless gaming receiver.

Non-gaming uses[]

The United States Navy has announced that it plans to use Xbox 360 controllers to control periscopes on new Virginia-class submarines, for both cost and familiarity reasons.[36]


The Xbox 360 controller received positive reviews when it was released. Before then, as IGN stated, the original Xbox controller was "huge, ugly, cheap, and uncomfortable" and concluded to be an "abomination". Many of these problems were corrected with Microsoft's releases of the Xbox controller S and then the Xbox 360 controller. IGN cred the Xbox 360 controller for its being one of "the most ergonomically comfortable console controllers around". It was also praised for its improved button placement, its functioning logo as a button, and Microsoft's choice of bottom-mounting headset ports as opposed to top-mounting them so as to minimize snagged wire problems.[37]

See also[]


  1. ^ a b "Xbox 360 Wireless Controller for Windows Technical Data Sheet" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 16, 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Xbox 360 Controller for Windows Technical Data Sheet" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 22, 2013.
  3. ^ Roper, Chris (May 18, 2005). "E3 2005: Xbox 360 Controller Hands-On". IGN. Ziff Davis Media. Retrieved May 3, 2015.
  4. ^ "Xbox 360 wired and wireless controllers". Xbox Support. Microsoft. Retrieved May 3, 2015.
  5. ^ "Xbox 360 Wireless Controller -". Microsoft. Archived from the original on September 2, 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-04.
  6. ^ "Microsoft® Xbox 360™ Controller for Windows® Version Information" (PDF). Microsoft. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 22, 2013. Retrieved 2013-04-05.
  7. ^ Fahey, Mike (2010-08-31). "Microsoft Reveals New 360 Controller With Transforming D-Pad". Kotaku. Retrieved 2010-08-31.
  8. ^ "XInput and DirectInput". Retrieved 2014-07-19.
  9. ^ "Xbox 360 Controller -". Microsoft. Archived from the original on September 2, 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-04.
  10. ^ " | Accessories - Limited Edition Halo 3 Wireless Controllers". Archived from the original on September 9, 2008. Retrieved September 4, 2011.
  11. ^ " | Accessories - Limited Edition Halo 3 Wireless Controllers". Archived from the original on September 9, 2008. Retrieved September 4, 2011.
  12. ^ "Xbox 360 limited-ion green wireless controller hands on". Archived from the original on November 25, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-30.
  13. ^ "Dragon themed 360 controller a Walmart exclusive". Retrieved 2009-10-30.
  14. ^ "Halo 3 ODST Wireless Controller is GameStop Exclusive". Retrieved 2009-06-30.
  15. ^ "Limited Edition Xbox 360 Wireless Controller and Play and Charge kit". Retrieved 2009-10-29.
  16. ^ "Halo Reach Xbox 360 bundle available September 14 for $399". Joystiq. 2010-07-22. Retrieved 2010-07-23.
  17. ^ "Fable III's special ion Xbox 360 controller, morally ambiguous and gold". Engadget. 2010-08-14. Retrieved 2010-08-14.
  18. ^ Lowe, Scott (2010-12-13). "Tron Controllers Review". IGN. Retrieved 2018-11-11.
  19. ^ "Xbox 360 gets a limited ion orange Tron controller, because wired gamers need love too". Engadget. Retrieved 2018-11-11.
  20. ^ "New Xbox 360 Wireless controller featuring a transforming D-Pad". Retrieved 2010-09-14.
  21. ^ " Wireless Controller with Transforming D-Pad and Play and Charge Kit". Archived from the original on October 27, 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-18.
  22. ^ "Joystiq: Hands-on with the new Xbox 360 controller with transforming D-pad : Video". Retrieved 2010-09-14.
  23. ^ "Gears 3 LCE Console and Controller Announced". Microsoft. June 7, 2011. Retrieved June 20, 2011.
  24. ^ "Xbox Live's Major Nelson » Xbox 360 Limited Edition Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Console, Wireless Headset with Bluetooth and Wireless Controller". Microsoft. September 2, 2011. Retrieved September 3, 2011.
  25. ^ a b c "Xbox Live's Major Nelson » Limited Edition Star Wars Console". Microsoft. July 21, 2011. Retrieved July 22, 2011.
  26. ^ a b c "Announcing the Xbox 360 Special Edition Chrome Series Wireless Controllers". 2012-04-02. Retrieved 2012-04-27.
  27. ^ a b c "Xbox 360 Limited Edition "Halo 4" Console Bundle & Accessories Revealed at San Diego Comic-Con". 2012-07-14. Retrieved 2012-08-30.
  28. ^ "Wireless Controller with Transforming D-Pad and Play and Charge Kit". Archived from the original on June 22, 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-30.
  29. ^ "Xbox 360 Tomb Raider Limited Edition Wireless Controller -". Microsoft. Archived from the original on February 6, 2013. Retrieved April 3, 2013.
  30. ^ "Xbox 360 Launch Team Gift". Archived from the original on September 17, 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-15.
  31. ^ "Limited ion Simpsons Xbox 360". Retrieved 2009-10-30.
  32. ^ "LIVE Turns 5 Orange Controllers". Archived from the original on February 6, 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-15.
  33. ^ "May 2006: Microsoft Press Release regarding coming year". Retrieved 2006-12-01.
  34. ^ "Official Accessory Page". Archived from the original on 2006-11-04. Retrieved 2006-12-01.
  35. ^ " | Accessories - Xbox 360 Wireless Gaming Receiver for Windows". Archived from the original on 2008-08-22.
  36. ^ The Associated Press (September 18, 2017). "Navy plans to use Xbox controllers for new periscope systems". The Navy Times. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  37. ^ Gerry Block (1 December 2005). "Xbox Controller 360 Review". IGN. Retrieved 28 September 2015.