How to Sync Xbox 360 Controller

By Dan Ketchum

Updated September 22, 2017

The Xbox 360 supports up to four players for local multiplayer gaming.
i Brendon Thorne/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

While you can connect a wired controller to any Xbox 360 by plugging it into one of the console's front-facing USB ports,syncing a wireless controller requires you to pair the accessory to a specific console. Getting familiar with the syncing process is key to enjoying local multiplayer gaming on the 360; every time you want to play on a different Xbox 360 console -- such as a friend's 360 -- with your controller, you'll have to sync the controller to the console in the question.

Press the Xbox 360's front-facing power button to turn the console on. Press and hold the controller's Guide button, the bulbous button with the big “X” logo located in the center of the controller. This turns the controller on, indicated by the flashing green Ring of Light surrounding the Guide button.

Locate the connect button on the front of your Xbox 360 console. On the original model, this lies just under the disc tray. On all other models, such as the Xbox 360 S or E editions, it's on the lower right side of the console's face. Press the console's connect button. Depending on the type of 360 you have, the circular light around the console's power button will either flash or spin around the button's perimeter.

Press the connect button on the controller, located on top of the controller just above the battery compartment, within 20 seconds of pressing the corresponding button on the console. The controller's Ring of Light will glow and spin. Once the light stops spinning and glows a solid green on both console and controller, the controller has successfully synced. Repeat the process for each successive controller you wish to connect.


The Ring of Light around the controller's Guide button indicates the player order. The circular light is divided into four sections -- a light in the upper-left section indicates that the controller is set up for player one, the upper right for player two, lower right for player three, and lower left for player four.

If you experience difficulties syncing your Xbox 360 controller, first turn the console off, then turn it back on and attempt the process again.

If rebooting doesn't do the trick, ensure that the wireless controller has a fresh set of AA batteries or a fully-charged rechargeable battery pack. If you have an Xbox 360 Play and Charge Kit, you can charge the controller via the console's USB port while playing.


Remove any metal objects near your console, as they may interfere with the wireless signal. Likewise, nearby microwave ovens, wireless routers or cordless phones can also interfere with the signal.