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How to Use an Xbox One Controller with a Mac

Posted by Jim Tanous on July 2, 2019
xbox-one-controller-mac

We recently showed you how to use your PS4 controller with your Mac to play both new and classic games in OS X, but what about Microsoft fans? The good news is that you can also use an Xbox One controller with a Mac.

The (somewhat) bad news is that, unlike the plug-and-play and wireless nature of the PS4 controller, the Xbox Controller requires some third-party drivers and configuration to work in OS X, and will only work while connected via a USB cable.

There are several unofficial projects that aim to provide Xbox One controller support for the Mac, but the one we recommend is the Xone-OSX (now deprecated) project by Drew Mills (a.k.a. FranticRain).

Look for the 360Controller page that replaces the deprecated Xone-OSX.

To use it, first disconnect your Xbox One controller from your Mac if necessary (if you had tried to just plug it in without any drivers, you’d notice that it doesn’t do anything, even though the controller is recognized in System Profiler).

Next, head over to the (the Xone-OSX project page is now deprecated  – no longer maintained by the developers) at GitHub to instead find the 360Controller page, which is described as a TattieBogle Xbox 360 Driver (with improvements). Note, that the 360Controller GitHub repo has installation and other instructions to help you make the transition easier.

  1. About – The driver supports the Xbox series of controllers, including those listed on the about section.
  2. Installation – This section includes a link to the releases pages so you can download the latest version, then install it using the installer. Note: If you use a version of macOS greater than or equal to macOS 10.13.4, then you should use the version signed by “Drew Mills.”
  3. Uninstallation – If you decide to uninstall this driver, you can simply go to System Preferences, navigating to Xbox 360 Controllers, then clicking on the Advanced tab to finally click uninstall, which will prompt you for your admin password to complete the process.
  4. Usage – Under Usage, you’ll find help troubleshooting your controller along with a list of games that don’t work with it.

From the 360Controller page, download the 360ControllerInstall_1.0.0-alpha.3.dmg install file. Next, double click on the dmg file to start up the installation wizard for installing the Xbox 360 Controller Driver, then follow the on-screen prompts to complete the installation.

Note: The DMG file extension stands for Apple Disk Image File (AKA: Mac OS X Disk Image file), which is a burlesque of the full disk image file.
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You’ll need to reboot your Mac after the installation is complete, so make sure to save your work and close any open apps.

Once macOS starts back up, connect your Xbox One controller using a Micro-USB to Type A USB cable and you’ll see the controller’s Xbox light turn on if the driver installation was successful.

To configure your Xbox One controller for use with your Mac, head to System Preferences, where you’ll find a new “Xone Controller” preference pane. With your Xbox One controller plugged in, you’ll be able to test buttons and inputs, adjust dead zones for calibration, and optionally invert the control scheme for the left or right analog sticks.

Unfortunately, you can’t use the Xbox One controller wirelessly, as Microsoft uses proprietary wireless technology for the Xbox One, compared to Sony, which uses standard Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR.

We’ve been testing the new TattieBogle Xbox 360 Driver for a few days and are happy to report that everything works great in apps like OpenEmu and modern OS X games. Controller support isn’t as broad in OS X as it is in Windows, but \ makes the Xbox One controller look like an Xbox 360 controller to most applications, ensuring maximum compatibility for the relatively limited number of games that support third-party controllers.

As with the PS4 controller, just make sure you go into each app’s settings or preferences and select the Xbox One controller prior to starting the game (it appears as “Microsoft Official Wired” in OpenEmu, for example).
open-emu-xbox-one-controller
If you have trouble with Xone-OSX, another Xbox One controller for Mac project is Xbox One Controller Enabler (now deprecated as in no longer used or maintained by the developers), also hosted at GitHub. This project has been deprecated sending users to them instead.

29 thoughts on “How to Use an Xbox One Controller with a Mac”

Gravemind1 says:
Apparently “You can’t open Xone Controller preferences because it doesn’t work on an Intel-based Mac.”
-.- what the hell..?
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Moh says:
is this completely safe? I really want to play with a controller but I’m not quite sure about this, a bit skeptical if you will.
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TheFurryPugcart says:
My Xbox one controller is not lighting up at all even on a windows computer
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David Siegmund says:
my problem is that we still run snow leo (10.6.8). Driver is installed, dialog shows up but the controller (pluged with original cable) is not shown.
Any suggestions please?
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Annalise Meder says:
I tried with 2 Xbox One controllers. It seems to be connecting, because when I go into system preferences it registers the calibration, and knows what I’m doing. But it doesn’t seem to work on any OpenEmu games, even after adjusting the input settings. Is there something I’m missing?
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Jason Dunn says:
I installed the driver on my iMac, and while it seems to work OK according to the driver, when I load up Borderlands 2 the controller “pulls” down – meaning when all stickers are neutral, the game pans down. I want a “trim” button on the controller – any ideas how to fix something like this?
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Nicholas Willis says:
I have an elite controller I use on my PC but when I use it on my mac with this program it recognises the controller and all seems to work but doesn’t work in any game on steam?
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BerthaEartha says:
Because the people who add it to steam has to have controller support
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Kristoph says:
Ive done everything but my light wont turn on help!!
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Simeon Schmimeon Aitken says:
Thank you for this! Worked for me with an Xbox One controller on my Macbook Pro Mid-2015
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Ambassador Pineapple says:
You need to do some more testing on the latest OS. Currently, it just doesn’t work for me, even after restarting multiple times.
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Frigid FuryCore says:
Ok, so I’m using the XBox One AfterGlow color select controller, and I when I get to the System Preferences, and go to the controller option, it doesn’t have anything there neither when I click on the option. I’m using the same USB cable that came in the box so I don’t know if that’s the problem.
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James says:
will it work on steam
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TekRevue says:
It depends entirely on the game. Steam is just a distribution platform; the game developers need to add controller support themselves.
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James says:
I understand that, but it is usable with mac so long as the game has controller support?
TekRevue says:
In general, yes.
ArthurEilering says:
any idea on if this works with the keyboard attachment made for the controller?
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matt says:
hi, ive done all this, but i cant use it on steam. any suggestions? really tryna play terraria. please respond!
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faust7 says:
Wont the new xbox one s controller work just like ps4 controller now?
with the new one(as it has bluetooth now) we dont need these software right?
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TekRevue says:
The new controllers that were introduced with the Xbox One S support Bluetooth, but Microsoft states that they only officially work with Windows 10 devices (i.e., the wireless protocol is Bluetooth, but there are extra things going on in software that only Windows 10 can interpret). We don’t yet have an Xbox One S console in hand to test, so we’re not sure how the controllers will operate in OS X. My guess is that the operating system will be able to see and pair with the controller, but that some functionality may be missing in the absence of third party utilities like the Xone-OSX project.
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TekRevue says:
The new controllers that were introduced with the Xbox One S support Bluetooth, but Microsoft states that they only officially work with Windows 10 devices (i.e., the wireless protocol is Bluetooth, but there are extra things going on in software that only Windows 10 can interpret). We don’t yet have an Xbox One S console in hand to test, so we’re not sure how the controllers will operate in OS X. My guess is that the operating system will be able to see and pair with the controller, but that some functionality may be missing in the absence of third party utilities like the Xone-OSX project.
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faust7 says:
oh i see… Thank you for replying so fast.
Owen1120 says:
I downloaded the first XONEOSX app and tried to use it on Steam, and while it seems to be connected (the light is flashing and steam has a controller symbol lit up) none of the buttons are doing anything. Help please.
Xavier Cruz says:
Just go to big picture and go to the settings cog in the upper right hand corner, (make sure the controller is connected via bluetooth AFTER you’ve updated the firmware on the controller with the Xbox Accessories App on windows 10), click on add/test select the Xbox One S controller, map the buttons and you’re golden.
BerthaEartha says:
I’ve tried this it’s supposed to work but doesn’t work for me.
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Dumm Tier says:
hmm.. works with one controller but not the other. Very weird.
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M3di Baby says:
can i instal this on the mac, make it work, and then go on parrerls windows 7 and play games??
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Arne says:
This is only if you want to use it on a Mac and the Mac OS itself.
If you’re using Parallels, it’ll probably ask you if you want to use the device with Mac or Windows, select Windows, and it should work out of the box with Windows (so I suppose it’ll work with Parallels and Windows as well, without you having to install a driver on Mac, because it’s actually Windows that’s talking to the controller). 🙂
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Calan Barclay says:
Can you recommend a USB cable to me plz? Thx
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TekRevue says:
Any micro-USB to standard Type-A USB cable will work.
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Curtpertino says:
Are you sure? I have two of those cables (for my Vape pens) but when I plugged either one into my controller, the light just blinks on my controller. On the Troubleshooting page for the driver, the author says it’s because it’s a charging only USB cable if the light just blinks. So it just can’t be any USB cable as it needs to be able to transfer data too.
Dami Nooki says:
it can transfer data, but the blinking light (1 blink per second) simply means its not connected to anything using wireless, companies wont go out their way to go “fuck you, our cables can only work on vapes”, they just dont do that stuff, your normal M-USB – A-Type is fine.
HRAUTV says:
when i press on “Xone Controller” there’s nowhere “Controller 1” i tried to refresh but that doesn’t help
PLS HEEELP!!!
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ian says:
I downloaded this and when I go to install it won’t get off verifying it.
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Bradley says:
The new xbox one controller update disables this though. When you plug it in it just vibrates the controller, so if you want to keep using it you maybe not want to update the controller
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we r me go boom says:
actually, when a wire is plugged into the xbox one controller, it’s fully wired, and the wireless radio turns off.
it wasn’t that way on the 360, no, but they changed it on the x1.
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Anthony Affee says:
Xone-OSX project is now deprecated… use new one: https://github.com/360Controller/360Controller/releases
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BerthaEartha says:
I WAS USING THIS FOR Minecraft but it doesn’t work.
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GuardianSpartan says:
Does this work on minecraft
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bill says:
i did everything and what now?? the controller is just lit up and it is showing mw what i am pressing but how do i get it to work on CS GO for example how do i get the controller to actually do stuff
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Jimmy Forsberg says:
i have the same issue the mapping-test works – but games doesn’t register the controller (yosemite 10.10.5)
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Carolina R Lopes says:
Nice Tutorial!!!
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Brother Neil says:
How to use an XboxOne controller on a Mac:
– Download the ‘Xone-OSX project by Drew Mills’ (http://goo.gl/R0J6ms).
– Download JoystickMapper from the app store (http://goo.gl/sAqvaG).
– Watch this video on how to use JoystickMapper (http://goo.gl/ZHlyfW).
————————————————————————————-
– Setting up the controls in the mapper, allows support for all old games that don’t have built in joystick capabilities.
————————————————————————————-
Written by https://twitter.com/Neiljaff
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Guest says:
How to use an XboxOne controller on a Mac:
– Download the ‘Xone-OSX project by Drew Mills’ (https://github.com/FranticRain/Xone-OSX).
– Download JoystickMapper from the app store (https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/joystick-mapper/id528183797?mt=12).
– Watch this video on how to use JoystickMapper (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HpTEp9d2JqQ).
————————————————————————————-
– Setting up the controls in the mapper, allows support for all old games that don’t have built in joystick capabilities.
————————————————————————————-
Written by @Neiljaff
Reply
[email protected]_$101_Is_A_Done_Deal_:) says:
It’s rather disappointing that Apple doesn’t offer its own controller hardware considering Apple is a hardware company. How difficult would it be for Apple to sell and support a gaming controller like Microsoft and Sony does. Heck, even Amazon has its own Fire TV game controller. I can only guess is that Apple prefers to let third party hardware companies make some money. I don’t have a problem with that. I simply would like to know some of the reasons Apple does what it does. I’d been using a BT-connected PS3 controller for quite a while and it works just fine in OSX for the emulated games I like to play.
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Mick says:
Apple doesn’t do videogames, maybe that’s why. But i believe soon you’ll have it.
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Plasmus Ang says:
both of you shut up look the apple tv 4 is the “iphone 4” gaming console its literaly using 1phone 4 compatible games and runs the iphone 4 processor but it has a controller called the nimbus worst gaming console ever apple really the pippin also failed why try again
Joshua Kimmich says:
Apple sucks, they don’t invent anything. They just copy
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BerthaEartha says:
I think they do, i’m pretty sure its called SteelSeries or something like that. But it comes at a high price it’s about 50 usd
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