Xbox One S controller connected via Bluetooth in macOS has mismatched controls


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Hello folks!

This issue is NOT specific to Shadow gaming; however, it will potentially impact macOS Shadow users.

The goal of this post is to collaborate, and gather information about it.

When using an XBO controller connected via Bluetooth with a Mac computer, there is the potential for “mismatched controls,” seemingly dependent on the firmware version of the XBO controller. Specifically, a subset of both the right trigger and right analog stick functions “overlap,” completely breaking functionality.

One example: run Steam in Big Picture Mode (on your Mac), then go to Settings - Controller Settings - Xbox One Controller (under Detected Controllers) - Calibrate. Then, slowly squeeze the right trigger, and notice how the "right stick" is moving on the Y axis. And if you move the right stick up and down, it moves on the X axis. The left/right triggers are supposed to only move the Z axis, whereas the right stick is supposed to only move the X and Y rotation.

The controller functionality (or lack thereof) can also be handily tested by using this web utility: http://html5gamepad.com (this site seems to work best in Chrome).

In my case, I’m able to reproduce the problem on two different MBP laptops, both running macOS Catalina 10.15.5, with two different XBO controllers, both with firmware version 4.8.1923.0.

If your BT-connected XBO controller is working fine under macOS, do not update your controller firmware! This would need to be done from an actual XBOX console, or a PC - so if you’re not using your controllers with those, they won’t get updated. Additionally, once the controller firmware has been updated, there is no going back (no downgrades)!

I created an Apple community post for this at https://discussions.apple.com/thread/251392459

Cheers!


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29 replies

Ahhh amazing !

i have been going crazy over this issue trying to remap my controller in Mac and windows .

I have been trying to play call of duty warzone but all my buttons are messed up . I updated my controller two weeks ago , shame . 

I will try get my hands on an old controller and see if that works.

 

 

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Same thing just started happening me, I’ve been going crazy looking for a way to fix it! Glad I'm not the only one. 

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Also, is there a way it works with the adapter or wired? 

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Also, is there a way it works with the adapter or wired? 

AFAIK the only way to get an Xbox controller connected via USB to work, is via this driver https://github.com/360Controller/360Controller/releases, which has no effect with Bluetooth. When connected via USB, the controls are as they should be.

I have noticed some weirdness, though...if I connect my XBO S controller via Bluetooth to confirm the controls are still messed up (as in the original post), and then connect it via USB instead, the controller is detected by the driver and appears in the system preferences “Xbox 360 Controllers” pane, but none of the controls respond. If I then connect it to my Windows PC via USB, and then back into the Mac via USB, it works like it should.

Lastly, I do have an “original” Xbox One controller that uses the proprietary wireless adapter, but I don’t believe the wireless adapter works with macOS...would need to use USB with that controller as well.

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@Abbasisa is your controller used on an Xbox or PC as well, then? And if so, do you know which firmware version it’s running?

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Another data point...after all of this switching around between BT and USB, I WAS able to get the XBO S controller working normally on Bluetooth, and the functionality also survived a power-cycle of the controller. I noticed that when I tried to pair the controller the first time, it failed with the yellow warning triangle. I clicked the “connect” button again, and it paired successfully, and this is when it worked.

However, when I unpaired the controller and paired it back, the problem came back. The problem also remained after a failed pairing and retry.

So apparently this problem is somehow intermittent, which makes it even more difficult to troubleshoot. But, perhaps there’s some “repeatable” combination of actions to achieve success, and we just have to find it?

This would explain why the controller worked successfully in the past (on GFN), and I was just getting lucky...

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@Abbasisais your controller used on an Xbox or PC as well, then? And if so, do you know which firmware version it’s running?

don't know which firmware but when I went to test it on Xbox it had me install an update for the controller, then after that the controls were messed up.

 

Either way, i just brought this controller a few days ago (switched from PS4 controller) and I will be getting a replacement in a couple days. 

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Also, is there a way it works with the adapter or wired? 

AFAIK the only way to get an Xbox controller connected via USB to work, is via this driver https://github.com/360Controller/360Controller/releases, which has no effect with Bluetooth. When connected via USB, the controls are as they should be.

I have noticed some weirdness, though...if I connect my XBO S controller via Bluetooth to confirm the controls are still messed up (as in the original post), and then connect it via USB instead, the controller is detected by the driver and appears in the system preferences “Xbox 360 Controllers” pane, but none of the controls respond. If I then connect it to my Windows PC via USB, and then back into the Mac via USB, it works like it should.

Lastly, I do have an “original” Xbox One controller that uses the proprietary wireless adapter, but I don’t believe the wireless adapter works with macOS...would need to use USB with that controller as well.

Okay, thank you because I brought mine wireless + adapter, now when I get my new one I will be using only the adapter. 

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Okay, thank you because I brought mine wireless + adapter, now when I get my new one I will be using only the adapter. 

Just to confirm...the wireless adapter for the original Xbox One controller does not work on macOS. Using this controller requires it to be connected via USB wired, and the above-mentioned driver installed.

The only way to use an Xbox controller wirelessly with a Mac is via Bluetooth, meaning one of the“S” controllers (or newer) must be used. But then we’re back to this intermittent “mapping” problem with certain firmwares. It sure seems like this is in Apple’s court to address, since the problems don’t occur on other operating systems (Windows, Android, Linux).

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Okay, thank you because I brought mine wireless + adapter, now when I get my new one I will be using only the adapter. 

Just to confirm...the wireless adapter for the original Xbox One controller does not work on macOS. Using this controller requires it to be connected via USB wired, and the above-mentioned driver installed.

The only way to use an Xbox controller wirelessly with a Mac is via Bluetooth, meaning one of the“S” controllers (or newer) must be used. But then we’re back to this intermittent “mapping” problem with certain firmwares. It sure seems like this is in Apple’s court to address, since the problems don’t occur on other operating systems (Windows, Android, Linux).

Mine is the Wireless S controller, so if I use bluetooth it should would fine? 

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Mine is the Wireless S controller, so if I use bluetooth it should would fine? 

That is the one I have as well (actually, I have two of them). Using Bluetooth will probably work fine, as long as you don’t update the controller firmware via an Xbox or Windows PC. For the ones that already have the latest firmware applied (like both of mine), there is no going back, and most of the time the mapping problem is present, which makes them unusable.

Just to reiterate, this mapping problem only exists when using Bluetooth and macOS … the problem isn’t there when using Windows / Android / Linux (I verified Ubuntu 20.04 was good this morning). In short, Apple needs to fix this problem for macOS.

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We can bring this issue to Apple’s attention by sending feedback.

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Mine is the Wireless S controller, so if I use bluetooth it should would fine? 

That is the one I have as well (actually, I have two of them). Using Bluetooth will probably work fine, as long as you don’t update the controller firmware via an Xbox or Windows PC. For the ones that already have the latest firmware applied (like both of mine), there is no going back, and most of the time the mapping problem is present, which makes them unusable.

Just to reiterate, this mapping problem only exists when using Bluetooth and macOS … the problem isn’t there when using Windows / Android / Linux (I verified Ubuntu 20.04 was good this morning). In short, Apple needs to fix this problem for macOS.

Thanks for all the help! But I am getting an xbox one 1708 model with wireless adapter for windows. Should I connect via bluetooth Or with the wireless adapter. And to conform, I won’t be updating it lol

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Thanks for all the help! But I am getting an xbox one 1708 model with wireless adapter for windows. Should I connect via bluetooth Or with the wireless adapter. And to conform, I won’t be updating it lol

Will you be using this on a Mac or Windows computer? If on a Mac, Bluetooth is the only wireless connectivity option. The Xbox Wireless Adapter (which uses a different form of wireless connectivity than Bluetooth) can only be used on Windows computers...the adapter will not function on Macs.

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As another update, it appears as though this controls mapping problem (when using Bluetooth + macOS) can be worked around. I mentioned earlier that I was able to get things to work normally, but then after an unpair/repair, the problem came back.

I still don’t know what the “trick” is, but I’ve found that if you just keep doing this:

  1. Pair the controller to your Mac via Bluetooth
  2. Test the controller via https://html5gamepad.com
  3. If all of the controls work properly, you’re done!
  4. If the controls are messed up (verify with the right trigger), unpair the controller, and return to step 1

...you’ll eventually get the controls to work properly. And as long as you don’t unpair the controller, it will continue to function normally, across Bluetooth being disabled/enabled, and across reboots.

So it seems that this problem often occurs during Bluetooth pairing, and will likely be more frequent for people who use the same controller with several devices, and unpair it from the Mac frequently. You just need to get a good, “functional pairing” and then things should continue to work, as long as you don’t unpair.

I hope this makes sense!

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Ah. Im surprised you were able to connect. In my case with the device switching it just ended up in repairing the controller every time by deleting the controller and sending both into pairing mode. Otherwise it wouldnt link up. 
 

 

I have this problem too. Don’t work for me pair and unpair. :triumph:

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I have this problem too. Don’t work for me pair and unpair. :triumph:


How many times did you try? I only had success in about one in ten attempts :expressionless:

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Thanks @Jim29er, I have exactly the same issue. But nothing work for me… 

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Thanks @Jim29er, I have exactly the same issue. But nothing work for me… 


Hi @Fred_West , do you happen to know what firmware version your controller is running? Also, which version of macOS?

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Hi @Jim29er i don’t know for the controller firmware, for macOS it is Catalina 10.15.5. It’s really weird. Recently everything was fine, and I just paired the same controller to my iPhone to play CoD and now everything is f*cked up. But when I used my controller to play for example an Apple Arcade game, everything is fine. 🤪

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Hi @Jim29er i don’t know for the controller firmware, for macOS it is Catalina 10.15.5. It’s really weird. Recently everything was fine, and I just paired the same controller to my iPhone to play CoD and now everything is f*cked up. But when I used my controller to play for example an Apple Arcade game, everything is fine. 🤪


Do you mean it worked on the iPhone, but when switching back to the Mac it was messed up? Or did it have problems when paired to the iPhone as well?

I’m certainly hoping that Apple addresses this in the Big Sur release...allegedly they are adding Elite Series 2 support, so perhaps this will get fixed as a side effect of that :smiley:

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Yes @Jim29er it works on iPhone and MacOS (not on Shadow) just Apple device but not on MacOS running Shadow. BUUUTT it works on iPhone running Shadow 🤪🤪🤪

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Thank you @Fred_West ...just to clarify, the issue I described initially is reproducible on macOS (outside of Shadow)…the same controller “mismaps” are present in local Steam, and via that html5 gamepad testing site.

It sounds like your issue is slightly different, but still might be addressed in the next macOS upgrade (knock on wood).

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@Jim29er hi bud, I solved my issue, with buying an intel NUC 😅 I was bored with these issues. Thank you !