Microsoft’s new Xbox controller firmware lets you quickly switch between paired devices

Microsoft is starting to test today a new firmware update for the Xbox One, Xbox Elite 2, and Xbox adaptive controllers that will bring some major improvements to existing hardware. The biggest addition is the ability to quickly switch between paired devices on an Xbox controller, and Microsoft is also adding Dynamic Latency Input (DLI) to improve input latency on older controllers.

This new firmware update includes Bluetooth Low Energy support for supported controllers. Most of Microsoft’s existing Xbox One controllers include Bluetooth support for use on smartphones or PCs, but the controllers connect to Xbox consoles via the Xbox wireless protocol. This new firmware will now make it easy to switch between the two, allowing controllers to remember their Bluetooth phone and an Xbox console and quickly switch between connected devices by double tapping the pairing button.

Microsoft’s other main addition is DLI, which reduces input latency on controllers connected to Xbox Series X / S consoles to make the game more responsive. The addition of DLI means that any older Xbox One controller will have reduced latency with an Xbox Series S or X console, as will the newer controllers that ship with these consoles.

Both are new features that the latest Xbox Series X / S controllers already support, but it’s good to see Microsoft extend it to older hardware. “We believe it is important to maintain backward compatibility with Xbox accessories that people already have in their collection and to ensure that we provide the best gaming experience no matter how you choose to play.” says Daniel Ruiz, Product Marketing Manager for Xbox Accessories.

Microsoft is starting to test this new controller firmware with Alpha Skip-Ahead and Alpha Xbox Insiders today, and it should reach all Xbox owners in the coming months.

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