Using The Xbox 360 Controller To Play Games On Android


Yup. You read the title right. You can use an Xbox 360 controller with your Android phone (take that iOS)! With a simple little USB OTG cable that you can buy for under $10 on Amazon, you can connect your Xbox 360 controller to your Android (4.0 and up) phone or tablet and start playing some of the best mobile games without even having to set anything up. How does it work? I’ll show you:

First, you get yourself an OTG cable (available on Amazon). Then, you connect your Xbox controller (with the USB dongle part attached) to it. Finally, you plug it in to your phone and let Android do its thing. On some phones, like the Samsung Galaxy S3 which I use in the video above, you’ll get some kind of notification. On other phones, you won’t. But as long as your phone has Android Ice Cream Sandwich and above, and your phone’s microUSB supports OTG cables, you should be good to go.

Note that not all games work out of the gate. For example, almost all of the Gameloft games I’ve played thus far don’t support external gamepads (like the Xbox 360 controller). There is a way around it if you have root access, but we won’t get into that here. What games do work? I can’t really tell you as there are way too many games out there, but the ones I’ve personally tested to work myself are GTA 3, Max Payne, Shine Runner, Dead Trigger, and much, much more.


About Author

David Rahimi is the editor-in-chief at Ever since he got his first smartphone, he has been obsessed with mobile technology and all that it has to offer. Other interests include business, investing, and neuroscience.

  • Ron

    Where do i get this (or) buy at,Xbox 360 Games On Android Phone – Ice Cream Sandwich – 360 Controller

  • Luis

    Hi there; I was wondering will this method work with game roms on android? I have a nes emulator on my metropcs huawei cellphone. Thank you!

    • sean keogh

      Works on all the roms I’ve tried thus far

  • Rob

    I have the otg cable and im running omega custom rom but now i cant get anything to work yhe usb joycenter opens into a blank white screan ,and when i plug my remote in nothing happens even when i ran ICS so can you help !!! Its on a sgs3

  • Rob

    I havr a sgs3 and i have the otg cable and im running omega custom rom but now i cant get anything to work yhe usb joycenter opens into a blank white screan ,and when i plug my remote in nothing happens even when i ran ICS so can you help !!!

  • Eddie

    I have a galaxy note. It is rooted. I have gotten the usb/bt app but when i plug it in it searches but does not find the xbox 360 controller. any advice would be appreciated

  • Vourketh

    I have the same phone with the exact same characteristics(Android version, etc.), but when I plug in my controller, the lights do start to flash, but it doesnt work with games. Is it because I’m using razer onza controller?

  • Martijn

    This don’t work on my galaxy tab 2.
    I have my controller connected with an otg adapter.
    But the green led’s stay flaching.
    End i dont’t can use im pleas reply

    • David Rahimi

      Hmmm… That’s weird that its not working for you. There are a couple of things you can try. 1) Try another OTG cable if you have one (sometimes certain cables work better than others with a specific device). 2) Try playing another game. 3) Try the USB/BT Joystick app. Hope this helps.

  • bo

    How do I got a Kensington for I HP put I can not use it the can you help me

  • Arath Nevarez

    which app do i get from the play store?

  • Aidan

    Is there a way to get wireless controllers to work?

    • Niek Schouwenburg

      if your controller has Bluetooth i guess you could connect the 2

      • Jay

        Microsoft Xbox controllers are propietary, not bluetooth :/

        • Niek Schouwenburg

          I know that i have an xbox but that aidan guy said wireless controllers so i was thinking he ment another brand controller.

  • Davide Nobili

    Hi, i have a Galaxy S3 with original Samsung USB-OTG cable and USB 360 GamePad, but the games don’t recognize my pad. Why?

    My firmware is 4.1.2, could this be the reason?

    • ladytech

      You must have the wrong cable because Xbox controllers work just fine on my gf’s Tmobile Samsung galaxy S3

      • Davide Nobili

        Hi, what is your cable?
        My is ET-R205UBE

        ps: now I have GS4

  • Abiel Zulio M

    work on xperia z? sorry for my bad english language

  • eD

    Anyone worked out how to get a wireless controller to work yet?

  • Christopher Valencia

    Those of you trying to use a wireless controller will probably need the pc receiver. I don’t know if this will work for sure, but I do that that the wired controller works fine on a pc while wireless co

  • nascent

    I’m able to plug my PS3 DualShock 3 controller in and it works immediately with no configuation. But my wired Xbox360 controller will not work at all. This is true for my SGTab2 and my SG3.

  • Not really all that much use.

    The sad thing about this, is that it _will_ work on something like an S3, which means using _either_ your controller, or having HDMI output to TV…. but wont work on a TF300T plugged into the USB input in the docking station so you can play and output to a TV…. Sorry but an external control on a small screen mobile phone is one of the most retarded things you can do with a mobile.

    • ladytech

      I wouldn’t think so. It works nicely on my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 which btw has a full 1080HD screen and games look far from retarded as it would be on a puny 640p iPhone lol.. Certainly impressive!

  • scissors_cut_paper

    Using the PC received for Xbox 360 pads with the otg works with my gs2 and nexus 7. When I say works,I mean works with some games,navigates menus fine,but spins round in circles in other games.

  • Boonlumsion Piyapon

    Android 3.1 Honeycomb (API level 12) support ps3 ,xbox 360 as well as Wii game controllers.

  • Onã Eyre

    Hello guys. YOU ARE MY LAST HOPE to help me. I bought a Nexus 5 (d820 model) recently but i’m having some problems with usb and Otg cable. When I connect keyboard and mouse, they work nice, but the notification doesn’t appear. Is that correct for you? I tested a pen drive and didn’t work too.
    But my main problem is: xbox 360 controller doesn’t work in native way. I mean, the green light in the middle keeps blinking.. Games like Dead Trigger 2 and GTA San Andreas don’t recognize it. I can play games and emulators (like SuperGNES) through USB/BT apk by remapping buttons.. But i’m not satisfect..
    I want native support.. I don’t know nothing of adk file manager, but I can learn if a must.
    I don’t know if the problem is my Phone, kitkat Android, my otg cable or my controller. MY PHONE IS NOT ROOTED, and i dont wanna do it, cause i dont wanna lose data.
    Please help me if you know something. I’ll give you a hug (lol). Sorry for my english, Greetings from Brazil. Thank you.

    • Vinni

      Hey try the new Usb/Bt joystick center available in Playstore. At the top right you see something like JOY. In that there are 4 type of settings, Nat, ps3, 360, IME etc. Tap on it and select 360. You need root for it. Later it shows the keys of xbox below when you tap on xbox controller which comes when searched in the app. You can assign easily because it has same xbox keys. Adjust them for your controller and voila open dead trigger nd select controls. You can see customize game pad option there. Press on it. If no keys assigned press reset all. It auto configure the keys. Have fun playing. Try new apk Usb/bt joystick center Gold. :)

  • Arif Kazaro

    (Smsung Galaxy nite 10.1 n8000 unroot) i connect my note 10.1 with dongle xbox wireless via otg… but the dongle not flashing… why? Thx you in advance…