How to tell if your Xbox Controller is Bad

One of the worst thing that can happen to gamer is trying to figure out why their Xbox controller is bad.

Xbox wireless controllers are amazing gadgets.

But if it experiences an issue in the middle of your favorite game, it can stop the fun.

Happily, it is possible to tell whether your Xbox gamepad is bad.

Most joystick controller problems are easy to fix.

In this guide, we will show you how to tell if your Xbox controller is bad, what you can do to solve a few problems, and whether you need to get a new gamepad.

When to Know a Xbox controller is Bad

How to tell if your Xbox Controller is Bad

If you have noticed there is a problem with your Xbox controller, the first and the best thing to do is to try solving the problem with a few simple solutions.

You do not want to assume your controller is bad and spend money buying a new one.

When your joystick controller is not working, you will notice through the following ways.

  • You cannot control games or the menu with the gamepad
  • The ring light keeps flashing on the controller and does not go steady
  • The Reconnect-the-Controller message keeps appearing on your screen

These are some problems that you might notice if your gamepad is bad.

But you can easily correct these problems.

Below are possible Xbox controller problems and how you can fix them.

1. The Xbox Controller is not Connecting

If your controller cannot connect to your Xbox console, you need to check for some problems.

First, you need to understand that the controller and the console are not communicating.

Causes of the problem include weak batteries, too much distance between the two, sync issues, too much interference, or hardware failures.

How to fix the problem:

Some troubleshooting steps that can help fix this problem include:

*Ensure your Xbox controller is not out of range.

Even though the controller is wireless, there is a limit to how far you can go before losing a connection.

Placing objects between the Xbox console and the controller can reduce the range.

Hence, make sure you are near the console and there are no obstacles in between.

*Your Xbox controller might have turned off because of inactivity.

Most gamers are not aware that a Xbox gamepad goes off after 15 minutes of inactivity.

All you need is to press the Xbox button and the gamepad will reconnect.

*You need to disconnect extra controllers.

Since you can connect eight controllers to your Xbox console, you need to disconnect at least one if they all connect.

*Have new batteries; Having weak batteries can reduce signal strength.

Thus, you need to have fresh batteries to see if the controller can connect.

*Disconnect your headset; Sometimes, your Xbox headset can prevent the controller from connecting.

Thus, remove and try reconnecting the controller.

2. The Xbox Gamepad keeps Disconnecting

The Xbox Gamepad keeps Disconnecting

Another common issue with the Xbox controller is when it keeps disconnecting.

This can be so frustrating, especially if you are playing a multiplayer game.

But you need to keep in mind that a joystick will shut off if it is inactive after 15 minutes.

However, if the controller keeps disconnecting when you are playing a game, this could be a problem.

First, you need to test the controller batteries for any issues.

Press the Xbox button and look for the battery icon.

Once you notice they are low, you need to replace them with new ones immediately.

Also, you might be out of range.

You may need to move closer to your Xbox console if your range is over 28 feet.

Besides, make sure there are no obstructions between your gamepad and Xbox console.

If the console is inside an entertainment center, move it outside.

3. Xbox Controller doesn’t Turn ON

Another common Xbox gamepad issue is when it cannot turn on.

In most cases, the issue can be solved by replacing the batteries.

Your Xbox controller batteries may be dead.

But if the batteries are OK, and the controller cannot turn on, try the following steps.

*Turn off the console by pressing the power button and holding it for around 10 seconds.

*Make sure you hold the power button for 10 seconds.

A simple pressing can only put the console into a sleep mode.

*Unplug the Xbox console power cables for about two minutes.

Then plug it back in; And check whether the console can connect with the controller.

*Also, you can use a USB cable to connect the controller to the Xbox console.

If the controller is not bad, it should work.

4. The Xbox Joystick is Blinking

The Xbox Joystick keeps Blinking

If your controller keeps blinking or flashing when you press the Xbox Button, this means they are not paired with the Xbox console.

Once you press the buttons, the controller should pair.

However, if it cannot pair, use the USB cable to connect to the console.

If this cannot solve the problem, try restarting your Xbox console.

Press and then hold the power button for over 10 seconds.

Make sure it is off and then wait for a few minutes.

Then press the power button again to turn it on.

Common Solutions to solve Xbox Controller Problems

The common problems associated with Xbox console are the four listed above.

However, you can try the following tips if the issues are not fixed.

1. Remove all the connected Xbox accessories–Connected accessories to the console or the gamepad can cause problems to the Xbox controller.

Things such as an external keyboard, hard drive, and others can bring problems.

Hence, try disconnecting them.

Also, if you have connected the stereo headset adapter to the controller, remove it.

2. Reboot the Xbox console–Restarting the Xbox console can solve most of the gamepad problems.

However, you need to hold the Xbox power button for over 10 seconds for a full shutdown.

In most cases, a quick reboot can solve most of the controller’s problems.

3. Try connecting using another controller–To determine whether your controller is bad, you can use another Xbox controller.

This will help you identify where the problem is.

If the controller is working fine, your original gamepad has a problem.

However, if both of them (the controller and the previous one) are not working, the issue lies with the console.

Update your Xbox Console and Gamepad

Update your Xbox Console and Gamepad

4. Update the Xbox controller firmware-Most gamers are not aware that the controller has firmware that receives updates.

If the console does not receive updates, it can cause issues with other applications and devices.

To update your gamepad firmware, press the Xbox Button to follow the guide.

5. Use a USB cable always–If the connection issues cannot go away, try using the USB cable always.

This means you will use your wireless controller as a wired one.

This will prevent any future problems.

You can get a long USB cable so you can sit far away from the Xbox console.

Also, make sure you use a high-quality cable; Low-quality USB cables may give you problems.

What to do if the Joystick is not Working?

Contact Microsoft Support

If the above troubleshooting steps cannot solve your problems, there might be a physical issue with either your Xbox console or the controller.

First, you can try using your gamepad in a different Xbox console.

If it works well, then the issue is with the Xbox console and not the controller.

But if it does not work, then the problem is with the controller.

You need to visit the Microsoft Device support page or buy a new one.

Microsoft Support is a great tool that can help you identify your Xbox controller’s problem.

By contacting them, you can easily troubleshoot the problem and get things back on track.

For instance, they can help you update the console’s firmware.

This will ensure your controller works properly; In addition, they will help you solve any other issue.

All you need is to sign in using your Microsoft account, and then register your Xbox console if you have not registered, and then follow the steps.

Replace your Controller because it is Bad

Replace your Old Xbox Controller

There is a possibility that you might need to replace your Xbox controller.

If the controller is bad, the best option is to replace it.

Happily, you will enjoy more and have amazing gameplay with a new Xbox controller.

It is also important to look at the warranty if the controller is not too old.

Through the warranty, you may get a new controller at no cost.

Hence, it is important to check and contact Xbox to see whether you can get the old one fixed or buy a new one.


Before contacting Microsoft support or getting a new one, make sure you have tried the previous troubleshooting steps.

We can fix most of the Xbox controller problems following out tips in this guide.

Also, you can use your Xbox controller by connecting it to the Xbox console using a USB cable.

Even though it is less convenient than using your controller wirelessly, it is cheaper than purchasing a new one.

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Last Updated on May 27, 2021 by Tony

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