Why Is My Xbox One Controller Not Working with Steam? (and 5 Great Fixes)

Lindsay Hayes

If your Xbox controller isn't working with the Steam client on your computer, it is usually due to software issues like outdated drivers, bugs in Steam, and not having services like "XboxGipService" enabled in Windows. However, in some instances, it might be due to hardware failure, usually a bad USB cable.

I've been an avid Xbox gamer since the very first generation. Over that time, I've learned a lot about Xbox controllers. When a friend complained that his Xbox One controller wouldn't work on his Steam game, he came to me. After about 10 minutes, I was able to fix Steam and get it to detect his game controller.

If you're having similar issues with your Xbox One controller not working with Steam, then you're in the right place. Let's get right into everything you need to know to fix this problem.


How to Get Your Xbox One Controller Working with Steam Client?

To fix Steam and get your Xbox One controller working, there are several solutions you can try out, and you'll find that they do the trick. You don't need to install any new software for these solutions.

There's no need to look at Playstation controllers when you can get your game controller to work just fine to play your favorite games.

White Xbox Controller on Brown Wooden Surface

1. Re-connect Your Controller

The moment you open Steam but notice that it isn't detecting Xbox One controller, I recommend unplugging and connecting the controller again. This might help fix the problem.

For a wired controller, this step gives you the chance to make sure you plug it properly into the USB port.

If you're using a Bluetooth connection for your games, the solution is to turn off Bluetooth on your PC and turn off your controller. Wait 30 seconds and get them connected again.

2. Try a Different USB Cable, If Wired

If you use your controller with a USB cable, you might realize that the reason why Steam is having issues detecting Xbox controller is that the cable is faulty.

Even with new hardware, the cable will usually be the most vulnerable part due to how flexible it is. Try using a different cable to plug your controller into your computer and see whether it helps.

3. Update Drivers in Device Manager

When the software for your controller is buggy or outdated, you can run into issues getting it to work right. This includes the client for Steam.

The good thing is that you can update your driver to the latest version if one is available. Device Manager lets you install them easily.

Follow the steps below to get this done. Make sure your controller is connected before you start.

  1. Right-click on the Start button in the bottom-left corner.
  2. Select "Device Manager".
  3. Expand the "Human Interface Devices" option in the list.
  4. Look for the option called "HID-Compliant Game Device". Right-click it.
  5. Press "Update Driver".
  6. Choose "Search automatically for driver".
  7. Wait for it to search online. If it finds any, it will install them right away. Once installed, it should fix the issue with your Steam controller.

4. Turn On "XboxGipService"

Windows has numerous services which help manage different parts of the operating system. When it comes to your gamepad, this device is managed on your PC by a service called "XboxGipService", although you might see it as "XboxGipSvc" in some cases.

Regardless, these are the same thing, and Windows describes the service as the "Xbox Accessory Management Service". That sounds vital for detecting Xbox One controllers.

Sometimes, this service can stop for some reason, and you can easily fix the problem by re-enabling it.

  1. Connect your game pad.
  2. Right-click the Taskbar.
  3. Select "Task Manager".
  4. Go to the "Services" tab. On Windows 11, this is the last icon in the left sidebar.
  5. Scroll down the list until you get to the end, and look for "XboxGipService" or "XboxGipSvc".
  6. Check the "Status" of this service. If it says "Stopped", right-click it and press "Start". That's all re-enabling it takes!

5. Turn on Controller Support in Steam Big Picture Mode

Steam's Big Picture mode was implemented to move players away from a mouse, keyboard, and computer desk. You can move them to the couch where they could play games in comfort.

However, the Steam client needs to configure input depending on the gamepad you want to use. For instance, you'll see there's an option for Playstation controllers too.

If support for your controller is off, you likely won't be able to game with it.

  1. Right-click on the Steam icon on your desktop.
  2. Choose "Run as Administrator".
  3. Sign in to your account.
  4. Near the top right, you'll see a rectangle with arrows. Click it to open Big Picture mode.
  5. Press the settings icon in the upper-right.
  6. Select "Controller Settings".
  7. Enable the "Xbox Configuration Support" option.

That's it! Even if you leave Big Picture mode, it should still work.

White and Black Xbox One Wireless Controller

Why Is My Xbox Controller Not Working with Steam?

If your Microsoft Xbox One controller refuses to work with Steam, no matter what you try out, there are a few reasons I've discovered what might be behind this.

These can be divided into software and hardware causes.


If you face issues with your Steam client detecting Xbox One gamepads, it is, in most cases, related to the software of Steam itself or the Windows operating system.

Over the years, I've found the following to be common causes of this problem:


While hardware is less likely to be the cause of a controller that doesn't work with Steam, it is still a likely cause.

The following are hardware causes of an Xbox One controller not working when running Steam:

Read more resources

Final Words

The Steam client usually has issues detecting Xbox controllers. There are many possible causes, though they are mostly software-related.

You can fix Steam problems with detecting Xbox gamepads by updating them in Device Manager, turning on XboxGipService, and going to enable controller support in Big Picture Mode.

Lindsay Hayes

Hi, I’m Lindsay, a techie from Kansas City. That’s right; I’m a born and bred Midwesterner. I learned to take electronics apart at my dad’s GameStop way back when, and I haven’t stopped since. I spend most of my time checking out new gadgets.
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