How to Remap an Xbox One Controller’s Buttons in Windows 10

Windows 10 now allows you to remap an Xbox One Controller’s buttons, just like you can remap the buttons on an Xbox One console. This feature is part of the Xbox Accessories app, which isn’t installed by default.

Limitations

Unfortunately, this new remapping feature doesn’t fully eliminate the need for third-party controller remapping apps. There are a still few big limitations:

  • You can only remap the buttons on Xbox One controllers. You can’t remap other types of controllers, including the popular Xbox 360 controllers.
  • You can only remap the buttons on the controller itself to other buttons on the controller itself. This means you can’t remap controller button presses to keyboard button presses, as you can with third-party apps.

If you’re cool with those limitations, let’s get started.

How to Remap the Buttons

You’ll need the Xbox Accessories app for this. You can find it by launching the Microsoft Store on Windows 10 and searching for “Xbox Accessories.” This app also allows you to update an Xbox One controller’s firmware on Windows 10. In fact, it’s the only way to update the controller’s firmware without an Xbox One.

Launch the app once you’ve installed it. If you haven’t connected a controller to your PC, you’ll be prompted to connect one now. Ensure that the Xbox wireless adapter is connected to your PC and your controller is powered on. If the controller is connected via Bluetooth instead of the Xbox wireless adapter, make sure that Bluetooth is enabled on your PC.

After the app detects your controller, click the “Configure” button below the image of the controller.

Click the “Button mapping” button to configure the button mapping.

If you want to undo your changes in the future, you can come back here and click the “Restore original” button to restore the buttons to their original functions.

This screen provides a simple interface for remapping buttons and changing other settings. For example, you can swap the sticks or triggers, making the left ones act as the right ones, and vice versa. You can also invert the Y axis (that is, the vertical or up-and-down direction) of the right or left sticks, so they’ll send an up signal when you push them down or down signal when you push them up. And, if you don’t like the vibration feature on the controller, you can disable it entirely from here rather than attempting to disable vibration in each different game you play on your PC.

The button remapping boxes allow you to remap the primary buttons (A, B, X, and Y), the left and right bumpers (shoulder buttons), and all four directions of the D-pad. Any of these buttons can be remapped to any of the other buttons. You can also set a button as “Unmapped,” so that it won’t do anything when you press it.

Options you set here take effect in all games and other applications on your system.

If you need anything more advanced—like the ability to remap controller buttons to keyboard buttons—you’ll still need a third-party application like JoyToKey or Xpadder. If you’re playing games on Steam, you can also use Steam’s Big Picture Mode configuration to remap any type of controller’s buttons, including an Xbox One or Xbox 360 controller.

Chris Hoffman is a technology writer and all-around computer geek. He's as at home using the Linux terminal as he is digging into the Windows registry. Connect with him on Twitter.