Red and black Xbox Series X|S controllers.
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Xbox’s Co-pilot mode is a feature that lets two Xbox controllers act as one controller. This allows two people to control the same player on-screen, with the “co-pilot” providing support to the “pilot” when they need it.

Why Use Co-Pilot Mode?

The main intended use of Co-pilot mode is to help a struggling player get through difficult parts of a game. For example, if you have young children who are having a hard time with a game, you can be the co-pilot and help them get past hard sections.

Co-pilot mode also has an accessibility purpose. Some players may have mobility, coordination, or other issues that make some parts of a game difficult for them. Co-pilot mode lets you assist them in those sections without taking the controller away from them,

Alternative Uses for Co-Pilot Mode

Co-pilot mode can also be useful for a single player. Every player can have two controllers in co-pilot mode. This means that it’s possible for one player to use two controllers at the same time. For example, a player may not have the strength to hold up a controller but can hold two controllers with their arms in a resting position. With each hand operating the left or right side of each controller. Almost like having Switch Joycons in detached mode.

Co-pilot mode also works for the Xbox Adaptive controller. This is a special accessibility controller that lets users create custom control systems for the individual needs of each player.

Xbox Adaptive Controller

Microsoft's revolutionary adaptive Xbox controller makes it easy and affordable to build custom control systems for disabled gamers.

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With Co-pilot you can combine a standard controller with an Adaptive controller or have two Adaptive controllers work together, so you have more options for the physical setup.

Co-Pilot Limitations

From the Xbox‘s point of view, the paired co-pilot controllers are one controller. Only the “pilot” is actually logged in and only they will make progress, gain gamerscore, and unlock achievements. The co-pilot is only there to assist and doesn’t get any in-game progress or rewards.

How to Activate Co-Pilot Mode

Activating co-pilot mode is easy once you know where the setting for it is.

First, connect the first controller (Pilot) for the player who needs assistance, then log in to their profile.

Xbox Co-pilot Step 1 Log In

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Connect the second controller (Co-pilot). The co-pilot can sign in or choose not to, it doesn’t matter. On the Pilot’s controller, press the Xbox button and open the guide. Then select Profile & System > Settings.

Xbox Co-pilot Step 2 Open Guide

Next, select Accessibility > Controller.

Xbox Co-pilot Step 3 Accessibility Menu

Select “Co-pilot Settings.”

Xbox Co-pilot Step 4 Settings

Select “Turn on Co-Pilot.”

Xbox Co-pilot Step 5 Turn on

The second controller should briefly vibrate. Now both controls are fully in control of the game and you’re ready to co-pilot mode.

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Sydney Butler has over 20 years of experience as a freelance PC technician and system builder. He's worked for more than a decade in user education and spends his time explaining technology to professional, educational, and mainstream audiences. His interests include VR, PC, Mac, gaming, 3D printing, consumer electronics, the web, and privacy. He holds a Master of Arts degree in Research Psychology with a focus on Cyberpsychology in particular.
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