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What To Do When Your XBox Controller Is Blinking

An Xbox can help maximize your gaming experience. But when your controller disconnects unexpectedly and starts blinking nonstop, your first reaction is to worry and panic. However, not all issues you face mean that your Xbox controller is dead.  

There are many reasons why your Xbox controller may be blinking, such as pairing issues, power failure, and weak signal. Try changing the batteries and repairing the controller with your Xbox. As a last resort, consider a USB adapter to convert the controller to wired.

Unfortunately, if you own a gaming console, you’re bound to face various challenges. However, you can take simple steps to pair your Xbox controller and stop it from blinking. Now let’s learn more about the causes and solutions.

Why Is Your Xbox Controller Blinking?

Xbox controller

The most common reason why your Xbox may be blinking is that it can’t pair to your console. Different factors may prevent your controller from pairing. Most of these issues aren’t serious, and you can fix them yourself. These factors include:

  • Malfunctioning Bluetooth hardware
  • A microprocessor or software bug
  • Weak signal
  • Power failure
  • Poor use of the controller

Note that your Xbox controller can also blink repeatedly if the batteries are old or failing. Fortunately, most of these issues are easy to solve.

Pair Your Xbox and Controller

When you first notice that your Xbox controller is blinking fast, ensure it is paired properly. If you press the Xbox button and your controller flashes, it hasn’t paired to your console.

This can sometimes happen if your controller is paired with another system. Here’s how to pair your controller wirelessly:

  1. First, turn your Xbox on by pressing the Xbox button on your console.
  1. Turn on your controller by long pressing the Xbox button on the controller. Your controller will repeatedly flash, which means it’s searching for a nearby console to pair.
  1. Press the small pair button on your console and then release.
  1. Long press the pair button on top of your controller. If it pairs successfully, the Xbox button will flash a few times and stop.

For a more detailed explanation, watch this YouTube video.

Connect Your Controller With a USB Cord

To stop your wireless Xbox controller from flashing repeatedly, you can pair it using a USB cable. While you may be used to connecting with your console wirelessly, using a USB cable to connect to your Xbox console can resolve the blinking issue.

Additionally, it’s a more affordable option than getting a new wireless Xbox controller.

Basic Checks

If your Xbox controller continues to blink repeatedly, you can perform a few basic checks to determine if the controller is the cause.

Check the Controller

Check whether the issue is the console or controller by getting another controller and try to pair it to your Xbox console. If the new controller pairs successfully, then your controller is the issue.

Check the Batteries

The blinking controller may be an indicator that the battery is low. You can charge your controller batteries using a USB cable or a Play and Charge Kit. Alternatively, you can use standard AA batteries. You may also need to replace your batteries if they drain too quickly after charging them.

However, if your batteries are in good condition and your controller keeps blinking, pop the batteries from your controller and wait for approximately 15 seconds, then put them back.

Check the Range

If the batteries aren’t the issue, then your Xbox controller may be out of range of the console. Although the recommended range for a wireless Xbox controller is about 19 feet (6 meters), if your setup is facing away from you, around walls, or in a cabinet, then you may want to decrease the range.

Check Interference

Sometimes your controller may fail to pair with your Xbox console if there are objects between your controller and your console. Therefore, ensure you remove any electronic devices that may interfere with the connection.

Microwaves, wireless routers, laptops, and other wireless devices could be blocking the pairing process. Switch off any wireless devices in close range before you try pairing the controller.

Restart Your Xbox Console

Another simple solution to your controller blinking issue is a good old-fashioned turning on and off your console. To manually switch off your console, follow these simple steps:

  1. Press and hold your console’s power button for approximately 10 seconds.
  1. Disconnect the power cable.
  1. Plug the power cable back after 20 minutes and turn your console back on.

Update or Resync Your Controller

If your Xbox controller still doesn’t sync, your firmware or hardware may be the issue. For example, your controller may fail to pair if your controller’s firmware is outdated or corrupted.

So before you pack your controller and send it in for servicing or get a new one altogether, try to update the firmware:

  1. Connect your controller to your console using a USB cable.
  1. Power on your Xbox console and connect to the Xbox network.
  1. Click on the Settings menu.
  1. Scroll to Kinect and Devices and select the Devices and Accessories option.
  1. Pick the Xbox controller that won’t pair.

In case the controller needs updating, you will see an update option. And watch this video on how to update the Xbox controller firmware for more details.

After updating the firmware, try resyncing. If your controller still blinks, then the problem may be a hardware failure.

Note: You can update your Xbox controller wirelessly if it was manufactured after June 2015. However, all controllers can be updated when connected with a USB cable.  

Hardware Issues When Your Xbox Controller Flashes

Game console controller

If your Xbox controller keeps blinking, there may be some hardware issues. Some of the common hardware problems that may be causing your controller to flash repeatedly include:

Old or Faulty Batteries

When your controller batteries are low on charge or faulty, you will have trouble pairing mainly because of a weak signal. If this is the case, your controller will blink repeatedly to alert you of the issue. Therefore, check if your batteries are okay and charge or replace them if they’re the issue.

Bluetooth Connection or USB Cable Issue

By now, you know that a blinking Xbox controller is mainly caused by a pairing issue. To determine if your controller’s Bluetooth has an issue, try connecting with a USB. If the wired connection works, in this case, your Bluetooth circuit is undoubtedly malfunctioning.

On the other hand, if your USB connection doesn’t work, but your Bluetooth connects, then your cable is probably defective. You can try another cable; if it still doesn’t work, you may need to replace your Xbox controller.

Contact Xbox Support For More Options

If your Xbox controller keeps blinking despite trying all the above tricks, the issue may be more serious to solve on your own. It’s possible that some internal components are failing or the power supply is defective. To determine the exact problem, get in touch with Xbox support.

However, before contacting the Xbox support team, determine if your device is within warranty. You can see your device’s warranty status by signing in to Microsoft’s Device services. If you never registered your device after purchase, you can still register your device and check your warranty status.

If your Xbox is still under warranty, your controller can be repaired for free, or you can request a replacement. But if the device is out of warranty, you will have to cover the repair fee out of pocket. 

However, repair or replacement costs can be high if your Xbox controller is not under warranty. Therefore, getting an independent repair service or purchasing a new controller is more advantageous.