Latency or input delay in gaming is one of the most frustrating issues that can negatively affect your gaming experience. When it comes to gaming, every millisecond counts; if your controller has input lag, it could damage your chances of winning or lower your game score. The Xbox controller works perfectly with an Xbox console, but you might be wondering if it has input lag when you use it on your gaming PC using Bluetooth.
So, does the Xbox controller lag on PC using Bluetooth? The Xbox controller does have lag on PC when you are using it with a wireless connection. Several things can cause input delay on your Xbox controller, including poor connection, too many Bluetooth devices, out-of-date drivers, and long-distance between PC and controller.
Input lag refers to the delay or time taken before an electronic signal or message is sent from your controller to the PC or console. Low input lag means there is a little delay, and you cannot notice it on your display, while in a high input lag, you will see the delay on your screen or display.
When playing an online multiplayer game, lag is one of the most common issues affecting your gaming experience. If you are a professional gamer, you cannot use an Xbox controller with input lag because any input delay could cost you your match.
When you are playing Call of Duty: War Zone, you might be sure you hit an enemy with a clear headshot, but the enemy did not die even after pressing the correct button at the correct time. There is nothing wrong with your game, and you are just experiencing input lag. If you want to play online multiplayer games on your PC, you might be wondering if using an Xbox controller with Bluetooth connectivity might have lag.
The Xbox controller has input lag when you are playing games on PC using Bluetooth. In gaming, lag refers to the amount of time it takes for your controller to communicate with your console or PC. The longer it takes for your controller to send the message to your PC, the more noticeable the delay becomes.
When you are playing a game with an Xbox controller using Bluetooth, several things may cause the lag. They include items blocking the controller, distance between controller and PC, other Bluetooth devices connected to your PC, and out-of-date drivers and firmware.
All devices using Bluetooth technology work perfectly when there are little or no items that block the devices connected to each other. When playing games on your PC using an Xbox controller, the items between your controller and the PC can increase lag.
The items will block communication between your controller and PC, increasing the time it takes for your controller to send information to your PC. Items that can interfere with Bluetooth signals include metal doors, cabinets, and refrigerators.
Another thing that can cause your Xbox controller to have lag is out-of-date firmware and drivers. Your PC might have out-of-date Bluetooth drivers that could negatively affect your Xbox controller’s performance. Microsoft also periodically releases updates for their controllers’ firmware to improve its performance. If your Xbox controller has input delay and it has been a while since you updated the firmware, it could be the reason why you have a poor gaming experience.
When you are setting up your gaming system, you have the option of placing your system close to where you sit, or you can have some distance between the gaming system and your seat. If you place your gaming PC too far from where you sit, the distance could affect your Xbox controller’s input.
The Bluetooth signals will take longer to reach your PC. The long-distance between your Xbox controller and your PC also makes it easy for signals from other devices to interrupt the Bluetooth signals from your controller.
Too many devices connected to your PC can interfere with your Xbox controller signals. Also, some USB devices that have incompatible or defective USB cables can interfere with Bluetooth signals causing input delay.
If you have connected other devices to your PC using Bluetooth, they will also interfere with the Bluetooth signals from your Xbox controller when gaming. Devices that could interfere with your Xbox controller’s Bluetooth signal include Wi-Fi routers, laptops, microwaves, tablets, and mobile phones.
Another thing that might cause input delay when gaming on your PC with an Xbox controller using Bluetooth might be running too many applications on your PC. Playing games on your computer puts a lot of strain on its operating system, and it is easy to notice by the sound the fan makes while you are playing the game.
Some PCs will work perfectly if you close other applications and ensure few or no applications are running in the background. If you have many applications running simultaneously while playing your game, your PC could be straining to process information from all the applications. Your PC could take some time to process the information sent from your Xbox controller, making the input delay more prominent.
Wireless Xbox controllers need to be charged frequently and perform poorly if they run out of power. Wired Xbox controllers use power from your PC; hence, their performance cannot suffer because of a low power supply.
A wireless Xbox controller can hold power for close to 30 hours before you can charge the batteries again. If you did not charge your Xbox controller after gaming for a long time, the low power could increase input delay during gaming.
When choosing controllers for a gaming PC, you have the option of using wired or wireless controllers. Wired controllers are connected to the PC using a USB cable, while wireless controllers connect to the PC using Bluetooth. Microsoft has improved the performance of wireless Xbox controllers, making them have less lag than wired Xbox controllers.
However, wireless Xbox controllers work perfectly when used to play games on a console. When you use them to play games on a PC, their latency superiority over wired controllers does not come into play. If possible, you should use a wired Xbox controller to play games on your PC.
How Do I Fix Xbox Controller Input Lag when Gaming on My PC?
When playing an online multiplayer game, input lag could cause you to lose a match because your opponents will use your controller’s input delay against you. If your Xbox controller has input lag and you are tired of losing games, there are ways you can rectify the problem.
You can do several things to reduce your Xbox controller’s input lags, and the first one is disabling the Vsync function on your PC. You can also reduce input lag by updating your controller’s firmware and wireless drivers on your PC. You should reduce the distance between your controller and your PC.
If you are using a Bluetooth adapter, ensure that you plug in the adapter in front of the PC. You should also remove all devices that can interfere with your Xbox controller’s signals. Finally, you should remove all items that can block Bluetooth signals.
Disabling Vsync is one of the easiest methods of ensuring your Xbox controller does not have input lag when gaming on a PC. Vsync or vertical synchronization is a graphics technology that synchronizes the game’s frame rate along with the monitor’s refresh rate. If your display and game cannot sync up, Vsync will keep lowering the frame rate as it tries to point where they can sync up, leading to input lag.
To disable Vsync, open settings on your gaming PC, go to “Graphics” and select “Disable Vsync.” Once you disable these settings, your monitor and game will not sync their refresh rate and game rate reducing controller input lag.
Most gamers forget that it is important to update their Xbox controllers regularly to ensure that they perform efficiently. Microsoft usually releases firmware updates that gamers can download to improve areas that the controller was performing poorly. There are three ways you can use it to update your Xbox controller’s firmware. You can update the firmware wirelessly but only for controllers purchased after June 2015. You can update your controller’s firmware using a USB cable or use a windows 10 PC.
Since you are using your Xbox controller to play games on your PC, it is easier to update the firmware using your computer. To update using your computer, ensure you have the Xbox app. Launch the Xbox app and connect your Xbox controller to your PC.
Connect your Xbox controller using a USB cable or the Xbox wireless adapter for windows. If a firmware update is available for your controller on the Xbox app, a message will appear saying “Update Required.” Enable the update and close the app once the controller’s firmware has been updated.
You can also reduce your Xbox controller’s input lag by decreasing the distance between your controller and the PC when gaming. The recommended maximum distance between a controller and a PC is 19 ft (6 meters).
When setting up your gaming system, ensure that you place your PC as close as possible to where you will sit during the game. If you are going to place your PC a small distance from your seat, ensure it faces the seat. When gaming, ensure that you sit closer to the PC and your Xbox controller is directly facing the PC to reduce input lag.
Another important thing you can do to reduce your Xbox controller’s input lag is removing objects between the controller and the PC. When playing a game on your PC and lag becomes too noticeable, check for anything blocking the Bluetooth signals. Items made out of metals are likely to block Bluetooth signals; these include shelves and cabinets.
If you use a Bluetooth adapter to connect your Xbox controller to your PC, ensure that you plug it in front of the PC. Placing it in the back of the PC could block your controllers’ Bluetooth signals, causing input lag.
When gaming on your PC, ensure that you have none or few devices connected to your PC or using Bluetooth. Devices using or emitting wireless signals can also interfere with the Bluetooth signals from your Xbox controller. If your Xbox controller has input delay, try to turn off all the devices you are not using, such as laptops, tablets, or mobile phones.
You should also disconnect all devices connected to your PC, both wired and wireless, if they are not part of your gaming system. Do not connect too many controllers to the PC if you want to play games with several people on your PC. The signals from many controllers could interfere with each other, causing input delay.
You should also ensure that your Xbox controller has enough charge before you start gaming. The low battery could affect your Xbox controller’s performance and increase input lag. When the battery is low on your Xbox controller, the battery indicator light on the controller’s face will turn solid orange.
You can charge your Xbox controller using a USB-C cable or an AC adapter. When charging the Xbox controller, the light will flash, and when the controller is fully charged, the light will turn solid white.
If your Xbox controller’s input lag does not reduce, you can use another controller, and if you do not see any input lag, there could be a problem with your first controller. Try to use your Xbox controller on another PC or console, and if the input lag problem continues, your controller may need to be replaced.
You can request a replacement from Microsoft, but you first need to make a report through the “Report a Problem App.” When submitting your report, ensure that it is well detailed to make it easy for Microsoft Support to resolve the problem.
For any gamer, especially those who play first-person shooter games, you might have gone through a situation when you shoot at an enemy, and you failed to do so even after pushing the correct button on your controller at the right time. Input lag can cost you a win, especially if you are participating in competitive online games.
This article has identified and discussed some of the issues that could cause input lag and solve them. If you keep experiencing input lag with a wireless Xbox controller, you should try playing games on your PC using either a wired controller or a wired keyboard and mouse.