Android adds controller mapping for the Xbox Elite Controller (Series 1) over USB

Android adds controller mapping for the Xbox Elite Controller (Series 1) over USB

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If you want to game on an Android smartphone or tablet, you’ll probably want to connect a gamepad or controller over USB or Bluetooth. There are tons of generic gaming accessories out there that can work on your device, but many of you are probably interested in using gaming controllers you already own. For example, if you have a PlayStation 4, you can connect the DualShock 4 controller to your smartphone to play. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work on every device, and the reason usually boils down to missing key layout files. The Xbox Elite Wireless Controller (Series 1) won’t work if you connect it to most Android devices over USB, but that may change in a future version of Android.

A recent commit in the AOSP Gerrit adds a key layout file for the model 1698 Xbox Elite Controller. This means that button presses on the controller will be mapped to the appropriate Android actions that games can listen for. Without this key layout file, button presses will be unrecognized on Android or will perform undesired actions. Sadly, the Xbox Elite Controller can’t connect wirelessly to your Android device since it doesn’t operate over Bluetooth.

Google has also added key layout files for more Xbox One controllers (model 1537 for USB and model 1708 for USB and Bluetooth). This comes a year after Google added controller mapping for the Xbox One S wireless controller last year. With the addition of these key layout files, more Android devices will be able to connect to Microsoft’s Xbox controllers. We’re not sure if this key layout file will show up in all devices running Android Q, but you can be sure it’ll be there in Android R if OEMs don’t manually add it before next year. In fact, your Android device may support more controllers than most if the OEM bothered to add such key layout files on their own.

Featured image: Xbox Elite Wireless Controller (Series 1) – Credits: Microsoft