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How to connect a Bluetooth controller to your Android phone

With games and cloud services like Honkai Star Rail and Game Pass, you’re going to need to connect a Bluetooth controller to your phone.

We’ve never been fed so much as gamers in the history of gaming. Not only do we have the tried and true PC and the always-evolving console options, but we, also, now are in a glorious era where you can play games right from your phone.

It’s not uncommon for a game, such as Genshin Impact or Honkai Star Rail, to be a little more difficult to play with just your thumbs on the screen. With Xbox Game Pass and GeForce Now available right from your smartphone as well, a controller is 100% necessary to play their vast libraries.

But, what you might not know is that you can connect a controller to your Android phone to play a lot of controller-ready games out there. The good news is that using Bluetooth for your controller is super easy.

  • Turn on your controller. Oftentimes, it’s an on switch or, if it’s an Xbox controller, holding down the centralized Xbox dome button.

  • On your Android device, you need to drop down your notifications menu to show your easy access menu.

  • Click and hold the Bluetooth button, which will open up the Bluetooth settings screen. If you just tap it with your finger instead of holding it down, it turns the Bluetooth on and off.

  • While you’re at it, make sure your phone’s Bluetooth is actually turned on before you go any further. The circle would be shaded in the quick-access menu for your phone.

  • Look for “Pair new device”. Tap it.

  • All controllers are slightly different. But, most of them have a dedicated Bluetooth button. In most cases, you’ll hold that button down for 2 to 5 seconds, until the LED light starts blinking.

  • That device should show up in your “Available Devices” list now. Tap it.

  • From there, give it a moment to sync and you’re done.

  • Your individual game may need additional settings to turn on a controller within the game itself. But, if you’re using a cloud service like Xbox Game Pass, you’re good to go as-is.

Once you have your Bluetooth connected, it should automatically connect every time you turn on the controller.

In addition, some controllers need additional firmware updates to get out any of the kinks from launch. Every controller is different. Some utilize a downloadable app on your phone. But, some require you to update it by connecting it to your PC and downloading it that way.

Or, of course, you could just get yourself a portable PC, like an Asus ROG Ally. But, if cloud gaming is your forte, both PlayStation and Netflix are getting their hands dirty as well.

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