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Microsoft starts blocking ‘unauthorized’ Xbox controllers and accessories

Microsoft starts blocking ‘unauthorized’ Xbox controllers and accessories


The third-party Xbox controller ban might affect unofficial adapters and cheat devices like Cronus Zen.

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The Microsoft Xbox game logo against a green and black background.
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Microsoft is starting to block “unauthorized” Xbox controllers and accessories from being used on Xbox consoles. Resetera posters spotted a warning about the block last week, with some third-party Xbox controllers now throwing up a “connected accessory is not authorized” warning when connected to an Xbox console. It’s unclear if Microsoft is trying to target cheat devices, or whether the Xbox maker is trying to push its official partner program.

An error has now started appearing for some third-party Xbox controllers, alongside a warning that notes the accessory will be blocked from further use after two weeks. “From the moment you connect an unauthorized accessory and receive error code 0x82d60002, you’ll have two weeks to use the accessory, after which time it will then be blocked from use with the console,” says Microsoft in a support note. “At that time, you’ll receive error code 0x82d60003. We encourage you to contact the store or manufacturer where you obtained the accessory to get help with returning it.”

Controllers and accessories with the designed for Xbox logo are unaffected.
Controllers and accessories with the designed for Xbox logo are unaffected.
Image: Microsoft

Third-party Xbox controllers that are part of the “designed for Xbox” hardware partner program are unaffected, but any that haven’t been officially authorized by Microsoft run the risk of generating this error and being blocked for use. This might also block third-party cheat devices like XIM, Cronus Zen, and ReaSnow S1 from working on an Xbox console.

These adapters are commonly used on PC to spoof controller inputs, so mouse and keyboard users can get the benefits of aim assist and reduced recoil from controller mixed with the benefits of movement from mouse and keyboard. Activision, Bungie, and Ubisoft have all been trying to block these hardware spoofing devices, with restrictions and bans in Call of Duty, Destiny 2, and Rainbow Six Siege.

Cronus devices have been growing in popularity on console, and Microsoft’s block will likely affect some of these unauthorized adapters. Brook Gaming, which manufactures an adapter that supports PlayStation controllers on Xbox, says its device is affected by Microsoft’s block. In a post on X (Twitter), Brook Gaming warns of “functional disruptions in the near future” for a variety of its products, including a fighting board, controller adapter, and steering wheel adapter.

Microsoft’s block could adversely affect the fighting game community, though. “This is essentially a death sentence for local fighting game events that run on Xbox, much less, others that can only afford one arcade stick,” says Maximilian Dood, the biggest fighting game channel on YouTube. “The Brook Gaming converters are not cheat devices. They’re a huge boon to the fighting game community. Please reconsider!”

Most third-party Xbox controllers are wired, as Microsoft hasn’t typically licensed its Xbox Wireless protocol to other vendors. PowerA launched the first officially licensed third-party wireless controller for Xbox consoles earlier this year, and Windows Central speculates Microsoft’s latest ban could be related to the company working to expand approval for third-party wireless Xbox controllers.

We’ve reached out to Microsoft to comment on the “unauthorized” Xbox controller block and we’ll update you accordingly.