Article Summary

  • Learn about the Xbox controller and the innovative Tesla’s infotainment system.
  • Step-by-step process is shared for connecting both wired and wireless Xbox controllers to the Tesla Model 3.
  • Benefits of connecting Xbox controllers to Tesla Model 3 and how it can improve the overall driving experience.
  • Troubleshooting some of the common issues are discussed.

What Is An Xbox Controller?

Xbox Controller was launched back in 2001 along with the Xbox console. It is a versatile device, developed by Microsoft. The main purpose of this controller is gaming. However, over the years, it has undergone several iterations, each refining its design and enhancing its capabilities. Xbox controllers can work seamlessly across Xbox consoles, Windows PCs, and various other platforms. Thanks to its Bluetooth connectivity, they can even connect to devices like smartphones, tablets, and electric cars. So, now it can be used in various professional areas and even with Tesla cars (that we’ll discuss later in the article). Yes, you heard that right! This is the new world of innovations Elon Musk always talked about and made happen, where gaming technology converges with automotive innovation.

A typical Xbox controller has:

  • Two symmetrical thumbsticks
  • A directional pad
  • Four action buttons (A, B, X, Y)
  • Two triggers
  • Two bumpers
  • A start button

Introduction To Tesla Model 3 Infotainment System

With its continuous excellence in the automotive industry, the Tesla Model 3 incorporates a digital oasis that redefines the driving experience. Its infotainment system completely changed the way we drive cars. With its amazing features, functionality, and the ways it redefines in-car entertainment can surely harmonize driving, entertainment, and innovation. This is the reason why it’s given the name “Infotainment”, which combines information and entertainment in one place.

The central part of this infotainment system is a Central Touchscreen. It is a 15-inch touchscreen that crowns the dashboard. It shows you the navigation, media, controls, and many more things in a single interface.

This system provides you with,

  • Intuitive navigation
  • Easy media integration
  • Driver information
  • Voice Command and Autopilot Integration
  • App Integration
  • Tesla Arcade

In the following sections, we’ll learn how to connect the Xbox controller with this infotainment system and make it a hub of entertainment by integrating gaming into your driving experience.

How A Controller Can Enhance Your Driving Experience!

This innovative step of merging gaming and automotive technology offers an exceptional and unique way to enhance your driving experience. Using an Xbox controller with a Tesla Model 3 seems quite ridiculous to some people. But, it is capable of unlocking a whole new world of driving, contrary to conventional driving. For example, imagine exploring the Tesla Arcade and engaging in captivating games during charging stops or breaks. Or, you can engage in various driving modes without even touching anything in your car.

By connecting an Xbox controller to a Tesla Model 3, you can turn your car into a moving gaming space. You can even invite your friends to take part in the games and play while on the go. The Xbox controller for Tesla isn’t just about having another device in your car, it’s about amplifying your entire journey. You can turn each drive into an exploration of both the physical and gaming worlds, all at your fingertips.

How Can You Connect Your Xbox Controller To Tesla Model 3?

Let’s say that you’re parked, your Tesla Model 3 is juicing up, and you’ve got some time to kill. Playing games sounds like a great idea, but let’s be honest – not every game is designed for touchscreens. Fortunately, there’s a way to take your gaming experience up a notch. By effortlessly linking a wired or wireless Xbox controller to your Tesla Model 3, you open up a world of possibilities.

Let’s see how you can connect your Xbox controller to your Tesla Model 3 using both USB and Bluetooth methods.

Check The Controller Compatibility

Before trying to connect your Xbox controller to the Tesla Model 3, it’s important to check its compatibility.

Please know that the Tesla Model 3 is compatible with both wired and wireless controllers from Xbox One, Xbox Elite Series, and Xbox Series X/S. However, it’s important to note that wired Xbox 360 controllers are not supported by the Model 3’s infotainment system. However, Xbox Wireless Controllers with Bluetooth technology can establish their wireless connection with the Tesla Model 3.

Connecting Wired Xbox Controller To Tesla Model 3

Luckily, the process of connecting the Wired Xbox Controller to the Tesla Model 3 is super easy. 

All you need is a USB cable (choose a cable that supports both charge and data transfer) to connect your controller to the central screen of your Tesla Model 3. Simply insert it into the USB-C ports located within the console or the USB-A port housed in the glove box.

Note: Xbox 360 wired controller will not work this way. You need a multi-port USB hub. Plug that USB hub into your Tesla’s USB data port, and then slot each Xbox controller into one of the USB ports that the hub provides. This hub becomes your connector, allowing you to link up several Xbox controllers to your Tesla.

Updating Your Tesla Model 3 Software

The Tesla’s updates aren’t just about keeping things fresh. It also ensures the safety of your system. Keeping your Tesla systems updated means you can make sure that your Tesla is ready to unlock new performance and connectivity options. Take the integration of the Xbox controller, for instance. With the right and latest software update, your Tesla Model 3 is capable of connecting to an Xbox controller. So, it’s always better to keep your Tesla Model 3 software updated to the latest version.

Connecting The Xbox Controller with Tesla Model 3 (Step-By-Step)

Get An Adapter

You’re going to need a nifty little gadget called a Bluetooth dongle. Think of it as a matchmaker for your controller and your Tesla. One solid choice is the 8Bitdo Bluetooth dongle and the other one is Mayflash Magic NS 2. Both of these adapters help you make the perfect connection without any fuss.

Plug The Adapter Into the USB Port Of the Tesla 

If you’ve got one of the newer Model 3 versions, you’re in luck. You’ll spot a USB port inside your glove box. Please note that if your Tesla was before November 2021, you won’t find that glove box USB port. No worries, though, you can still make the connection using the USB port in your console. Plug that wireless adapter right into your Tesla using those USB data ports. If you find yourself needing a hand in the compatibility department, a trusty USB-A to USB-C adapter should do the trick.

Initiate Pairing Mode Of Your Controller

Let’s dive into the part where you make those wireless adapters dance to your controller’s tune. It’s easy! First up, the 8BitDo dongle – to get that one ready to pair with your controller, just flip it over and you’ll spot the pairing button right there, on the bottom side. Now, if you’re in the Mayflash camp. Please see that their pairing button takes a different route, it’s hanging out on the backside of the device. All you need to do is give it a press, and you’ll know it’s ready to roll when a green light starts blinking.

When you’re all set to bring these adapters into the pairing game, here’s the lowdown. For the 8BitDo, tap into that pairing magic by giving the button on the bottom a little love. Now, if you’ve got your sights on the Mayflash, it’s all about pressing the black button on its side. Keep at it until you see that green light flashing away

Turn On Bluetooth Mode

You need to locate the Xbox button right at the top centre of your controller – it’s the one that’s got the Xbox logo on it. Press it, and your controller is ready. Now, you see that little circular button near the USB port at the top? Press and hold it. Keep your finger on it until you spot the Xbox logo starting to put on the display. When you see that, you know your controller has Bluetooth on, ready to be discovered by other devices. 

Check the Connection

When your wireless adapter and Xbox controller have successfully connected, you will see blinking lights on both devices. You’ll see a message pop up right on your Tesla screen, giving you the green light and confirming that your Xbox controller is now officially part of the Tesla system. Now, you just need to head over to the Tesla Arcade menu, and there you’ll find several games waiting for you.

What Are The Benefits of Using an Xbox Controller With Tesla Model 3?

Let’s explore how many benefits the Xbox controller brings to the table when connected with the Tesla Model 3!

  • The Xbox controller transforms your car into a gaming hub. Your gaming hunger expands with access to Tesla Arcade’s diverse collection.
  • It converts your normal gaming into an in-car multiplayer gaming. It allows you to connect multiple Xbox controllers and invite friends or family to join you in the game while sitting anywhere.
  • If you’re an Xbox gamer, you already know the controller like the back of your hand. So, it provides a sense of familiarity to play games while in your car.
  • The touchscreen on your Tesla dashboard serves multiple purposes, and while it’s fantastic for many tasks, some games and controls are better suited for a physical controller. The Xbox controller optimizes space, making gaming more enjoyable.
  • The Xbox controller seamlessly integrates with the infotainment system of your Tesla Model 3, creating a fluid user experience. It’s about making driving and gaming feel effortless and intuitive.
  • Apart from just gaming in your car, the Xbox controller adds an element of excitement to your drive. You can easily select anything from media control to navigation.

How To Troubleshoot Common Issues?

  1. First step is to ensure and check that your Xbox controller is in pairing mode.
  2. Next, ensure that your Tesla Model 3 and the Xbox controller are cosy enough within Bluetooth’s reach.
  3. Give both your Tesla and the controller a quick reboot and then give the connection process another shot.
  4. If the problem persists, consider updating the firmware on both the Xbox controller and your Tesla Model 3 to the latest versions.


Let’s conclude it and look at what you’ve gained so far from this guide. We’ve witnessed that the fusion of an Xbox controller with your Tesla Model 3 is nothing short of remarkable. With this combination, you will not think about the destination instead, you will enjoy the journey. This will help you in exploring the Tesla Arcade offering you a lot of games and experiences.

Have you connected your Xbox controller to your Tesla Model 3? What games have you enjoyed, and how has it transformed your driving experience? Share your thoughts, experiences, and tips with us in the comment section below.


How to connect Xbox controller to Tesla Model Y?

You can connect an Xbox controller to a Tesla Model Y by enabling Bluetooth on both devices. Put the controller in pairing mode, and select it in your Tesla’s Bluetooth settings.

Is it possible to use switch controller in Tesla?

Using a Switch controller in a Tesla is not natively supported. Tesla primarily integrates with Xbox and PlayStation controllers for gaming in its cars.

What could be the reason for my Xbox controller’s connectivity issue with Tesla?

A connectivity issue between your Xbox controller and Tesla may arise due to factors like Bluetooth interference, outdated firmware, or distance from the car.

Is it possible to use two controllers in a Tesla?

Yes, you can use two controllers at the same time in a Tesla. It allows you to enjoy multiplayer gaming experiences with your tripmates.


Zaryab Shafiq is a tech enthusiast and gamer. He's a computer engineer passionate about all things related to gaming and technology. After working with Electronic First as a freelance content writer for 2 years, he started working as a full-time SEO expert. He explores gaming consoles, games, tips & tricks, guides, reviews, and the latest tech trends. He shares what's hot and what's not. His favourite games are Valorant, PUBG, CS GO, Call of Duty, and other FPS shooter games. Now, he shares knowledge and his expertise on all things related Xbox and PlayStation. Zaryab's mission? To explore the coolest stuff in the gaming and tech universe. He's your trusted source as he performs his research thoroughly. He's here to make sure you're in the know about the best in gaming.

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