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Xbox will block unauthorized third-party controllers

Report suggests clampdown comes as Microsoft prepares to enable more peripherals firms to make wireless gamepads for its consoles

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Microsoft will block the use of unauthorised third-party controllers and accessories with its Xbox consoles as of next month.

Windows Central reported that some users have already been seeing an error message when using such devices, warning them that unauthorised accessories will not be usable with Xbox from November 12, 2023.

An example of the error message says that the user's "unauthorised accessory will be blocked from 11/12/2023," advising people to return it to the store or contact the manufacturer. Microsoft then prompts players to find authorised accessories via the Xbox website. reached out to Microsoft which confirmed the error message is authentic.

"Microsoft and other licensed Xbox hardware partners' accessories are designed and manufactured with quality standards for performance, security, and safety," a spokesperson told us.

"Unauthorized accessories can compromise the gaming experience on Xbox consoles (Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S.) Gamers may receive a pop-up warning that their accessory is unauthorized. Eventually, the unauthorized accessory will be blocked from use to preserve the console gaming experience. For a full list of accessories that are supported on Xbox consoles, please visit"

Microsoft's new policy is expected to come into full effect from November 17. Some affected controllers are already unable to connect with Xbox consoles.

Sources told Windows Central that the new policy lines up with Microsoft's plans to enable third party peripherals manufacturers to create wireless controllers for Xbox.

At present, the vast majority of third-party controllers for Xbox consoles are wired, although the first wave of official third-party wireless devices was released earlier this year. Even headsets are only able to work with Xbox if they receive approval and a special security chip from Microsoft.

Windows Central has been told Microsoft now has an approval process for official third-party wireless controllers, and the new restrictions are likely to prevent unapproved devices from taking advantage.

One controller that triggered the above error message (pictured above) is an unbranded wireless controller that appears via various sellers online and connects to Xbox, PlayStation and PC via USB.

Meanwhile, Brook Gaming has released a statement listing six products that are either fully or partially affected by the block. The company has said it will "spare no effort in identifying potential solutions." has reached out to various leading third-party peripherals firms to find out whether or not they are affected.

However, the likelihood is that manufacturers who paid for the official Xbox licence will not face any issues. The list of authorised Xbox accessories Microsoft linked to in its error message includes devices from PowerA, Thrustmaster, PDP, Razer, Nacon, Turtle Beach and more, suggesting products from these companies will be usable after November 17.

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James Batchelor avatar
James Batchelor: James is Editor-in-Chief at, and has been a B2B journalist since 2006. He is author of The Best Non-Violent Video Games
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