Ever since my prepaid Xbox Live Gold subscription turned into Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, I have been taking full advantage of the new service. Gaming on Windows 10 and Xbox One has been a blast and there are more than enough games to keep me busy. But with all that gaming, one issue I run into a lot is that I don't often know how much time I have left to play using my Xbox One controller.
When I connect my Xbox One controller to my Surface Book 2, I still can't see the battery level via the Devices page in Settings. I can see the battery level of my mouse, but why not my controller? It is frustrating that Microsoft left out such a small, but very important detail. The Xbox Game Bar in Windows 10 does show you how much battery is left on your Xbox One controller, but only gives you a general level of low, medium, or full.
Instead, I have to rely on a separate Windows 10 app to see my Xbox One controller's battery life. it's called Xbox Accessories. In order to use the app, you need to connect your Xbox One Wireless controller (or other Xbox One accessory) to your Windows 10 PC, here's what you need to do:
- Go to Settings (Windows key + i)
- Go to Devices
- Add Bluetooth or other device
- Follow the instructions to complete the Xbox One Wireless controller setup
Depending on your the age of Windows 10 PC's hardware, you may need to connect your Xbox One Wireless controller via Bluetooth. Newer Windows 10 PCs can connect Xbox One Wireless controllers using built-in Xbox Wireless Adapter, DLNA (based on Universal Plug and Play) certification, and other connection options.
Once connected, you need to download the Xbox Accessories app from the Microsoft Store. Once downloaded, the Windows 10 app lets you buzz the controller, update the controller, and test the buttons to verify that they are working correctly. As for battery level, it provides the same rough estimate of the battery remaining. At the moment, my Xbox One Wireless controller shows a "medium" battery level. I should also point out that I tested the Xbox Accessories app using an Xbox One Wireless controllers using a rechargeable battery pack and separately with regular AA batteries. The battery level is the same medium level.
There is no indication of how much time I have left to play on Xbox One or Windows 10. I understand that Microsoft may not be able to properly estimate the life of an Xbox One Wireless controller when using batteries. It is inexcusable for Microsoft to be unable to guess remaining battery life when you are using a rechargeable battery pack made by Microsoft. Perhaps we will see a future update to the Xbox Game Bar addressing the Xbox One Wireless controller battery level.