Windows 10 gets new Xbox wireless controller adapter that supports 8 players

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Why it matters to you

Windows 10 players will soon be able to purchase a much smaller adapter for Xbox One controllers.

With the Xbox Play Anywhere program giving Xbox One and Windows 10 PC users the ability to easily switch between the two systems while playing a game, it’s tempting to stick with an Xbox wireless controller on both platforms. Microsoft’s latest wireless adapter is substantially smaller than its previous model, and it allows you to bring more friends along for the ride.

Available on August 8, the new Xbox wireless adapter will only be compatible with Windows 10 PCs. Microsoft boasts that it’s 66 percent smaller than the company’s previous controller dongle. It will still cost $25, but it lacks the older model’s support for Windows 7 and 8.1 devices. Neither are compatible with Xbox 360 controllers.

Up to eight separate Xbox One controllers can be connected to a PC with the adapter at any given time, assuming that you have a display large enough to accommodate that many players — this was also the case with the previous model, however, as was its support for wireless stereo audio.

When your Xbox wireless controller’s battery runs low, you can also make use of the Play & Charge kit to keep playing without any downtime. Unlike the Xbox 360’s controller, the Xbox One switches to a wired connection when plugged in using a USB cable, though you’ll run out of ports pretty quickly if you’re playing with other people.

If you’re purchasing your first Xbox One controller with the adapter, you might want to check out some of Microsoft’s newest models. On August 3, a Green/Grey controller will launch, with bright green underneath the two control sticks and an otherwise classic, minimalist look. A “Volcano Shadow” controller will also release, with a dark black giving way to a bright orange-red, along with red buttons that look pretty intimidating. The two models will cost $65 and $70, respectively.

On October 17, a $70 “Patrol Tech” controller will follow, featuring a blue color and detailed metal-like markings on either grip. If you prefer a standard controller, you can purchase a bundle with the adapter for $80 as well, or you could customize your own personalized gamepad using the Xbox Design Lab — these controllers start at $80 and allow you to choose a color for the body, back, bumpers, triggers, sticks, and buttons. You can even get a custom engraving.