How to Connect an Xbox Controller to Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3 center screen displaying a game with an Xbox controller nearby
Photo: iStock

The Tesla Model 3 is a remarkable electric vehicle that offers an impressive suite of features and an unparalleled driving experience. One unique feature that many users are excited about is the ability to play video games on the vehicle’s center screen, using an Xbox controller. In this article, we’ll guide you how to connect an Xbox controller to Tesla Model 3, so you can enjoy an immersive gaming experience on the go.

Why connect an Xbox controller to your Tesla Model 3?

The Tesla Model 3 features a large center screen that allows you to access various entertainment options, including a suite of video games. By connecting an Xbox controller, you can enjoy a more engaging gaming experience with familiar controls, turning your Tesla Model 3 into a portable gaming station.

What type of Xbox controller can you connect?

Currently, Tesla Model 3 supports the following Xbox controller types:

  • Xbox One Wireless Controller
  • Xbox Series X|S Wireless Controller
  • Xbox Adaptive Controller

It’s essential to ensure your controller is compatible with your Tesla Model 3 before attempting to connect.

Tesla Model 3 touchscreen showing the Toybox interface with Theater and Arcade options
Photo: Pexels

How do you connect your Xbox controller to the Tesla Model 3?

Connecting an Xbox controller to your Tesla Model 3 is a straightforward process. Below, we’ve outlined the steps to get your controller connected and ready for gaming.

Step 1: Turn on your Tesla Model 3

Ensure your Tesla Model 3 is turned on, and you’re in ‘Park’ mode before proceeding.

Step 2: Access the ‘Toybox’

On your center screen, tap the Application Launcher icon, then select ‘Toybox’ to open the entertainment suite.

Step 3: Enter ‘Theater’ or ‘Arcade’

In the ‘Toybox’, you’ll find two categories: ‘Theater’ and ‘Arcade’. Tap on ‘Arcade’ to access the available games.

Holding an Xbox controller while activating Bluetooth pairing mode to connect to Tesla Model 3
Photo: Shutterstock

Step 4: Enable Bluetooth on your Xbox controller

To connect your Xbox controller, you’ll need to enable its Bluetooth functionality. To do this, press and hold the Xbox button until the controller turns on. Then press and hold the pairing button (located on the top edge of the controller) until the Xbox button starts blinking.

Step 5: Pair the controller with your Tesla Model 3

On your Tesla Model 3 center screen, tap the Bluetooth icon located in the top right corner. Then, select ‘Add New Device’. The screen will display a list of available Bluetooth devices. Find your Xbox controller in the list and tap on it to start the pairing process.

Tesla Model 3 touchscreen displaying a list of available Bluetooth devices for pairing
Photo: Storyblocks

Step 6: Play your favorite games

Once your Xbox controller is connected, you can now use it to play the available games in the ‘Arcade’ section of your Tesla Model 3’s ‘Toybox’.

Troubleshooting common issues

In case you encounter issues while trying to connect your Xbox controller to your Tesla Model 3, here are a few common problems and their solutions:

  • Controller not appearing on the device list: Ensure your controller’s Bluetooth functionality is enabled and it’s in pairing mode. If it still doesn’t appear, try restarting both the controller and your Tesla Model 3 before attempting to connect again.
  • Controller connects but doesn’t control the games: Make sure your controller is compatible with the Tesla Model 3. If it is, try disconnecting and reconnecting the controller to see if it resolves the issue.
  • Controller keeps disconnecting: This could be due to interference from other Bluetooth devices, low battery, or being out of range. Ensure your controller has sufficient battery life and is within the recommended Bluetooth range. If the problem persists, consider resetting the controller or updating its firmware.
Tesla Model 3 touchscreen showing a selection of games in the Arcade section of the Toybox
Photo: Freepik

Safety considerations while playing games in your Tesla

It’s important to remember that safety should always be a priority when playing games in your Tesla Model 3. Here are some essential safety considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Play games only when parked: Never play games on your Tesla Model 3’s center screen while driving. Ensure the vehicle is parked and in ‘Park’ mode before engaging in any gaming activities.
  2. Be mindful of your surroundings: When parked in public places, be aware of your surroundings and avoid becoming too absorbed in your gaming session. Pay attention to any security or parking restrictions in the area.

By following these safety guidelines and the connection steps outlined in this guide, you can enjoy an immersive gaming experience in your Tesla Model 3 using an Xbox controller. Happy gaming!

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