Wired Connection for Wireless Xbox Controller, micro USB vs. USB-C

Hello! My team is looking for new Xbox controllers (which we will use both in and out of competition) and are considering getting wireless Xbox One controllers.
But, we’ve read up on ChiefDelphi and we’re seeing that using a wired connection with a wireless controller during competition can cause issues on occasion. Knowing that teams can’t use a wireless Bluetooth connection during a match, we’re wondering if there’s a way around this connection issue (if not, a wired controller is always an option).
Some of the responses I’ve found on this subject mention a micro USB connection being the one that causes an issue (for example, source A and source B). We’ve found this wireless Xbox One controller from Amazon which uses USB-C rather than micro USB.

Does anyone know whether a USB-C would perform better than micro USB for this purpose? Or, does anyone have experience with this wired-wireless-controller connection issue and know how to avoid it?

Thank you in advance!

Micro USB is dying out, if nothing else. If you have the freedom, the USB-C option is going to be supported for much longer (and the connection will have less chance of failure compared to the micro-usb counterpart).

For the controller specifically, you’ll likely need to make sure anything wireless related is disabled at all times. Im not too familiar with Xbox controllers, but id assume there is a way to keep that function turned off (quick searching implies that being wired has it automatically off.)

What I have heard from friends who work in product development is that Micro USB Connectors/Cables starts with higher “holding” force, but over time with repeated insertion cycles, USB C’s Holding Force is more consistent over a higher number of cycles and will eventually outlast the Micro USB. Though in some cases with high quality Micro USB Connector Housings, the wear may mostly be on the cable, which can more easily be replaced to regain some of the holding force, more-so than with USB C cables. Overall USB C is the future.

You do need to make sure that when wired in, the controller is using ONLY the wired connection to the computer. If you physically unplug the controller it should NOT then connect wirelessly at a competition.

Personally, 3468 has been buying the PowerA Wired Controllers the last couple years. I like that the connectors are very deep-set which helps avoid the cables being accidentally pulled out, but these have no wireless functionality.

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Xbox does offer a wireless controller that uses a wireless USB adapter instead of Bluetooth, however, in terms of reliability, I would typically recommend a wired controller. I have seen several occasions where a wireless controller may randomly disconnect, even just for a few seconds, which is certainly not ideal.

In terms of micro-USB vs USB-C, for a controller there is a negligible difference between the two. As @MikLast stated, Micro-USB cables are becoming an older cable and are starting to become harder to find in a store if you need one quick. USB-C is much newer and is much easier to find in a store if you need to get a new replacement cable in a jam.

Our team has been using a micro-USB wired controller for the past 5-6 years and have never had an issue with it and have had no issues in terms of resolution or latency. We purchased a 3rd party wired controller which has no wireless functionality, that way we have no worry of wireless interference in any way and it’s also cheaper too.

To help with the holding force a dot of hot glue isn’t a bad idea for controllers where the cable detaches.

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a dot of hot glue

That’s our go-to solution for holding in all kinds of cable connections, including the USB cables into our controllers. We also use this on network cables that we don’t want to come out, like those between the radio, network switch, and RIO. It’s easy enough to remove if you need to get the cables out on purpose, but it holds well enough to keep them from coming out accidentally.

USB-C ought to be more durable than micro-USB in the long run. We’ve used XBox One controllers with micro-USB for a long time and we have had instances where after a while the micro-USB connections got a little too loose, which could result in losing connection at unhelpful times… (once this did actually happen during a match and upon reconnection our driver and operator (me) controllers switched :joy: Just playing some musical controllers lol). I’ve heard that USB-C is much better in this regard (and most others as well).

Overall I’d agree with what folks are saying: get a USB-C controller. I doubt you’ll have issues with the connector as long as you take half decent care of them.

Your question presupposes that you want to move to wireless controllers and somehow convert them to wired. Can you explain why you want to do this? Do you want to use wireless at home during drive practice?

This is not directly responsive to your question, but we have had good results from using the VOYEE Wired Controller, albeit only for off-season and training. We’re sticking to the Logitech joysticks for competition.

I’ve been impressed with the Power A controllers retention mechanism as well. The best I’ve seen for micro B cables. The build quality and deadzones (usually less than 6%) have been great in our testing as well. I also like that they have mappable back buttons (like “paddles”) although we haven’t used them on the robot.

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We picked up 2 of these Razer controllers for last season, they come with the USB cable soldered on and feel great! The extra shoulder buttons also helped our single driver always have their thumbs on the joystick and still get full functionality without using a claw grip. I wouldn’t recommended using a cheap 3rd party controller, drivers can notice the difference in knockoff joysticks and losing a match due to a bad controller is not a fun time.

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Yes, we’re exploring this because using wireless connection at home would be nice, though it isn’t a necessity.
Thanks for the input, obviously any inexpensive Xbox 360 controller would do the trick, in fact this is what we most recently had. Them wearing out was not due to any specific accident, but I also don’t think it was only natural wear and tear, haha. So worst-case scenario we get something like what we already had, probably Power A brand or VOYEE like you suggested, and it really would be alright.
We also typically use one of those Logi joysticks for comp, but the copilot at least often likes to use an Xbox controller instead.

Yep our drivers tend to be fairly familiar with a gaming controller and we want to be sure they’re comfortable with the quality of what they’re using. That’s part of why we’re considering an upgrade.
Once we decide what we’re getting, I’ll share in this topic what our verdict was. Thank you!