Microsoft appears to be cracking down on third-party peripherals for its consoles. Players are reporting getting error messages when they try to use certain off-brand controllers on Xbox Series X/S, with the accompanying text telling them them that the devices are not authorized and will no longer usable come mid-November. The major policy change is sparking a loud outcry from various gaming communities, including fighting game players who often use third-party fight sticks for high-level competitions.
The upcoming change was first reported last week over on WindowsCentral. An Xbox One user reported getting an 0x82d60002 error code when trying to use her existing off-brand Xbox controller. “A connected accessory is not authorized,” a console warning read. “Using unauthorized accessories compromises your gaming experience. For this reason, the unauthorized accessory will be blocked from use on 11/12/2023.”
A similar warning was reported by accessory maker Brook Gaming, which specializes in fighting boards and steering wheel adapters. “Recently, we have received player feedback concerning these products when used on Xbox consoles (the latest OS version 10.0.25398.2266 released on 10/16) during online gameplay,” the company tweeted on October 20. “We deeply regret any inconvenience this may cause you.”
As many players have pointed out, this new policy could be one way that Microsoft is attempting to crack down on manufacturers of XIM and Cronus Zen adapters which help players modify their controller inputs to cheat in popular online shooters like Call of Duty: Warzone 2 and Rainbow Six Siege. At the same time, the blanket ban will also mean that lots of cheaper off-brand controllers and custom gaming accessories will no longer work on Xbox.
“Heyo [Phil Spencer, Xbox, Matt Booty] This is essentially a death sentence for local fighting game events that run on Xbox, much less, others that can only afford one arcade stick,” fighting game content creator and expert Maximilian Dood tweeted on October 29 as the news spread. “The Brookgamingfans converters are not cheat devices. They’re a huge boon to the FGC. Please reconsider!”
The biggest question about the new restrictions is whether peripheral makers will be able to apply to become authorized suppliers, or if the ban will remain in place for anyone who doesn’t have a branded deal with Xbox. That would mean companies paying Microsoft for authorization, potentially increasing the costs of the devices themselves or forcing some manufacturers to stop making devices for Xbox entirely.
This is the situation that’s already in place on PlayStation and it’s a huge drag. The PS5 only supports officially licensed controllers and accessories, of which there are very few. Most are also quite pricey. The result has been a near-total lockdown that gives players few alternatives to Sony’s DualSense. Microsoft now seems to be heading in the same unfortuante direction.
Update 10/30/2023 12:04 p.m. ET: A spokesperson for Microsoft confirmed the ban will soon go into effect and said it’s for “performance, security, and safety.” “Microsoft and other licensed Xbox hardware partners’ accessories are designed and manufactured with quality standards for performance, security, and safety,” they wrote in a statement. “Unauthorized accessories can compromise the gaming experience on Xbox consoles (Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S.) Players 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.”
The full list of of supported devices going forward is available on Microsoft’s website.