How to Keep Xbox Controller On While AFK 


When you are gaming, sometimes a break is in order, and one annoyance that many gamers can attest to is coming back from this break with their controller having turned off. Another annoyance with your controller turning off is when you are watching a long cutscene, and when you go to pick up your controller and resume play, it has since powered off. A lot of consoles have added the ability to turn off the auto power down function, such as the PlayStation and Nintendo Switch. But how do you keep your Xbox controller on while AFK?

How to Keep Xbox Controller On While AFK

Plug it in via the Xbox’s USB port

This method works whether you are using an Xbox 360, Xbox One, or Xbox Series S|X controller. By plugging it into your console using a USB cable, the controller will not turn off automatically if you are AFK. However, there are two important things to note here. Firstly this will not work if plugged into a wall charger or power bank; the controller will need to be plugged into the console directly. Secondly, you will need to use a Data cable and not a charging cable.

One way to figure out what cable you’re currently using is to plug it into the controller, and ensure the controller is turned off. Your controller will automatically turn on if using a data cable. However, you will notice that you need to manually press the “On” button if you’re using a charging cable.

Keep Spotify Open

Another way you can keep your controller from turning off while AFK is to simply leave Spotify open on your device with headphones plugged in. This will allow you device to believe that you are still active thus preventing your controller from turning off.

Occasionally, interact with the controller

This is not the most convenient method you can use to keep your Xbox controller from turning off, and may defeat the purpose of going AFK if you have to interact every 15 minutes, but it is still a method nonetheless. All you have to do is, every so often, make an input on your controller, either by moving one of the joysticks or pushing one of the buttons.

Why doesn’t the Xbox controller stay powered on when plugged in?

The most common reason why your Xbox controller does not stay powered comes down to the type of cable you use. There are two different types of cables that can be used to connect your controller to your Xbox.

These are a power cable, which its main function is to simply charge your device. And a Data cable, which allows data to transfer between your controller to your Xbox. For this method to work, you’ll need a data cable and not a charging cable.

One way to figure out what cable you’re currently using is to plug it into the controller and the other end into your Xbox and ensure the controller is turned off. Your controller will automatically turn on if using a data cable. However, you will need to manually press the “On” button if you’re using a charging cable.

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Why can’t I prevent my Xbox controller from turning off automatically?

One thing you may wonder is why you cannot turn off the automatic power off function. After all, you can disable this feature on both the PlayStation 5 and the Nintendo Switch. You can even turn it off on the PlayStation 4. But why can’t you turn it off on an Xbox console? Well, the main difference between these consoles and the Xbox is the way that the Xbox controllers are powered.

Much like with the Xbox, these other consoles are able to connect controllers to them using a USB port. However, where it is possible to charge a controller on these devices, it is not normally possible to charge your Xbox controllers. This is because the Xbox controller, whether it is the Xbox 360, Xbox One, or Xbox Series S|X controller, uses a pair of AA batteries instead of rechargeable LED batteries.

Because the Xbox line of wireless controllers uses disposable AA batteries, being able to turn off the automatic power off function makes it a lot more likely that you will waste your Xbox controller’s batteries if you leave the controller powered on while unplugged. This can be pretty costly, and in turn, Microsoft seeks to avoid being responsible for you having to go through AA batteries needlessly quickly.

While you cannot normally charge your Xbox control like you could with the competing consoles, there are at the very least rechargeable AA batteries you can purchase to use with your Xbox controller (as well as other devices). Rather than being recharged by the Xbox console itself, these batteries are charged using a separate accessory, which normally plugs into a wall outlet.

A pair of rechargeable AA batteries are more expensive than a pair of disposable AA batteries by quite a bit, but the long-term cost savings are significant. After about five or so charges, you will make back what you paid for the batteries. Essentially, using rechargeable batteries is basically free money in the long run. The environmental impact of using rechargeable batteries is also better, just because of how much less waste you produce. However, there are more pollutants in a rechargeable battery than in a regular one, but if you dispose of them properly, this difference is moot.

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