Third-party accessories are a long-standing tradition of console gaming. Often, it’s a way to snag a controller without paying premium for the official version, or it fills a gap the console manufacturer doesn’t provide.
While gamers have bought third-party accessories for years, it’s going to be a little more difficult to do so on Xbox going forward, as Microsoft is blocking unauthorized devices from connecting to its consoles starting next month.
Unauthorized accessories will no longer work with your Xbox soon
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As reported by Windows Central, you will soon see (if you haven’t already) an error message appear when plugging an unauthorized accessory into your Xbox: This error is numbered 0x82d60002, and displays the following message when the console detects such an accessory:
A connected accessory is not authorized. Using unauthorized accessories compromises your gaming experience. For this reason, the unauthorized accessory will be blocked from use on 11/12/2023.
For help returning it, check with the store it came from or contact the manufacturer. To see authorized accessories, go to www.xbox.com/accessories. (0x82d60002).
Microsoft has an official support page for the error code here, with an interesting caveat: As soon as you see the error code appear when connecting an accessory, you have two weeks to use that accessory with your console. Once that time limit is up, your Xbox won’t recognize it any longer. The solution, as Microsoft sees it, is to return the accessory where you bought it. Thanks, Microsoft.
Which devices will work with your Xbox going forward?
To be clear, “authorized” does not mean “made by Microsoft.” You don’t need to resort to buying only first-party Xbox accessories in order to connect them to your console. Rather, the only third-party devices Microsoft will allow going forward are ones in the “Designed for Xbox” program.
There are plenty of big names here, including Razer, 8BitDo, SteelSeries, Logitech, Corsair, Hori, even American Girl. If you bought your accessory from one of the companies on Microsoft’s list, there’s a good chance it’ll still work. If you know for sure the device has a “Designed for Xbox” seal on the box, then you’re all set.
The issue comes from third-party manufacturers that don’t follow Xbox’s program to make devices without Microsoft’s approval. Often, that means ultra-budget accessories that may or may not be made well, but at least offer you a chance to buy a controller on the cheap.
However, there are accessories enjoyed by enthusiasts in this category, too. Brook Gaming, which makes the Wingman XB 2 converter and XB Fighting Board, tweeted about the issues with its accessories on Xbox going forward, saying they are seeking solutions.
Microsoft’s move to block unauthorized accessories may be a good one
While Xbox players who own unauthorized controllers and accessories will no doubt be frustrated by this development, there are members of the community who are happy to see the changes, namely to tackle cheating.
In a thread on r/xboxseriesx, Redditors argued the move will finally address those who use Xim devices during competitive shooters. Devices like the Xim Matrix allow players to trick their Xbox into thinking they’re using a standard controller for multiplayer games, while in reality using a mouse and keyboard. This gives these players an unfair advantage when it comes to accuracy and performance, as it’s harder to be as precise in an FPS with a controller.
It’s not clear whether Microsoft’s new changes can detect Xim devices, as they are designed to mimic input from a genuine Xbox controller. But even if it does, it still hurts legitimate unauthorized devices, whose only crime is not paying Microsoft for the privilege to be on its “Designed for Xbox” program. Hopefully, manufacturers can work with Microsoft to figure out a solution, so buyers aren’t left in the dust here.