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Microsoft is killing compatibility for unauthorized Xbox accessories

Controllers, adapters, and cheat devices affected

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A close up of the button on an Xbox Series X controller Photo: Phil Barker/Future Publishing via Getty Images
Oli Welsh is senior editor, U.K., providing news, analysis, and criticism of film, TV, and games. He has been covering the business & culture of video games for two decades.

In an apparent policy change, Microsoft has begun blocking “unauthorized” accessories, like controllers and adapters, from use with Xbox consoles. Users who connect an unlicensed third-party device to their Xbox are given two weeks to continue using it before it’s blocked from use completely.

After a recent Xbox system update, Xbox users with unofficial accessories began reporting a new error message with the code 0x82d60002. As reported by Windows Central, the message warned that a connected accessory was not authorized, and would be blocked from use on a future date. “Using unauthorized accessories compromises your gaming experience,” the error message reads.

Contacted for comment by Polygon, a Microsoft spokesperson pointed to the support pages for the error codes 0x82d60002 and 0x82d60003. “This means that one of the accessories you’re trying to connect was not manufactured by Microsoft or another licensed Xbox hardware partner,” the pages explain. “From the moment you connect an unauthorized accessory and receive error code 0x82d60002, you’ll have two weeks to use the accessory, after which time it will then be blocked from use with the console. At that time, you’ll receive error code 0x82d60003. We encourage you to contact the store or manufacturer where you obtained the accessory to get help with returning it.”

Microsoft did not confirm that the error messages are new and represent a policy shift for Xbox, although there appear to be no references to them online before mid-October. On Oct. 20, accessory manufacturer Brook Gaming posted on X (formerly known as Twitter) to warn users that they may “encounter functional disruptions in the near future” with their products, when used on Xbox consoles running the latest firmware, which was released on Oct. 16.

Brook Gaming specializes in making converters that allow you to use a wide range of controllers with various platforms — including using PlayStation controllers with Xbox consoles, for example. Its products are popular with the fighting game community, for whom it’s important to be able to use expensive, customized fighting sticks across different platforms.

The same applies to racing games, where fans are keen to use elaborate and pricey steering-wheel setups across both Gran Turismo 7 on PlayStation and Forza Motorsport on Xbox, for example. Unlicensed adapters provide the only way to do this, but Microsoft’s move appears to cut that avenue off for Xbox owners.

Other affected devices may include cheap, third-party controllers and cheat devices like Cronus Zen which, in addition to allowing cross-compatibility, can run scripts and macros to automate certain inputs.

Officially licensed products from manufacturers like Razer, Thrustmaster, and Logitech that are part of the Designed for Xbox program won’t be affected by the new error messages. Typically, Microsoft only licences wired accessories, and is cautious about giving third-party manufacturers access to Xbox’s custom wireless protocol for security reasons. But Windows Central reports that, according to its sources, Microsoft is on the verge of opening up a new approval process for wireless accessories from third parties — and the block on unauthorized accessories is a consequence of this, intended to combat possible exploits.

Whatever the case, there’ll soon be a lot of useless plastic and circuitry out there, and a lot of frustrated fighting-game and racing-game fans.