Linux gets Rumble support for the latest Microsoft Xbox controllers

Thanks to a Google engineer in communication with Microsoft engineers, upstream Linux driver “hid-microsoft” is seeing work to support rumble mode on new Xbox controllers.

The Microsoft HID Linux driver had supported rumble mode with the Xbox One Wireless Controller, but that broke with a 2021 controller firmware update. Google engineer Siarhei Vishniakou has identified the issue and just needs the new device ID to match what is exposed by the updated firmware. So, with a patch sent out this week, the Xbox One Wireless Controller has restored rumble support with this Linux driver.

Thanks to the fact that Siarhei is also in communication with the Microsoft Xbox team, it looks like other controllers will eventually support rumble mode on Linux. Siarhei noted:

After further discussion with the Xbox team, it was pointed out that other Xbox controllers, such as Xbox Elite, should also be able to be supported in the same way. However, I have only been able to verify this on 2 controllers so far.

It’s good to see that the Xbox team didn’t get arrested. Google, for its part, is likely interested in Xbox controller support for all gamers on Chrome OS devices, Android TVs, or the like.

This patch for now just adds the Xbox Wireless Controller and Xbox One S Controller with updated firmware, while follow-up fixes will likely be on the way once you can verify support with other controllers Xbox.