As an exciting new era at Xbox begins, with the acquisition of Activision Blizzard King, another is coming to an end. A new Xbox policy from Microsoft is restricting and blocking the use of unofficial third-party accessories on consoles. While this third-party accessory policy update won’t impact everyone, content creator Maximillian ‘Maximillian Dood’ Christensen rightfully points out that this will devastate the fighting game community and impact local fighting game events substantially; players using steering wheels and flight sticks aren’t safe either.
We know almost all of the best Xbox One accessories and best Xbox Series X accessories are official Microsoft products, but third-party peripherals – like controllers and headsets – are always worth considering when it comes to leveling up your kit. Whether you want something more colorful to play the best Xbox Game Pass games on, or you’re on a tighter budget than an official controller affords, there’s plenty of options out there for Xbox players. Well, there is until November 12, 2023. A new policy Xbox is introducing is going to completely block all unauthorized third-party accessories from use on Xbox consoles; this is something that’s going to impact some communities a lot more than others.
As reported by WindowsCentral, Xbox players using any unauthorized third-party accessories will start seeing a warning message appear when they connect an unauthorized third-party accessory to their Xbox console. The message itself is something that is starting to appear more frequently after a system software update (10.0.25398.2266) released on October 16, 2023. The error code (0x82d60002) and the accompanying message explain that “using unauthorized accessories compromises your gaming experience” and thus “the unauthorized accessory will be blocked from use” from November 12, 2023.
You can see an example of the message from the WindowsCentral report below:
This message then goes on to recommend that you return the accessory and check out the official Xbox accessories store page for a full list of authorized ones – almost all of which on this page are Microsoft made. A handful of PowerA controllers have made the list, but any other authorized branded controllers are listed as “mobile gaming accessories”, something that suggests that they won’t work with your Xbox console.
If you’re using the controller your console comes with, you’re probably not going to notice much at all moving forward. However, as fighting game content creator ‘Maximillian Dood‘ highlights, this is going to affect fighting game fans and local fighting game events quite a lot. In fact, he says it’s a “death sentence” for them – with many using products from manufacturers like Brook Gaming, Nacon, and Mad Catz.
Arcade-style fight stick controllers are popular among fans who take playing some of the best fighting games out there seriously; if you attend a local fighting game event, you’ll find them used much more frequently than standard controllers. However, when you check Xbox’s new list of authorized third-party accessories, there isn’t one arcade stick on there – or, for that matter, any steering wheels or flight sticks. This would suggest that quite a lot of them are going to be deemed unauthorized and blocked from use on Xbox consoles very soon. However, this list can and – we hope – will be updated with more options.
‘Maximillian Dood’ is calling on Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer and president of game content and studios Matt Booty – who are key members of Xbox within the new Xbox leadership structure – to reconsider the decision, in any case. However, as you might imagine, these calls have gone unanswered as of yet.
Rumors do suggest that Xbox is going to open up to more collaborations with third-party accessory manufacturers moving forward, but this still means that some of the best Xbox steering wheels are likely to be affected alongside arcade-style fight sticks and other third-party accessories that affect the way you play. Most of the best Xbox controllers and best Xbox headsets should be fine, though. As long as you own an accessory with official Xbox licensing, then you should have nothing to worry about – as far as we know.
This new policy sounds like it is only going to affect those with unofficial licensing and, with any luck, accessories that enable cheating. It’s still worth checking your accessories though, if they’re not Microsoft made. You might find that you need to pick up a new controller or headset if you want to carry on playing one of the best RPG games or best FPS games (as examples) from November 12, 2023, onwards.
If you do find yourself needing something new, you can check out all the best Xbox deals available at the moment right here. This should help prepare you to play any of the new Xbox games on the way – and titles that recently released like Alan Wake 2, Ghostrunner 2, and EA Sports’ UFC 5.