Why Is My Xbox Controller Delayed?

Xbox Controller

Of the many reasons you could lose a winning game, the most painful would be a technical problem, especially if it has something to do with input delay on your Xbox controller. The natural question in such a scenario is the reasons behind such a controller delay.

Quick Answer

A slow internet connection is the most common reason behind an Xbox controller delay. Other than that, the delay can be because of background apps slowing down the CPU, problems in the TV setup, or a bad-quality HDMI cable.

In this article, I’ll detail the most prevalent reasons behind a delay in your Xbox controller. 

#1: Xbox Internet Connection

Whatever the problem is, chances are it has something to do with the internet connection. It could be a server breakdown or a broken connection for all the software cares, but it would result in your Xbox controller lagging.

The easiest thing to do – which most probably will get your problem solved – is to shut the internet connection off for a while. Here’s how you can do it.

  1. Go to the Network Settings on your Xbox.
  2. Click the “Go Offline” option.
  3. Turn the connection on after some time.

Re-establishing the connection will eliminate the problem if it has something to do with a faulty connection.

#2: Slow Wi-Fi

If re-establishing the connection wasn’t of any help, the next thing you can do is to check if there’s something wrong with the Wi-Fi speed. You can try connecting the system to another Wi-Fi or cellular internet to inspect that. Note if doing so makes any difference.

If it does, then the problem lies with your Wi-Fi speed unless it is somewhat subtle. The only solution to this problem would be to improve the Wi-Fi quality.

#3: Background Apps

Setting aside the external problems, the internal cause for the Xbox controller delay is apps running in the background. Such apps naturally eat up your Xbox’s work capacity, leading to a decrease in performance in the form of a controller lag.

Here’s how you can turn off background apps.

  1. Go to the Home screen.
  2. Select the app you want to shut.
  3. Press the Menu button.
  4. In the next tab, press “Quit”.

Once your PC has to do less work, you’ll get much better results. 

#4: Problems in the TV Setup

The problem doesn’t need to lie with your TV. Instead, sometimes it’s your TV settings that need tweaking. It’s particularly true if you’re using a TV with Game Mode settings. Samsung, Sony, and many other TV makers have introduced a Game Mode that optimizes your gaming experience. It optimizes the settings with other performance and graphics specs to minimize the input lag.

Here’s how you can enable it on Samsung TV.

  1. Press the “Menu” button on your TV remote. A menu will pop up.
  2. Navigate to the “System” tab by pressing the down button on your TV remote.
  3. Scroll down the menu to find the “General settings”. Click Enter.
  4. Toggle on the “Game Mode” option listed on the top.

The Game Mode should substantially increase your Xbox’s performance.

Apart from this, the trouble could be with your TV’s hardware. If it is an old model or is of an inferior make, there’s a chance the problem is with your TV’s hardware.

#5: HDMI Cable

Apart from the TV, the HDMI cable could be the reason for the delayed response. Inferior quality cables can cause slower traveling of signal to your TV resulting in a noticeable lag between your input and TV response. 

Or, it could be that you have got the wrong model for your Xbox. HDMI 2.1 is the cable that fits the best with the Xbox series. You can observe a noticeable difference if you change from Xbox 2.0 to 2.1.

Also, if you’ve connectors within your TV and the HDMI cable, the problem could lie within them.

The best way to deal with it is to use the HDMI cable officially recommended for the Xbox series.

Battery Issues

Before you embark on the tedious journey of identifying the reason behind your lagging Xbox controller, make sure its battery is not running low. Because if it is, it’s without any second thought the reason behind the lag you’re experiencing.

When Do You Experience a Lag?

Since nothing can go faster than the speed of light, the faster the technology you may get, it’ll need some time to transfer the input information from your controller to the TV. But that doesn’t cause a problem. The problem is when the time taken for this transfer of information is unreasonably high. 

You may ask how much timelapse is high enough for you to detect it. Well, 45 milliseconds is the baseline above which humans start to notice the lag. Still, that wouldn’t be noticeable. It will become a problem if it is hundreds of milliseconds of order.

If everything is set alright, your system shouldn’t experience a lag of more than 1 millisecond


In a nutshell, a glitch in the internet connection, slow Wi-Fi, apps running in the background, uninitiated game mode, a damaged HDMI cable, or a low controller battery could be the reason behind your lagging Xbox controller.

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