The Problem: Xbox 360 controller disconnects during high impact moments when controller vibration occurs. Game being played at the time does not matter.
Consoles used: Xbox 360 Elite 60GB (purchased in 2008), Xbox 360 Slim 250GB (purchased in 2013)
Controllers used: Numerous, roughly half a dozen, I've lost count
Games problem (definitely) occurs in: XCOM: Enemy Uknown (case zero), Borderlands 2, Tomb Raider
I've had this problem with using controllers on my Xbox since last year, around the time I picked up XCOM: Enemy Unknown. Mainly it seems when a high impact action occurs the controller disconnects. Low impact vibration seems fine. I've tested many variables in regards to this problem.
Details of issue in 2012, starting early October:
- Controller disconnects during play of XCOM:EU (release date: October 12th AUS), during moments where a squad mate is hit or killed.
- I don't believe the problem occurred immediately after using the software. If memory serves, I played a fair amount of XCOM:EU before the problem truly emerged.
- Controller also begins disconnecting during play of Borderlands 2 (release date: September 20th AUS), around just about any vibration moment.
- Batteries have been switched countless times and between brands, brand new out of packet batteries are used yet the problem persists.
- The problem still occurs even with a charge pack being utilized (not with USB cable attached).
- I've tested half a dozen controllers on my Xbox 360 Elite 60GB yet the problem still remains.
- Using a USB cord connected to the Xbox the problem does not persist.
- I had played other games around the same time as XCOM:EU and Borderlands 2, but I kept the USB cord attached the whole time to avoid the problem. I assume it would have persisted even with these games. I was not aware of being able to switch off vibration in preferences at the time and thought it was purely an in game option, such an option XCOM:EU and Borderlands 2 don't have.
Details of issue in 2013, between March 1st and March 25th:
- I purchase a new Xbox 360 Slim 250GB, replacing my old Xbox 360 Elite 60GB. I had not played the older model for about 3 months.
- With this new Xbox the problem does not persist, the controller is brand new too. It is the only controller I have used on the new Xbox so far.
- Tomb Raider (release date: March 1st AUS, street date was broken) is the only game I had played on the new console until March 24th, no controller disconnect issues occurred in that time.
- I insert the same copy of XCOM: Enemy Unknown into the new Xbox 360 Slim 250GB console on March 24th. Immediately after my first squad mate death the controller disconnects. I attach the USB power cable and continue play for another several hours, the problem ceases to persist.
- March 25th I detach the USB power cable. I switch the XCOM:EU disc for the Tomb Raider disc, the first enemy I kill disconnects the controller. Taking a high jump and landing roughly also disconnected the controller. Low impact vibrations such as firing a weapon do not cause the controller to disconnect.
- I delete all data of XCOM:EU from console and cloud storage. The problem persists while playing Tomb Raider.
- Turning off vibration in preferences stops the controller from disconnecting in Tomb Raider.
I'm ignorant in the field of Information Technology, but here's my theory. There must be a bug on the XCOM: Enemy Unknown's disc which affects the Xbox 360 console (seemingly model doesn't matter). It seems impossible because the game doesn't install or anything such as that, and I deleted all data of it from the console. Perhaps it causes code or something to be rewritten entirely on the console? I've switched so many variables that turn this into a fair test, and it was a shock to see the problem return after using the same copy of XCOM:EU again on a brand new console. I had a hunch it may have come from XCOM:EU, but there was always the possibility that it may have been something else entirely wrong with the old Elite 60GB. It was an old console going on 5 years without any problems, I assumed the problem had to be stemming from that. But this irrefutably states that XCOM:EU is at fault. Perhaps not all copies, maybe a handful under certain circumstances.
Frustration level: High
I realize vibration is a small thing, but I do like controller feedback from interactions in game. It seems as if my new console is now bugged and I'll have to do a full format of it or something (however that's done). Even then I can imagine this curse still lurking over my Slim 250GB. I doubt this is something large enough that Firaxis or 2K could be bothered dealing with either. At the very least I'd like to make a full, thorough investigation into the anomaly so that any other poor soul with the same problem might be completely aware of the extent it occurs.