Amazon Fire TV Game Controller no longer works with the Amazon Fire TV

Yup, the ridiculous headline you just read is sadly true. The Amazon Fire TV (pendant) is no longer compatible with Amazon’s own official Fire TV Game Controller. The latest 6.2.5.3 software update for the 3rd-generation Fire TV has removed support for Amazon’s 1st-party gamepad. The Amazon Fire TV Cube will very likely also soon drop support for the game controller.

Amazon has recently added the line “not compatible with Fire TV with 4K Ultra HD – Pendant Design, Fire TV Edition smart TVs, or Fire TV Cube” to the product page of their Fire TV Game Controller. Trying to pair the controller to a Fire TV 3 running the latest 6.2.5.3 software version doesn’t work since the streaming device cannot find the controller. The controller used to work fine with the Fire TV 3. It pairs with and works with the Fire TV 3 running the previous 6.2.1.3 software version, so support for the controller was recently removed.

Even though the product page says that the controller is not compatible with the Fire TV Cube, it does currently still work with Amazon’s newest Fire TV model as of the latest 6.2.2.4 software version that just started rolling out to Fire TV Cubes this week. It seems likely that when the Fire TV Cube eventually gets updated to a 6.2.5.x or greater version of Fire OS, it too will no longer be compatible with the Amazon Fire TV Game Controller. Since the Fire TV Game Controller has never been compatible with any of the Fire TV Edition television models, that leaves the Fire TV 1, Fire TV 2, Fire TV Stick 1, and Fire TV Stick 2 (current model) as the only Fire TV models that are officially compatible with Amazon’s game controller.

The current 2nd-generation Amazon Fire TV Game Controller was introduced 3 years ago alongside the announcement of the 2nd-generation Fire TV. It was offered by itself or paired with the new Fire TV in a gaming edition bundle that substituted the regular Fire TV voice remote with the new game controller. It offered inovative new features such as a microphone for voice commands, a headphone jack for private listening, and motion detection for battery conservation.

Amazon’s Fire TV Game controller uses a proprietary connection protocol that utilizes a WiFi-direct connection to connect it to their streaming media devices. Amazon switched from using a standard Bluetooth connection with their 1st-generation game controller to using WiFi-direct because it reduced latency, which was crucial for the controller’s headphone jack, while increasing both range and battery life.

It’s likely that the complexity of continuing to support the proprietary WiFi-direct connection method has led to Amazon dropping support for the game controller on their newer Fire TV models. For a Fire TV device to connect to the game controller, the Fire TV must broadcast a WiFi connection. This has led to many confused customers wondering why their Fire TV was essentially appearing as a WiFi hotspot and showing up in their phone and PC WiFi connection settings.

All Fire TV models, including the Fire TV 3 and Fire TV Cube, still support standard Bluetooth game controllers. That includes controllers like the PlayStation DualShock 4, countless Android compatible controllers, and even the old 1st-generation Fire TV Game Controller, which has long been discontinued.

September and October are typically when Amazon releases new hardware, so perhaps we’ll see a new official Fire TV Game Controller released in the coming weeks. I wouldn’t bet on it though. Ever since the Fire TV 3 was released with a GPU that is far weaker than the one in the Fire TV 2 that it replaced, it has been evident that Amazon no longer sees gaming as a priority for their Fire TV lineup. The days of Amazon hosting a Fire TV gaming party at E3 are long gone. Dropping support for their own Fire TV Game Controller could be the final nail in the coffin for Fire TV gaming.

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15 comments
  1. Oscar Leif says:

    Well I hope the GPU power will not decrease.
    I’m still working to support fire tv games.

  2. Joshua Timothy says:

    Sev Zero, Amazon’s prime game for the fire TV is not supported on the Fire TV cube, it was a pretty fun game. Another sign they are not into gaming.

  3. ermic says:

    Their Fire TV lineup gets worse and worse. Who is responsible for this? My god, they really work hard to destroy it. The segment of a reasonable priced, easy to control streaming device that just works and has a lot of nice details is really up for grabs for any competetor now. No Amazon, there is no such thing as “Amazon fanboys” that will buy Amazon anyway. You are not apple (but you work hard to get there…).

    • Rob Watt says:

      Hi ermic,

      As far as I am concerned (being a long time Prime customer) about the only thing Amazon seems to spend any time (or most time) doing is making customer service WORSE, the accuracy & consistency of the on screen info (about media/content) WORSE, & the hardware products WORSE, presumably in an effort to ‘maximise profits’ or perhaps to try to make ANY profits in the first place.
      This assumes you believe Amazon makes NO PROFIT AT ALL, even (if you believe ‘the independant newspaper rich list’) when or perhaps ‘because’ Jeff Bezos is ‘apparently’ the ‘officially’ richest man on the Planet – supposedly being worth at least $108 BILLION! (B.Gates who has long been #1 is now supposedly at #2 or #3 & worth ‘ONLY’ $91 BILLION)
      If ANY of what the independant allegedly thinks is true about their ‘worth’ (& the ‘quality’ of amazon products & customer service, then it isn’t any surprise to me if the ‘really’ make no profit at all.

  4. Dennis says:

    When can I expect a refund for the cost of this worthless peice of trash now???

  5. Chris says:

    Amazon has adopted the philosophy of all other device makers that use the Android OS. That is they refuse to update the OS and instead force you to upgrade to the latest device. I have a perfectly fine FireTV 2 box that will likely never see Fire OS 6.

    • Joe D. says:

      If it means losing the ability to use the game controller I wouldn’t want the OS of my Fire TV 2 updated anyway, it’s damn near perfect as it is. They will only mess it up.

      • Rob Watt says:

        Hi Joe D,

        I have been searching (since I got the 2nd Gen Fire TV) for an alternative ‘keyboard &/or game controller’ for Fire TV (2nd Gen).

        I have noticed on this forum many people posting about which version of Fire TV O/S is or is not compatible.

        I have never thought about ‘gaming’ on fire TV, since I still have an old PS3 – which I only use for Bluray dvd’s.

        As for which O/S you have currently, do you know any way to STOP Amazon automatically updating your Fire TV devices – assuming you DO have an O/S version that is compatible with the mentioned AMAZON games controller?

        • Joe D. says:

          I believe there are methods that require blocking certain ports Amazon is known to use for version checking in your home router but I don’t know any specifics. Sorry.

  6. TechyChris says:

    I don’t think gaming ever really panned out for Amazon the way they originally envisioned. I remember the advertising promoting the original Fire TV before its release and it heavily emphasized gaming. Developers(including Amazon)never really jumped on board. Let’s face it, Google owned the space and still does. I purchased the Gen 1 “Gamer’s Edition” (if you want to call it that) and I always had problems with the controller, its was very buggy, and I was constantly in contact with tech support. Finally I gave up and moved on.

  7. Greg says:

    These keep getting worse and worse. after owning both generation fire tvs and trying out the new 4k hdr fire tv… I was sadly disapointed. It couldn’t handle any of my 4k locally stored movies (40gb) even though my 2nd gen had no problem. Much slower than the 2nd gen in general. Finally made the switch to the nvidia shield and wow am I glad. Everything loads super fast and streams all of my movies flawlessly. Came with a game controller that works flawlessly. well worth the money… I highly reccomend them.

  8. Arthur says:

    Tomorrow my Nvidia Shield TV is delivered. Then I can finally use my XBox One S controller and other stuff without problems (hopefully), see the prime badges in the prime video app and install/update kodi from the store. The struggle is over. :-)

    • Frank Nitty says:

      You can use a XB1 S controller on an AFTV 2, AFTV 3 or AFTV Stick 2. However it’ll be a latency-ridden mess on an AFTV 3 based on my own experience.

  9. Frank Nitty says:

    I’m about ready to get rid of both of my Fire TV 3’s

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