What is Authentication?

Authentication - or Auth as it's most commonly known, is probably the most important thing to know when setting up a Cronus Zen. What is it? Why it is required? It's all here.....

​​Authentication Explained

Cronus Zen tricks the console into believing an original controller is wired directly to it - we call this the 'Mirror'. The Zen then essentially becomes that controller, and is able to manipulate the controller outputs. This allows us to 'piggy-back' onto the controllers data stream directly to the game; it's how we're able to connect so many different devices seamlessly and undetectedπŸ˜ƒ

This process, where Cronus Zen binds itself to the Console is called Authentication, or simply Auth.

It's actually pretty simple. Zen has to Authenticate itself with each supported platform (XB1, PS4, SWITCH, PS3, XB360, PC). However the method of Auth is handled differently depending on what system you are using. For example, Xbox One, PS4 & Xbox 360 require a physical licensed controller connected directly to Cronus Zen to correctly Authenticate, and Nintendo Switch, PS3 and Windows PC each successfully Auth with the Zen via software emulation, which is easily set in Zen Studio.

As soon as Cronus Zen is Authenticated to the console (Blue RGBs for PS4, GREEN RGBs for XBOX etc), it's ready for you to connect any supported controller by USB cable, supported wireless adapter, or Zen's own internal Bluetooth where you can wirelessly pair supported Xbox One, PS4, PS3, Nintendo Switch and Wii Bluetooth model controllers directly to the Zen without any interference from the console.

Cronus Zen also supports inputs from mice, keyboards, racing wheels, keypads, and with a little Cronus magic the console believes you still have that standard, original controller connected, with absolutely no idea what trickery you are up to. Pretty cool huh?

This is how you can enter controller-only lobbies with a Mouse and Keyboard - because the console thinks it's just a standard, boring controller. But your monster K/D ratio knows what's upπŸ˜‰

The chart below provides a quick overview of the different Auth requirements for each platform, with direct links to the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Xbox 360 locations on this page, which offer further details and specifics.

Platform

Auth

Notes

​Xbox One​

​

Auth: Licensed Xbox One Wired Controller

No Auth/Headset over Bluetooth

Xbox One Bluetooth requires wired Auth Controller

​PlayStation 4​

​​

Auth: Licensed PS4 Wired/Bluetooth Controller

PS4 Bluetooth/DS4v1 CUH-ZCT1 - No Headset/DS4 Speaker

DS4v2 CUH-ZCT2 (Wired Only) - Headset/DS4 Speakerβœ”β€‹

Nintendo Switch

​​

Auth Emulation - Use Zen Studio

Set Emulator Output to Auto or Nintendo Switch

​

​Xbox 360​

​

Auth: Licensed Xbox 360 Wired Controller

Controller must be wired and Auth compatible.

Play and Charge adapter not compatible

PlayStation 3

​​

Auth Emulation - Use Zen Studio

Set Emulator Output to Auto or PlayStation 3

​

Windows PC

​​

Auth Emulation - Use Zen Studio

Set Emulator Output to PC Mobile or XBOX 360

​​

There are some welcome caveats, such as the Xbox One Wireless Adapter which gives full Auth, Wireless & Headset Support (this works especially great with the Microsoft Elite S2 Xbox One Controller). Another great example is the Astro C40 PS4 Controller. It's custom wireless adapter also provides full Auth, Wireless & Headset Support, thanks to the Zen.

We have provided a way to use wired headsets when you are using DS4 or XB1 controllers wirelessly by Bluetooth; simply connect your wired headset directly to the Pass-Thru Auth controller connected to Zen's A1 USB Port. SimpleπŸ™‚

More details below....

When is Auth Needed?

There are just two types of controller authentication Gaming & Pass-Thru.

Gaming Auth

A licensed controller that fully supports Authentication and all features on its own. This is your primary gaming controller and connects to the A1 USB Port of the Cronus Zen.

If you wish to use the same controller as the console which doesn't require a Pass-Thru Auth Controller, for example a wired Xbox One controller to an Xbox One, that essentially becomes the Gaming Auth Controller, because officially licensed Xbox One controllers, wired or with USB cable, fully support both Auth & Headset. As it doesn't require a Pass-Thru Auth Controller for full functionality, simply connect it to Zen's A3 USB port and you're good to go.

Pass-Thru Auth

When your primary gaming controller doesn't support certain features like Auth over XB1 Bluetooth, Headset over PS4 Bluetooth, or if you want to use Crossover or a Mouse & Keyboard, you need a licensed controller that matches the console connected to the A1 USB Port.

If you are using an Xbox One, PlayStation 4, or Xbox 360 and your Gaming Controller doesn't support Auth or Headset over Bluetooth, if you wish to use a Crossover Controller, or Mouse & Keyboard, you will need to have a Pass-Thru Auth Controller connected to Zen's A1 USB port at all times. All button and rumble outputs from any Pass-Thru Auth Controller connected to A1 are completely blocked as it is in full pass-thru mode, so it will not interfere with the primary Gaming Auth device connected to Zen's A2 or A3 USB port.

The PlayStation 4 has a security feature that will disconnect your controller after 8 minutes if the console is not able to detect the security ID from an original DualShock 4 controller. So even though it may seem like you can connect a controller without Auth, it will in fact disconnect, so a DS4 controller must be connected at all times when using on a PS4, no matter what device you are gaming with.

Auth Emulation

If you wish to use Any Supported Controller, or Mouse & Keyboard with a Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 3 or Windows PC, the Cronus Zen is able to automate the Auth process on these platforms via software emulation. Connect your preferred input device (controller, mouse, keyboard, racing wheel, keypad etc.) directly to Zen's A2 or A3 USB ports, or pair wirelessly to Zen's Bluetooth if your controller supports it, without the need for a Pass-Thru Auth Controller.

Crossover is when you are using input devices on a platform they were not designed or intended for. For example a wireless Xbox One Elite S2 controller on a PlayStation 4, an Astro C40 controller on an Xbox One or a Logitech G27 Racing Wheel on a PlayStation 4.

​Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Xbox 360 each have their own rules and conditions for how authentication works, and why it is needed. Read on for more details....

Auth by Console

Xbox One Auth

An Auth Controller always has to match the console you're using, so in this case an officially licensed Xbox One controller. These are the main reasons why the Xbox One requires an Auth Controller.

  • Auth is not possible over Xbox One Bluetooth

  • Headset Audio is not possible over Xbox One Bluetooth

  • Crossover on Xbox One is not possible without a wired Xbox One Auth controller

  • Mouse & Keyboard on Xbox One is not possible without a wired Xbox One Auth controller

Once the Cronus Zen has successfully authenticated with the Xbox One, its RGB LEDs will light up solid GREEN, the Auth Controllers Xbox button will stop flashing, and the A1 USB status LED will be solid green.

Auth and Headset Audio cannot be processed over Xbox One Bluetooth, so for Xbox One Bluetooth wireless functionality, a wired Xbox One Auth controller first needs to be connected to Zen's A1 USB port.

Once the Cronus Zen successfully Authenticates to the Xbox One (Zen RGBs Solid Green - XB1 Auth Controller Solid Xbox LED), you can wirelessly pair any supported Bluetooth controller directly to the Zen. It will be instantly recognized by the console as a licensed wired Xbox One controller.

As Headset Audio is not processed over Bluetooth, anytime you are using a BT controller wirelessly, connect your wired Headset to the Auth controller (A1) and the audio will pass-thru to the headset as if connected directly to your primary controller (See Example Below).

The Xbox One Wireless Adapter (sold separately) is our recommended and preferred method to use a wireless Xbox One controller with Cronus Zen. Not only is it the easiest to setup, but it also does not require a second Xbox One Auth Controller for wireless functionality as it supports full wireless authentication - the only USB cable is the one connecting the Cronus Zen to the Xbox One.

You also get the added bonus of being able to connect your favorite headset directly to the controller, completely untethered from the console - and not just on an Xbox One, this method supports PS4 consoles too!

PlayStation 4 Auth

An Auth Controller always has to match the console you're using, so in this case an officially licensed wired PS4 controller. These are the main reasons why the PlayStation 4 requires a wired Auth Controller connected at all times.

  • Headset Audio is not possible over PS4 Bluetooth (requires wired DS4 v2 controller)

  • DualShock 4 Speaker is not possible over PS4 Bluetooth (requires wired DS4 v2 controller)

  • Crossover on PlayStation 4 is not possible without an Auth controller (disconnects after 8 minutes)

  • Mouse & Keyboard on PlayStation 4 is not possible without an Auth controller

The Sony DualShock 4 model CUH-ZCT2 (DS4v2) is the only official DualShock 4 controller that supports Auth, Headset Audio & built-in DS4 Speaker. The older CUH-ZCT1 (DS4v1) supports Auth, but does not support headset audio or DS4 speaker.

DualShock 4 CUH-ZCT2 (DS4v2) label (U=USA, J=Japan, E=EU)

Most PS4 Bluetooth controllers do have the ability to Auth wirelessly. However, many brands that support Auth including Sony, Scuf and Razer, do not support headset audio over Bluetooth. The easy solution is to connect a pass-thru PS4 Auth controller to Zen's A1 USB port, and connect your headset directly to that while gaming wirelessly over Bluetooth with your preferred controller

There are some third-party PS4 controllers such as the Astro C40 that use their own custom wireless adapter. Simply connect the adapter directly to Zen's A3 USB port and pair as normal. This also includes headset audio support, without the need for a wired PS4 auth controller!

Note: If your primary gaming controller is wired and supports Headset Audio, you can connect your headset directly to the controller, even if it is Crossover (See Example Below).

Xbox 360 Auth

An Auth Controller always has to match the console you're using, so in this case an officially licensed wired Xbox 360 controller. These are the main reasons why the Xbox 360 requires an Auth Controller.

  • Auth is not possible over Xbox 360 wireless

  • Many Xbox 360 wired controllers do not support Auth

  • Crossover is not possible without an Xbox 360 wired Auth controller

  • Mouse & Keyboard is not possible without an Xbox 360 wired Auth controller

For correct Xbox 360 Authentication, an original wired Xbox 360 controller must be connected to the Zen. If you plan on gaming with this controller, connect to Zen's A3 USB port and you're good to go. If you have another preferred controller you wish to game with, connect that to A3 instead, then connect the Xbox 360 wired auth controller to Zen's A1 Pass-Thru USB port. Xbox 360 Plug and Play adapters for wireless controllers are not compatible as they only provide power, no data.

Once the Cronus Zen has successfully authenticated with the Xbox 360, its RGB LEDs will light up solid GREEN, the Auth Controllers Player LEDs will stop flashing, and Zen's A1 USB status LED is solid GREEN.

Authentication data cannot be processed wirelessly, so if you wish to use a wireless Xbox 360 Controller on your Xbox 360 console, you would still need a wired Xbox 360 auth controller connected to Zen's A1 Pass-Thru USB port, and an Xbox 360 Wireless Receiver (sold separately) connected to A3. This provides full Xbox 360 wireless controller support for your Cronus Zen and Xbox 360 console.