The Xbox 360 and the Xbox One controllers are nothing if not extremely comfortable to use, and the Xbox One Elite controller which was released back in 2015 takes this to a whole new level. But is comfort really worth the extra cash? Well, the “Elite” controller is definitely worthy of its name, as it offers a variety of features that go a long way towards justifying the hefty price tag.
In this article, we’ll be going over those features, and ultimately, we’ll see whether the Xbox One Elite controller is worth getting in 2019!
Let’s start off with the basics – the exterior design and the build quality.
For the most part, the Elite controller looks just like the regular Xbox One controller, barring a few noticeable differences. Obviously, you’ll notice the lack of the signature colored face buttons and the presence of new metallic highlights that give the controller a more premium feel.
But that’s not all – on the back, you’ll find that the Elite controller features rubberized grips that help make the controller more ergonomic, and it also features four paddles that function as additional buttons, but more on that later.
Overall, the Xbox One Elite controller feels heavier than the standard Xbox One controller and it simply sits in your hand more comfortably than the standard controller does. But as we have mentioned in the introduction, you’re unlikely to spend big bucks on this controller just for the “slightly better feel”, so what else does it have to offer?
The Elite controller’s thumbsticks don’t feel much different from those of the standard controller, but the main difference here is that they are interchangeable.
Namely, the controller comes with three sets of thumbsticks. There are the familiar concave thumbsticks and then there are the convex DualShock 3-style ones. On top of that, the thumbsticks vary when it comes to length, so you can pick the ones that suit you best. They attach magnetically to the base, so they are easy to swap out, but they are also quite stable and don’t come off accidentally during gaming.
The D-pad has been a big problem with the Xbox 360 controller, something that was fixed with its successor, so has anything changed on this front when it comes to the Elite controller?
Well, not really. It’s still just as tactile and clicky, and the main difference lies in customizability, just like with the thumbsticks. The controller comes with a standard cross-style D-pad cap but there is also the new round cap which makes the D-pad so much more precise and easier to use when it comes to platformers and fighting games.
Another feature of the Xbox controllers that has been the subject of a lot of praise are their superb triggers, which are not only highly ergonomic but also quite immersive. Now, this aspect of the controller has been improved upon even further with the Elite.
A new feature in the Xbox Elite controller are its hair triggers. Less travel distance equals better responsiveness, which can mean a world of difference in fast-paced shooting games. Furthermore, the sensitivity of the triggers can be customized, and having triggers that are more or less sensitive can also affect your performance in racing games.
We have already mentioned that the paddles on the back of the controller are a new unique feature not found in the standard Xbox One controller, so what are these good for?
Well, to put it simply, these are essentially extra buttons that can be remapped to serve different functions, be it in-game controls or PC controls. Needless to say, these are not a crucial feature but can still be highly convenient to have.
Naturally, these paddles are removable and interchangeable, so you don’t have to use them if you don’t want to and you can swap them out for differently-shaped paddles if you want, though no extra paddles except the default four ship with the controller itself.
As you might expect, being as customizable as it is, the Xbox One Elite controller can also be customized via the Xbox Accessories app, where you can customize things like stick sensitivity, trigger sensitivity, the function of the paddles, you can set up different profiles, etc.
The app is decent, easy to navigate, and it doesn’t lack any important features that you’d expect to find in such an app, though not everyone will need to take full advantage of all of the customization options that it offers.
And ultimately, to answer the big question: is the Xbox One Elite controller worth buying in 2019?
Well, despite some reported quirks, the Elite controller has a great track record, and it is probably one of the best controllers ever made.
However, we wouldn’t suggest getting it just yet. Not because it is bad or not worth the money (which is a highly subjective matter) but simply because a new version of the Elite controller will be released soon, and it is bound to be even better than the original.
Still, if you don’t think that the “sequel” will be worth the wait and want to get an Xbox One Elite controller now, here’s the gist of…
- High-quality build
- Premium design
- Extremely ergonomic
- Interchangeable thumbsticks and D-pad
- High degree of customizability
- Very expensive
- Somewhat dubious value
- About to be superseded by a new model
- Doesn’t ship with rechargeable battery
Xbox One Elite Controller Review
- Overall - 8/108/10
The Xbox One Elite Controller is a very well-made controller with very good build quality and customization options. But even so, it is not recommended to buy one today.
Samuel is GamingScan’s editor-in-chief. He describes himself as a hardcore gamer & programmer and he enjoys getting more people into gaming and answering people’s questions. He closely follows the latest trends in the gaming industry in order to keep you all up-to-date with the latest news.