Microsoft’s Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 may have been designed for the Xbox One family, but it’s now taking us to the current generation of Xbox consoles.
The Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 is the successor to the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller, offering several improvements over its predecessor that make it the best Xbox controller on the market. You can currently use this across the entire Xbox One family – which includes Xbox One S and Xbox One X – plus the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S.
The Xbox premium pad is known to have discounts at this time of year, and we think Black Friday 2022 will be no different here. Xbox controllers could be among the best Xbox Black Friday deals, whether you’re in the US or the UK, and so on. November 25th when the sales period fully hits, check our hubs to make sure you’re getting the best deals possible.
The best Xbox controller on the market doesn’t come cheap and a new one costs almost three times as much as your standard Xbox controller. It’s comparable to Sony’s DualSense Edge controller, a new premium option for PS5 gamers arriving in 2023. There’s a hefty price tag here, but is the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 worth it? Here are the pros and cons of Microsoft’s latest premium game pad.
Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2: Get right to the point
- What is it? Microsoft’s latest standard professional Xbox gaming pad
- When did you leave? november 2019
- What is the cost? £159.99 / $179.99 / AU$249.95
Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2: Price and release date
If you’re looking to pick up Microsoft’s Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2, fair warning, it doesn’t come cheap. As the best official Xbox controller on the market, there’s a hefty price tag here of £159.99 / $179.99 / AU$249.95. It’s also being added to the Xbox Design Lab in late 2022, so expect customization options to drive that price even higher.
For context, the standard Xbox Wireless Controller that comes with your console costs $59.99 / £54.99 / AU$74.99. So if you’re just looking for a standard controller for player two, consider this option. Microsoft is clearly targeting a more dedicated audience with the Elite Wireless Controller.
Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2: design
When it comes to design, the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 is sleek, comfortable, and heavy. Opening the box, the Series 2 comes in a sturdy carrying case, complete with a wireless charger pack (which can also be wired), a USB-C cable, and an assortment of buttons.
The controller itself is matte black, with rubberized grips covering both of the controller’s legs – unlike its successor, which only had this on the back of the legs. On the front are the standard X, A, Y and B buttons, along with the standard Xbox, share and menu buttons – and a profile button which we’ll come back to. The beauty of the Series 2, however, is that there are also changeable analog sticks and D-pad buttons that you can simply pull out and magnetically replace with any of the buttons included on the controller.
You get a set of six thumbsticks, including two standard, two classic, one tall and one white. Additionally, there’s a set of four paddles, including two medium and two mini, and a set of two D-pads: standard and faceted. The tension of the analog sticks can also be adjusted using a small screwdriver. There are three configurations available, each increasing the grip of the sticks.
You can essentially change these buttons and sticks as you see fit, to create the most comfortable gaming experience for you. On the back of the controller are four silver paddles – two on each side – and two switches that let you adjust the controller’s trigger locks. The trigger switches have three settings, each further restricting the amount of give when squeezing the trigger buttons.
Speaking of the trigger buttons, they’re silver and on top of the controller (as you’d expect) alongside the LB and RB buttons, a Bluetooth connect button, and a USB-C port. The Series 2 can connect to both an Xbox One and a PC. Finally, the bottom of the controller has an audio jack and a port for the Xbox One Stereo Headset Adapter.
The Series 2’s most welcome design change is the built-in battery – a feature its predecessor lacked. The battery lasts up to 40 hours and is rechargeable via the wireless charging dock or by connecting the controller to a power source using USB-C.
Along with its premium features, the Series 2 also feelings as a premium controller, weighing 345g. However, while we preferred this heavier, more robust gamepad, some at HQ found it too clunky.
Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2: Xbox Performance and Accessories App
Where the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 really shines is in its software and performance improvements. The Series 2 offers more customization options than ever before, but this time it goes straight to the system level.
You can also customize the controller’s button mapping through the Xbox Accessories app (which is now much more refined and you need to download it separately), which allows you to configure everything from stick sensitivity to vibration and brightness. You can even set a button to be your ‘shift’ key, so other buttons can have more than one use.
But the most important aspect of this is setting up uses for your new paddles. We preferred to assign them to the X, A, Y, and B buttons to avoid having to move our hands from the controller’s default position. If you can’t decide on just one setting, don’t worry, you can save three custom profiles – and one default profile – to the controller and switch between them using the profile button mentioned above.
Button mapping can also act as shortcuts for system actions like recording gameplay, taking screenshots or viewing achievements. It’s worth noting, though, that this feature isn’t currently available on PC. If you’re not using button mapping, we don’t advise purchasing the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2, as that’s the gamepad’s main draw.
For some players, too many options can be overwhelming and unnecessary, but if you want more control over how you play, it can really enhance your gaming experience. You just need to come up with a button layout that suits you first. In terms of overall controller performance, we found the Series 2 to have excellent response times. The heavier feel and adjustable tensions of the stick and trigger also allow for tighter performance – which is critical when it comes to face-paced online titles.
It takes some time to play around with the various customization options – both in terms of software and hardware – to find what works for you, but when you do, there’s no denying that this is one of the best (if not The best) Xbox controller on the market.
Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2: Final Verdict
The Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 is worth its price – as long as you use the customization features it brings to the table. This premium game pad feels like the ultimate Xbox controller, with Microsoft’s peripheral also working on Xbox Series X|S along with Xbox One and PC.
It can take a while to understand all that Series 2 has to offer. But once you figure out exactly how you like to play, you’ll have the best Xbox gaming experience available.