The Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 offers an across-the-board upgrade over the standard Xbox Wireless controller. It includes premium build quality features, such as a metal D-Pad and rubber grips, extra buttons in the form of rear paddles, and customization options with swappable D-pad and thumbsticks. Plus, it comes with a charging dock, carry case, and many replacement parts.
In terms of overall design, it’s essentially identical to the conventional Xbox Series X controller, so any preference for DualShock-style or Xbox-style controllers, in terms of shape and button placement, applies as usual here. Instead, it’s in the extras that you’ll notice the difference.
For a start, while it’s a subtle factor, the clean black and grey colour scheme is just that bit cooler than the multicolored ABXY buttons of a standard controller. Meanwhile, build quality is noticeably improved in all areas. The grips have a textured rubber surface that provides improved purchase while the whole device just feels more premium. The D-pad and additional back paddles are also made from solid metal so they have a reassuring heft and cold, steely feel.
As to those extras, the D-pad pops off so you can use a round omnidirectional version or a conventional cross-style one. The thumbsticks also pull off and you can opt for standard or classic designs (which differ only by their surface finish) or opt for a dome and a tall stick – in theory, taller sticks are better for accuracy, while shorter ones are better for quick movements.
The paddles on the underside are magnetically attached to the buttons and provide a true hair-trigger response for your middle and ring fingers. It’s a really nicely implemented system though the buttons are very easy to press so some may prefer buttons where a slightly more solid press is required, such as on the Scuf Instinct.
Also included is a headphone jack, a profile switch, and hair-trigger switches for each trigger. These shorten the throw of the triggers, making it easier to tap them rapidly.
The overall result of these tweaks is a controller that is more comfortable and considerably more capable than the basic Xbox One controller. In large part, it feels like an indulgence than an essential upgrade but those extra paddle buttons could be a deal-maker for some games.
Microsoft Xbox Elite Wireless Controller pros and cons
- Great build quality
- Lots of extra buttons
- Rechargeable battery
- Very expensive
- Limited color options
Microsoft Xbox Elite Wireless Controller specs
The Microsoft Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 specs list is:
|Connections||USB C with 2.7m cable and charging dock|
|Button layout||Xbox style|
|Extras||Swappable D-pad (two included) and thumbsticks (six included), removable rear paddle buttons (four paddles included), thumbstick tension adjustment|
|Battery||Internal rechargeable with 40hrs battery life|
Microsoft Xbox Elite Wireless Controller price
The Microsoft Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 price is $175 (£150) making it a feature-packed but very expensive controller.
Price: Expect to pay $175 (£150).
Microsoft Xbox Elite Wireless Controller review conclusion
The Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 is a superb quality premium gamepad. It delivers just about every upgrade you could imagine over a standard Xbox controller. It’s better made, has more buttons, is customizable, has an internal battery and it looks great too. But there’s no getting around that price. If you don’t want the customizable color options of the Scuf Instinct, it’s slightly the better controller for the price.
For our pick of the best game controllers, check out our best PC controllers guide.
A worthy all round upgrade over a standard Xbox controller but it certainly comes at a price.