The Xbox One Elite Controller is the most expensive console controller on the market and comes with a lot of bells and whistles. But is it worth the hefty price tag?
Xbox One Elite Controller for Xbox One and Windows 10
Platform: Xbox One, Windows 7,8,10(app only available on Windows 10)
Price: $149.99 (As tested)
The Xbox One Elite controller is arguably the best designed controllers of all time. The form is a modified version of the already comfortable Xbox 360 controller. As competitive gaming becomes more main stream, the demand for a professional level controller has become a necessity. The Xbox One Elite controller meets that demand by adding fully customizable buttons, hair trigger locks, and paddles that can be mapped for any game that is in the Xbox One library.
The controller has been out since October, but since there was heavy demand, many people like myself have been left patiently waiting until Microsoft could replenish stock. At a hefty 150 bucks, this controller was expected to be a niche market item, but after playing with it for a couple of days, I can tell you if you have the means, you should definitely pick one up for yourself.
The Xbox One Elite Controller comes with:
4 Paddles – Paddles are used as secondary buttons that the original controller already provides. Mapping a paddle to the jump function for example allows you to jump in the air without taking your fingers off the trigger. These paddles fit on the back of the controller and are removable. They’re also interchangeable so if you prefer smaller ones in the back or just 1 paddle instead of all four, you are free to do so.
6 joysticks – depending on your preference, there are 2 standard sticks like the ones found on the original Xbox Controller, 2 rounded joysticks and another set of standard sticks that sit about twice as high as the normal ones. Regardless of your preferences, there’s a stick that should meet your needs.
2 D-Pads – There’s the classic cross pad and an omnidirectional pad. The Omnidirectional offers a much better experience for fighting games. The pieces are also magnetic so you can swap them out easily without fear that they’ll pop off while playing.
Carrying Case –a case with a zipper that houses all parts of the controller including the controller itself. Comes in handy when you decide to pop over to a friend’s house or your Halo tournament.
To customize your Xbox One Elite controller you’ll need to access the Xbox Accessories application that’s already installed on your Xbox One. If you’re using the controller on your PC and have Windows 10, the app is available on the app store.
The application is very easy to use and allows you to name your controller, choose from pre-set game configurations and fully customize the controller. Want to make the right joystick super sensitive and the left one not so much? You can. Increase or decrease the rumble? Absolutely. You can also save and name your configuration and assign 2 to the controller itself and change on the fly. This comes in handy if you’re playing Team Deathmatch in Halo 5 and want to switch to Capture the Flag. Simply switch to the second profile and you’re good to go.
The Xbox One Elite Controller works with any Xbox One title available today. Some games like Halo 5, Sunset Overdrive, and Forza 6 already have pre-set controls, but if you won’t have an issue if you’re playing a third party title like Fallout 4 or Mortal Kombat X. Since the controller is adjusted in the Xbox Accessories app, you won’t have to worry if games in the future will support the controller. This is excellent foresight on Microsoft’s side because I don’t think anybody outside a eSports circuit could justify dropping $150 on a proprietary controller that only worked best on 1 title. There are no extra buttons, the paddles just add a better way to use the face buttons without taking your fingers off of the thumbsticks and triggers. Also since it’s a first party device, the software and firmware are built in to the Xbox One so you won’t run into any bugs.
I have been playing with the controller for the past week and the controller is smooth. The force that you need to give to move the controller makes it very precise. Aiming has never felt better. Of course I’m sure I can have better results with a keyboard/mouse combo, but this comes incredibly close. I was able to pull of headshots and keep my crosshairs in the same position every time after shooting. With the regular controller, I found that aiming was all over the place.
So – should you buy the Xbox One Elite controller? That depends. $150 is a lot of money if you causally enjoy games. If you game a lot, $150 is a fine investment in game play. That is if you can find one. Gamestop sells them used for $129, but that doesn’t guarantee you the case or USB cable.