Review: Xbox Elite Wireless Controller

The Xbox One Elite Wireless Controller is a new official controller from Microsoft that appears to be an attempt to emulate the high-end or professional game controller offerings from companies like Scuf Gaming. It offers:

  • Sturdier construction
  • Rubberized grip surfaces
  • Customizable sticks, d-pad and underside paddles (all magnetically attached for easy swapping)
  • Customizable button mappings
  • Customizable analog control sensitivity
  • Hair-trigger locks for trigger controls
  • Presets that can be easily loaded and two presets can be stored in the controller for easy switching back and forth
  • An extra-long, high quality USB charging cable (interestingly missing the “charging/charged” LED from the original cable)
  • A nice hard-shell carrying case to keep the controller and all of its exchangeable bits in

All this for only the low, low price of $150USD, only 2.5x the price of a regular controller from Microsoft or 2.15x the price of a limited edition controller.

So, is it worth the extra price? I suppose it depends on how much you play or how likely it is you will want to customize your controller. Personally, I’ve been playing a lot of Xbox One games recently and with Christmas coming up, that will probably escalate, even if only temporarily. Marathon gaming sessions generally cause one form of repetitive stress or another … so customizing the layout to something more comfortable will definitely be worth it for me, let alone the extra sturdiness.

Mostly I’ve been playing Destiny, so here’s how I’ve customized the controller for now:

  • Left Thumbstick: Short Stick with Concave Pad
  • Right Thumbstick: Long Stick with Convex Pad
  • D-Pad: Plus Style
  • Left Trigger: Standard Lock
  • Right Trigger: Hair-trigger Lock
  • Paddle 1: Standard Paddle mapped to Button A (jump in Destiny)
  • Paddle 2: No Paddle and disabled
  • Paddle 3: Standard Paddle mapped to Left Thumbstick Click (run mode in Destiny)
  • Paddle 4: No Paddle and disabled

It took a bit of experimenting to find this, but it was pretty easy since I had already done a little bit of thinking about what would make the controller more comfortable for my style of play.