Xbox One Elite Controller

9.1
9.1 score
[Editors rating (9.1)] = (TheGearHunt) score (9.1)/10


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Editor rating: 9.1 / 10
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Xbox One Elite Controller Review Facts

Tired of having to go out and buy parts for your Xbox One controller just to make it fit you? Want something where you as the player doesn’t just customize the buttons via menus in the screen, but where you actually set them up yourself? Well, Microsoft has come up with a solution, it comes with a major price tag, but if you’re tired of feeling like you could either break the standard controller, or of adding your own mods, it might well be worth looking into. Gamers have been building their own controller modifications and full on personal designed controllers from scrap since we first were introduced to consoles. Even before we hit 3D we were trying to find a better controller for long, specialized or competitive playing. The new Elite gives you the ability to customize with ease and the peace of mind that comes with knowing by setting things up to your own design you won’t end up with a modded controller that won’t work for long, or not how you intended.

This controller comes with the ability to switch around how your sticks and buttons feel while you play. Not only that, with a sturdier and smoother gameplay design of both metal and plastic, it responds quickly and offers more durability overall. This is a gamepad for those who don’t feel like playing by your standard rules. This is one of the best works they have given. Despite the price tag, which we will mention later, it is not without good reason that the ‘professional’ players have either already purchased it or are looking to in the near future. You may want to wait to see if the price drops- but that will leave you to play catch-up when you finally get it and so many others have already grabbed it up and may be moving to an even better model. We know when a good design is found, the companies will all be looking for a way to make it even better.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Comfort
  • Ease of use
  • More responsive buttons
  • Customizability
  • More durable
  • Best for hardcore gamers
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Some pieces not as tight fitted
  • Heavy
Hardware

Hardware

There are high improvements in this area. Most controllers are completely made of plastic with the obvious exception of the actual electronic parts inside. However, this often leads to stiff controls and easily broken parts. Though a full standard controller is lighter in weight, sometimes a little weight actually makes sense. Most of us play with our hands supported anyway, on our laps, a desk, etc. The extra weight is barely noticeable because of this. What is noticeable is that the analog sticks slide easier and respond faster, the buttons press smoother and have more connection and you can make this controller feel perfect for your style of play.
This controller comes with interchangeable metal parts and plates and the hardware itself is extremely responsive with how you design it. You can change the height of your sticks at a whim, and even what the head is like. From your stereotypical concave disk tops to just the metallic smooth squared tops that allow you to quickly push without having to keep your thumbs resting on top of the control pad to get a quick and easy response. This controller is a serious revamp to call out to players who just want to have an easier time switching between games without giving up on perfect precision control.
Design

Design

The things in mind were there from start to finish, saying the design team on this one had a good idea is an understatement. The buttons are switched out easily by taking the clamshell off and switching things around depending on how you want to be set up for the game you are on. A quick set of clicks and snaps and you are ready to go without sacrificing any of the integrity of the controller itself. The only issue people seem to have had with this innovative design is in the fact that the shell can seem a bit lose. Not loose enough to cause problems in play, but just leaves one wondering if everything will stay as intended.
Other than the loose seeming shell, however, this controller screams ‘grandiose’ in design. With so much flexibility, one might find themselves lost in just how many ways there are to set up their play. The thumbstick area in the shell actually has an anti-friction design to allow for smoother play than even the metal pieces give on their own. The true work of this controller is for ease, and that is what they have given. The only downside is that it still runs on double A batteries, so the amount of play you can get before needing to replace them will vary on what you decide to use. We suggest getting rechargeable batteries just to save up on the money spent on this awesome controller. No need to pay even more than you have to in order to keep using it. We think it would be great if they made this with an automatically rechargeable pack, unfortunately, that wasn’t in the design package.
Performance

Performance

Can we say more about this in one word? Impressive. Well, it is that, but it is also something else- overwhelming in the first run. While the innovative design lets you set everything up outside at a whim, you also have to consider that you will then need to map out your controller in app mode. After all, the console needs to know where you put things and what you want them to do. Switching the hardware doesn’t exactly auto map things in the software. This is where your first time remapping a controller can seem complicated or impossible, but really it just seems that way at first. Truth is, it isn’t really that much more complicated than changing your button mapping the way you normally do- only now you can actually change where the physical aspects come into play too, not just what button does what.
The app allows you to set up your controller in a unique fashion that has been unheard of until now. Tired of having to relearn the configuration from one machine to another and want it all to streamline? Do you prefer Nintendo’s set up, or maybe Playstation’s? Feel free to set your controller up to read the buttons exactly to the way either or are set. Slide from one machine to the next an not have to keep glancing down to make sure you are hitting the right ones. Now your controller and Xbox can read the keys as you want them to be. No need to switch the buttons and then guess at them after, you can keep track from start to finish, and there is even a way to switch between the map outs so long as you have a connection. You can save each layout on your personal cloud and recall it anywhere you go.
Connectivity

Connectivity

When we are looking at what is predominantly used as a wireless controller- and often used as such, we usually don’t even wonder if it can be connected a different way. Well, we have mentioned just how versatile that Microsoft wanted this controller to be, and it doesn’t stop with its ability to swap out buttons like popping a new flavor of candy. You can play wirelessly or use the connecting USB cord to play while directly hooked to the console. This allows you to game even between battery sets or while you recharge your batteries. In other words, you can keep near seamless gameplay going even if your controller gives that death blink. Not only can you do this with the console, though, it is also able to connect to your PC.
Of course, we are talking Microsoft, so being able to use the controller on both console and PC is not likely a surprise. So, here is the next question on our minds- connect, yes, but do you need drivers? If you are running Windows 8.1 or lower, you will need to plug the controller in via the micro USB cable to allow your computer to install the drivers automatically. If you have Windows 10 anniversary edition, you can use the controller via USB, wireless adapter or a blue tooth with very little extra effort. The set up is as simple as either connecting your controller via a USB cord or pressing the button to reset the connection on the back of the controller and having your PC search for the device in the control panel.
So, is it only available for Windows? Nope! Here is the amazing thing, you can connect wirelessly to your controller even with a Mac, and it is just as easy! When we said versatile, we were not just pulling your chain or praising Microsoft, this controller really does have the ability to move and play with you. Have an Android? No problem! Samsung VR, iPhone, tablet? Go for it! We aren’t saying its design is the best outside computer and console, but it can be easily connected via settings on just about any device available.
If you are wondering about how far away this controller can handle from the device you want to use it with, you can be up to 40 feet from your console or PC device and still remain easily connected to it wirelessly, though why anyone would want to be so far from their game and still be playing it is beyond us. Forty feet seems to be plenty of wiggle room in our book, and if you must, well then you must!
Price

Price

Now, this was a big contention, and well, when we tell you how much they want, there is little doubt you may just decide no matter how good this controller is you are done. Microsoft is asking a cool $150 for its prized masterpiece. Is it worth it? Well, that all depends on what you want out of your controller. Do you want to play on everything with just one controller, and do you want to have basically every say about how that controller works and looks? If so, then really, yes, this is what you want. You could wait for a price drop, but by then they may improve the design to fix any customer issues. Like how sturdy the shell is. Of course, as we all know, if they do fix it, they will end up lowering the price of the original design, but the newer version will continue to hold about the same price tag. If you think this controller is worth it, and we can’t say it isn’t looking overall it offers, then you might as well get it now and worry about price checking later.
Key Features

Key Features

-Versatile button set up
-Personalized settings
-Usable by most gaming equipment
-Wired and wireless
-Easy on the hands
-Reliable brand

Bottom Line

Bottom Line

What is our final say on this? Microsoft has always been innovative when it comes to finding a way to please everyone with their products, and while they are not always successful, they really do know how to make you think. This controller has everything in it that gamers have wanted since the start. The ability to make moving from one game to the next, or even from one console to another, has been made excessively simple. They even have preset map outs you can follow based on your favorite games, so mapping doesn’t have to be too complicated for the beginner in mods. If you are a gamer to the core, we can’t honestly tell you that this is not worth it. Even if you aren’t, it still has us wondering if we should still get it. The fact that it connects to most electronics, aside from competing consoles, of course, has us really keeping it in our minds especially. There are so many games available on PC and the Apple that would be made so much better just by having a controller to play with0 and the fact we could use this one for all three just has us saying ‘wow’ and letting out a breath as we check out every detail.