First Look: Xbox Elite Series 2 Controller

When Microsoft was building the first generation Elite controller, there was some hesitation internally about if the hardware would sell. Would consumers really pay $150 for a peripheral?

Seeing as the Xbox team is now shipping V2 of its Elite controllers, the answer to that question is yes. And hopefully, this time around, they have fixed all the issues with the first-generation device.

The second-generation Elite follows the same premium offering path as the first-gen. A dedicated carrying case (that can now charge the device), rubber-wrapped grips, three-stops for the triggers, 3 profile settings for mapping settings, and the ability to adjust the tension of the thumbsticks; Microsoft has gone all out.

And for $180, for a controller, this thing better be perfect. While we are far too early in the review process, I only got the controller yesterday, I can say that it does feel premium in your hands. The packaging is top-notch, the presentation inside the case all make you feel like you have purchased something special, and it has the right amount of heft to it.

A few quick games of Apex and the controller feels confident but I do worry about the longevity of the hardware. The first-gen did not hold up well for me, rubber grips fell off multiple times, and others had issues with bumpers.

And then there is the battery, a non-removable battery that makes me a bit nervous. Being able to replace the battery would improve the life of the hardware but Microsoft chose to keep it sealed up which is a downer.

But everything about the hardware is premium. The button clicks sound solid, the thumbsticks move confidently, and the ability to tweak the tension on the thumbsticks and the travel distance of the triggers, let’s you customize the controller fit you, rather than you fitting the controller.

Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll put some mileage on the hardware (for science) and report back to see if the hardware is really worth the premium.

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Conversation 8 comments

  • rug

    Premium Member
    16 October, 2019 - 8:17 am

    <p>Sealed up battery is a deal breaker. My current setup with rechargeable AA is too convenient. </p><p><br></p><p>They better not do this with the “non-premium” controller. </p>

  • StevenLayton

    16 October, 2019 - 8:21 am

    <p>The fact that I baulk at paying £180 for a controller tells me I'm no hardcore gamer!</p>

  • Stooks

    16 October, 2019 - 10:11 am

    <p>I have the first gen and honestly I would not buy it again. </p><p><br></p><p>It is a nice controller for sure but the only feature I ended up using was the shortened trigger pull, so that in a FPS game using a pistol I can shoot faster. The biggest let down for me was the paddles under the controller. They are in the way of my grip so I had to remove them. Other premium controllers run the extra paddles down the middle where it would not interfere with my grip. I am lucky that I never had any of the numerous hardware failures that others have complained about over the years. </p><p><br></p><p>When mine dies I will at most, get a customized standard controller.</p>

  • sportflier

    16 October, 2019 - 2:20 pm

    <p>Hopefully they fixed the cement problem on the rubber grips.</p>

  • Patrick3D

    16 October, 2019 - 3:07 pm

    <p>If you still have an Xbox 360 controller around try comparing the analog sticks through the different tension settings. My single biggest gripe with the Xbox One controller has been the anemic analog sticks and I'm wondering if the adjustable tension will be worth the insane price.</p>

  • mefree

    17 October, 2019 - 11:30 am

    <p>I didn't know so many people had issues with the first gen. I have a first gen elite and I use it all the time and I've never had any issues at all. The only problem I've ever had is my kids knocking off the magnetic thumb stick pads and having to find them. Otherwise I have absolutely loved it, so might ask for this for Christmas….</p>

  • bsd107

    Premium Member
    17 October, 2019 - 3:20 pm


  • yashrajsol124

    20 October, 2019 - 4:48 pm

    <p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">As for mentioned $180, for a controller, I doubt that it's a perfect. We have to test it first, surely. And the fact that the author found it pretending to be premium, we need to be sure that this device will be as good as it looks.. I have to read the </span><a href="; target="_blank" style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">manual</a><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);"> and tutorials to review all the features. I agree, the packaging is top-notch but it's not the core. </span></p>


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