Xbox Elite Series 2 Long Term Update

Posted on August 24, 2020 by Brad Sams in Games, Xbox with 11 Comments

The Xbox Elite Series 2 controller has been available for about 10 months and as I have done with many Microsoft devices, this is a long-term follow-up. The reason why this update is important, unlike some of the others I have done, is that the first generation Elite controller did not stand the test of time.

I like to think of my time playing Xbox as “research” and “working” which helps me justify the hours I have put into the new COD game or Apex, or Minecraft Dungeons and hopefully soon, Flight Sim 2020. But I likely average about 10 hrs of gaming a week which means the controller has seen a fair bit of use; it’s certainly not a show-piece that never gets touched.

The Good

The highlights are simple, the Elite Series 2 controller is the best Xbox controller available today. It’s premium in all respects and while I do like the standard controller, it simply does not compare to the Series 2.

The most important update is that so far, I have not had any issues with the controller falling apart like the previous generation peripheral. All the rubber surfaces are staying attached, buttons are not sticking, and I have not had any stick-drift issues (although, some are reporting they do have issues with drift).

While I still am not a big fan of the battery being non-removable, it has not been an issue during my use. I have the included charging stand permanently plugged into my console and charge the controller as needed. Microsoft does advertise 40hrs of battery life on a single charge and that feels roughly accurate – I would put it closer to the 32-35hr mark based on my rough calculations but it has not been an issue during my time with the device.

I have dropped the controller a few times with no major issues but there are some scuffs and scratches on the controller too. Nothing I am overly worried about but the controller isn’t going to stay pristine forever. And it does clean up fairly well with a microfiber cloth for when the nacho residue finds its way to the d-pad.

And as of right now, there are no issues with the rubber grips falling off like the first generation device

The Bad

While the Elite Series 2 is a fantastic peripheral, the biggest issue with the hardware isn’t the hardware itself, it’s the price. Microsoft is still selling the controller for $179.99 and that’s a $110 premium over the already good standard Xbox controller.

Other minor annoyances include that if you do drop the controller like I mentioned I have done above, it sort-of ‘explodes’ when it hits the ground in some scenarios. Because it’s a modular controller and you can take the thumbsticks, d-pad, and paddles off, when it hits the ground, those pieces fly off and sometimes end up in Narnia.

There were also issues with some of the early controllers with buttons sticking and Microsoft has acknowledged the problems. It appears that these defects are still on-going for some with the company’s own forums filled with complaints but others have reported buying units without any problems too – you are rolling the dice when you make the purchase.

And one last minor issue is that while keeping the flat areas clean is easy, the joints along the grips can get packed with dirt that is much harder to remove.


Without a doubt, this is the best controller available today. While it is not an essential purchase for most gamers, for those that do put down the cash and as long as you don’t have issues out of the box, you will quite like the peripheral.

Even though it’s expensive, considering this is the only part of the Xbox you actually touch, it can make gaming a little more enjoyable. And knowing that you can customize nearly every aspect of the device including button functions for the paddles, it’s easy to make the controller fit your gaming style to give you a slight competitive edge when playing online.

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Comments (11)

11 responses to “Xbox Elite Series 2 Long Term Update”

  1. bigfire

    Would you recommend a purchase today with the Xbox Series X coming? I believe the console is going to be backwards compatible with the older controllers, but I'm wondering if there's any additional features or better communications protocol that the Elite will miss out on.

    • Brad Sams

      In reply to bigfire:

      It will work with the series X and it should get the software update to take advantage of the improved latency too; the only thing you might miss out on with a future revision is the share button.

  2. Chris_Kez

    Brad, has there been any indication that the Xbox team might increase the pace at which they rev the Elite Series?

  3. Jester

    I've had mine since Nov. I did have a sticky X button when I first got it, but feels fine now. I wasn't a fan of the rubber grip being on the top, but I've gotten used to it. I also have the Series 1 and never had grip falling off issue thankfully.

  4. ser barristan

    This will probably be my last purchase of an Elite controller. The first Elite v1 has issues with the grips coming unglued. Then eventually the sticks themselves becoming non-responsive. The issues started cropping up right after the 1 year warranty ended. The Elite v2 like clockwork at the 13 month point started having the common stick drift issue.

    I love these controllers. They feel great and when they work are very nice. The issue is for the price they want for them, they both should be issue free for at least a few years. This last time was my own fault - I knew I should have bought the extended warranty but figured Microsoft would have learned from the first controller and solved some of the quality issues.

    When I pick up the Series X, I am planning to just use the included controller. Knowing my willpower, I will probably grab Elite v3 built specifically for Series X whenever it is released.

    • Vladimir Carli

      In reply to Ser Barristan:

      I have an Elite v1, which I bought towards the end of its cycle. I don't use it too much, but I have to say that it's still in perfect shape and I never experienced any durability problem. I wonder if it will fall apart soon or if they revised it and the final batches of v1 were better. I use it mostly on PC and the major annoyance is the lack of bluetooth

  5. scovious

    I had the Elite v1, and it wasn't terribly reliable. I was considering this v2 version but I can't help but expect a series 3 controller some time soon. Perhaps it would have a share button or some kind of built in xCloud phone clip that I can fold away or detach when not using. Aside from those features its hard to imagine what else to add...

  6. olavgm

    I had the first Elite. I got this one and sold the first one. Both amazing controllers, very happy with the purchase. I just use one lever, which is mapped to the left stick click in one profile and right stick click on a second profile. I use it for running, changing zoom/mode (Warzone) and it's fantastic. So comfortable.

  7. Thretosix

    I still have my original Xbox One controllers working like day 1. I bought the first Elite and not only the grips came off the back. The thumbstick rubber fell apart as well. While the controller felt amazing when it wasn't falling apart I find it hard to spend any more money on them going forward when the originals work just fine.

  8. rosyna

    So don’t get an Elite controller if you own a Roomba, is what I’m hearing?

  9. j2d2xy7

    I preordered my first Elite2 back in Nov of 2019. It had issues; randomly disconnect from console was the main one. I was told by another gamer that there was an issues with circuit board and its Bluetooth connectivity. It was still new and under warranty so, I sent it in with the added $20.00 express return delivery. I received it back from MS in about a weeks time. It didn't take long to notice a new issue: the controller now rattles as an added bonus; due to one or more loose screws within the controller. I continued to play up until the D pad down angle doesnt always work. It was well past the 90 day warranty when the D pad went. I did buy another since then and it works most of the time. I still get an occasional disconnect but nowhere near as often. It is a solid controller and the grips are far superior then that of Elite v1...... I went through about 6 of them.