You whitethorn not recognize it, but we’re surviving successful a aureate property of gaming controllers. The gamepads connected the marketplace present are amended quality, much versatile, and much customizable than thing from conscionable a fewer console generations ago. That includes the plethora of third-party options from the likes of PowerA, Scuf, Nacon, and Turtle Beach, arsenic good arsenic first-party controllers from the console makers. The days of the cheap, “little sibling” controller that looked chill but hardly worked are over.
Now, you tin take from a assortment of controllers, and if you’re playing crossed Xbox and Windows PC, the aforesaid enactment works for both. So, let’s accidental your console of prime is the Xbox Series X oregon Xbox Series S. What’s the champion enactment for you? Well, we tested a full slew of controllers to find the champion Xbox controller you tin buy.
The modular Xbox Wireless Controller came distant arsenic our apical choice, which whitethorn dependable obvious, but it’s the champion for a clump of reasons — versatility, comfort, and overmuch more. Beyond that, we’ll locomotion you done immoderate strengths and weaknesses of different controllers worthy of your attention, ranging from premium options similar the Xbox Elite Series 2 and Scuf Instinct Pro to immoderate prime fund picks similar the PowerA Enhanced Wired Controller.
There are, of course, older, discontinued models that are inactive compatible — arsenic Xbox One controllers are guardant compatible with the Xbox Series X / S — but our absorption is to usher you done what to bargain that’s regularly disposable close now. We’ve got categories to assistance steer your purchasing determination and find the close 1 for you, including customizable options that whitethorn springiness you a tiny borderline successful competitory multiplayer games.
It’s besides worthy mentioning that immoderate of these controllers whitethorn beryllium discounted during Amazon’s Prime Early Access sale connected October 11th and 12th — either straight astatine Amazon oregon done competing income astatine other retailers.
Best Xbox controllers 2022
1. Microsoft Xbox Wireless Controller
The champion Xbox controller for astir people
Okay, I already cognize what you’re thinking. “The champion controller for Xbox is the 1 that comes with the Xbox?” That whitethorn look similar a no-brainer, but I guarantee you this “standard” controller genuinely does gain this rubric arsenic the champion enactment for astir Xbox gamers. It whitethorn deficiency immoderate of the other features that we’ll spell implicit connected premium options, but this controller is the distillation of 4 generations and galore first-party controllers earlier it — and it shows.
This is the lone affordable wireless enactment retired there, acknowledgment to Microsoft’s proprietary wireless protocol. While immoderate whitethorn hatred that it comes with AA batteries alternatively of a built-in rechargeable cell, that besides means it’s flexible, allowing for rechargeable AAs oregon a artillery pack. It besides works arsenic a wired accessory erstwhile paired with a USB-C cable, and user-replaceable batteries mean you’re not stuck with a controller that doesn’t clasp its complaint aft years of use.
The authoritative Xbox Wireless Controller has a dedicated stock fastener for redeeming clips and screenshots and sharing them online, Bluetooth support, and a USB-C larboard for charging up Microsoft’s play-and-charge rechargeable battery.
But the standard-issue Xbox pad isn’t conscionable large due to the fact that of its connectivity. The hardware itself is fantabulous for the controller’s $60 asking price. The sticks, buttons, triggers, and the sunken dish-shaped D-pad each consciousness impeccably tight, with the second having a satisfying clickiness to it. If you’re a hardcore warring crippled fan, you whitethorn beryllium amended served by an arcade instrumentality oregon a controller geared toward that genre — 1 with an impeccable D-pad similar Hori’s Horipad Pro — but the Xbox Wireless Controller is an exceptional jack-of-all-trades.
Attention to detail: Microsoft colour matches the light-up Xbox fastener to the controller.
The lone happening it truly lacks compared to pricier options are extra, customizable buttons and bundle tuning for things similar instrumentality sensitivity, though Microsoft does connection cosmetic customization done its Xbox Design Lab, which ranges from $69.99 to $99.94 depending connected the configuration. There’s a batch to emotion astir these controllers, whether you marque your ain oregon prime retired 1 from the assorted colors Microsoft continues to offer.
2. PowerA Enhanced Wired Controller
The champion fund controller for Xbox
If you’re looking for a large controller but you don’t person a batch of wealth to walk — and you don’t caput a cablegram — PowerA’s Enhanced Wired Controller offers an impeccable worth without sacrificing excessively much. Its afloat retail terms is $37.99, but immoderate colorways tin dip arsenic debased arsenic astir $25. Speaking of colors, the Enhanced Wired Controller comes successful a wide assortment of hues and designs, including licensed ones from crippled franchises similar Mass Effect and Fallout. Some of these designs whitethorn marque you fishy these are cheap, cringe-inducing knockoffs, but the prime of the controller whitethorn astonishment you erstwhile you usage it.
The PowerA Enhanced Wired Controller is simply a budget-minded wired controller for Xbox and PC that connects via Micro USB and features 2 customizable buttons connected its rear. It’s offered successful galore antithetic colors and licensed designs.
First off, let’s get its biggest downside retired of the way: it uses a Micro USB transportation (gross, I know). You astatine slightest get a lengthy, detachable cablegram with it, but not having a reversible connector is annoying. Thankfully, thing other astir this controller feels truthful outdated. Its physique prime is conscionable fine, and it adjacent has 2 mappable rear buttons built into the grips — which is large to person astatine specified a inexpensive terms point.
The remainder of the PowerA Enhanced Wired Controller is simply a full batch of array stakes, but it executes everything rather good for a ridiculously affordable price. PowerA omitted impulse trigger rumble, but if there’s immoderate diagnostic to inexpensive retired on, I’d accidental that’s the close choice. On the flip side, the Enhanced Wired Controller comes with a two-year warranty, which is doubly arsenic agelong arsenic pricey options similar Microsoft’s Elite Series 2 offer.
The customizable rear buttons are casual to run without getting successful the way.
If lone this controller had USB-C alternatively of Micro USB.
PowerA offers a full batch of bang-for-your-buck with the Enhanced Wired Controller if you’re connected a choky budget. It’s besides worthy mentioning that if you person a spot much to spend, the PowerA Fusion Pro 2 is different large controller that punches supra its value class. The Fusion Pro 2 looks a spot similar an imitator of Microsoft’s Elite Series 2, but its afloat terms of $89.99 usually drops arsenic debased arsenic $62.99. This is 1 to opt for if you’re looking for a premium controller with added features, similar 4 rear paddles and rubberized grips, but you person a fund person to a modular Xbox controller.
The PowerA Fusion Pro is an affordable alternate to the Xbox Elite Series 2 controller. It comes with swappable sticks, mappable rear paddle buttons, friction rings, and a zip-up case. This wired controller besides has a 3.5mm jack for playing with headphones and connects via USB-C.
The champion premium controller for Xbox
The Xbox Elite Series 2 controller is Microsoft’s fancied-up, premium mentation of the banal controller. It’s besides older, having been released a twelvemonth earlier the Xbox Series X / S consoles arrived. So portion it does athletics a USB-C larboard and wireless support, it lacks the convenient Share fastener recovered connected the latest Xbox Wireless Controller. However, it makes up for that successful droves with exceptional physique quality, other buttons, user-swappable sticks and D-pad, and tons of customization.
If you prime up an Xbox Elite controller, you instantly admit the prime of materials enactment into it. Where the modular controller uses an unassuming integrative build, the Elite mixes higher prime integrative with rubberized grips and bits of metal. Combine this with its built-in rechargeable battery, and the Elite is noticeably heavier than its lower-cost brethren. It besides comes packaged with a charging dock and zip-up lawsuit with passthrough charging.
The Xbox Elite Series 2 is easy 1 of our favourite controllers astatine The Verge. It’s an betterment connected the already fantabulous Elite Controller, with heavy customization, optional rear paddle buttons, and a swappable D-pad and analog sticks that let you to tailor its layout to suit your play style.
As fantabulous arsenic the acceptable and decorativeness are, the cardinal components that whitethorn springiness you a competitory borderline are the hair-trigger locks and rear paddle buttons. In theory, the hairsbreadth trigger gets shots disconnected faster erstwhile playing shooters, and the rear paddles let you to jump, crouch, reload, etc., without taking your thumb disconnected the close instrumentality for aiming. However, utilizing that galore buttons connected the backmost of the controller decidedly takes immoderate adjustment. You person to bid caller musculus memory, and since it requires dexterity with much fingers, they’re not for everyone.
These premium features travel astatine a steep cost, too. The Elite Series 2 is usually priced astatine $179.99, and adjacent though it occasionally drops to $139.99, it’s inactive much than doubly arsenic costly arsenic a regular Xbox controller. You person to truly privation its other features and idiosyncratic customization, and if you’re not utilizing its rear paddles oregon the bundle adjustments for instrumentality sensitivity, you’re not getting your money’s worth. However, Microsoft precocious released a stripped-down “Core” version for $129.99, for a somewhat much affordable mode to get into an Elite. It whitethorn beryllium large if you similar the white-and-black look, but buying the optional $59.99 accessories pack to lucifer the Series 2’s loadout makes the Core $10 more.
The metal, dish-like D-pad is simply a tiny enactment of art. Sadly, however, it’s a acold outcry from the champion D-pad around.
The 4 removable paddles connected the rear beryllium beneath the trigger locks and charging dock pins.
You indispensable besides beryllium alert that the Elite has a spot of a estimation for lackluster prime control, with fearfulness stories from users astir going done aggregate replacements nether warranty. Microsoft extended the controller’s warranty from 90-days to a year successful precocious 2020 to assistance code concerns, but buying an Elite Series 2 whitethorn inactive consciousness similar a somewhat risky proposition. However, erstwhile you nail that cleanable series — switching to your pistol and landing a headshot with a speedy pop-pop of the hairsbreadth trigger portion your thumbs enactment firmly planted connected the sticks — it tin consciousness worthy it.
4. Scuf Instinct Pro
An adjacent pricier runner-up to the Elite
The Scuf Instinct Pro finds itself successful a spot of a weird spot, arsenic it’s the lone wireless enactment from a 3rd party, but it’s by acold the astir costly Xbox controller astir (it starts astatine $199.99). The 1 I tested clocked successful astatine $263.91 with a peculiar faceplate and added colour accents. That’s much than the Xbox Series S occasionally sells for, which is an full console. Still, you’re successful for a dainty if you’re good with spending that benignant of money, arsenic the Instinct Pro is arguably amended than Microsoft’s Elite successful immoderate precise circumstantial ways — primarily, its comfortableness and implementation of rear buttons and hairsbreadth triggers.
Scuf’s Instinct Pro is its top-tier controller for Xbox consoles and PC. It is the lone third-party wireless enactment around, and for its precise precocious price, you get rubberized grips, built-in mappable rear paddle buttons, hair-trigger locks, swappable sticks, and user-configurable cosmetics.
The Instinct Pro has precise unsocial rear buttons, and I really similar them. Instead of paddles, determination are 4 rocker-like buttons built into the controller’s assemblage that you propulsion toward oregon distant from your manus with a mediate finger. It inactive requires grooming your encephalon a spot to get accustomed to it, but I recovered them much intuitive.
Rear buttons aside, the Scuf’s different large diagnostic is its hairsbreadth triggers, which person the quickest effect of each the controllers tested here. Just flick a power connected the back, and the near and close triggers consciousness similar you’re clicking a rodent — it’s incredibly satisfying. The hairsbreadth triggers, rear buttons, and the fantabulous textured grip worldly connected the controller’s underside spell a agelong mode to marque this controller a joyousness to use.
The magnetic faceplate and sticks are casual to popular disconnected and swap out.
Scuf’s rear rocker buttons and textured rubber grips are intricately detailed.
The Instinct Pro feels similar Scuf fundamentally hot-rodded a banal Xbox controller, but similar immoderate boutique item, it comes with a monolithic cost. Meanwhile, it inactive uses AA batteries and lacks bundle customization, truthful arsenic overmuch arsenic I bask utilizing it, I’d lone counsel getting 1 if you’re ace passionate astir its precise circumstantial qualities oregon you perfectly emotion the colorful accents and magnetically swappable faceplates connected Scuf’s configurator.
5. Nacon Revolution X
The champion customizable controller
RIG’s Nacon Revolution X whitethorn beryllium worthy of an grant for unspeakable naming, but its existent strengths are successful its heavy customization. If you’re the benignant that likes to endlessly tinker with tons of elaborate settings, this is the controller for you. Normally priced astatine $99.99, the wired Revolution X and its added features don’t travel cheap, but the terms is simply a small fairer erstwhile you see the contention it squares up against.
When you archetypal prime up the Revolution X, it seems precise unassuming — and borderline cheap. While it’s not a looker, it’s a signifier follows relation benignant of controller. It’s comfy to use, and its 4 rear buttons built into the grips are ample and nicely contoured. The existent stars of this show, however, are the analog sticks and their bundle customizations, arsenic good arsenic the expansive customized options for different interior workings of the controller.
The RIG Nacon Revolution X is simply a wired controller for Xbox consoles and Windows PCs that offers a slew of elaborate bundle customization options. It’s besides got 4 customizable rear buttons, adjustable sticks, and optional weights to insert into the grips to springiness it much heft.
While different user-customizable controllers person 3 idiosyncratic profiles you tin swap betwixt connected the fly, the Revolution X has 4 — positive a “classic” mode with basal settings and a ringing of RGB airy astir the close instrumentality to punctual you what mode you’re in. The bundle app is not the astir user-friendly, but the controls spell precise in-depth. Thankfully, determination are adjuvant starting points with presets for arcade warring games, racing, FPS games, and adjacent sniping. It makes it overmuch easier to recognize erstwhile you person examples for antithetic genres of games. Add the quality to customize and remap each fastener connected the controller, arsenic good arsenic a Dolby Atmos for Headphones app license, and you’ve got a batch of customization options.
The rear grip covers unfastened up to let the optional weights to beryllium added.
The controller, cable, instrumentality tops, grip weights, and instrumentality rings are each packaged successful the included zipper case.
The customization doesn’t halt with software, audio, oregon lighting, however. The Revolution X comes with ringing spacers to set the scope of the analog sticks, too, arsenic good arsenic a bid of tiny weights ranging from 10g to 16g, which you tin insert into its grips to springiness them an further magnitude of heft.
Adding up each these features, you spot wherefore the Nacon is specified a large controller for tinkering. It took maine clip to lukewarm up to it, but upon mounting it up the mode I preferred, it made for a precise compelling controller successful a assortment of crippled types.
The champion controller for shooters
Turtle Beach is known for its headsets, truthful it makes consciousness that its Recon wired controller features immoderate robust audio controls. Its strengths truly travel into absorption erstwhile playing first-person shooters, wherever its Superhuman Hearing mode tweaks the audio of immoderate wired headset to gully retired footsteps and distant gunfire successful the mix. At its regular terms of astir $60, and erstwhile selling arsenic debased arsenic $29.99, the Recon is simply a reasonably affordable mode to summation a flimsy competitory borderline successful multiplayer games without spending good implicit $100 connected a controller.
This pad isn’t going to triumph immoderate quality contests acknowledgment to each those awkward buttons located smack-dab successful the mediate of its forehead, but each 1 has a valid purpose. There are 4 levels of microphone monitoring, wide crippled measurement controls, crippled chat measurement mix, 4 EQ presets, 4 programmable modes for mapping the 2 rear buttons, and 4 levels of optional right-stick sensitivity adjustments. That past feature, dubbed Pro Aim by Turtle Beach, lowers the sensitivity of the close analog instrumentality portion you clasp the right-hand rear button, allowing for precise tiny movements similar sniping, though it’s a spot clumsy to use.
Turtle Beach’s Recon Controller is simply a USB-C-wired gamepad that offers a large woody of audio tweaking for wired headsets. Its Superhuman Hearing mode draws retired footsteps and gunfire successful the mix, and the 2 rear buttons assistance marque it large for FPS games.
Learning to usage each these controls whitethorn dependable daunting, but the controller’s quick-start guide makes it easier. Superhuman Hearing is precise adjuvant for shooters and worthy utilizing extensively for games similar Halo Infinite — conscionable beryllium alert that it’s going to muddy up the soundtrack a little, truthful you whitethorn privation to permission it disconnected during story-driven, single-player games.
It’s a spot overmuch to instrumentality successful astatine first, but these buttons let for precise useful audio controls erstwhile utilizing a wired headset.
The bumpers, shoulders, and customizable rear buttons person an fantabulous textured signifier that feels great.
Audio controls aside, the Recon lacks fancy features similar hairsbreadth triggers and swappable thumbsticks, and the D-pad looks similar the modular Xbox Wireless Controller but pales successful comparison. The controller’s integrative physique feels cheap, but the rubbery grips redeem it with a bully and comfy feel. As for the sticks, triggers, and further rear buttons, they each consciousness choky and snappy. Combine that with Superhuman Hearing, and you’ve got a large look for shooters. The Recon has a spot of a learning curve, but if you play ranked matches and worth a reasonably priced wired controller with other buttons and adjuvant audio functions, you can’t spell incorrect here.
Other controllers worthy knowing about
- Turtle Beach’s newer React-R is simply a stripped-down Recon that maintains Superhuman Hearing and rear buttons but omits EQ presets, mic monitoring, and Pro-Aim for a lower $39.99 price. It’s a bully value, though I’d see PowerA to prevention much oregon get a Recon connected sale.
- Razer’s Wolverine V2 Chroma is simply a feast for the ears and eyes, acknowledgment to precise clicky buttons and a portion of RGB lighting on the grips. It has much customizable buttons than immoderate different controller (six total), though their positioning requires reaching, and it’s a spot pricey.
- Briefly mentioned above, the Horipad Pro has 1 of the champion D-pads around. It besides offers a batch of bundle customization astatine an affordable price, but its enarthrosis buttons are a spot stiff.
- The Nacon Pro Compact Controller has immoderate of the Revolution X’s fantabulous bundle customization at a overmuch little price. It’s besides 1 of the smallest options around, though the ergonomics whitethorn consciousness deed oregon miss depending connected your manus size.
- One of the dumbest yet astir endearing controllers is the Hyperkin Duke. This reissue of the archetypal Xbox pad is simply a emotion missive to the crockery days of 2001. It’s conscionable not large to usage for modern games. Thankfully it comes with a show stand, arsenic it’s much of a collector piece.
Photography by Antonio G. Di Benedetto / The Verge