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The Best Xbox One Controllers

🕚 Updated September 2021

Gamers have had quite some time to acquaint themselves with Microsoft's previous generation of gaming consoles, and as expected, there are a few personal updates that players have explored to make their Xbox experience as comfortable and fast-paced as necessary.

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  Best Wireless Controller Best Wired Controller Best Pro Controller Best Budget Controller Best Controller Designs
Xbox Core Controller
Wolverine Ultimate Controller
Elite Series 2 Controller
Enhanced Wired Controller
Custom Controllerzz
Xbox One Wireless Controller
Our SummaryA familiar option that most users can comfortably pick up and game with. A loaded controller that provides players with a variety of unique gaming features, in addition to nonstop battery support.A high-speed gaming device that's highly responsive for maximum efficiency.A simple and ergonomic choice that's available in plenty of enticing shades.The standard Microsoft remote gets several unique makeovers here.
ProsWireless connectivity, sculpted edges, easy to manage. Constant energy support, hair-trigger efficiency, shortcut functions. Assured grip power, rechargeable internal battery, mappable shortcuts. Reasonably priced, customizable functions, immersive motor vibrations. "Soft touch" surface that aides in comfort and grip power, unique color patterns.
ConsLimited battery operation, occasional maintenance, heftier feel. Restrictive movement, extra wire leads to increased caution, mappable buttons require learning curve. High-end price tag, limited battery operation, buttons can stick and drift over time. Limited movement, impractical D-Pad surface, potentially easy to disconnect USB cord from remote. Skins and designs are prone to rubbing off, longevity varies between controller buttons.
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The Best Xbox One Controllers

A young man with a joystick playing a video game with his son.

Among the complementary purchases you can make to ensure quality playing time, it’s a trusted controller that can really elevate your gaming precision. There’s more to being a gamer than button mashing and spinning the toggle sticks back and forth, so if you’re in the market for a new kind of Xbox One remote, here are a few options that we think you should check out.

Buying Guide for Xbox One Controllers

A female gamer smiles while playing and winning in a video game with a remote controller.

Why buy a particular Xbox One controller?

There’s no gamer foul in playing it out with the Xbox One controller that’s included in the console bundle, but there’s so much more than meets the eye when it comes to this piece of gaming gear. From an enhanced grip design and a smooth button interface to impressively vibrant graphic designs, some controllers don’t just serve players in their games, but also, aid them.

What should you look for in an Xbox One controller?

Consider these factors when making your selection:

  • Wired or Wireless: Traditionally, the go-to option for most gamers is a wireless remote. They’re included in every purchase of a console and are just downright convenient. You can play from anywhere in the room without having to worry about tripping over a cord. However, there’s still plenty to consider with their wired counterparts. Because a wired remote needs to be plugged into the console, there’s a constant surge of battery life that keeps your device speedy and powerful for the entire time.
  • Pro or Standard: Another key factor to consider when making your selection is whether you’re interested in a standard gaming device or a competitive one. Gamers who enjoy the thrill of high-speed gaming are keen on professional controllers because they utilize additional buttons that act as shortcuts to their favorite necessary functions. This greatly reduces the amount of time and travel that it would have normally taken with a standard remote. Standard options, on the other hand, are what you know and love. There’s minimal fuss and fast gameplay as long as you’re quick off the trigger.
  • Design Comfort: Lastly, it’s important to consider a controller that rests easily in your hands, ensuring that it doesn’t feel like it’s cutting through your thumbs after a few hours of gameplay. Solid remote options should provide you with ample comfort by means of rubberized handles rather than hard plastic ones. Rubberized handles are shock-absorbent and anti-slip—an always-appreciated factor when your palms won’t stop sweating.

Are the bells and whistles worth it?

Well, yes and no—and here’s why. Before making their purchase, every gamer should ask themselves, “What kind of gamer am I?” If they’re the type who lives and breathes serious gaming or who daydreams about becoming the next beloved video game streamer, then a controller with a competitive edge is worth seeking out. This isn’t to say that standard gamers aren’t capable of understanding the secondary features that pro-level controllers contain, but they’re just that: secondary. If a standard gamer isn’t prepared to understand their controller front and back, then the fluff will likely just get in the way.


Our Picks for the Most Unique Xbox One Controllers

Best Wireless Controller

Microsoft Xbox Core Controller

A familiar option that most users can comfortably pick up and game with.

Pros: An easy-to-operate choice, it’s the common Microsoft controller that experienced Xbox players have used over the decade. In the past, standard console controllers tended to get a bad rap, passed off as nothing more than the controller that had to be included in the bundle. However, this modernized choice puts that debate to bed with its refined sculpting and textured grip on every clickable surface. Of course, its wireless connectivity prevents tangled cords and grants a new realm of player movement.

Cons: While the wireless remote is today’s new norm, it’s never without its issues. This wireless feature allows gamers only a certain amount of battery energy per use, whether the remote is running on AA batteries or a dock station charge. The inclusion of batteries can make this option feel much weightier, resulting in unwanted stress on one’s hands while playing.

Bottom Line: It’s your standard remote, the type that everyday players can turn to whenever they need a replacement or a new controller to use when family and friends want to enter the game. Unique features like Bluetooth tech and a content-sharing button expand perfectly on the device’s wireless ability.


Best Wired Controller

Razer Wolverine Ultimate Controller

A loaded controller that provides players with a variety of unique gaming features in addition to nonstop battery support.

Pros: A top-of-the-line, wired choice that’s designed for the most precise movements from trigger to trigger, this Xbox One controller ensures accurate button interaction whenever in play. It features an opt-in, hair-trigger mode that’s accessible through its underside stop-switches in addition to six remappable buttons, reducing the travel that it takes to press on main triggers and enabling a faster reaction time.

Cons: On the flipside of nonstop energy, this controller’s wired design can feel limiting and visually unappealing to gamers who have grown accustomed to the wireless feel and look. The former can have immense influence over your gaming surroundings, as one extra wire can potentially add to or create a new mess. Additionally, the variety of buttons on this controller will undoubtedly require a learning curve for new gamers.

Bottom Line: This is a wired controller that possesses all of the perks of a competitive controller without the worry of having to replace the batteries at a bad moment. It features perks like mappable rear paddles to designate shortcuts to your go-to buttons and other functions, alongside magnetic impulse triggers that make for more responsive gameplay.


Best Pro Controller

Microsoft Elite Series 2 Controller

A high-speed gaming device that's highly responsive for maximum efficiency.

Pros: For users who expect the best out of their gaming devices day in and day out, this Xbox One controller is a premium, competitive device with quality trigger efficiencies. It features four back control paddles (two medium, two mini) that can be mapped as shortcut triggers to a variety of different functions on the controller. Additional features include the remote’s internal battery, which functions for up to 40 hours before needing a recharge. The wrap-around rubberizes grips for a confident hold when playing.

Cons: As expected, this controller’s wireless feature grants gamers just a few hours of peak battery power before it begins to slow down. The controller’s interchangeable buttons provide unique customization, but their ability to be pulled on and off at will can also lead to excess wiggling over time. Some have also reported that certain buttons on the remote can stick, creating a potentially unresponsive gaming experience.

Bottom Line: It’s the right choice for gamers who need a device to match the intensity of their play style. From its high-quality trigger performance to its uniquely customizable button interface, this is an Xbox One controller that offers users limitless opportunities to fine-tune their gaming experience.


Best Budget Controller

PowerA Enhanced Wired Controller

A simple and ergonomic choice that's available in plenty of enticing shades.

Pros: An economically priced choice that still provides a high degree of gaming efficiency, this Xbox One controller knows how to deliver an immersive playthrough without burning a hole in one’s pocket. Like similar controllers, this option features two mapping buttons located on the underside of the device, allowing gamers to program shortcuts to two of their most-used controller functions. It also features the standard share button to capture video clips and imagery as well as dual internal rumble motors that create riveting in-game thrills.

Cons: Its dependence on a wired function lowers the price immensely, but as always, gamers might feel slightly restricted in terms of movement when playing with this controller. Moreover, its wire isn’t built into the device, but connected via a USB port, so gamers run the risk of disconnecting mid-play. The controller’s metallic D-Pad is designed to be visually enticing, but it’s potentially impractical when in the thick of intense gaming moments, as a sweaty digit can easily slip off the D-Pad’s slick surface.

Bottom Line: This product is far more cost-effective than the traditional Xbox controller. While offering an ideal amount of perks along the way, this wired option lets users play and customize like they deserve to. It’s brimming with reassurances that grant gamers full confidence when competing, from its constant surge of battery power to its diamond-textured grip. For anyone who’s seeking true value, look no further.


Best Controller Designs

Custom Controllerzz Xbox One Wireless Controller

The standard Microsoft remote gets several unique makeovers here.

Pros: This controller is designed to grant gamers an easier hold that will keep the pain out of their hands during longer gaming sessions. The “soft touch” here refers to the controller’s company-customized surface, a kind coating that’s intended to improve a player’s comfort, grip, and game. This uniquely soft-feel controller is also available in some of the most exciting colors and design skins that a gamer could want.

Cons: While colorful skins make for a great way to personalize your gaming gear, they can rub off and peel over time. Select users have reported a 9-month window in which they began to notice certain downsides to the remote (such as sticky buttons and drifting toggle sticks), so longevity can vary between devices. Of course, this controller’s battery operation grants gamers good playtime for a few weeks, but they will always need to be cautious of how much juice is left in the batteries or risk a mid-game meltdown.

Bottom Line: The Xbox One controller has always been in need of a visual makeover, and this choice offers gamers a surplus of design skins that are sure to impress and maybe even make a few friends envious along the way. Its simple yet effective approach to the controller grants a personal touch, bringing real ownership back to gaming gear.


Most Accessible Controller

Microsoft XB1 Adaptive Controller

An inclusive controller with a design overseen by and for gamers with limited mobility.

Pros: This adaptive Xbox One Controller comes directly from Microsoft to offer gamers, specifically players who are of limited mobility, a unique gaming experience that meets their needs and nothing less. It features large programmable buttons that are easy to find and tap while playing. The controller can also connect to external sources like switches, buttons, mounts, and joysticks. This compatibility allows for a brilliantly inclusive way to game on Xbox One consoles and Windows 10 PCs.

Cons: This controller’s knack for boundless connectivity is unparalleled but potentially tricky to manage from one game to another. Users are encouraged to plug additional devices into the controller to match their accustomed playing style. However, for new players, this might require a learning curve as they discover how well they work with the adaptive controller and any necessary accessories. Its high-end price isn’t the most wallet-friendly purchase, either.

Bottom Line: This product is a costly venture, but one that offers an overlooked community of gamers the perfect means of gameplay. This Xbox One controller allows for a wide array of players, along with their individual playing styles, to link up and compete with their preferred needs met.

Final Thoughts

Xbox One gamers should take pride in their personal gaming gear, and there’s no better way to start that trend than by investing in a controller that looks, feels, and achieves exactly what they want. This is a multifaceted discussion because the right remote does more than impress one visually. It should also improve the gaming experience in a multitude of ways and provide an avenue for players of every playstyle and background to join in on the fun.

Hollis Mills Hollis Mills
Hollis Mills is a freelance journalist and a content writer for LifeSavvy. He has a bachelor's degree in English literature, and as an undergraduate at Texas A&M University, Hollis wrote and edited for the nationally recognized student newspaper, The Battalion. When he's not writing, you can find him complaining about Boston Celtics basketball or giving plenty of peanut butter biscuits to his always-hungry Catahoula dog, Blue. Read Full Bio »
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