After testing it out for 2 weeks, comparing it to its closest competitor, the Scuf controller, and finding every possible alternative control scheme for it. I can finally give you my verdict on the Xbox One Elite Controller, and I have to admit, it is one of the best pieces of hardware you can own, and possibly the best controller on the market, bar none.
The Xbox One Elite Controller is a premium device, from the moment you hold its box, to the moment it is in your hands, one thing is clear, Microsoft wanted it to be a 100% genuine and authentic product that goes beyond its features, and into its packaging and case too. It is looks, feels, and even smell expensive. This is something I have never experienced in a gaming device before, but rather when buying a new iPhone or iPad. It is really a premium device, and it is more than just a gimmick.
Whats in the Box?
When opening up the Xbox One Elite Controller, you will find a fabric pouch that zips open revealing the controller. Just below the controller you will find slots where all the pieces lot in for safe keeping and no rattling around in the holder. You will get:
- 6 Analogue Nubs
- 2 Short Textured
- 2 Short Convex
- 2 Long Textured
- 4 Paddles
- 2 Short Paddles
- 2 Long Paddles
- 2 D-Pads
- Circle D-Pad
- Standard D-Pad
- 2 AA Batteries
- Fabric Charger cable
- Setup and Warranty booklets
The charger cable is a rather sturdy cable with a fabric coating on the exterior, making for less tangle and more lifespan.
It goes without saying that the Xbox One Elite Controller is a rather sturdy device. On the outside, the controller is coated in a rubber like material that is scratch and dust proof, and it tends to avoid any sort of wear, like smoothing and shining after prolonged use. The grips are rubberized too with a thicker material than the outside coating.
When it comes to adding and removing of the attachments on the controller, they are all magnetic, so there is clipping anything in, or screwing anything on, it all gets put on with great ease and removed the same. The analogues fit perfectly on the device with a tiny twist that is automatic thanks to the pull of the magnet. The shafts on the analogues are metal which will prevent scratch and wear of the analogue completely. The same goes for the D-Pad and paddles, they too are metal. This not only makes it feel stronger, it also prevents any scratches and damage to the attachable bits.
The controller itself has the standard buttons found on a normal Xbox One controller, the only difference is the paddle slots at the back, the additional mode switch on the front, and the trigger switches at the back. The controller also has a standard auxiliary port for headphones and headsets, as well as the headset adapter slot for any other devices such as the Xbox One Chatpad and Headset. Yes, the controller takes AA batteries, which is probably the only issue I had with the design of it. We really need move away from batteries now, we are in 2015.
Apart from the batteries, which are not the end of the world, I fund the design of the Xbox One Elite Controller remarkable. It is well put together and there is not one part of it that looks or feels flimsy at all. When changing an analogue nub, it is quick and easy, when flipping the trigger switch, it is done with ease, and I even started doing it without turning the controller around at all. I have to say when something has been crafted to perfection, and the design of the Xbox One Elite Controller is perfect.
Design aside, the Xbox One Elite Controller needs to be functional, and it is. Microsoft have basically opened up the controller for anyone to map any button they wish. You do need to send it to a factory to remap it, nor use any sort of additional hardware to get the job done. This is all done on the Xbox One itself using the Accessories App. You access a wide range of mapping pre-sets, or remap the controller yourself however you wish. The pre-sets are more ideal as they recommend certain layouts for each game. Halo 5: Guardians has its own set, depending on your play style, and Gears of War: Ultimate Edition has its own too. The controller allows for two saved modes which can be switched by flipping the mode switch, which changes the layout instantly. Mapping a controller has been something that very few companies have allowed. The DualShock 4 for example, can only have its circle and cross button switched, for some reason. Although there are always options in-game to change button layouts.
The Xbox One Elite Controller might have great mapping capabilities, but these only really matter due to the ability to map the paddles at the back. These paddles are assigned buttons that are mostly difficult to reach when using both analogues at the same time. I assigned the left analogue click, which is sprint, to one. Meaning I would not have to click in the analogue to sprint at all, allowing me to focus on the movement of my character in Halo at all times. The same goes for jumping and crouching. Why lift your finger off the camera to jump, when you can just jump using a paddle? It does more than just make your hands work better, it improves your gameplay too. Especially when that jump could cost you your life.
You then have your analogues which are anther huge feature to the controller. Coming in three different heights, the analogues are all completely replaceable. Again, how you set them up is completely up to you. For first person shooters, I went with the tall analogue on my right thumb, which improved accuracy tremendously. For action games like Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, I switched things up and put the tall analogue on my left thumb and the convex one on the right for smoother camera controls, and quicker character movements. The analogues are perfect for any game genre, and I always fund the perfect mix for every game.
When it comes to using the triggers, LT and RT, these can also be tweaked for quicker responses in gaming. Thanks to the trigger switch, you can change the travel time between the pressure of your finger, and the actual press of the button. There are with green switches at the back that make this possible, and for a finer tune, you can even adjust the dead zone even more on the controller, by using the app on the Xbox One.
There is so much you can do with the Xbox One elite Controller that makes it an essential for pro gamers. From changing sensitive spots on the analogue sticks, to assigning double buttons to the paddles just in case. The Xbox One Elite Controller is a master crafted piece of hardware. As for gamers who just play games everyday for fun, this controller might seem pricey, but I can assure you that it is the best money can buy. No Scuf, no grips, and no attachable thumb sticks can provide the features and feeling that this controller has when it is in your hands. It is the best thing to happen to controllers since the creation of analogues.