Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Review

Want to know if this controller is worth it? Are you on the fence about buying it? In this article, I break down my personal experience using this...
  1. Wavy

    Before getting into the breakdown of this controller, I want to first mention that you may want to read a previous article of mine. It is all about the features and improvements of the controller that could help you to understand this article better. The article is linked down in the sources at the bottom for your reference. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get started.

    I pre-ordered this controller around the time it was announced because I was amazed by the amount of customizable features it had. I’ve been a fan of modified controllers for quite some time and have become quite an enthusiast for them. I’ve owned plenty of modified and competitive-styled controllers in the past, so I’ve come to believe all my experiences with them allow me to judge the quality and functionality of this controller quite well. With all that, I am going to be breaking down this product into two main parts: Structure and Functionality.


    When I say structure, I mean the physical feeling of the controller, the reliability of its build, and the external additions. When you first pick up the controller, you may feel a slight weight distinction apart from a standard controller. It is a bit heavier, but this is the cost of higher quality parts meant to increase the lifespan and strength of the controller. Between the rubberized grip, stainless steel components, and reinforced surfaces, I can’t say I have ever seen a controller as well-built as this one. The rubber grips may not beat out third-party grip companies such as Squid Grips, but they surely can compete. Even if you happen to have sweaty hands, this controller will hold up fairly well. I have taken this controller to a LAN tournament for Advanced Warfare already, and my hands were not slipping as much as they would on a standard Xbox One controller during intense situations.

    As far as the other structural aspects go, the tension on the controller’s thumbsticks feel slightly tightened to me. That's a good thing in my opinion. It's up for everyone else to decide as a pro or a con. Also, if you did not know already, those thumbsticks are removable and interchangeable for other thumbsticks varying in size and shape. If you are worrying about the thumbsticks falling off during play, don’t be. They are magnetized to the connector on the controller, and won’t come off unless you want them to. Same thing applies to the interchangeable D-pad’s.

    The only downside I could come up with was the fact that the rear paddles are pretty sensitive. You could set the controller down on your lap, and you might end up pressing buttons randomly from the pressure. Also, they can be easily misplaced as they fall off a bit easier than the other swappable parts. Though, that is a small price to pay for the many beneficial features.

    What you get:

    - Xbox Elite Wireless Controller
    - Carrying case
    - Set of 4 paddles: long (2), short (2)
    - Set of 6 thumbsticks: standard (2), tall (2), domed (2)
    - Set of 2 D-pads: standard and faceted
    - USB cable
    - AA batteries
    - Guide and Manual


    This is where the many features and customization aspects come into play. Whether you are swapping out the many interchangeable components or customizing presets and controller settings, everything is completely user-friendly. Swapping out parts to fit your playstyle is as easy as turning a light switch on and off. The triggers’ movements are able to be changed with a single latch on the back of the controller, allowing someone to have greater control depending on the game they are playing. The paddles, D-Pads, and thumbsticks register really well, and they have a very mechanical sound to them. When you press any one of them down, you hear a distinct click. Other controllers may be soft to the touch, often making you question whether you are pressing the button or not. It may throw you off when you don’t press hard enough because the threshold is not as clear between the button being pressed and not pressed. Some of these things might seem irrelevant, but being someone who uses controllers like these on a regular basis, I tend to notice things throughout the years.

    On the other side of the functionality is the controller settings. There is an application on both Windows 10 and the Xbox One allowing you to customize many different internal aspects of your controller. You can register both your thumbsticks and triggers to react faster and slower, and save those settings to two different preset slots on your controller. That slot switch is located right on the front of the controller in the middle. You can have one setup for an FPS game, and another for a Sports game. In addition, you can control your vibration settings and change the mapping of your buttons. You can swap your B button to your right bumper, or your left stick click for your right trigger. The combinations are vast and at your disposal!

    For those of you who want a quick recap, here is a list of my personal pros and cons.


    - The vast customization features and functions
    - Sturdiness and quality of the controller
    - User friendly


    - The paddles are sensitive
    - The paddles can come off pretty easily and be misplaced
    - Price

    The biggest issue with the controller is the price in most people's minds. It is listed at $149.99 from Microsoft and other official retailers, and potentially even more through places like third-party Amazon sellers and eBay users. Many retailers do not even have the controller in stock because they sold out so fast. Controllers are expected to be back within a month's time. Besides that, the customer reviews are mostly great, but I can vouch for the controller being even better. I would rate the product 4.5 out of 5 stars. That .5 just comes from the cons I listed, but in the end I say the controller is very worth it.

    With all that, what is your opinion now? Still hesitant? Feel free to ask any questions or post comments below and I will do my best to answer and respond to them!

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    About Author

    Joined Se7enSins back in 2011 and couldn't beat the addiction! I am not a writer, but I do love to contribute. If I happen to come across a topic I find interesting and nobody has written about, you best bet on seeing me on the Homepage!
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  1. Big Foot
    i said this in a thread before and ill say it again, my astro m80 mix amp does not work with this controller because paddles block it and i know alot of people who have 3rd party headsets that cant use them with this controller, microscam wants you too buy there headsets/jacks for this controller
    1. View previous replies...
    2. Wavy
      Big Foot You must be doing something wrong then. I have friends that use the Xbox One Elite and m80's without any problems. It fits just fine, and works as it should. Try messing around with it more. Maybe your mixamp is broken and it isn't the controller.
    3. Big Foot
      mix amp works just fine on other controllers, but the paddles block the mixamp from going in
    4. Wavy
      I don't understand how it does not fit. Did you see these pictures?
  2. Boar
    Might pick this up as a christmas gift for myself. Nice review Wavy , you still do horrible :tongue:
      Wavy likes this.
    1. Wavy
      I'm getting better lol
  3. jblaze252
    i'm not paying 150 for a controller. that means to get 3extra controllers, you are paying more than the system itself
    1. View previous replies...
    2. Digital HD
      Why do you need 3 extra elite controllers? That's my question lol.
    3. jblaze252
      i don't even need one elite controller. that's my answer
    4. Wavy
      Nobody really knows the point you are trying to make here lol.
  4. yes_have_some
    I was completely in need of a new controller, and also my xb1 I got it used never read discs.. at all. So, that said and storage running close to capacity this was THE BEST TIMING PERIOD for this insane deal to happen! (me anyways lol) . With the elite controller $150 alone, portable 1TB storage running around 65-$70 for those who have a frys electronics nearby, and still having a console I needed to buy EVERYTHING digital....Just no thought required as to "if".

    Ended up getting the $250 trade in @gamestop, free extra standard wireless controller, plus as of this evening a free game up to $60 - COD black ops 3 . Btw, gamestop never tested console, they were very busy and actually never asked me anything other than if I wanted the optional insurance on the new elite system. I gotta say the new solid state hd is WAAAAAY faster than the 500GB. (my system being perpetually 95pct full may have had a role in boot times lol). Overall, about $280 out of pocket got me tuned up & don't think we'll see another promo like this for a long time .
  5. Digital HD
    I wanted this controller very badly and spoke to a GameStop employee about it. He told me that they don't know when they will get a shipment of just the controllers but informed me about the Xbox One Elite and that it comes with the controller. He told me if I brought my Xbox One in and traded it that I would get $250 towards the Xbox One Elite. I was sold. I went in and did that. First off the 1TB console is great because the 500GB wasn't enough for my games. But to the controller, I set it up for many of my other games but the paddles are just a convenience. I didn't find the paddles super useful until I got Black Ops III and started playing that. Setting one paddle to the A button and the other two B meant more jumping and dropshotting. I also am in love with the trigger stops making me able to fire my semi-auto pistol a lot faster. I went an entire game using almost just a pistol and came out like 22-5.

    In my opinion it's a great controller and was a great deal getting it with the Xbox One Elite console.
  6. LookBroZombies_XBL
    I've never had a use for a controller that is more advanced than the stock one. I did buy a SCUF controller once for 360 but ended up removing the trigger stops and never using the paddles on the bottom since it felt awkward. I would probably feel the same way about this and it's so expensive that I wouldn't even consider buying it. Now the Elite console, on the other hand, may be worth it after seeing the differences. Great review tho!
  7. ZephyMods
    Don't Like It
      deadmau5 likes this.
  8. Master
    This controller is the only thing standing between getting the Elite Bundle or the Halo 5 Bundle. It is difficult to choose.
    1. FlamingRabbit
      I would go for the Halo 5 bundle. The stock controllers are still fantastic controllers.
  9. Pyroman
    Nice review man, I might pick one up myself.
      Feyfolken likes this.