I’m pretty sure Microsoft Elite Series 2 controller ruined all the other controllers for me. Series 2 takes everything players like in Series 1 and improves in the most desirable way, which is why it’s at the top of our list as The Best PC controller. The Elite Series 2 is not only a first-class controller but also an expensive one, coming in for $180. The design and performance give you all the indication that this is a piece of luxury gaming technology, intended for those who want the very best or want to spend some high income on gaming. This is our Xbox Elite Wireless Series 2 Review.
Xbox Elite Wireless Series 2 Review What’s New
The Elite Series 2 is equipped with new texture handles, which now completely cover the legs of the controller and reach to the triggers. Unlike when you press a button or paddle, you naturally don’t leave your finger on a textured face. The grip pattern itself is low profile and does not appear to be sensitive to scratches or wear. The replaceable parts – the paddles, structured, unstructured, and convex analog sticks; the four- and eight-way D-Pads – return unchanged. They lock magnetically and are easy to replace during the flight.
Among the replaceable studs, the analog sticks have a new twist. You can adjust the voltage in the analog sticks by removing the analog sub and turning a column in the stick using the tool supplied with the set or with a small screwdriver. The distinction between the three settings is quite tiny. Still, the tighter sticks work well in competitive shooters such as Gears 5 and fighting games such as Mortal Kombat 11, where you want more precise control and a quicker recoil to the neutral position.
The buttons and triggers have also become a bit glowing. The buttons are now clicky and more comfortable with tapping without the squish of the original Xbox One controller – one of my favorite functions in my ideal external controller, the Razer’s Wolverine Ultimate. The backside of the controller has a pair of switches that allow you to reduce the amount of movement on the triggers from full pressure to half or even a “hair trigger” tap. I prefer the standard pull, but competing players will probably want the lower control point of the quick press.
I am also very grateful that the Xbox Elite Series 2 now has a built-in battery, which will have a battery life of approximately 30-40 hours. You can charge it via the USB-C port, which substitutes the standard Micro-USB at the tip of the controller or use the wireless charging dock that comes with the device. The dock is just a small black box, so it doesn’t take up much space, or it feels like a thorn in the eye, and it’s handy to grab your controller when it’s time to play and charge it when you’re done are.
Some of these upgrades, such as installing a battery and adding Bluetooth support such as the 2d-gen Xbox One gamepad, feel more like modernization than updates. These are things you would want from a $180 controller – but features like it Charging station must be standard and give these improvements a luxurious feel.
In my opinion, however, The Best improvements to the Elite Series 2 are on the software side. As with the original Xbox Elite controller, you can completely reassign the controller at your discretion with the Xbox Accessories app. The number of inputs that you can assign to each button, however, is quite extensive. In addition to the buttons on the Series 2 controller, you can also assign inputs to specific actions at the system level, such as taking a screenshot, showing your performance, or opening a particular app.
If it was a Kinect voice command, you could assign it to a button. It is a massive blessing for players who want to use the paddles and face buttons together, instead of merely using them as a finger-friendly replacement. You also have the option of assigning a “shift” button that opens the second set of alternative inputs. You can set and rotate between three input profiles at any time using a new button on the front of the controller to replace the profile switch of the first Elite. Don’t worry, and there is an LED indicator that shows you which setting you have.
You can also save extra profiles in the Xbox Accessories app on your Xbox and Windows. The three profiles on your controller are stored in the internal memory so that you can use them when you switch from device to device. You can also save and save profiles outside of your rotation in the Accessories app, so there is no reason not to try new things for each game. Those profiles are synchronized in the cloud, so you can access all your profiles, on or off, on any Xbox or Windows PC, as long as you log in with your Xbox account.
For me, the most significant improvement is just how the Elite Series 2 feels in your hand. Although it is only three grams lighter – 345 g versus 348 g – the Elite Series 2 is much better balanced, so the weight is instead a strength than a weakness. The controller feels closed and durable, but you don’t notice that you are holding it as you did with the original Elite controller and some of its premium competitors. I did not see that I put it down so often during cut-scenes and breaks.
Xbox Elite Wireless Series 2 Review Conclusion
The Xbox Elite Series 2 does not reinvent the wheel but sometimes feels like a revolution. From making a screenshot with a single press to wireless charging and to using tighter analog sticks, it stacks the deck with tweaks that make a big difference, depending on which games you play and which controller you used to play them. It is truly one for the Best controllers for PC gaming and Xbox One.
The only real drawback is the price: what do you think about spending $180 on a controller with a new Xbox around the corner? I hope that Microsoft does well with people who buy this thing and support it with the next generation, which seems likely. There is a lot to love here, and you will want to use it for years to come.
The Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 enhances the quality of life of its predecessor and offers a durable, premium controller with plenty of customization options to try out.
- Interchangeable sticks
- Comfortable rubberized grip
- Shorter hair-trigger locks
- More customization options
- Wireless charging
- Rechargeable (40 hours battery life)
- Some may find it clunky