Over the years, the Xbox One has turned into a fantastic console for fans of everything from racing games to first-person shooters, and much of the console’s appeal comes down to its controller. Comfortable, simple, and sleek, the stock Xbox One controller is a great option for nearly any player.
If you want more customization, however, you have plenty of choices. Whether you’re a dedicated first-person shooter fan, love racing games, or are fully immersed in the fighting game scene, there’s an Xbox One controller to fit your needs. These are the best Xbox One controllers you can buy right now, including premium gamepads and controllers for those on a budget.
Xbox One Wireless Controller
The standard controller that comes with every Xbox One console also happens to be one of the best you can get for the system. The basic layout of the controller is relatively similar to the Xbox 360 controller, with offset analog sticks that work perfectly for shooters, sports games, and everything in between. The bumpers on the top have been improved since the first version of the controller was released, making them easier to press, and the triggers are wide enough for any size hand to pull them.
It’s certainly simple, but the Xbox One Wireless Controller is a workhorse. Two AA batteries can easily last for weeks, compared to the PlayStation 4’s DualShock 4, which must be charged on a regular basis. The controller can also be made into a wired controller by attached a micro USB cable, giving you less latency for sports or fighting games.
Xbox Design Lab Controller
The plain black or white designs for Xbox One controllers aren’t the most exciting things in the world, but you don’t have to settle for anything less than a fully-customized gamepad. The Xbox Design Lab allows you to create your own controller, with everything from the triggers to the analog sticks coming in an assortment of different colors. If you want to make your controller look like Waluigi, with a purple front and yellow back, you totally can, or you could go with something more sleek and subtle.
The controllers start at $65, but for an additional $10 you can also add a custom engraving of up to 16 characters. Stick your Gamertag on the front, issue a taunt to a friend, or enter the Konami Code — it’s completely up to you.
Xbox One Elite Controller
For those looking for maximum performance in competitive gaming or more features, the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller is what you need. The controller is, on the surface, a sleeker version of the standard Xbox One Controller, complete with metal analog sticks, but it offers an unprecedented amount of options. In addition to four extra analog sticks with longer range and a different shape, the triggers’ travel distance can be changed, the directional pad can be removed and swapped, and paddles on the back can be programmed to effectively replace the face buttons.
For many games – both first-party and third-party – Microsoft and its partners have created custom button mapping for the Elite Controller, as well. Whether you’re a Battlefield fan or a devoted racer in Forza Motorsport, there’s a custom layout designed to let you get the most out of your controller, and you can use the controller’s app to customize buttons, yourself.
Razer Wolverine Ultimate
On the third-party side, Razer’s Wolverine Ultimate controller offers just as many customization options as the Xbox Elite Controller, plus a little extra style for those interested in flashing lights. Bundled with interchangeable analog sticks and directional pads as well as remappable bumpers and triggers, you can create and save more than 500 different customized setups depending on the game you’re playing, and sensitivity levels can be adjusted to give you the same level of customization you’d expect on a mouse. If you’re a fan of vibration, you can increase it in both the Impulse Trigger and the standard rumble motors, which should make your racing or shooting even more immersive.
Want a little more flair while you frag? The Wolverine Ultimate also includes Razer’s Chroma lighting, giving you gorgeous effects that can be changed based on your preferences.
Hori Fighting Commander
The standard Xbox One controller is great for many games, but it struggles with 2D fighting games – the default layout of the buttons and the directional pad aren’t ideal for the quick movements needed in the genre. To solve that, Hori has created the Fighting Commander, a controller that bears a remarkable resemblance to a certain Sega controller from back the early ‘90s. The controller drops the analog sticks in favor of a single directional pad, but it still includes a switch so that you can complete functions that require the stick in certain games. It’s also wired, which is necessary for serious fighting game events.
The configuration of the Fighting Commander is a little different than other controllers, with the RB, RT, LB, and LT buttons all located on the right side, and two extra buttons included on the left side. The curved design of the back is more ergonomic than controllers of yesteryear, but it should feel perfect for anyone who played Mortal Kombat on the Genesis. As an added bonus, the Fighting Commander is compatible with Xbox 360, and with PC through the XInput program. The controller won’t set you back much either, costing less than all other options on our list, and it’s much smaller than a traditional full-sized fight-stick.
Xbox Adaptive Controller
Playing on a traditional controller can be an extremely difficult or even impossible task for players with physical disabilities. The Xbox Adaptive Controller aims to serve this group of players by providing a fully customizable hub for accessibility devices. Every button on the standard Xbox One controller is represented by an input port on the side of the Xbox Adaptive Controller, and users can use 3.5mm or USB devices to control these functions in whatever way serves them best.
If more than one person in your household uses the Adaptive Controller and they have different needs, you can also customize profiles and switch between them on the fly. The controller comes with a nine-foot cable to charge its battery, and it’s also compatible with Windows 10 PC games.
PDP Wired Controller
Not everyone needs the most expensive controller in order to get the most out of their Xbox One games, especially if they’re looking for a second controller for friends to use when they visit. PDP designs high-quality controllers at a fraction of the first-party companies’ prices, complete with many of the same features you have already used. On the PDP Wired Controller for Xbox One, you get a 3.5mm jack so you can use your headphones or chat headset for gaming online, and it includes a detachable USB cable to make storage a snap.
The PDP Wired Controller is compatible with PDP’s own “Control Hub” app, which allows you to remap buttons, adjust the dead zones on your analog sticks, or even troubleshoot any issues you might be having. A “Function Button” used in conjunction with the directional pad also gives you the ability to change the audio levels or adjust your chat mix without needing an in-line control unit. The texture on the grips as well as the trigger and shoulder buttons are also designed to keep your hands from slipping, and the controller is fully compatible with Windows, so you can cut down on the mountain of controllers filling up your game room.
- The best Nintendo Switch controllers for 2019
- Best holiday smart lights of 2019
- How to connect an Xbox One controller to a PC
- The best smart light switches for 2019
- The best small business routers