I will admit that I’ve got a taste for the finer things in life. High-quality wine, fancy dinners and incredibly expensive video game controllers all help to make this world a little more beautiful. Today we’re going to talk about the latest in wallet-melting peripherals: the $150 Xbox One Wireless Elite Controller. Pricey? You bet, but it’s the caviar of controllers and it shows.
The Wireless Elite Controller is set up much like the standard Xbox One controller, but it’s immediately distinguishable thanks to the four metal paddles that magnetically connect to slots on the controller’s back. The paddles are very sensitive and can be set off by the lightest touch, so you’ll need to be careful if you intend on using them. You don’t have to, of course; they’re easily removed and stored in the included carrying case, while the controller itself allows you to disable paddle input if you’d rather have them on. The intended use is clearly as an easily reached jump or grenade button, allowing you to dodge or attack with split-second precision. It’s a neat trick once you get the hang of it.
This magnetic theme continues throughout the entirety of the controller, actually; the thumbsticks and D-pad are also magnetic, allowing you to remove and replace them with alternative options that come in the box. In particular, the new revision of the D-pad is fantastic; it takes the form of a sort of metal plate that sits atop the traditional cross shape and provides for one of the most comfortable and responsive control experiences I’ve had in a controller. If, for whatever reason, you’d prefer an inferior option, there’s a standard D-pad included that you can switch to. Meanwhile, the thumbsticks offer both concave and convex options to suit your liking.
There are a few other interesting non-magnetic features as well. Switches on the back of the controller allow you to adjust the “give” of the triggers, drastically reducing how far you have to press for them to activate. While a lot of the features this controller offers are aesthetic or matters of taste, this is strikingly useful in FPS games and offers a tangible advantage. Perhaps the most noteworthy feature is the associated Xbox Accessories app that allows you fully remap buttons for any game. There are plenty of uses for this and some games even have premade profiles, including Sunset Overdrive, Forza Motorsport 6 and Halo 5: Guardians. A switch on the front of the controller allows you to save and switch between two profiles on the fly as well.
You can use this controller with your Xbox One through the usual methods or hook it up to a PC with an included braided USB cable. This thing’s pretty well-built and it’s unlikely to break anytime soon, but even still it’s not the ideal choice. If you want to play on PC you’re best off using the recently-released Xbox Wireless Adapter, which works pretty much perfectly and offers excellent wireless performance.
All in all, this is an expensive controller that gives you exactly what you pay for. Frankly, this is absolutely worth it if you plan on doing a lot of gaming on Xbox One or PC. The bonus features are icing on the cake compared to this controller’s overall high-quality feel and solid build quality; if you’ve got a nice chunk of extra change burning a hole in your pocket (and a willingness to spend it) the Xbox One Wireless Elite Controller is one of the best peripherals you can pick up.