If you ask anyone what the best controller is for the Xbox One, chances are they would say the official model. But maybe it’s a bit too bulky for your svelte hands, or maybe the asymmetrical analog sticks never sat right with you (or maybe it’s just too dang expensive).
If you dislike the official Xbox One controller for whatever reason, there are plenty of great third-party controllers out there for you. Here are some of the best Xbox One controllers from third-party manufacturers, many with their own unique features and designs to suit different folks.
Also read:How to Connect an Xbox One Controller to Your PC
1. Cronus Zen
Let’s start with a bit of a cheat entry, but one that should quickly grab your attention when you discover that it pretty much allows you to use any controller on any console. That’s right, the Cronus Zen (latest iteration of Cronus Max) is a device that lets you use PlayStation controllers on Xbox and vice versa, along with many other controller combos.
So if you want to crack out those old PS3 controllers or Xbox 360 controllers and use them on your Xbox One, you can. It supports wireless and wired controllers, and has a repository of thousands of mods, scripts and macros to optimize and remap your controller setup.
So no, it might not technically be a controller, but instead has the ability to raise your old controllers from the dead.
2. Razer Wolverine Ultimate
From peripheral giant Razer comes the Wolverine Ultimate, an Xbox One controller aimed at those who fancy themselves to be professional gamers. The Wolverine Ultimate features a variety of features that can give players an advantage. First, the controller has six additional programmable buttons in conjunction with the standard Xbox One controller layout. Players will find two shoulder buttons next to the left and right bumper/trigger buttons, as well as four trigger buttons located on the underside of the controller.
In addition, the Wolverine Ultimate features quick-swap thumbsticks and directional pads. These connect to the controller via magnets, making it easy to customize the controller on the fly. The Wolverine Ultimate also works on PC; however, Xbox One users will benefit from the Razer Synapse Xbox One app.
This apps allows users to tweak things like thumbstick sensitivity and set up multiple control profiles. Unfortunately, the Wolverine Ultimate comes with a hefty price tag at over $150.
3. Hyperkin Duke Wired
If it’s the best nostalgic Xbox One controller you are looking for, you will not do any better than the Hyperkin Duke Wired. This redo of a beloved and classic design adds a whole new level of fun to your Xbox gaming sessions. Vibration feedback is front and center, as are precision analog triggers and bumpers. The unit is durably built, and the key layout is instantly familiar, as few would dare alter the X, B, A, Y setup.
The “Duke,” as it’s best known, is not a small controller. That plus being a wired controller are perhaps the only two negatives for the Hyperkin. Classic design aside, Hyperkin did add an animated Xbox button on the controller that plays during startup. It’s a fun, if not entirely useful, addition that speaks to the level of joy that comes with owning the Duke.
4. SCUF Prestige
Designed with competitive gaming in mind, the SCUF Prestige adds numerous features over the stock controller that make it well worth its premium asking price. Ergonomics are top of mind for long playing sessions, as the reduction of weight makes it feel even lighter than the standard controller. The SCUF really shines with its four removable paddles that can be mapped to 14 different controller functions.
Want to remap your A, B, X, Y or left stick? You can quickly do that so that one of the paddles doubles as that function. This enables you to keep your hands on the analog sticks without sacrificing response time. Want to swap out your analog sticks? That’s no problem as, the SCUF allows you to remove the faceplate and swap it out with an available option for true personalization.
5. PowerA Enhanced
The PowerA Enhanced wired controller is nearly an exact copy of the controller that Microsoft ships out with the Xbox One console. At less than half the price of the real thing, this makes the PowerA Enhanced attractive for a secondary controller. Unfortunately, cutting costs down means omitting wireless capability. That being said, you won’t have to worry about charging any batteries.
In addition to being super affordable, the PowerA Enhanced has two trigger buttons on the underside of the controller that are easily programmable on the fly. Furthermore, the PowerA Enhanced controller comes in a wide variety of colors.
6. PDP Wired
What the PDP Wired controller for Xbox One lacks in features, it more than makes up for with its budget-friendly price. While professional controllers are great for hardcore Xbox One users, more casual users will find plenty to love with this wired solution. PDP is well known for its reliable build quality at a fraction of the cost of its more expensive competition. Everything you would need to play is here, including a 3.5mm headset jack for online gaming.
Do you want to remap your buttons for a more comfortable playing experience? Grab PDP’s Control Hub app and do exactly that. Another standout feature is the inclusion of a dedicated function button which enables users to quickly adjust the volume up or down. The function button also supports moving the game/chat from left to right with just a few taps. One last benefit is the inclusion of specialized grips on the tripper and shoulder buttons so your hands stay firmly in place.
7. Evil Shift
The Evil Shift is an esports favorite among Xbox One users. Like the SCUF, the Evil Shift focuses heavily on its paddle system which allows remappable buttons for personalized gameplay. As an esports-approved controller, having the ability to remap buttons for quickly performing complex moves is critical to ensuring victory. On top of that it has an ergonomic design that makes it fit perfectly in your hands for longer gaming sessions.
Rubber paddles ensure ideal control and grip so you don’t miss any opportunity to crush your opponents. The specialized thumbsticks are built with a wider surface area than the default controller to make sure you have maximum control while in the middle of gameplay. On top of everything else the Evil Shift has to offer, you can add hairpin triggers that respond immediately to quick-touch buttons that can save the milliseconds you need to pull off a last-minute victory.
Also read:How to Check for Controller Deadzones
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Will my third-party controller break easily?
Not if it’s licensed and from a reliable manufacturer with a history of making controllers. Besides Xbox One controllers break pretty often themselves, which is probably why you’re reading this in the first place! Make sure you look into the warranty when you buy a controller so you’re covered.
2. Are third-party controllers better than official controllers?
To some extent this is subjective. In terms of ergonomics and design, you may well prefer a third-party controller, but you should also manage your expectations about build quality. First-party controllers will almost always be the most reliable and have the best battery life, as well as decent aftersales support. As with many things, you get what you pay for, so don’t go too cheap!
3. Are third-party controllers legal?
When buying a third-party controller, you want to make make sure you’re getting a ‘licensed’, which has been approved for use with the Xbox One. There are lot of super-cheap controllers on eBay (often sent over from China) that aren’t licensed and you take a bit of a gamble on when you buy them. They might work, but if they don’t you’re on your own.
4. Why are there so few third-party controllers?
Back in the days, we used to see third-party controllers around a lot more, and a big reason for the relative lack of them today is the rise of wireless controllers. Getting third-party controllers to work wirelessly is a more expensive and difficult process than wired controllers, and manufacturers likely just don’t want the hassle.
As you can see, there are plenty of excellent third-party Xbox One controller options on the market. You can also connect a keyboard and mouse to Xbox One. However, if you are still loving your Xbox One controller, you can also hook it up to your Android phone to play games. In fact, you can connect any Xbox controller to Android.
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David is a freelance tech writer with over 15 years of experience in the tech industry. He loves all things Nintendo.
Razer's Wolverine V2 Chroma could be a serious Xbox Elite Controller challenger
Razer sticking its hands in every gaming-adjacent cookie jar has produced interesting products like this energy gum or these finger sleeves. This diversification, if you will, fortunately hasn’t stopped the gaming company from making performance gear like the new Razer Wolverine V2 Chroma.
The new $149.99 wired controller is an upgraded version of last year’s Wolverine V2. Though the naming of both of these devices is maddeningly similar, the new Wolverine V2 Chroma is pricier, with a more robust feature set for serious gamers, and Razer Chroma RGB, of course.
Designed to give gamers a competitive advantage, the Wolverine V2 is faster and more responsive than a regular Xbox Series X controller in almost every way thanks to hardware and software customizations. It sounds a lot like Microsoft’s Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2, but Razer has added unique touches that may edge out the expensive Elite controller for high-end tournament play. For the regular consumer, both controllers are overkill, but if you find yourself wondering if it’s the latency, and not your lack of skill, that ended with your death during a match, then Razer’s wired controller makes that question irrelevant. No more Johns, bro.
Wired up — Yes, it seems wild that a wired controller costs $150 in the year 2021, but wired controllers don’t have input lag. When you’re clicking heads for a living, as professional players do, milliseconds matter, and it’s why you see pros resorting to wired controllers time and time again. Wired connections are inconvenient when you’re looking to get in few quick matches, but at least you don’t have to worry about batteries, charging, or dropped connections. On the Wolverine V2 Chroma, the USB-C cable can be detached for easier storage. As someone whose cats have ruined devices by chewing through cables, this is an extremely underrated feature since you can simply replace it with another.
Similar to the previous Wolverine V2 model, the new Chroma upgrade comes with Razer’s Mecha-Tactile buttons for the four face buttons (A,B,X,Y) and the D-pad. The tactile switches are similar to what Razer uses in its line of gaming mice, a product that Razer built its name on. Contrary to modern controllers that rely on conductive rubber membrane pads to activate inputs, the tactile switches are a clicky, physical component under the button. The switches have a 0.65mm travel distance, and Razer claims they provide a 10-millisecond actuation time that is faster than two leading competitors. (Unsurprisingly, the competitors are not named, which would make the bold claim more believable.) Unlike membranes that tend to wear out over time, the switches have a 3 million tap life cycle, according to Razer.
Just like you like it — The Wolverine V2 Chroma has an additional six buttons that can be programmed via the app. The two extra buttons beside the triggers are carried over from the previous model, but Razer brought back the four paddles under the controller, a feature last seen on the Wolverine Ultimate controller.
The circular D-pad is similar to the one found on the Xbox Elite controller, and the more fluid movement should prove useful for fighting games. Unlike the Wolverine TE, you can’t change out the D-pad, but the thumbsticks are fair game and are included with the controller. The Wolverine V2 Chroma controller also uses Razer’s “Hair Trigger” mode, which changes the travel distance of the triggers by sliding over the switches under the controller.
As is always the case with Razer products, RGB is an inevitability that has reached the Wolverine V2 Chroma — the previous model did not have RGB. The Chroma RGB consists of a curved line on either side of the controller, of which the color, brightness, and pattern can be configured via the Razer Controller Setup app. The app is available on Windows and Xbox and it’s not just for changing the lighting to match your other peripherals.
The app is where you can really get into the weeds with your setup. Want to change the jump button to one of the paddles? Why not. And you can have different button and lighting setups per game. You can also tweak the sensitivity of the and adjust the vibration to suit your play style.
Better build quality? — If you’re looking for a high-end controller for playing competitive shooters, the Xbox Elite Wireless Series is a first-party solution. However, it’s not as reliable as it should be, especially when it costs $179. The controller has been plagued with faulty build quality since its first iteration, and users are still complaining about serious issues like stick drift. It’s not a very reliable gamepad, but the Wolverine V2 Chrome emulates it almost exactly for about $30 less and maybe doesn’t suffer from the same issues.
It’s too early to make a verdict on build quality, but with Xbox’s pro controller still giving people headaches, it may be a gamble worth taking. You still get the extra inputs, adjustable thumbsticks, and configurable app, but, on top of that, you get faster tactile switches that won’t crap out on you and a wired connection that won’t add latency to your inputs. Of course, if you care about looks, the RGB should appeal to you, and if you don’t, everything else probably will.
The best Xbox One controllers for 2021
If you own an Xbox One, you’ll eventually find yourself shopping for a new Xbox One controller. Maybe you’re trying to replace one you smashed in a fit of rage while playing Dark Souls, or you’re looking for a good controller for your co-op partner. No matter the situation, picking up another controller is an inevitable part of owning a gaming system. However, in recent years, the market has become saturated with excellent Xbox One gamepads, making it difficult to determine which one is the best purchase.
Whether you’re looking for something cheap, powerful, or game-specific, here are the best Xbox One controllers available in 2021.
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 hands of any size 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 regularly. The controller also can be made into a wired controller by attaching a Micro USB cable, giving you less latency for sports or fighting games.
Important note: While this model is the standard controller for the Xbox One, Microsoft has released an updated “Core” version for the Series X with a more durable design, USB-C connection, and new share button. It’s entirely compatible with the Xbox One and, if you are looking for an upgrade, an excellent alternative (although you will need a USB-C connection for connecting it directly to a console).
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 can go with something more sleek and subtle.
Previous controllers started at $65, with additional options for personalization. Currently, the Design Lab is working on a new model that will be available sometime in 2021, so sign up for alerts if your heart is set on this kind of customization.
Xbox One Elite Controller Series 2
One of the world’s most expensive controllers has proven popular enough to warrant a second version. Revealed at E3 2019, this new version builds on the original in almost every way — but we all know the biggest improvement is the shift to a USB-C port for charging its 40-hour battery. It can even double as a wired controller if you’re particularly sensitive to wireless lag.
The Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 comes with interchangeable thumbsticks, D-pads, and paddles, plus it has the ability to adjust the tension of its analog inputs for things like faster trigger speeds and weightier movement and aiming. They even redesigned the rubberized grip, a common point of concern on the original version. If you’ve ever wanted to toss your original controller in the trash and spend an extra $100 for some extra buttons, the Xbox One Elite Controller Series 2 is for you.
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 the controller’s 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 or, if you’re a streamer, based on your audience’s reactions.
Scuf makes some of the most comfortable controllers on the market today. Their elite controllers are similar to the standard Xbox One’s, but it definitely feels different when picked it up. The smooth plastic and subtle yet effective backside features make holding the Scuf a dream come true. It also has an interchangeable faceplate and built-in rechargeable battery, which will last around 30 hours. You can change the analog sticks and faceplate and overall customize the way these controllers look fairly easily. What’s great is that the Scuf Prestige controller is also magnificently light, weighing in at only 267 grams.
What really makes these controllers stand out isn’t the customization, light weight, or comfort holding it. Rather, Scuf has managed to find a way to make the four back paddles the most comfortable to reach out of all the other controllers. The bumpers have been redesigned on this controller to be more durable and have more points of contact. This actually has eliminated the issues the Xbox Elite Controller faced and, to some degree, the regular Xbox controller. Games that are bumper-heavy won’t wear the paddles out even after long, vigorous use.
Hori Fighting Commander Octa
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 made the Fighting Commander line, with the most recent Octa model perfect for both Xbox One and Series X. It’s a controller that bears a remarkable resemblance to a certain Sega controller from back in the early 1990s, with D-Pad, joystick, and shoulder setups made for gaming. The Octa also is 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 the controllers of yesteryear, but it should feel perfect for anyone who played Mortal Kombat on Genesis. 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 3.5 mm 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 9-foot cable to charge its battery, and it’s also compatible with Windows 10 PC games.
PowerA Enhanced Wired Controller for Xbox
If you and your friends tend to run through a lot of controllers, you know that replacing them can get expensive. This PowerA model is an affordable option, less than half the cost of a traditional Xbox One controller while still providing all the utility you expect. It also includes updates to the Xbox controller design like a share button, and has a surprisingly useful little dial for game audio and muting chat when you are with a team. The gripping materials also help you keep precision — and it comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns to pick from. Keep in mind that it is wired, so it will need to stay closer to the console (something that may also help controllers last longer).
Xbox Wireless Controller — Daystrike Camo Special Edition
Periodically, Microsoft offers special editions of its Xbox One controllers for fans who are looking for something a little extra. We particularly like this 2021 design that features red, gray, and black camo. It’s a nifty design that goes well with just about everything, and includes all the latest controller upgrades like textured grips on the triggers and bumpers, hybrid D-pad, a share button, and more. Everything works with the Xbox One, and if you are ever ready to upgrade to the Series X then full compatibility is assured for that model as well!
Best Xbox One Controller 2021: Game Controllers, Fight Sticks and More
Gaming on the Xbox One is usually perfectly served by the controller that came with your console. The Xbox One controller is simply one of the best controllers there is – for Xbox or otherwise. But, there are more than a few reasons to consider picking yourself up something a bit different. If you got the Xbox One when it originally launched, you'll find the modern controller has made some minor improvements (including Bluetooth). Microsoft even has an upgraded version of its controller in the form of the Elite Series 2 controller.
As great as the stock controller is, comfort can still come into play for many of us. The shape and size of a controller matters for long-term comfort, and you may find a different controller lets you get a better feel through lengthy play sessions. This is especially true for hands that are bigger or smaller than average. Then there's the fact that the Xbox controller is built to be universal, so any purpose-built controller can have an advantage in certain games. Flying games can benefit greatly from a flight stick just as racing games and fighting games feel great with racing wheels and fight sticks, respectively.
So, to help you find a controller that can get the job done for whatever games you want to play, we've rounded up top contenders in a variety of categories – and click here to find them in the UK.
TL;DR – These are the Best Xbox One Controllers:
1. Microsoft Xbox Elite Series 2
Best Xbox Controller
The basic Xbox controllers might be technically perfect for gaming on the Xbox One, but even Microsoft realized there was more that could be done. Enter the Xbox Elite controller. That took the excellent form of the standard controller and introduced new rear controls and some swappable components. The Xbox Elite Series 2 (read our review) just goes even further.
With the Xbox Elite Series 2 controller, you get a solid controller with a bit of heft to it and plenty of grip. The controller offers your typical controls along with a swappable D-Pad, rear paddle buttons, tunable triggers, and swappable thumbsticks that attach magnetically (careful if you have pets that like to steal). With Microsoft's software, you can remap the controls on the Elite Series 2 as you please. And, with Bluetooth connectivity, you can also use this with your phone or computer for Xbox Cloud Gaming. Naturally, at this premium price point, the controller also has some nice extras, like a sturdy case and pogo-pin charging stand.
2. Xbox Core Controller
The Next Best Xbox Controller
The Xbox Elite Series 2 might be the best controller, but its price and features may be a little more than you bargained for. So, if we were to look past that premium controller, the Xbox Core Controller (read our review) would be the next best. It comes with a familiar but remodeled design. It’ll feel just right in your hands if you loved the original Xbox One controllers, but it has a bit more grip. Microsoft managed this by making the side grips and even the triggers and bumpers more textured.
The redesign has also reached the D-Pad, which now has more of the concave stylings of one of the Elite Series controller’s alternate D-Pads. The Xbox Core Controller has also entered the modern age of connectivity. You won’t have to deal with a weak and finicky micro USB cable again as the controller now uses a USB-C port. It also has a standard 3.5mm headset jack built in. Another huge perk of the Xbox Core Controller is its flexibility. You can use it with your Xbox One, a new Xbox Series X/S, and with a ton of other devices over Bluetooth or wired connections. Though it already comes in a handful of different colors, you can also get creative with the Xbox Design Lab controller customizer.
3. Razer Wolverine V2
Best Third-Party Xbox Controller
The Xbox Elite Series 2 controller may offer the most advanced functionality alongside seamless integration with the Xbox console, but the Razer Wolverine V2 (see our review) is a close alternative. You’ll save a bit of money going with Razer Wolverine V2 because it doesn’t offer a wireless connection or include a battery for operation. That may make some gamers shy away, but wired connectivity also provides low latency for a competitive edge, and you’ll never get that low-battery notification in the middle of a game. Plus, it makes for a lighter controller.
The Wolverine V2 puts some solid capabilities in your hands. In addition to offering pleasantly tactile face buttons that improve on the mushy ones that the standard Xbox control includes, the Wolverine V2 also includes an extra set of shoulder buttons to give your trigger fingers more control options. Given you’re likely already used to inputting controls with your index fingers, the learning curve for these added shoulder buttons probably won’t be as steep as it is for the rear paddle buttons found on the Xbox Elite controllers. Razer also includes a toggle for trigger locks to shorten their travel — handy for FPS games.
4. Razer Dragon Ball FighterZ Atrox Arcade Stick
Best Xbox One Fight Stick
The best way to play fighting games is with a fight stick and the best one for the Xbox One is the Razer Atrox Arcade Stick. This premium fight stick offers some incredible build quality with high-end Sanwa components. You can find this stick in different styles, but we're a fan of this Dragon Ball FighterZ model that adds some extra flair to the design without trading off the quality of any of the components.
Of course, if you prefer using a different stick, other buttons, or just don't like the box art, users can open up this fight stick and change virtually every part of it.
5. PowerA Fusion
Best Xbox One Fight Pad Controller
Thumbsticks sometimes just don't cut it when you want to play fighting games. The more instantaneos control of a good D-pad can help a lot, and the PowerA Fusion has just what you need. This fightpad delivers a streamlined design to let your hands focus on the buttons that really matter in fighting games.
On the left-hand side, you'll find just the D-pad. PowerA does include a three-way switch, allowing the D-pad to emulate the Xbox controller's thumbsticks and D-pad, so you shouldn't run into issues navigating in games. The right side keeps the ABXY buttons where you need them and throws in the right and left bumper buttons, so you can mash away in fighting games. PowerA also includes a long, wired cable that firmly clips into the back of the controller for a secure attachment, while a quick-release point near the cable's connection point with the Xbox can help ensure no one accidentally yanks your console off your media center.
6. Xbox Adaptive Controller
Best Customizable Xbox One Controller
The Xbox Adaptive Controller is specially designed for gamers with limited mobility. On its own, the Adaptive controller only gives you three inputs with an oversized D-Pad and two massive A and B buttons that users can hit with their palm, elbow, foot, or what have you.
However, the Xbox Adaptive Controller isn't meant to be used on its own. Rather it has 19 3.5mm jacks along its back, each of which corresponds to a single command triggered on the normal Xbox One controller. Users can plug in their own accessibility controllers—which includes a massive variety of buttons, foot pedals, switches, joysticks and more—and turn the Xbox Adaptive Controller into a central control hub.
7. Hyperkin Duke Wired Controller
Best Xbox Controller for Xbox One
Thanks to Microsoft's robust backwards compatibility, you can play a huge library of original Xbox titles. If you're like us and want to play the game as close to the original experience as you can, you need the Duke.
The Hyperkin Duke might not be made by Microsoft, but it's been officially licensed by Xbox. This controller emulates the entire original Xbox Controller experience from its large, rotund shape to the almost excessive resistance on the thumbsticks. Of course, this blast from the past controller keeps the old-school black and white buttons to complete the experience.
8. Thrustmaster TMX Racing Wheel
Best Xbox One Racing Wheel
When you're really getting heavy into a racing game like Forza, F1, or Dirt, it can quickly become tedious trying to feel like you're really driving the hyper-realistic cars on those photorealistic tracks when you're just holding a simple Xbox controller in your hands. That's where a racing wheel comes in, helping to fully immerse you in your game, and Thrustmaster makes many of the best
The Thrustmaster TMX Racing Wheel is a spectacular option for anyone looking to dive deep into racing sims with a wheel that doesn't just look the part but also feels the part. The Thrustmaster TMX is a force feedback racing wheel, so you're going to feel the road in your hands when you try taking a turn at high speeds. It also has a 900-degree rotation with a high level of sensitivity, giving you finer control over your steering than a cheap wheel would. The controller includes the force feedback base, an 11-inch wheel with paddle shifters, and foot pedals.
9. Thrustmaster T-Flight HOTAS One
Best Xbox Flight Stick
If you're aiming to be top gun in your favorite piloting games, whether that be Ace Combat or the upcoming Star Wars Squadrons, you'll probably want to have your hands on a flight stick instead of your Xbox One controller. To that end, the Thrustmaster T-Flight HOTAS One is your best bet. This controller gives you that authentic hands-on-throttle-and-stick feel with both elements in one fairly affordable package.
The Thrustmaster T-Flight HOTAS One physically connects the throttle and joystick with a sturdy base, but they can also be pulled apart and remain connected via a tether. This lets you position each element however you like in your gaming setup. You can even adjust the resistance of the stick to your liking. The controllers offer up fives axes of control as well as 14 action buttons, a mulitdirectional hat switch, and a rapid fire trigger. So, when you're ready to get flying, this controller will do the job.
Where to Get the Best Xbox One Controller in the UK
It should be incredibly easy to pick up each and every one of the Xbox controllers we've mentioned on this list. You'll be looking at your standard tech retailers in the UK, with sites such as Amazon, Game, and Currys PC World being the typical go-to for console accessories.
Xbox and PC Compatibility
The biggest advantage Xbox One controllers have over the DualShock 4 PS4 controller is they work wirelessly with your with your Windows PC right out of the box. No extra software or fiddling needed.
While it's true most PC games are best enjoyed using a gaming keyboard and high-quality gaming mouse, an ever-increasing number of games and menu systems are designed around the controller instead of the traditional WASD control scheme PC gamers know and love.
With an Xbox One controller, you just plug it into your Windows computer and you're good to go. The PS4 controllers also work with PC but require a bit more effort. However, not all games will perfectly map their controls onto a DualShock 4, so an Xbox One controller is definitely your safest bet. Controller compatibility also makes swapping between Windows Play Anywhere and Xbox Game Pass for PC games like Cuphead, Forza Horizon 4, Gears of War 4 and more much easier.
To use an Xbox One controller on your PC requires you have Windows. There are Linux and Mac solutions, too, but they require more work. Getting your Xbox One controller up and running on PC is as simple as using a Micro USB cable to connect it to your gaming laptop or gaming PC. You can also grab a Microsoft Xbox One wireless controller adapter or if your computer has Bluetooth, you can pair it as you'd pair any other Bluetooth device.
Windows might take a second or two to update the drivers, but that's it. You just hook your Xbox One controller to a PC and you're good to go from there. Keep in mind, if you move back and forth between PC and Xbox One, you'll need to pair the controller whenever you switch between the two.
Of course, Xbox One traditional-style controllers are pretty great, and our guide to the best should help you in most gaming situations. But what about specialty controllers?
For example, are you playing fighting games on a regular controller? If so, you're doing yourself an enormous disservice. It's possible to practice and get really good with one of these controllers, but for dominance in the fighting game community, you really need to pick yourself up a dedicated fight stick.
For driving games, like the excellent Forza Horizon 4, you're going to want a racing wheel. It's up to you to decide if you want to go all-in with dedicated pedals, gear shift, and racing chair. Same with flight sticks. You can make the experience as immersive as your budget allows.
The best part about buying a dedicated controller like a fight stick or racing wheel is they have the same compatibility as the traditional Xbox One controllers. Your fight stick will work on your PC the same as it works on your Xbox One X, same as the others.
Also, be sure to check out more of our expert tech roundups like our guide to the best 4K TVs for gaming, the best PlayStation 4 controllers, or jump-start your streaming career with one of the best capture cards for streamers.
Kevin Lee is IGN's Hardware and Roundups Editor. Follow him on Twitter @baggingspam
Mark Knapp is a regular contributor to IGN and an irregular Tweeter on Twitter @Techn0Mark
Controller alternative elite
Scuf Instinct Pro Review: The First Great Alternative To The Xbox Elite Controller
The latest high-end controllers from Scuf Gaming were designed specifically with the Xbox Series X|S in mind. The Scuf Instinct and Scuf Instinct Pro combine the excellent form factor of the Xbox Wireless Controller with a bevy of customization features and flourishes that make them particularly notable for competitive gaming. The Instinct Pro is every bit as premium as the Xbox Elite Series 2 Controller, and it even outperforms it in terms of ergonomics and certain customization options.
Scuf Instinct vs. Instinct Pro
Scuf is offering two separate models: the Instinct for $170 and the Instinct Pro for $200. Yes, that means the Instinct Pro is even more expensive than the Elite Series 2. While I didn't have the chance to test the standard Instinct, the features it's missing are some of my favorite aspects of the Instinct Pro. For the extra $30, you get a textured, high-performance grip that far exceeds the feel of the conventional Xbox Wireless Controller and is on par with the Elite Series 2. The Instinct Pro also has optional instant triggers (Elite Series 2 does as well), which lock the triggers in place and allow you to simply tap lightly to "pull," which is an especially useful feature if you play first-person shooters.
Note: For the rest of this review, the "Instinct" refers to both models.
Not only does the general shape of the Instinct live up to the high standard of the Elite Series 2; it also surpasses it in one key area. The Instinct has four back paddles-two on each side--built into the controller. They more closely resemble triggers than traditional controller paddles, but they serve the same purpose. These paddles are positioned in a clean layout that makes it easy to press each one of them without sacrificing comfort or moving your fingers in an awkward fashion. One of the only complaints we've had about the Elite Series 2 is that it's fairly uncomfortable when you have all four paddles attached. Essentially, the Elite Series 2 is at its best when you only use two paddles. With the Instinct, all four built-in paddles are in play at all times. The Instinct's paddle layout also surpasses Scuf's Prestige controller, which suffers from a similar comfort flaw as the Elite Series 2 when all four paddles are attached.
Scuf smartly retained the same exact layout for all of the conventional Xbox Wireless Controller buttons, and the Instinct even has the new Share button, so you're not losing anything of note by ditching Microsoft for a third-party brand (Scuf's Prestige controller doesn't have the Share button).
Stylish and customizable
The Scuf Instinct is mightily impressive even without any adjustments, but as a high-end gaming controller, it's not surprising that it gives players the freedom to tinker with the layout. The magnetic faceplate, which is available in a myriad of color schemes and designs, easily pops off without using any tools. From there, you can swap out the thumbsticks and D-pad. The Instinct comes with an extra pair of longer analog sticks that have flat tops with a different feel than the standard concave analog sticks. You can also remove the eight-directional D-pad, revealing an old style, four-way D-pad. The only thing really missing here is the ability to adjust the layout to PlayStation-style with parallel analog sticks, though that's understandable given how it would essentially require a new chassis.
Beyond altering the actual build of the controller, you can customize inputs on the fly with the help of the Profile button on the back. The Instinct supports three profiles that can be cycled through and remapped without needing additional software.
Scuf will sell additional faceplates and analog sticks separately for those who want customization beyond what's included in the box.
Where it falls short of the Elite Series 2
The Scuf Instinct is a wonderful high-end controller that doesn't really have a downside from a design or performance standpoint. However, that doesn't mean it's better than the Elite Series 2 in every way. The Instinct lacks the adjustable stick tension that's featured in the Elite Series 2. As someone who thinks the default stick tension for Xbox controllers--including the Instinct, which feels the same as the Xbox Wireless Controller--is practically perfect already, the omission doesn't bother me.
The Instinct is missing a convenient feature, though: an internal battery. The controller uses AA batteries just like the Xbox Wireless Controller, whereas the Elite Series 2 is rechargeable and lasts for up to 40 hours on a single charge. Thankfully, Xbox controllers run for a long time on a pair of AAs; I've gamed for upward of 30 hours with the Instinct, and I'm still using the pair of batteries that came with the controller.
Is the Scuf Instinct worth it?
Look, there's no way around it: Just like the Elite Series 2, the Instinct and Instinct Pro are expensive controllers that will likely appeal to a niche subset of Xbox gamers. The Xbox Wireless Controller, which can often be found for $50, is a stellar controller for a fraction of the price. You could buy four Xbox Wireless Controllers for the price of the Instinct Pro.
That said, if you're looking for a controller that is highly customizable and loaded with features that make it a standout for competitive gaming, the Instinct Pro is arguably the best option for Xbox Series X, Xbox One, and maybe even PC.
Though I didn't try the standard Instinct, I'd recommend opting for the Instinct Pro. If you're going to spend a huge sum of money on a controller, paying the extra 30 bucks to get a better grip and instant triggers is worth it.
The bottom line
The Instinct is one of the best third-party controllers I've ever used. While it looks like a stylish Xbox Wireless Controller from the front, it has incredible ergonomics, four easy-to-use back paddles that can be remapped instantly, and a simple way to swap out thumbsticks and the D-pad to fit your personal preferences. Yes, the Instinct Pro is very pricey at $200, but this is one of the rare premium gaming controllers that feels like it's actually worth its steep asking price.
- The four back triggers are well-placed
- Modifications to thumbsticks and D-pad are quick and simple
- Can swap between three profiles on the fly
- Retains all of the key features of Microsoft's first-party controllers
- Exceptional ergonomics
- Doesn't have adjustable stick tension
- No instant triggers or textured grip on Instinct
About the author: Steven Petite tested the Instinct Pro for more than 30 hours, and now it's his main Xbox Series X controller. Scuf provided the Instinct Pro for review.
If rumble is your thing, like it is for me, dual rumble motors and impulse triggers are included to give you the feedback you desire. The FUSION Pro 2 is a wired controller and comes with a braided 3-meter USB-C cable to let you play your games from anywhere in your setup. While you aren’t using the controller you can store it and its accessories in the included hard case. To round out the package, PowerA is also including a 2-year warranty on all FUSION Pro 2 controllers.
The PowerA FUSION Pro 2 controller looks like an awesome Elite Controller Alternative at a fraction of the cost and a good upgrade over PowerA’s highly-rated original. The customization options with different faceplates are appealing to me as I like to regularly switch controller colors by the day. If PowerA started to offer additional ones down the line I know I would be down for adding more to the collection. The FUSION Pro 2 is available now at most major retailers and we are going to be running it through its paces in a full review coming soon. In the meantime, check it out in these beautiful product shots!
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Even though the majority of Xbox gamers rely on the Microsoft controllers that are already included with the console, other manufacturers also release their own controllers time and again. In order to be successful on the market, they usually try to convince with a lower price and/or special features. One of these manufacturers is PowerA. At the beginning of the year, we had already tested the Xbox Series X|S Enhanced Wired Controller, a low-priced wired alternative to the standard controller, which also offered additional features. Now comes the FUSION Pro 2, another wired, more expensive variant that can probably be seen more as an alternative to Microsoft’s Xbox Elite Wireless Controller.
The PowerA FUSION Pro 2 Wired Controller offers, among other things, interchangeable parts, such as a black front, a white front and different sticks. Furthermore, one offers a freely assignable Pro Pack with four paddles and two rumble motors. The PowerA FUSION Pro 2 is officially licensed and compatible with Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One.
Whether the controller is a good alternative to the Microsoft controllers and can convince with quality and features, we will clarify in the following test.
|Size||108 x 162 x 62 mm (H x W x D)|
|Weight||347 g (without Pro Pack). |
371 g (with Pro Pack)
|Cable||3 m USB-C to USB-A|
|Compatibility||Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC|
|Features||Interchangeable front, interchangeable sticks, Pro Pack, 2 rumble motors, three-way trigger locks, volume control|
|Scope of delivery||Bag, controller, extra white front, 2 sticks, USB-C cable, back cover|
Scope of delivery
The controller comes in a strikingly designed cardboard box. Inside it is a black bag that holds the controller and accessories. Besides the controller itself, we find a white front, as an alternative to the black one, two sticks, a USB-C cable and a small black cover. The latter is needed when you do not want to use the freely assignable Pro Pack. The scope of delivery is extensive and should hardly leave any wishes unfulfilled.
Design and workmanship
The design is very much based on Microsoft’s templates and only deviates minimally, but not noticeably. One offers the same buttons, as the Microsoft standard controller, in addition, there are four paddles on the back, as you know it from the much more expensive Xbox Elite Wireless Controller. However, these can also be removed when you don’t need them. In addition to the Pro Pack, there are also switches for the triggers on the underside. Three settings are possible here. On the front, between the control pad and stick, there is also a volume control for the microphone.
The controller is made entirely of plastic and feels good in the hand as usual. The weight is 371 g with Pro Pack and 347 g without. This makes the FUSION Pro 2 significantly heavier than the Xbox Wireless Controller from Microsoft (277 g) and similar in weight to the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller (345 g). Depending on which controller you have used so far, you might have to reckon with a small period of getting used to it.
The upper side of the controller is minimally textured and thus very grippy. The undersides of the grips and the triggers also have a textured rubber coating, which ensures that the controller always sits securely in the hand. We liked the pressure point of the directional pad and the buttons very much in the test, and the triggers also convinced us. While we were not completely satisfied with the PowerA Xbox Series X|S Enhanced Wired Controller, there is nothing to complain about with the FUSION Pro 2. Nothing rattles or creaks on the controller, and the quality is very high throughout.
The accessories also leave a very good impression. The bag is stable and convinces with good workmanship, furthermore the division is well solved. Everything is stored safely and space-saving. The 3 m long cable is braided, stable, but also not too rigid. A Velcro closure for stowing or shortening to the appropriate length is also attached.
Connection and compatibility
The PowerA FUSION Pro 2 Wired Controller is compatible with Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One and the PC. In testing, use on both the console and PC went smoothly. On the Xbox, the controller was recognized quickly and was ready for use immediately after plugging it in. This process took much longer on the PC, but the setup was also completed after a few seconds. A manual driver or subsequent software installation is not necessary.
As already mentioned, the controller, as well as Microsoft’s Xbox Elite Wireless Controller, is significantly heavier than the standard controller. The difference is clearly noticeable in direct comparison, so it takes some time to get used to it. When we reached this point, however, we did not find the weight to be either an advantage or a disadvantage and did not have any problems even when spontaneously switching between the controllers. Thanks to the identical size and the surface texture or rubber coating, the controller fits perfectly in the hand.
The sticks, the directional pad and the buttons allow very precise control. They feel good, do not rattle and we also like the pressure point very much. PowerA also uses anti-friction rings for the sticks, which reduce friction. The two rumble motors are powerful and also know how to please.
The Pro Pack was also able to convince us in the test. Programming proved to be very simple and worked reliably at all times. You press the Program button for three seconds, then the button whose action you want on the paddle, and then the paddle you want to assign. Another feature of the PowerA FUSION Pro 2 are the adjustable triggers. Here you can set in three steps how sensitive the triggers should be. We tested this feature with Forza Horizon 4, for example, where the right trigger is used to accelerate. Depending on the trigger setting, we now accelerate either very weakly, more strongly or use the maximum acceleration.
The combination of the appropriate trigger setting and the assignment of the paddles also proved to be very practical. After we reduced the acceleration via the trigger a bit and put the maximum acceleration on a paddle, we often achieved new best times in curvy races, since we no longer accelerated too strongly and also didn’t have to brake constantly. On long straights we accelerated more with the paddle. At first we were a bit skeptical about the added value of the trigger switches and the paddles, but over time we used them more and more, even in games whose controls we already thought were perfect.
The volume control for the microphone also worked well and reliably at all times. In addition, the controller also has the new Share button and thus supports all the functions that the Microsoft controller also offers.
The PowerA FUSION Pro 2 left a very good impression all around in the test. Purely in terms of quality, there is nothing negative to report, material quality and workmanship are very good, which also includes the accessories.
Compared to the standard controller from Microsoft, the controller convinces with many additional features, such as the programmable map pack, the adjustable triggers and the volume control. These features all turned out to be useful and very practical. The accessories are extensive with the two sticks, the USB cable and a bag. The changeable front is also a highlight. While you usually have to decide on a design, you can quickly switch between white and black here at any time and thus always have the color-matching controller for your console.
We find the price of ~€90 reasonable. The controller is thus a recommendation for all those who find the standard controller insufficient in terms of functionality, or for those who find the much more expensive Xbox Elite Wireless Controller from Microsoft too expensive. The only drawback compared to the Microft controllers is the need for a cable if you otherwise prefer wireless peripherals.
Value for money
A great and much cheaper alternative to the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller, which convinces with very good workmanship and many features.
PowerA FUSION Pro 2 (Xbox) price comparison
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