By Duncan Robertson
Contributions from Brendan Griffiths, Jasmine Mannan, Tabitha Baker
Brendan Griffiths, Jasmine Mannan, Tabitha Baker
These gamepads push all the right buttons - here are the best Xbox One controllers
The best Xbox One controllers are excellent value for money. Not only will they allow you to play last gen games with ease and greater levels of function, but they'll be fully compatible with the Xbox Series X/S too. Whether it's the additional buttons of a pro controller you're on the hunt for, or just a fresh set of analog sticks that aren't worn out after years of use, our list below should have you covered.
The controller market is in a great place at the moment. The Xbox One generation sparked a lot of interest in the production of pro controllers that blur the lines between the comfort and ease of gamepads, and the competitive functions of a mouse and keyboard. After Xbox came out with the Elite line, a myriad of choices exploded onto the shelves, and Sony is only just following suit with its first pro controller, the DualSense Edge. Before we break down the explicit benefits of each controller in detail, it's worth noting that many of the options below will serve you as one of the best PC controllers too.
You can have confidence in the fact that these excellent Xbox One controllers will work with new-gen consoles and rival some of the best Xbox Series X controllers' performance (although they don't feature the newer 'share' button if they were made with the last generation console specifically in mind).
The best Xbox One controllers in 2022
Why you can trust GamesRadar+ Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
1. Xbox Elite Wireless controller Series 2
The best Xbox One controller
Powered by: Lithium-ion internal pack
Battery life: 30-40 hours
Reasons to buy
+ Wildly customisable Built-in battery Modular thumb sticks and D-pad
Modular thumb sticks and D-pad
Reasons to avoid
- Sizeable price
Players seeking the ultimate in comfort and customization need look no further than the recently released Xbox Elite Wireless controller series 2. It doesn’t look too dissimilar to the original Elite made available back in 2015, but it sprinkles in just enough new enhancements that it easily takes the place of its predecessor and makes our list of the best Xbox One controllers. It still features such appreciated elements as modular thumbsticks, D-pads, and hair-trigger locks, yet the components for all three of these has been re-engineered to help all Xbox One enthusiasts to play like a pro.
It may hold a hefty price point when compared to some of the other best Xbox One controllers featured on this list, but the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 justifies it by offering players over 30 new ways to play. Shorter hair trigger locks, for example, allows for faster shooting in competitive FPS titles, while the tension of all 6 thumbsticks included can be adjusted for enhanced aiming. It’s in this minute detail where the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 impresses most, serving as a great gamepad option for most Xbox One players but really shining in these subtle areas. And if that wasn’t enough, like the standard option, the Elite Series 2 works just as flawlessly on PC.
Read more: Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 review
2. Turtle Beach React-R
The best Xbox One controller under $40 / £40
Remappable buttons: 2
Headset connection: 3.5mm
Cable length: 2.5m
Reasons to buy
+ Grippy texture Well balanced and spaced On the fly remapping Smooth movement
Well balanced and spaced+
On the fly remapping+
Reasons to avoid
- No rubberized grip of Recon model Bumpers feel slightly hollow No chat mix on PC
No rubberized grip of Recon model-
Bumpers feel slightly hollow-
No chat mix on PC
If you don't want to break past $39.99 / £34.99, the Turtle Beach React-R is the best Xbox One controller open to you. We used to revere the PowerA Enhanced Wired gamepad for its budget price point and value for money, but that top spot has be firmly replaced now. The React-R is slightly cheaper at MSRP (by around $5), offers better paddles (and the ability to remap them on the fly), and even packs the brand's Superhuman Hearing mode in as well.
Overall that's an astonishing value, and particularly impressive considering just how good this Xbox One controller feels to use. Some sacrifices have been made by slimming down the previous release (the Turtle Beach Recon Controller). You're dropping rubberized grips and Pro-Aim assist mode, for example. However, the textured plastic still holds your position well and you're still getting particularly pleasing ridges on the shoulder buttons as well.
While lighter than more premium options on this list, the React-R still feels solid in the hand, with a satisfying resistance beneath each of the thumbsticks and a comfortable face button press as well.
Overall, minus some personal frustration with the slightly hollow shoulder buttons and a lack of chat mix on PC, the Turtle Beach React-R is the best Xbox One controller under $40 / £40 right now. The value for money on offer here is outstanding, making it a must-see budget option.
Read more: Turtle Beach React-R review
3. Xbox One Wireless controller
The best Xbox One controller for most
Powered by: AA batteries
Battery life: Depends on your AAs/battery packs
Reasons to buy
+ Timeless design Satisfying button feedback True D-pad
Satisfying button feedback+
Reasons to avoid
- Requires AA batteries/charging packs
Requires AA batteries/charging packs
The original Xbox One Wireless controller is still one of the best, perfectly suiting the size of most players’ hands to make playing games all the more immersive and natural. Despite being on the market in some form since late 2013, it easily overcomes some of the faults featured on the controllers of rival platforms, affording Xbox One players great build quality and a true D-pad – the latter of which is essential for those that play fighting games on a competitive level. The Xbox One Wireless controller’s face and shoulder buttons are equally responsive, complimented further by the classic asymmetrical analog stick design.
It easily makes our list of the best Xbox One controllers for all the reasons listed above, yes, but its value is boosted even further when you consider its flawlessly compatibility with Steam, the Epic Games Store, and even many mobile games on Android and Apple platforms. Microsoft has ensured that the Xbox One Wireless controller delivers a seamless and comfortable experience whether used for playing games on Xbox One or PC, serving as a more than serviceable solution for those that like bouncing between. What’s more, the Xbox One Wireless controller can be found in a range of colors.
4. Razer Wolverine Ultimate
The best Xbox One controller from Razer
Powered by: USB connection
Battery life: N/A
Reasons to buy
+ Super responsive face buttons Excellent grip design Six extra mappable buttons
Super responsive face buttons+
Excellent grip design+
Six extra mappable buttons
Reasons to avoid
- Wired connection only
Wired connection only
The Razer Wolverine Ultimate is a genuine contender to Microsoft’s excellent Series 2 Elite for the title of best Xbox One controller and arguably has even greater customization thanks to the additional M1/M2 shoulder buttons. The four buttons underneath the controller on the rear are less like paddles and more like additional triggers that might be a little bit more of a reach, but we found them far less susceptible to accidental touches than the Elite’s paddles that expand into your natural grip area. You also get a few swappable elements like taller or rounder analogs and a four or eight-directional d-pad.
A huge shout out to the face buttons too which have ditched the regular squishy feel for an instant response that’s more in line with a mouse click than what we’ve come to expect from controller buttons. It’s a great feature that the Elite 2 was smart to borrow for the upgrade and it makes going back to regular button inputs on the standard Xbox One controller feel incredibly sluggish.
The Razer Wolverine Ultimate trumps Microsoft’s beast in two neat areas though by allowing you to store two-controller profile setups on board at once and you don’t need to head into menus to swap between them thanks to the on-board controls. There’s also a remapping button to change things up on the fly too, although you do, of course, have the Xbox app to create maps with a visual aid and also adjust analog sensitivity.
Read more: Best Razer controllers 2022
5. Hyperkin Duke
The best nostalgia-fuelled Xbox One controller
Powered by: USB connection
Battery life: N/A
Reasons to buy
+ Faithful design replication Great attention to detail Vibration feedback Precision triggers and bumpers
Faithful design replication+
Great attention to detail+
Precision triggers and bumpers
Reasons to avoid
- Likely too archaic for modern players
Likely too archaic for modern players
Some things just get better with age. The folks over at Hyperkin were quick to recognize this, quickly developing an Xbox One controller solution that harkens back to the design of the original Xbox console’s controller. Nicknamed “The Duke” due to how beefy it was, Hyperkin’s modern interpretation is so faithful from a design standpoint that it even features the classic Xbox logo at its center. Also, as you expect, the Hyperkin Duke can only be used wired, strongly cementing its strong attention to detail and why it should make our list of the best Xbox One controllers.
Needless to say, the Hyperkin Duke won’t be to everyone’s taste. This is a design that has continually been iterated and improved upon after all, but that doesn’t mean that long-term Xbox players won’t appreciate the strong dose of early 2000s nostalgia it offers. Hyperkin has been clever enough to include a fair few modern improvements, such as fully supported vibration feedback and precision analog triggers and bumpers. Minor elements like this not only compliment the classic Duke design further but work to subtly bring it up to today’s standards. The Hyperkin Duke is a great Xbox One controller for those that have stayed with the platform since the beginning.
Best Xbox One Controller: FAQs
Which is the best Xbox One controller?
The best Xbox One controller overall, in our opinion, is the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2. It offers impressive customisation options and is truly built for professional or intense gamers.
Want to save money? The best budget Xbox One controller is the PowerA Enhanced wired, giving you a competitive edge due to the 0-millisecond input lag, introducing new buttons on the back of the controller, and still boasting a low price point.
However, the best traditional Xbox One controller is the Xbox One Wireless Controller - perfectly suiting the size of most players' hands to make playing games all the more immersive and natural.
Is there a better Xbox controller?
If you'd like to look elsewhere for an Xbox controller, there are plenty of good third party options, like the Turtle Beach React-R, or the Razer Wolverine Ultimate. Both of these options allow for more customisation thanks to their mappable back buttons. The Razer Wolverine Ultimate, for example, has an additional 6 buttons compared to stock console controllers. If you'd rather get nostalgic, the Hyperkin Duke is an almost exact replica of the original Xbox controller, so that's a pretty great option too.
Is an Elite controller worth it?
As you can see from our list, we think that the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 is currently the best Xbox One controller on the market. It has insane customisation options, providing over 30 new ways to play. It shines in subtle areas compared to its cheaper counterparts, making it the best gamepad for most Xbox One players.In other words, yes - we do think the Elite 2 is worth it.
How to connect an Xbox One controller to PC
Your Xbox One controller can go further than you might think, connecting to gaming tablets, gaming laptops, and gaming PCs. That means there's a whole world waiting for your buttons, and you can put that mouse and keyboard down. Connecting your Xbox One controller via a cable is easy - it's a plug and play affair that works straight out the box. However, if you're after a wireless connection things are a little more complicated.
The first thing you'll need to work out is if you can connect via Bluetooth at all. If you're using an older gamepad you might need to upgrade. Controllers with a black shiny section running along the top (around the main Xbox button) that doesn't match the color of the controller won't be able to connect wirelessly.
However, if you've got a newer model you're all good to go. Hold the Xbox button to power up and then press the Pair button for three seconds. Navigate to your PC's Bluetooth settings and search for a device - once the Xbox logo starts flashing, you'll see the option for Xbox Wireless Controller appear in the menu. Select this option to connect.
How we test Xbox One controllers
In brief, every controller that we have had our hands on is used in a series of different video games to accommodate for most genres. This means that we'll test the responsiveness of the sticks, face buttons, bumpers, triggers, and any other additional features found on the unit. If a controller is wired or relies on rechargeable batteries, then the duration of the lifespan is tested, too. The same can be said for any specialist software, such as drivers, that may be included with the gamepad as well.
For more onhow we test controllers at GamesRadar+check out our full article, and for something more representative of our holistic approach to the latest gear, check out ourHardware Policy.
We're also rounding up all the latest Xbox Series X restock developments if you're keen to get your hands on the new console.We're also rounding up all the latest Xbox Series S bundles and Xbox Game Pass prices for more discounts as well.
Gaming deals, prizes and latest news
Get the best gaming deals, reviews, product advice, competitions, unmissable gaming news and more!
Ever since playing Journey at the age of 15, I’ve been desperate to cover video games for a living. After graduating from Edinburgh Napier University with a degree in Journalism, I contributed to the Scottish Games Network and completed an Editorial Internship over at Expert Reviews. Besides that, I’ve been managing my own YouTube channel and Podcast for the last 7 years. It’s been a long road, but all that experience somehow landed me a dream job covering gaming hardware. I’m a self-confessing PlayStation fanboy, but my experience covering the larger business and developer side of the whole industry has given me a strong knowledge of all platforms. When I’m not testing out every peripheral I can get my hands on, I’m probably either playing tennis or dissecting game design for an upcoming video essay. Now, I better stop myself here before I get talking about my favourite games like HUNT: Showdown, Dishonored, and Towerfall Ascension.
Location: UK Remote
With contributions from
- Brendan Griffiths
- Jasmine MannanHardware Editor
- Tabitha BakerManaging Editor - Hardware
What controllers do pro Xbox players use? ›
Scuf Gaming is the official controller partner of major gaming leagues, including CDL, MLG, ESL, Gfinity, EGL and UMG.What is the best Xbox controller for aiming? ›
Xbox One Elite Controller Series 2
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.
Best PC controller
- Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2. ...
- PowerA Spectra Infinity Enhanced. ...
- Xbox Core Wireless Controller. ...
- Sony DualSense Wireless Controller.
GuliKit (No Stick Drift KingKong 2 Pro Wireless Controller for Nintendo Switch, First Bluetooth Controller with Hall Effect Sensing Joystick, No Deadzone, Auto Pilot Gaming, Motion Sense[New Patent]What controllers last the longest? ›
- Razer Wolverine Ultimate Edition - Image: Razer.
- Razer Wolverine Tournament Edition - Image: Razer.
- Xbox Wireless Controller - Image: Microsoft.
- Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 - Image: Microsoft.
- PowerA Enhanced Wired Controller - Image: PowerA.
- Razer Wolverine V2 - Image: Razer.
Our top overall pick for the best PC controller is Microsoft's Xbox Wireless Controller, thanks to its comfortable design, impressive build quality and instant compatibility with pretty much every PC game out there.What controller is best for FPS? ›
- Our pick. Microsoft Xbox Wireless Controller. ...
- Runner-up. Sony DualShock 4 Wireless Controller. ...
- Budget pick. PowerA Enhanced Wired Controller for Xbox Series X|S. ...
- Also great. Retroflag Classic USB Gaming Controller. ...
- Also great. PowerA Enhanced Wired Controller for Xbox Series X|S.
The new Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 – Core in white at $129.99 USD MSRP includes the essential components you need to unleash your best game. Experience adjustable-tension thumbsticks, wrap-around rubberized grip, and shorter hair trigger locks.How do I choose an Xbox controller? ›
You can move your cursor on your xbox by using the left analog stick, and you can select things by pressing the A button. Hope this answers your question!Are wired Xbox controllers better? ›
Wired non-Microsoft controllers can be a lot less expensive, and some gamers prefer wired connections for cutting down lag in competitive matches. (And you never have to worry about a dead battery.)
What Xbox controller has the fastest response time? ›
Victrix Gambit World's Fastest Licensed Xbox Controller, Elite Esports Design with Swappable Pro Thumbsticks, Custom Paddles, Swappable White / Purple Faceplate for Xbox One, Series X/S, PC.What is the best budget gaming Xbox controller? ›
PowerA Enhanced Xbox controller – Best budget Xbox controller for PC. For PC gamers on a budget, look no further than the PowerA Enhanced Xbox Controller. While it's a little larger than the 2020 Xbox controller, the PowerA unit is much lighter thanks to its lack of batteries.What is considered the best console controller? ›
- Xbox Elite Controller Series 2. SlashGear.
- SCUF Reflex. SCUF. ...
- PlayStation 5 DualSense. Sony Interactive Entertainment. ...
- DualShock 4. ...
- Nintendo Switch Joy-Con pair. ...
- Super Nintendo gamepad. ...
- Wii remote and Nunchuk. ...
- Xbox 360 gamepad. ...
You can possibly solve your stick drift by resetting your controller. Go through a couple of steps, so your controller gets a hard reset. This means that the controller is put back to factory settings. These steps are both for the DualShock and DualSense controller.How do you get rid of stick drift? ›
Try adjusting the input threshold. Your input threshold is the area in which your controller doesn't register any movement. If you have a lot of drift on your joystick, decreasing the input threshold on the game you're playing can help. To do so, go to the settings in the game you're playing.What is the rarest Xbox controller? ›
The Launch Team Edition controller is the rarest Xbox One controller available, as it was not available to the public. The controller was only distributed to select Microsoft employees that worked on the Xbox One.What is the lifetime of Xbox One controller? ›
Microsoft has been testing the controller and says that it'll last up to 10 years, if not longer.Why do Xbox controllers break so easily? ›
One is something as simple as low batteries. A more common cause is dust or debris inside your controller. Over time, that grime can build up and affect the electrical components. Analog stick drift can also be caused by damage to your controller, either from someone dropping it or excessive wear and tear.Which controller is better Xbox or Playstation? ›
Both controllers feel great in hand, with the Dualsense controller being the larger of the two. The Xbox Series X shape is time-tested and proven, while the Dualsense is Sony's best shape yet. I don't think there is a clear winner between these two controllers and largely boils down to preference.What controller has the fastest response? ›
Dubbed the Victrix Gambit Dual Core Tournament Controller, the new device uses Dual Core technology to provide the fastest response times across its triggers, thumbsticks and buttons currently available on the market.
Which console has 120 fps? ›
One of the exciting new features of the Xbox Series X|S console family is the ability to run games at 120 FPS, providing a smoother experience than previous generations that capped out at 60 FPS.What controllers do faze use? ›
FAZE CLAN COLLECTION
Meet SCUF Reflex. Engineered to live up to its name, featuring four removable, rear remappable paddles, three configuration profiles, adaptive triggers, and interchangeable thumbsticks. Reflex is our most innovative PlayStation controller yet.
The Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 is the best gamepad for the Xbox One/Xbox Series consoles, and one of the best for PCs. It has an excellent feel, plus hardware and software customization tricks that the standard Xbox Wireless Controller does not. It's also quite expensive at $179.99.Is Xbox making a new controller? ›
The Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 — Core launches on September 21, 2022, according to the Microsoft website. You can pre-order the controller through the site right now, with free shipping.Is the new Xbox One controller better? ›
The Xbox Wireless Controller has seen some improvements over the years, but its most recent is the best yet. The Xbox Series X|S gamepad offers a more premium feel without the price tag, with improved tactile textures and refined geometry resulting in a more accessible and comfortable gaming experience.Are SCUF controllers better than elite? ›
Superior ergonomics. The Scuf Instinct Pro includes a comfortable, textured grip. 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.Are Xbox One elite controllers worth it? ›
The Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 is the best gamepad for the Xbox One/Xbox Series consoles, and one of the best for PCs. It has an excellent feel, plus hardware and software customization tricks that the standard Xbox Wireless Controller does not. It's also quite expensive at $179.99.Is there a better Xbox controller? ›
The best premium controller for Xbox
The Xbox Elite Series 2 controller is Microsoft's fancied-up, premium version of the stock controller.