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 Xbox Elite Wi-fi Controller got here as shock when it was first introduced. Each its worth ($149.99/£119/AU$199.95 from the Microsoft Retailer) and its function appeared misaligned with the picture Microsoft needed to place on the market after the Xbox One’s sluggish begin out of the gate.

It is costly, extravagant and maybe most helpful for less than a small area of interest of the Xbox neighborhood i.e. it is all the things Microsoft was making an attempt to keep away from when it rebranded the Xbox One from a next-level gaming machine on par with PCs to the extra inexpensive, all-in-one leisure heart we see right now.

However regardless of what the lavish, pro-only worth suggests, the controller has a common attraction that anybody – from the tier-one Name of Obligation gamers to the informal Fortnite gamers – can get pleasure from. 

Why? The Xbox Elite Wi-fi Controller is well essentially the most snug controllers available on the market, with rubberized grips, a cool-to-the-touch end and chrome steel parts that may be swapped out to fit your wants. It additionally is available in white to match the particular version white Xbox One X.

Add to {that a} slew of paddles positioned on the again of the controller that may be assigned the operate of any face button and a set of bolstered hair triggers that may be programmed and bodily set to completely different sensitivity ranges and you’ve got the makings of an amazing gamepad.

Better of all, it really works on PCs working Home windows 7 or greater – together with, after all, Windows 10

As well as, with a brand new Xbox Elite Wi-fi Controller rumored to be releasing within the coming month , it’s probably the unique controller will fall in worth – particularly round Black Friday and Cyber Monday – so it might be the right time to select up a brand new Xbox too.

Design

It is arduous to identify a severe design flaw with Microsoft’s new management pad. For the primary six hours with the controller I pored over each element looking for one thing that did not dwell as much as the value tag. However after the six hours handed I hadn’t discovered something that irritated me that could not both be swapped out, recalibrated or reprogrammed.

Maintain it in your fingers for a minute and you may immediately really feel the large modifications over the usual Xbox One pad. It is heavier by far, and extra snug too due to the rubberized grip and amazingly clean matte end.

There are three magnetic interchangeable components on the face of the controller – the d-pad and the 2 thumbsticks. The usual sticks are the concave rubber pads you may know and love already on the Xbox One, however different choices embody convex PS3-style sticks or additional lengthy, arcade-style items if these are extra your factor. (The arcade-style sticks are glorious for combating video games, by the best way.)

Xbox Elite Controller review

The opposite interchangeable half, the d-pad, is available in two flavors: a normal cross or the brand new 360-degree “photo voltaic panel” design. I discovered the previous extra snug than the latter, however I may see the latter coming in helpful, too.

The six different face buttons – share, menu, A,B,XY – are not any completely different than their commonplace controller counterpart except their colour: they’re all jet black.

Spin the controller round and issues get extra fascinating. There you will discover the 4 aforementioned paddles, aptly named P1, P2, P3 and P4. At first I assumed they could intrude with how I normally grip the controller – like most avid gamers I place strain on the wings with my palms and three outdoors fingers – and for just a few irritating seconds after I first began utilizing the controller that is precisely what occurred.

However Microsoft has given this controller actual thought, and have left no stone unturned. In case you do not just like the paddles, you’ll be able to both take away them from the controller or just disable them by urgent the sync button on the high of the controller twice.

Xbox Elite Controller review

You will additionally discover the rubberized grip right here, in addition to lock mechanisms for the triggers that assist you to halve the press of the appropriate and left set off buttons.

The final function price noting is that it comes filled with a USB cable to attach it to your PC and two AA batteries. I discovered it barely insulting that Microsoft would not embody a play and cost equipment with every Elite, however that is extra of a private difficulty than something improper with the controller itself.

General, the design is one that’s extremely effectively thought-out. Microsoft, like Sony and Nintendo, normally leaves the design of additional controllers to third-party producers like PDP or Mad Catz with various levels of success, however that is the primary time for the reason that Wavebird on GameCube that I have been impressed with a second-iteration first-party peripheral.

Efficiency and Xbox Equipment App

Over the course of a weekend, I used the controller in a half-dozen racing, combating, taking pictures and sports activities video games in my Xbox One assortment. Some benefited immensely from the controller whereas others merely felt extra snug than standard.

As you may anticipate the Elite was a significant boon in first-person shooters. Halving the space on the appropriate set off allowed me to shoot non-automatic weapons sooner, and crouching grew to become faster as soon as I mapped it to one of many paddles on the again. Likewise, racing video games like Forza Horizon grew to become extra dynamic experiences utilizing the Elite controller.

Xbox Elite Controller review

That stated, I did not discover the controller to be notably advantageous in each style. In addition to an extended left stick, I noticed no motive combating video games might be made any higher utilizing the {hardware}. And the identical went for sports activities video games like Madden, FIFA or NHL.

After all one dimension did not match all when it got here to the paddle buttons and stick sensitivity. To that finish Microsoft is releasing an Xbox Equipment app that may assist you to arrange customized profiles in your controller.

Choices within the app embody altering the left and proper thumbstick sensitivity from a linear pace to an exponential one and reducing the time it takes for the triggers to reply to your contact. You will additionally use the app to assign capabilities to the paddles. It is on this display screen that I discovered my first disappointment.

Xbox Elite Wireless Controller

The Xbox Equipment App would not assist you to program a string of buttons to the paddles – an enormous disappointment should you play combating video games and wish to have just a few combos up your sleeve when issues get dicey.

The controller can save two profiles at a time, and switching between them is so simple as transferring a slider on the face of the controller. In case you want greater than two apps at any given time you will have to return to the Equipment app, nonetheless, I by no means discovered myself enjoying greater than two video games in anybody gaming session.

Admittedly the app’s largest drawback is that navigation up to now feels cumbersome. Transferring backwards and forwards between screens could be a headache as a few of the regular capabilities of the controller (like utilizing ‘A’ to go ahead and ‘B’ to return) are non permanent disabled when you monkey round contained in the app.

We preferred

Versatility is the Elite’s biggest power. In addition to the 4 face buttons and two bumpers there’s nearly nothing everlasting about this controller. Paddles may be eliminated anytime they get in the best way; triggers may be bodily set to completely different distances; and management sticks may be swapped at a second’s discover.

It additionally helps that at its core the Xbox Elite Wi-fi Controller is extremely snug (to not point out trendy) due to some slight tweaks to the grips, jet-black colour scheme and matte end.

We disliked

That stated, the quantity of customization choices may be overwhelming for somebody who is not fascinated with X- and Y-axis acceleration or setting the sensitivity of a set off right down to the closest millimeter.

This reality hurts extra when you think about the one operate that extremely invested avid gamers may actually profit from – macros – was nowhere to be discovered.

Closing verdict

Here is the wanting it: The Xbox Elite Wi-fi Controller is solely one of the vital extraordinary controllers to hit any Microsoft console for the reason that authentic swap from the Duke controller to the S Controller again on the unique Xbox. It is smarter, sleeker and extra versatile than the usual gamepad, and regardless of the professional moniker will attraction to avid gamers of all talent ranges.

Now, with that stated, regardless of how nice this controller is, should you suppose  ($149.99/£119/AU$199.95 is an excessive amount of to spend on a controller then the Elite will not change your thoughts. If the choice comes down to purchasing this or three new titles across the holidays, it is best to most likely go for the additional video games. However if in case you have the monetary wherewithal to again purchases like these with out shedding sleep over it, the Elite Wi-fi Controller will show you how to discover a newfound love for controllers and the science behind them.

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