The controller that came with your Xbox One is usually adequate for gaming on it. The Xbox One controller is just one of the best available — Xbox or otherwise. However, there are numerous reasons to consider purchasing something a little unusual. If you bought the Xbox One when it first came out, you’ll notice that the contemporary controller has made some tiny improvements (including Bluetooth). The Elite Series 2 controller from Microsoft is an updated version of the company’s controller.
As good as the stock controller is, for many of us, comfort is still an issue. The form and size of a controller are important for long-term comfort, and you may find that switching to a different controller allows you to acquire a better feel during long play sessions. This is especially true for larger or smaller-than-average hands. Then there’s the fact that the Xbox controller is designed to be universal, which means that any purpose-built controller can give you an advantage in some games. Flying games benefit considerably from the use of a flying stick, just as racing games and fighting games gain greatly from the use of racing wheels and fight sticks, respectively.
So, to assist you in finding a controller that will work for whatever games you want to play, we’ve compiled a list of top competitors in a range of categories.
1. Microsoft Xbox Elite Series 2
Even though the standard Xbox controllers are theoretically excellent for gaming on the Xbox One, Microsoft recognized that there was more than could be done. Here comes the Xbox Elite controller. This improved on the regular controller’s superb design by adding new back controls and swappable components. The Xbox Elite Series 2 (read our review) takes things one step further.
The Xbox Elite Series 2 controller is a strong controller with some heft and lots of grip. The controller includes standard controls as well as a swappable D-Pad, rear paddle buttons, adjustable triggers, and magnetically attachable thumbsticks (careful if you have pets that like to steal). You can remap the controls on the Elite Series 2 as you see fit using Microsoft’s software. You can also use this with your phone or PC for Xbox Cloud Gaming thanks to Bluetooth connectivity. Naturally, at this price point, the controller comes with some pleasant accessories, such as a robust casing and a pogo-pin charging stand.
2. Xbox Core Controller
The Xbox Elite Series 2 controller may be the best, but its price and features maybe a little more than you bargained for. So, if we ignore the premium controller, the Xbox Core Controller (see our review) is the next best thing. It has a familiar yet updated design. If you liked the original Xbox One controllers, you’ll like this one because it has a bit more grip. Microsoft accomplished this by texturing the side grips, as well as the triggers and bumpers.
The D-Pad has also been redesigned, with more of the concave stylings of one of the Elite Series controller’s alternate D-Pads. The Xbox Core Controller has also made the transition to the contemporary era of networking.
Because the controller now uses a USB-C connector, you won’t have to deal with a weak and fussy micro USB cord again. It also includes a standard 3.5mm headset jack. Another significant advantage of the Xbox Core Controller is its adaptability. It works with the Xbox One, the upcoming Xbox Series X/S, and a variety of other devices via Bluetooth or cable connections. Though it comes in a variety of colors, you may be creative using the Xbox Design Lab controller customizer.
3. Razer Wolverine V2
The Xbox Elite Series 2 controller has the most extensive capabilities as well as the most seamless interface with the Xbox system, but the Razer Wolverine V2 (read our review) is a close second. You’ll save money by selecting for the Razer Wolverine V2 because it doesn’t have a wireless connection or a battery for functioning. Some gamers may be put off by this, but wired connectivity also gives minimal latency for a competitive advantage, and you’ll never receive a low-battery message in the middle of a game. Furthermore, it results in a lighter controller.
The Wolverine V2 puts some serious power in your hands. The Wolverine V2 has a second set of shoulder buttons to give your trigger fingers more control options, in addition to wonderfully tactile face buttons that improve on the mushy ones found on the basic Xbox control. Because you’re presumably already used to inputting inputs with your index fingers, the learning curve for these new shoulder buttons won’t be as high as it is for the Xbox Elite controller’s rear paddle buttons. Razer also adds a setting for shortening the travel of trigger locks, which is useful for FPS games.
4. Razer Dragon Ball FighterZ Atrox Arcade Stick
Fighting games are best played with a fight stick, and the best one for the Xbox One is the Razer Atrox Arcade Stick. This premium combat stick has an excellent build quality thanks to the use of high-grade Sanwa components. This stick comes in a variety of forms, but we like this Dragon Ball FighterZ edition since it adds some extra flair to the design without sacrificing the quality of any of the components.
Of course, if you prefer a different stick, different buttons, or simply don’t like the box art, users may open up this fight stick and customize almost every aspect of it.
5. PowerA Fusion
When it comes to fighting games, thumbsticks just don’t cut it. A good D-pad with more instantaneous control can be quite useful, and the PowerA Fusion has exactly what you need. This fight pad features a minimalist design that allows your hands to focus on the buttons that are most important in fighting games.
The D-pad is the only thing on the left side. PowerA includes a three-way switch that allows the D-pad to imitate the Xbox controller’s thumbsticks and D-pad, so you shouldn’t have any trouble navigating in games. The right side preserves the ABXY buttons where you need them while also including right and left bumper buttons for mash-ups in fighting games. PowerA also comes with a lengthy, wired cable that firmly clamps into the rear of the controller for a tight attachment, and a quick-release point near the cable’s connection point with the Xbox can assist ensure your console isn’t accidentally yanked off your media center.
6. Xbox Adaptive Controller
The Xbox Adaptive Controller was created specifically for gamers with limited mobility. The Adaptive controller only provides three inputs on its own, with an enormous D-Pad and two gigantic A and B buttons that users may press with their palm, elbow, foot, or anything they choose.
The Xbox Adaptive Controller, on the other hand, isn’t meant to be used on its own. Rather, it features 19 3.5mm jacks running down its back, each of which corresponds to a single command activated on the standard Xbox One controller. Users can use the Xbox Adaptive Controller as a central control hub by plugging in their own accessible controllers, which include a wide range of buttons, foot pedals, switches, joysticks, and more.
7. Hyperkin Duke Wired Controller
You can play a large library of original Xbox titles thanks to Microsoft’s extensive backward compatibility. If like us, you want to get as close to the original experience as possible, you’ll need the Duke.
The Hyperkin Duke is not manufactured by Microsoft, but it is legally licensed by Xbox. From its huge, rotund shape to the nearly excessive resistance on the thumbsticks, this controller replicates the complete original Xbox Controller experience. To complete the experience, this blast from the past controller retains the old-school black and white buttons.
8. Thrustmaster TMX Racing Wheel
When you’re truly into a racing game like Forza, F1, or Dirt, it can soon become tedious trying to feel like you’re driving hyper-realistic vehicles on photorealistic tracks while only having a simple Xbox controller in your hands.
That’s where a racing wheel comes in, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in your game, and Thrustmaster manufactures many of the best.
The Thrustmaster TMX Racing Wheel is an excellent choice for anyone wishing to immerse themselves in racing simulations with a wheel that not only looks but also feels the part. Because the Thrustmaster TMX is a force feedback racing wheel, you will feel the road in your hands when taking a corner at high speeds. It also boasts a 900-degree rotation and a high level of sensitivity, providing you with greater control over your steering than a cheap wheel. The force feedback base, an 11-inch wheel with paddle shifters, and foot pedals are all part of the controller.
9. Thrustmaster T-Flight HOTAS One
If you want to be the best pilot in your favourite flight simulator, whether it’s Ace Combat or the upcoming Star Wars Squadrons, you’ll probably want to use a flying stick rather than your Xbox One controller. The Thrustmaster T-Flight HOTAS One is your best bet in this regard. This controller provides an authentic hands-on-throttle-and-stick experience by combining both elements in a reasonably priced package.
The Thrustmaster T-Flight HOTAS One physically joins the throttle and joystick with a robust base, but they can also be separated and tethered together. This allows you to position each piece in your gaming setup as you choose. You can even change the resistance of the stick to suit your needs. The controllers include five control axes, 14 action buttons, a multidirectional hat switch, and a rapid-fire trigger. So, when you’re ready to take to the skies, this controller will take care of everything.
Compatibility with Xbox and PC
The most significant advantage of Xbox One controllers over the DualShock 4 PS4 controller is that they connect wirelessly with your Windows PC right out of the box. There is no need for additional software or tweaking.
While most PC games are best played with a gaming keyboard and a high-quality gaming mouse, a growing number of games and menu systems are designed around the controller rather than the standard WASD control method that PC gamers are accustomed to.
You simply plug an Xbox One controller onto your Windows computer and you’re ready to go. The PS4 controllers work with PC as well, but it takes a little more effort. However, not all games’ controls will precisely map to a DualShock 4, so an Xbox One controller is your best chance. Switching between Windows Play Anywhere and Xbox Game Pass for PC games like Cuphead, Forza Horizon 4, Gears of War 4, and others is also much easier with controller compatibility.
To utilize an Xbox One controller on your PC, you must have Windows installed. There are also Linux and Mac options, although they need more effort. It’s as simple as connecting your Xbox One controller to your gaming laptop or gaming PC with a Micro USB cord. You can either get a Microsoft Xbox One wireless controller adaptor, or if your computer has Bluetooth, couple it like any other Bluetooth device.
Windows may take a few seconds to update the drivers, but that’s all. Simply connect your Xbox One controller to a PC and you’re ready to go. Keep in mind that if you switch back and forth between PC and Xbox One, you’ll need to pair the controller each time.