The best Xbox Series X controller in 2024

The best Xbox Series X controllers will give you more than a typical gamepad can. There's such a wide range of options on the Xbox platform so you can buy a controller specifically for a game you want to be competitive in, if you so choose. Besides that, there are great budget options if you need a spare, and some pro options that give the Elite Series 2 a serious run for its money.

Due to excellent forward, backward, (and sideways - many of these gamepads double as some of the best PC controllers) compatibilities, a lot of the best Xbox Series X controllers are also top Series S contenders. There's honestly a huge range of gamepads available for Xbox platforms, and we've rounded up the best ones below. The easiest way to determine which gamepad is for you is by thinking about what features you'll get the most use out of, and what games you'll need it for. Do you just need a simple spare for when friends come around to play Plate Up? Do you need something competitive you're willing to spend more money on?

We've gathered together a list of the best Xbox series X controllers down below, and we're continually testing and updating our findings. At the time of writing this update, we're currently going hands-on with the Thrustmaster eSwap X2 and the PowerA Advantage controller, so be sure to check back soon to catch our verdicts on those. 

The Quick List

The best Xbox Series X controller overall

Best Xbox Series X controller overall

Specifications

Connection: Wireless (USB dongle), Wired (3m USB-C to USB cable)
Buttons: (Modular design) Up to 20
Remappable buttons: 4
Cable length: 3m
Weight: 298g

Reasons to buy

+
Modular design means great customization
+
Versatile across gaming genres
+
Battery life feels improved
+
Wireless Xbox option
+
Added visual flair

Reasons to avoid

-
Hall sensor tech isn’t included

Our favorite controller for PS5 has made its way to Xbox, and its refreshed model for Microsoft's console might even be an improvement. In our eyes, this is one of the best gamepads ever made, so to say it's been improved on is a big deal. For competitive players, there is simply no better controller to choose right now. No matter the genre of game you play, the modular design of this controller means you can bend it to your will. 

But what does that mean in practical terms? The facial components here can be lifted out and rotated, meaning you can finally have symmetrical thumbsticks on Xbox. You can also swap out the components entirely which is massive for fighting game fans - especially since there's a dedicated fightpad module in the box with six facial buttons. 

This new Xbox version comes with all the same add-ons PS5 owners get, as well as integrated rumble motors and improved battery life. You don't get Hall Sensor tech out of the box here, but there is availability for an additional fee if stick drift ever becomes an issue. 

What you have here then, is a competitive Esports controller that now excels in first person games thanks to its extra feedback. It's also one of few gamepads on this list than can play with the Xbox wirelessly. It's even priced competitively with some of the more contemporary controllers, and its worth every penny.

The best Xbox Series X controller for most players

The best Xbox Series X controller for most players

Specifications

Wireless: Yes
Powered by: Lithium-ion internal pack
Battery life: 30-40 hours

Reasons to buy

+
Unparalleled customization 
+
Incredible build quality 
+
Wired or wireless use  

Reasons to avoid

-
Requires a healthy investment

You probably knew it was coming but near the top of any best Xbox Series X controller list, we simply have to feature the Elite Series 2 pad. It really is the one to beat for most Xbox (and PC) users. Even despite its age, this controller is well worth buying, and with no word about an Elite Series 3 coming any time soon, there's no reason to hold off. 

Naturally, it often demands a price tag to match its premium nature, but we have seen this level out at a new, lower price range which is encouraging. But anyway, what that means, in reality, is the Elite Series 2 is just more affordable than it has ever been and if you want a premium beast for the new-gen of consoles then this is still the one to beat.

Included are replacement thumbstick heads, a classic cross-design D-pad, and tools to tailor the feel of the controller to your liking - with physical adjustments to almost every part of the controller. Also, there's a better, extended 40-hour battery life which represents a good 8-hour bump up from the Xbox Series X gamepad's lifespan between charges. From our testing, the experience of using the Elite Series 2

On the whole, if you can stretch the budget, the Elite 2 justifies its asking price through its premium design and suite of features. 

Read more: Xbox Elite 2 controller review

The best affordable Elite controller

Specifications

Wireless: Yes
Powered by: Lithium-ion internal pack
Battery life: 30-40 hours

Reasons to buy

+
Cheap for a pro controller
+
Premium feel
+
Exceptional battery life
+
Can use pre-owned / cheaper accessories

Reasons to avoid

-
No attachments whatsoever feels a tad stingy

The Xbox Elite Series 2 Core takes the high quality of the full-fat Elite Series 2 and brings it down to a more affordable price point, making it one of the best Xbox Series X controllers out there. It's quite tough to know what the differences between these two controllers really are - besides the obvious colour changes. In fact, these two gamepads are practically identical in every way, and the main difference is the accessories you get bundled along with them.

The original Elite Controller Series 2 will set you back $179.99 / £159.99 and comes with all the customizable goodies you could ever need for it. The Elite Series 2 Core only costs $129.99 / £114.99 and comes with the exact same body and features, but none of the accessories. These are available to purchase separately and can be used with the Core, but they will bring the total investment back up to $179.99.

Although I'm disappointed that there aren't any attachments on offer here, and really would have appreciated some form of back paddles or extra stick caps, I can't seriously fault the Elite Series 2 Core. It feels like going to a bougie, Michelin-star restaurant and being served something as basic as bread and butter. It's stripped back, simple, and you expect a more complicated course for how much you pay. But it's probably the best bread and butter you'll ever eat.

All in all, this is one of the top-performing controllers for Xbox and PC that you'll find, which in many ways, is no surprise.

The best Xbox Series X controller under $40 / £40

The best Xbox Series X controller under $40 / £40

Specifications

Connection: Wired
Buttons: 23
Remappable buttons: 2
Headset connection: 3.5mm
Cable length: 2.5m
Weight: 271g

Reasons to buy

+
Grippy texture
+
Well balanced and spaced
+
On the fly remapping
+
Smooth movement

Reasons to avoid

-
No rubberized grip of Recon model
-
Bumpers feel slightly hollow
-
No chat mix on PC

The Turtle Beach React-R is a revolution in budget Xbox Series X controllers. You're getting some serious value for money baked into that $39.99 / £34.99 price tag, with a comfortable, grippy form factor, on-the-fly remappable paddles, Turtle Beach's Superhuman Hearing mode, and solid button feel to boot. This feels like a far more premium gamepad than it really is - we noted excellent balance overall and a particularly responsive tension in the thumbsticks in our own testing. 

The React-R was introduced to sit alongside the slightly more expensive Turtle Beach Recon Controller. There's a $20 / £15 difference in these two rates, and the Recon still holds its value well with the addition of a precision aiming mode and rubber grips (the React-R swaps this for textured bumps). However, when it comes down to pure price to performance value, the React-R takes the cake. 

You're spending far less than you usually would for these features. Compared to similarly priced (and sometimes more expensive) offerings from PowerA and PDP, for example, the differences in spec sheets and feature lists are stark. Even the paddles along the back feel larger (and therefore far easier to hit reliably in our testing) and more premium. 

The only indication that this is a cheaper Xbox Series X controller is the slightly hollow shoulder buttons and the lack of chat mix on PC. Those are mild nit-picks though, this really is the best value gamepad we've had our hands on for a while.

Read more: Turtle Beach React-R review

The best third-party Xbox Series X controller

The best third-party Xbox Series X controller

Specifications

Connection: Wired / Wireless USB dongle
Buttons: 28
Remappable buttons: Fully remappable
Headset connection: 3.5mm
Cable length: 3m
Weight: 246g

Reasons to buy

+
As close to haptic feedback as Xbox controllers get (for now)
+
Great triggers
+
Hall Sensor tech
+
Solid horizontally placed back buttons
+
Good battery life
+
Lovely looks
+
Wireless (a first for Xbox)

Reasons to avoid

-
Slippy thumbsticks
-
Lack of attachments
-
Awkward menu button placement

The Turtle Beach Stealth Ultra Wireless controller is everything the Asus ROG Raikiri Pro from 2023 should have been. It has a small display on its face, and unlike the Asus pad's, it's actually useful. More importantly, the Stealth Ultra Wireless is the first ever officially licensed third-party Xbox Series X controller to feature wireless connectivity with the console. That's a landmark achievement for any controller on this list and one that makes it our favorite third-party controller overall. 

The design of this gamepad is no short of stunning. It's got some lovely RGB lines striking through its grips and face, that aforementioned display for customization, and some truly innovative back buttons. Its buttons are microswitch ones, its triggers, and thumbsticks have Hall Sensor tech inside them, and its vibration is punchy without being overbearing. 

You get the usual connectivity here; a 3.5mm headphone jack and USB-C charging, but with your purchase you get a USB dongle and a small magnetic charging stand too. While you might not get the kind of assortments and attachments as some more Esports-specific controllers do, you do get some thumbstick toppers for your money, and these go a long way to correct the sub-par, slippy designs of the regular sticks. 

What I love about this controller is that it does everything well. It isn't quite as good performance-wise as something from Victrix, but it isn't far off. Short of that, you'd be hard-pressed to find a gaming genre this controller isn't perfect for. What's more, its 30-hour quoted battery life is accurate, and thanks to the charging stand, I never have to worry about it running out of charge. It feels like the classic Xbox controllers people love, but it's got that Turtle Beach twist you'll know from a React-R gamepad which only adds to the experience of the games you play. 

Overall, this is one of the best controllers for Xbox Series X that you'll find.   

The best value Xbox Series X Controller

The best value Xbox controller

Specifications

Connection: Wired
Buttons: 16
Remappable buttons: 2
Headset connection: 3.5mm
Cable length: 3m
Weight: 422g

Reasons to buy

+
Great back buttons
+
Hall Sensor sticks
+
Super affordable
+
Nice vibration
+
Excellent for platforming

Reasons to avoid

-
Slightly less comfortable than the T4 Kaleid
-
Big dead zones out of the box
-
No wireless connectivity

The GameSir G7 SE is the first officially licensed controller for Xbox Series X to include Hall Effect Sensor thumbsticks. For those who might not know, these types of thumbsticks use tiny electromagnets and last far longer than the potentiometers you'll find in controllers up and down this list. Essentially, it means it's immune to stick drift. Considering this pad is on par, if not cheaper than the stock Xbox controller, you're getting so much value for money here.

An alternate accolade for the GameSir G7 SE could have been the best Xbox Series X controller for platforming because that's where I found it came into its own. Its two back buttons feel incredible - as is the norm with GameSir controllers, but the compact and tactile feel of the G7 SE means it feels great to use in sidescrolling or top-down titles. 

Annoyingly, since it's a third-party controller, there's no wireless support to be had here, and there are some pretty unruly thumbstick dead zones out of the box. Luckily you can play around with this by heading to GameSir's Nexus software on PC. There you can also play around with button assignments, vibration, and more. Speaking of vibration, it feels really subtle and precise with the G7 SE. 

If it was cheaper than Turtle Beach's option, you could also dub the G7 SE a best budget controller, because you're getting an awful lot of pro controller features here for the price of a stock one. No matter what award you want to give this, the Game Sir G7 SE is one of the best Xbox Series X controllers - and one you should definitely consider buying.

The best basic Xbox Series X controller

5. Xbox Wireless Controller

The best Xbox Series X controller for most players

Specifications

Wireless: Yes
Powered by: AA batteries
Battery life: Depends on your AAs/battery packs

Reasons to buy

+
OG quality and reliability
+
Works both wired and wireless
+
Native compatibility
+
Improved feel in the hand

Reasons to avoid

-
Not changed too much from the Xbox One pad
-
Still uses batteries

The stock Xbox Series X controller has a massive range of colors and designs to choose from, not to mention some beautiful limited editions as well. Beyond aesthetics, it has a cult following for its ergonomics and classic offset feel in the hands. For the majority of players on Xbox Series X or S, this is all you'll really need. Just keep in mind there are better options out there functionality-wise.

Predictably, we've found it to work smoothly and beautifully via cable or the usual pairing mode, and it's got that excellent performance and comfort by default. It will be very familiar to Xbox One owners from the last generation but there are subtle tweaks that do make it an objectively better controller.

This time around we have USB-C charging which is faster than Micro-USB (if you use a rechargeable pack at least) and there's a 'hybrid' D-pad that takes its cues from a more premium Xbox controller that we'll mention later. Like with many other players, we have found the big inclusion to be the share button which was missing all of the last generation (while the DualShock 4 had it from the start) - which does exactly what it should, enabling you to take snaps or clips and share media easily.

However, there's an overwhelming reason why this iteration is easy for us to recommend and why it is similar to the previous generation's - if it isn't broken, you don't fix it. And that's why we have a superb Xbox Series X/S controller in the shape of the updated core controller. You cannot go wrong with this one, and our testing proved that the Xbox core controller is a brilliant one.

Read more: Our impressions of the Xbox Series X controller

The best Xbox controller for driving games

The best Xbox controller for driving games

Specifications

Connection: Wired USB-C
Buttons: 28 (swappable)
Remappable buttons: Fully remappable
Headset connection: 3.5mm
Cable length: 3m
Weight: 329g

Reasons to buy

+
Solid build quality
+
Modular design
+
Classy aesthetics
+
Competitive price

Reasons to avoid

-
Really poor back buttons
-
Essentially the exact same as previous eSwap controllers

The Thrustmaster eSwap X 2 is the latest version of Thrustmaster's modular pro controller. This version brings the family into the modern era with USB-C but doesn't do much to change the formula besides. This is a broad, robust, and comfortable controller to use for longer sessions, but not one we'd recommend for most multiplayer games.

Where the eSwap X 2 really stands out is in driving games, and third-person action adventures. Particularly in the former, the triggers lend themselves to a light touch and the thumbsticks have a looser tension that helps with precise cornering. The angular shoulder buttons are a stand out in third-person games and are another ergonomic plus with this gamepad that sits well in larger hands. 

For all the ergonomic points this gets right, the tiny back buttons really should have evolved this time around. With so many iterations of this controller across Xbox and PS4, you'd think that one of the biggest points of frustration would have been remedied with this version. It really is a shame, because better back buttons would elevate this as a gamepad to use in a wider range of genres. 

Still, you can get a lot of utility out of what Thrustmaster has put out. The toolless modular design lets you tug facial components out, snap others in, and enjoy your controller as you see fit. That's even easier than Victrix makes it, which deserves praise. We'd recommend checking out additional facial modules to really upgrade this controller, especially the funky racing wheel module from the Thrustmaster eSwap XR

The best pro controller for color preferences

The best pro controller for color preferences

Specifications

Wireless: Yes
Powered by: Batteries
Battery life: Up to 30 hours
Back buttons: 4

Reasons to buy

+
Superb back buttons
+
Customize the design yourself
+
Great overall build-quality

Reasons to avoid

-
So much more expensive than the competition

It's fair enough to be skeptical of the design-it-yourself Scuf Instinct. For starters, it's expensive. Incredibly expensive. But if you can move past that, you'll find a genuinely excellent Xbox Series X controller with the best back buttons we've ever used. These things are a revelation.

Sure, you can mix and match designs ranging from simple color-swaps to golden Japanese Koi art. It also has a satisfyingly ergonomic rubber coating at the front for better grip. Oh, and you can change the shape of the thumbsticks before checkout as well. That's not what stays with you when you boot up a game, though. Rather, it's the savvy back button placement that makes them so easy to activate in the middle of a Destiny firefight or Call of Duty battle. Because they form a shell of sorts around your index finger, all you need to do is press down or lift up to activate them. It's much more intuitive than the other alternatives we've tried - and we've tried more than our fair share.

The trigger locks are right on the money as well. They enable much faster responses than you'd find from the console's standard controller; we're definitely not that quick on the draw in Halo the rest of the time. Even the thumbsticks feel bouncier and more taut than usual.

So, is the result worth the money? Should you buy one instead of the Elite Series 2 - the current gold standard? It's a subjective matter best left in your capable hands, but if you do decide to invest, you'll find a handset at the top of its game.

Read more: Scuf Instinct Pro review

The Xbox Series X controller with the most buttons

8. Razer Wolverine V2

The Xbox Series X controller with the most buttons

Specifications

Wireless : No
Powered by: USB
Battery life: N/A

Reasons to buy

+
Clicky buttons 
+
Rugged feel 
+
Responsive feedback
+
Six extra buttons

Reasons to avoid

-
Wire doesn't detach
-
Pricey

If a specialist, feature-filled third-party Xbox Series X controller is what you're after but you don't have the budget to throw money at the situation then the Razer Wolverine V2 is a great candidate for you, and one we can heartily recommend.

Tweaking and tinkering really is the name of the game with this controller; especially for its 'mecha' tactile buttons - which were satisfyingly clicky in our testing - and the adjustable sensitivity of the two analog sticks. It is wired, however, something that may not gel with those looking to sit a decent distance away. 

We really think that this successfully builds on the initial iteration of the Wolverine from the last console generation, (still a great controller in itself for Xbox consoles), and given the V2's price is not too much more than the MSRP of the standard Xbox gamepad, it's worth a second look if some extra features and button are what you're after. 

Read more: best Razer controllers

Best Xbox Series X controller: FAQs

Is the Xbox Series X controller different to Xbox One?

The Xbox Series X Core controller does differ from the original model released with the previous generation console. The most noticeable change is the redesigned D-Pad, offering a concave approach to ensure diagonal inputs are a lot smoother. The Xbox Series X controller also makes use of a low latency connection with Series X consoles and adds a Share button to the face. The newer gamepad also charges via USB-C, carries a slightly smaller form factor, and replaces the shiny plastic covering of the Xbox One model with a matte finish. 

What is the best Xbox Series X controller for FPS?

In our eyes, the best Xbox Series X controllers for competitive multiplayer shooters are ones with four back buttons (or more). This is because they allow you to assign more in-game functions to other digits, freeing up your thumbs to keep you moving and looking. The Official Elite Series 2 is a fantastic choice for these sorts of games since you can also set custom deadzones. The Scuf Instinct Pro and Razer Wolverine V2 are also solid third party choices.

What is the best third party alternative to the Xbox Elite 2?

We'd argue that the best Xbox Series X controller overall is the Elite Series 2 - there simply isn't a better all-round alternative. However for competitive players, Scuf's controllers are an excellent go-to. We list the Scuf Instinct Pro as the best Xbox Series X controller for eSports thanks to its superb back buttons and great overall build quality. You also have the added benefit of customizing the design for yourself.

What is the Xbox Series X controller compatible with?

The official Xbox Series X controller is compatible with the new generation of consoles, the Xbox Series S, all Xbox One models, PC, Android, and iOS. If you use GamePass via your Smart TV, the Xbox Series X controller may also be compatible with that too, but check the specific TV models to be sure.

What is the best Xbox controller in the world?

The best Xbox Series X controller overall is the Microsoft Elite Series 2, but we'd recommend the majority of players check out the Xbox Wireless controller. It works smoothly and has all the features any casual gamers would need. The most affordable Xbox Series X controller, however, has to be the Turtle Beach React-R. It presents features which are typically only present in much more expensive controllers. 

How we test Xbox Series X controllers

Why you can trust GamesRadar+ Our experts review games, movies and tech over countless hours, so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about our reviews policy.

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 on how 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 our Hardware Policy


We're also rounding up plenty more Xbox Series X accessories (and all the best Xbox One accessories if you're after something a little cheaper), like the best Xbox steering wheels and the best Xbox Series X hard drives