The best Xbox One limited edition controllers

Hands on

Two years in, and Xbox One is finally hitting the 'new models' stage of the console evolution cycle. There are versions with bigger hard drives, nifty solid state replacements, even one that makes engine noises when you turn it on. And yet in the realm of limited edition controllers, Microsoft has been doing this since (literally) Day One.

Even the standard controller you're looking at above is now technically a limited edition, having been replaced with a new version with a regular audio jack and some minor internal tweaks. Here's every one of the Xbox One's official spin-off pads.


Looks like: The steering wheel to some kind of vehicle that hasn't yet been invented.

This is the big one, Microsoft's foray into the pro gaming peripheral market. The Elite controller is pretty special - it'd have to be for a $150 price tag - already garnering 'best controller ever' type praise. For a start, it's clearly more expensively made than its plastic brethren. It also comes with 3 sets of analog sticks, interchangeable D-pads, hair trigger controls and back paddles. You might never start playing, however, because snapping all the magnetic pieces on and off is so satisfying, like you're an awe-filled baby-person again. Here's a full run-down of its features for you.

Buy it here: Amazon

Master Chief

Looks like: "John-117", by Pablo Picasso.

Released in conjunction with Halo 5: Guardians, this is one of two controllers celebrating the game's dual heroes. The Chief edition comes in camo green, with a touch of burnt gold class on the D-Pad, and may pass as ID on some of the more relaxed military bases.

Buy it here: Amazon

Agent Locke

Looks like: Blueprints for a funky new library.

And here's the other Halo 5 tie-in. Locke's a more advanced Spartan than Chief, and his cobalt-streaked controller is meant to reflect that. It's partly down to those clean lines and harsh geometry, but also because the thing's covered in dots and numbers that are probably part of some immense ARG.

Buy it here: Amazon

Lunar White

Looks like: Something a '60s spaceman would wear, throw, or eat with.

Part of the new wave of Xbox controllers with 3.5mm audio jacks, the Lunar White is sort of understated but with a fancy glam streak. That D-Pad is a clue, but flip it over and you'll find gleaming golden triggers, too, like you're some kind of hip Donald Trump.

Buy it here: Amazon

Forza 6

Looks like: A tiny race track for baby mouse cars.

Modelled after the 2017 Ford GT on the front of the Forza 6 box, this also comes packed in with a correspondingly coloured limited edition console. It also comes with a grippy textured back shell - presumably partly for car-like effect, but also because people like me play racing games really violently and might throw our controllers into a wall during a chicane.

Buy it here: Amazon

Armed Forces

Looks like: Some hunters get really bored while waiting for deer to pass by.

Look, I'm not really sure why you'd need your controller to look like an army man or lady's gear. Maybe you are an army man or lady and like to accessorise. Maybe you play games in a bush. I don't know but by god if I don't have the gamepad for you.

Buy it here: Amazon

Covert Forces

Looks like: The last one

OK, maybe you don't play games in a bush, but you do play them lying down, unseen in the middle of the road. Booya!

Buy it here: Amazon

Midnight Forces

Looks like: The last one, and the one before that.

A cloudless night. The full moon hangs full and heavy. You can almost feel its gravity, pulling stronger tonight. Pulling you towards games. But no one can know. No one can find out that you play games outside on nights like these. You pull out your special edition Midnight Forces Xbox One controller. Thank the gods Microsoft released this appropriately-coloured pad. You are safe, once again.

Buy it here: Amazon

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

Looks like: A schoolchild's exercise book. But a schoolchild at a school for WAR and GUNS.

Another controller released alongside a themed console, this one's meant to reflect the worn and personalised exoskeletons belonging to its yelling, blasting characters. Scattered among the metalling D-Pad and insignia decals are little human touches - tally chart notches, some smiley face graffiti tucked around the side, that kind of thing. Someone tried to tell a story using a controller, which I think is quite sweet.

Note: This is the old version of the Xbox One controller, with no 3.5mm audio jack

Buy it here: Amazon


Looks like: Someone didn't know how to turn custom Photoshop brushes off, but just went with it.

Hexagons! Stripes! Serial numbers! You are in the future now, you know because your controller says so. This vibrant little thing came along with the sadly undersubscribed shooter, and has the weird distinction of being ever so slightly smoother to the touch than any other Xbox One pad, which makes it feel a tad uncanny. Maybe it did come from the future, where plastics are glossier. Who knows?

Note: This is the old version of the Xbox One controller, with no 3.5mm audio jack

Buy it here: Amazon


Looks like: A sad Stormtrooper

This palette-swapped original controller might be the most expensive of all of this entire list to buy, weirdly. That's because it's only available as part of the white console bundle released in conjunction with Sunset Overdrive - if you really want a white controller, I suggest either the gaudier Lunar White model, or a set of acrylic paints and a big brush.

Note: This is the old version of the Xbox One controller, with no 3.5mm audio jack

Buy it here: Amazon

Vault Boy

Looks like: The most hideous Vault-Tec experiment of all, turning humans into nub-covered (but oddly useful) monstrosities.

This is a weird controller. Not only is it the only official Xbox One controller to come wired, it also has a button that no other pad has - that little glowing nub next to the right stick toggles audio controls attached to D-Pad presses. Originally, it was only available through Bethesda's official store to celebrate Fallout 4's release - by now, you'll probably only find it on Ebay for exorbitant prices.

Day One

Looks like: A regular controller with a bit of writing on it.

Early adopters of the Xbox One got the singular privilege of some robot spray painting a block of words on the middle of their pad, and a slightly shinier chrome D-pad. This will probably net them some serious bucks from a collector in a few decades. Strange old world.

Note: This is the old version of the Xbox One controller, with no 3.5mm audio jack