Naturally, a lot of folk would say that the best Xbox One controller is hands down the official one. And that might well be true if we look purely objectively: it features a great D-pad; offers reliable wireless connectivity; and continues to popularize asymmetrical analog sticks as the preferred way to play for a certain subset of players.
Despite these great elements, though, the many years since the Xbox One’s release has given various manufacturers the chance to improve upon Microsoft’s official design. Who does this best? We’ve got you covered with our list of the best Xbox One controllers you can buy in 2020.
Whether you’re in the market for a solution that is perfectly geared towards competitive play, a good all-rounder that will suit any occasion, getting ready for a extra pad for Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S, or simply want to replace your standard gamepad, our round-up of the best Xbox One controllers has got you covered. Here we’ll break down the explicit benefits of each in detail, helping you to more effectively weigh up your options to make a confident purchase decision. Better yet, all the Xbox One controller entries featured below will be listed at the current lowest price available from a range of popular retailers. If you picked up an Xbox One X deal over Black Friday, this is the list for you.
So, before you jump into that next great game awaiting you on Xbox Game Pass, ensure you do so while using a gamepad that makes the most sense for you. These are the best Xbox One controllers worth your consideration.
Best Xbox One controllers
Players seeking the ultimate in comfort and customisation 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 usurps its predecessor and makes our list of the best Xbox One controllers. It still features such appreciated elements as modular thumb sticks, 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 tout 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 thumb sticks 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.
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 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.
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 but looks just as sleek in standard black or white.
Some things just get better with age. The folks over at Hyperkin were quick to recognising 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 centre. 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 analogue 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.
If you prefer to play your Xbox One via a wired controller and crave a reliable solution, it’s well worth considering the PowerA Enhanced wired controller. For all intents and purposes, it mimics the design of the official Xbox One Wireless controller you receive with your initial console purchase, only it’s available in a range of attractive colour options and boasts two advanced gaming buttons on the back. These two buttons are easily accessed towards the lower end of the grips on the back, and can be programmed to any action you like.
The PowerA Enhanced wired controller is a wired solution that gives you a competitive edge, hence why it makes our list of the best Xbox One controllers currently out there. It’s comfortable, familiar, has the features that you want, but is markedly more affordable than if you were to buy an official Xbox One Wireless controller while still opening up extra options. Should you be an eSports centric Twitch streamer seeking reliability or just a player wanting an extra gamepad to give to a friend for co-op play, the PowerA Enhanced wired controller is here to answer the call.
Razer has proven itself no slouch when it comes to providing players on all platforms with a slew of exceptional gamepad options. While options do seem a bit limited compared to the Wolverine Ultimate Xbox One controller we mentioned earlier it's still worth a mention as it manages to balance advanced customizability and pared-back style, offering Xbox One players with a nice degree of flexibility without ever looking garish. The primary way the Razer Wolverine Tournament Edition achieves this is via 4 remappable buttons; two of which are back paddles that are easily accessed during the heat of play.
Other advanced features the Razer Wolverine Tournament Edition includes are hair trigger locks, which reduces the distance of presses to make the act of firing faster in first-person shooters. Also aiding competitive players is the controller’s ergonomic non-slip rubber grip, there to ensure Xbox One players always have a handle on their in-game actions. The Razer Wolverine Tournament Edition, also manages to avoid looking ugly despite its chroma lighting. That’s because it’s layered around the logo section at the top, adding a splash of style that isn’t too distracting. As much as we like it though and it really does feel amazing in-hand, we'd urge you to spend a little more and get the far superior Wolverine Ultimate, with extra customization options and lightning-fast face buttons as they're a little stiff here.