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How to optimise your Xbox Elite Controller for better gaming

The Elite Controller is a luxurious but essential Xbox peripheral

The Xbox One Elite Controller (opens in new tab) is undoubtedly the finest game pad ever built, one of the best Xbox One accessories (opens in new tab) available. Hold Microsoft’s luxury peripheral in your hands for the briefest moment and you’d find it hard to argue against. The Elite pad carries a premium price tag of RRP $149.99 / £119.99, but check out our guide to picking up an Xbox One controller cheap (opens in new tab), which is updated with the latest deals. Finely crafted and more customisable than any first-party pad in history, it’s the essential accessory for Xbox gamers. With changeable sticks, D-pads, and triggers you can tweak to your preference, there is no greater weapon in the hands of an aspiring PUBG (opens in new tab) or Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4 (opens in new tab) champ than this. Even if you’re not a competitive eSports wannabe, the Elite Controller has enough adjustable parameters to make any game more enjoyable.

Thanks to the Xbox Accessories app (opens in new tab), Microsoft’s top peripheral is as diverse as can be. Not only can you reassign any button with a replacement of your choice, you can tweak the strength of the controller’s four rumble sensors. Even more impressive? If you’re an FPS obsessive, tinker with the dead zones of both analogue sticks to improve your headshot prowess. With saveable presets and other granular tweaks, the Elite Controller is downright essential. 

1) Get the Xbox Accessories app

The Elite Controller also works on PC and it's ideal for games with loads of inputs

The Elite Controller also works on PC and it's ideal for games with loads of inputs

The Xbox Accessories app (available to download on Xbox and PC) is the key to unlocking the potential of your shiny new pad. With it, you can remap every button on your controller and set presets for your favourite games. Perhaps you feel encouraging your horse to ride in Red Dead Redemption 2 (opens in new tab) with a stab of the A button feels too flat? Then reassign the A button to a trigger and relish in the more visceral riding experience. You can even name presets for specific games.

2) Remap unusual control schemes

Certain games like to defy traditional controller configurations, like Bioshock Infinite

Certain games like to defy traditional controller configurations, like Bioshock Infinite

Certain titles like to defy traditional controller convention for little reason. Example? If you’re an Xbox Game Pass user, download BioShock Infinite (opens in new tab) and say with a straight face that pressing down on the right stick for iron sights doesn’t feel all kinds of unnatural. The beauty of the Elite is that you can reconfigure the baffling choices of developers thanks to the controller’s remapping functions.

3) Use the paddles for reduced response times

Four included paddles can be attached to the Elite pad

Four included paddles can be attached to the Elite pad

The Elite comes with four luxuriously designed metal paddles that can be attached to the back of the pad. You can assign these optional extras to any button you wish. Want a quicker way to shoot players in Fortnite? Then make the snappier P1 paddle a substitute for the left trigger. Instant and responsive, these optional buttons can give you the quick-handed advantage in the tensest of deathmatches.

4) Adjust the triggers' dead zones

Both triggers on the Elite pad are customisable

Both triggers on the Elite pad are customisable

Both of the Elite Controller’s triggers can be tweaked to your exact specification. The dead zone of the most important parts of your pad can be precisely tweaked to match your needs. If you’re finding pulling off headshots in Battlefield 5 (opens in new tab) to be a little unresponsive, make your triggers that bit more sensitive with the Xbox Accessories app’s Triggers tabs. More accurate kills await for the observant, pad-tweaking player. 

5) Make a custom profile

You can easily create different profiles and swap between them

You can easily create different profiles and swap between them

You can easily create custom control profiles, then instantly switch to them by assigning them a slot. Swap between profiles in a flash by flicking the profile button on the centre of the Elite Controller. There are also a number of community profiles you can download for specific games, like the Conjure Weapon preset for Final Fantasy 15 (opens in new tab) that lets you switch out weapons without taking your finger off the stick. 

6) Switch up the analogue pads

The sticks and D-pad can be swapped out

The sticks and D-pad can be swapped out

Both the Elite’s analogue sticks and D-pad can be swapped out for alternatives. The default sticks can be switched with a longer variant or a stubbier one with a circular head. The funky faceted D-pad also has more pressure points which are ideal for pulling off combos in beat-‘em-ups. And if you play a lot of shooters, experiment with the hair-trigger locks on the back of the controller for faster headshots.  

Don't miss our guide to the best Xbox One games (opens in new tab) to play right now

Sam Loveridge
Sam Loveridge

Sam Loveridge is the Global Editor-in-Chief of GamesRadar, and joined the team in August 2017. Sam came to GamesRadar after working at TrustedReviews, Digital Spy, and Fandom, following the completion of an MA in Journalism. In her time, she's also had appearances on The Guardian, BBC, and more. Her experience has seen her cover console and PC games, along with gaming hardware, for over seven years, and for GamesRadar, she is in charge of reviews, best lists, and the overall running of the site and its staff. Her gaming passions lie with weird simulation games, big open-world RPGs, and beautifully crafted indies. Basically, she loves all games that aren't sports or fighting titles! 

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