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When you’re in the market for an extra Xbox One controller, it is usually best to avoid third-party pads. They may be cheaper, but third-party controllers are usually made with lower quality materials, won’t last as long and sometimes don’t even function properly with all games. You are almost always better off spending a little extra cash and buying the official first-party pad from Microsoft. It is a good thing, then, that the Xbox One controller is legitimately fantastic.
The Xbox 360 controller was widely regarded as one of the best gaming controllers ever, but with only a few subtle changes to that beloved design, Microsoft actually managed to top it with the Xbox One controller. The asymmetrical sticks and button layout are the same between the two, but the Xbox One controller is lighter and sleeker and has a much better directional pad. Features like haptic feedback rumble in the triggers (so you feel the action right in your fingertips) can make a big difference in how you experience games.
Hashing out text messages or putting in redemption codes with the Xbox One controller can be kind of a pain but Microsoft has a solution in the Xbox One Chatpad. The Chatpad is a little QWERTY keyboard that snaps to the bottom of the Xbox One controller and lets you quickly and easily input text with your thumbs. It admittedly does seem a little gimmicky at first, but if you send a lot of messages on Xbox Live it really makes things a lot easier and more efficient.
There are cheaper third-party chatpad models, but we like the official Microsoft version due to guaranteed compatibility, sturdier build quality and the fact it comes with a chat headset.
Because the Xbox One controller uses standard AA batteries you have a lot of battery options, but if you want a reasonably inexpensive rechargeable solution, the Energize 2X Smart Charger is a great choice. For a reasonable price, you get two Xbox One battery packs and a charging stand that lets you charge two Xbox One controllers at once.
An important feature of this charger is that it can charge both standard and Elite controllers, something that some other models can’t do since the Elite has a slightly different battery cover design. We also like the LED display that shows you the charge percentage of each controller. Overall, the 2X Smart Charger is a cool looking, cheap and perfectly functional way to keep your Xbox One controllers charged and ready to go.
Take control of your gaming experience. When it’s time to upgrade your gamepad or you’re just looking for a better feel, look no further than the Scuf Prestige. This "elite" controller gives you the comfort and shape of a typical Xbox gamepad but with the addition of buttons and triggers on the back, where your fingers will have easier reach and access. Plus, they come equipped with a comfortable, rubberized grip that prevents your hands from slipping and delivers extra comfort for hours of gaming on end — which is great considering the controller can last up to 30 hours on a single charge. With a lithium battery and the 10-foot braided charging cable, you can guarantee your marathon gaming sessions won't be interrupted by a dead controller.
The Scuf Prestige even brings additional thumbsticks to change out on the fly. Though precision-engineered for competitive gaming, you don’t have to be a pro to appreciate the feel of this controller. The high price tag won’t be a shock for those who seek out the higher end and better performing accessories; the Scuf Prestige promises high performance at a fairly reasonable cost. If you’re looking to get on the same level as the pros, this is one controller you should at least consider shelling out for.
"You’ve probably noticed how your phone doesn’t hold as much juice as it once did. Unfortunately, batteries don’t last forever, or even really that long at all. In the case of Xbox controllers, this means that the standard model with its bulky battery brick may very well outlive the much more robust Xbox Elite Series 2 controller with its built-in battery, despite its higher quality and more durable design." — Andy Zahn, Product Tester
Courtesy of Microsoft
The Xbox Adaptive Controller offers a whole new level of customization. It was designed to meet the needs of players with limited mobility, partnering with The AbleGamers Foundation, Cerebral Palsy Foundation, Warfighter Engaged, SpecialEffect, and other community members. Input from these organizations influenced the product’s design and packaging.
The Xbox Adaptive Controller offers a plethora of jacks/inputs to connect to external devices, such as switches, joysticks, buttons, and mounts, to build your optimal gaming experience. Also, as part of the Xbox family, the controller still includes your favorite features like Xbox Wireless, Copilot, USB connectivity, and Bluetooth.
For additional customization, players can access the Xbox Accessories app on the Xbox One console or a Windows 10 PC and remap the controls to suit their needs. You can also switch between multiple profiles, each with individualized settings.
With its official backing by Microsoft, comfiness and simple set up, it’s easy to see why the Xbox One Stereo Headset is the best Xbox One headset around. Wired only to the wireless control, this headset gives players full control of their in-game audio at their fingertips effortlessly.
The Xbox One Stereo Headset is built with a unidirectional microphone that gives players a clear voice capture when communicating. It’s designed with a full range audio spectrum (20Hz-20kHz) that outputs clear crisp high frequencies and deep bass audio, so players never skip an in-game pin drop sound. It weighs nine ounces and the ear cups are made with a breathable fabric to give players maximum comfort.
The Xbox One has a ton of fantastic driving games like Forza Horizon 2, Forza Motorsport 6 and DiRT Rally that are a blast with a normal controller, but to really get the full racing experience, and maybe even improve your lap times, a force feedback steering wheel like the Thrustmaster TMX is worth picking up. The TMX offers 900 degrees of motion and full force feedback so you feel every bump and slip and slide your tires make, as the wheel actually moves on its own in your hands.
The pedal set is heavy-duty and both pedals have adjustable inclination angles, and a great feature is that the brake pedal has progressive resistance (the more you press, the harder it is to press down), which makes it feel like a real mechanical brake pedal in a real car.
The Xbox One isn’t just a gaming system; it is also a fantastic media center with dozens of streaming video and music apps, as well as the ability to play DVD and Blu Ray movies. Controlling all of these features with a standard controller is less than optimal, however, so if you want simpler and more convenient media controls, the official Xbox One Media Remote is a must-have.
The Media Remote is small and simply designed and gives you full control over Blu Rays, Netflix, YouTube, HBO Go, Crunchyroll, WWE Network, or any of the dozens of other available entertainment apps. Buying it won’t break the bank, and it can really improve your experience if you make extensive use of your Xbox One as a media center.
With game install sizes regularly topping 40GB each, it only takes a handful of games to fill up the paltry 500GB internal hard drive most Xbox One systems come with. The good news is that you can easily add extra storage to your system via an external USB hard drive and still use the internal drive. Unlike the PS4 where you have to open up the system and jump through hoops to replace the hard drive, adding more storage to your Xbox One is as easy as plugging in a USB cable.
You can use any USB 3.0 external hard drive with at least 256GB of storage, but we recommend the 2TB Seagate Game Drive for Xbox. It gives you two terabytes of extra storage and looks cool with a snazzy Xbox green finish. There are other external hard drive options available, but we like the Seagate Game Drive for its small form factor (the thing is tiny) and reasonable price for the amount of space compared to other drives.
40 hour rechargeable battery
Premium build quality
Battery is not replaceable
Whether you’re a pro gamer looking to fine tune your tournament performance, or you’re an enthusiast who wants to enjoy the best Xbox controller money can buy, then the Xbox Elite Series 2 is what you want. It offers a serious boost in build quality over the standard Xbox controller, including a grippy, textured surface that makes the controller more comfortable, especially during extended gaming sessions. The controller is capable of wireless charging inside the controllers carrying case, or directly via USB-C. An unfortunate consequence of this design is that the battery in the Xbox Elite Series 2 is not replaceable, so your battery life will decrease with time. Bluetooth capability makes it easy to use both with the Xbox One and with Windows 10 PCs.
One of the big selling points of the Xbox Elite Series 2 controller is the major degree of customization that is possible with it. You get six replaceable thumbsticks of different designs, as well as an alternate directional pad and four removable paddles. On top of this you can remap controls and assign them in up to three different profiles which you can change between on the fly. It is also possible to adjust physical characteristics of the controller such as tension in the thumbsticks or the actuation force in the triggers.
Of course, all of this gaming goodness comes at a price; the Xbox Elite Series 2 costs more than three standard Xbox controllers combined. However, impressive build quality and a high degree of customizability certainly justify its high cost.
Andy Zahn has spent hundreds of hours testing the latest games on the latest hardware, both on and off the clock. He is an avid gamer and is always looking for the gear that will give him an edge over opponents on the online battlefield, as well as in terms of comfort and style.
Updated designs - If you own an original Xbox One, you’ll find that accessories like the Xbox One controller have seen some helpful design changes that include Bluetooth connectivity. You can also find premium versions of accessories such as the fantastic Elite controller.
Chargers and batteries - The Xbox One controller can eat through batteries at an impressive rate. Look for high-capacity AA rechargeable batteries or go for a play-and-charge kit that includes a rechargeable battery you can charge up without taking it out of the controller.
Communication - Playing games online with Xbox Live at a high level requires communication, and you don’t want your headset breaking down in the middle of a game. Look for headsets and keyboards that are designed specifically to work with your Xbox One.