It’s not often that I do reviews for hardware, but in the case of the Xbox Elite Controller v2, I thought I would make an exception, and to be honest, it’s not often that I part with £159 for a controller, but from what others had said this was meant to be an impressive piece of kit, so I decided to take the plunge.
The first thing that you notice when you get the box is the sheer weight of it, it is one heavy box and part of me was hoping that the controller wasn’t this heavy, luckily it isn’t, but the controller on its own is still quite weighty.
When you take the package out the box you get greeted with a very nice presentation case that houses the controller and its accessories. You have all the different components nicely lined up in their respective slots, you have the 4 extra triggers for the back of the controller, a change in D-Pad to the more generic style from the ‘disc’ style that’s already on it, which I have to say does feel very nice when playing, which is why I stuck to the ‘disc’ variation.
Changing components is quick and easy with each held on by magnets, and it’s quite satisfying when they just ‘snap’ into place. You can change up the thumbsticks with different heights available for you to mix and match and something else that I was impressed with was being able to change the tension on the thumbsticks using the little key that’s in the case.
In the hands, the controller feels like very good quality, the rubberised grips, the buttons, there is a very premium feel to it, and it does feel like you’ve paid for very good quality. Despite its weight, I’ve found it very comfortable to play with, and even after a few hours of constant play it still felt comfortable to hold.
I really liked being able to map the buttons to whatever I wanted them set to, I left the standard buttons to what they were, but I put 2 of the back triggers on and mapped one for screenshots and one for capturing videos. This made it easier to quickly capture certain moments in games as my fingers were resting near and I could just push in a millisecond and a screenshot or video would be done. There’s a whole load of different options though that you can select for the back triggers, you can have it set to A,B,X,Y or there are different actions, 2 of which are mentioned above, but you can also use them to quickly start broadcasting as well. Neat!
The battery life is meant to be around 40 hours, I cannot verify this as I normally stick my controller back onto the cool charging dock that comes with it and it’s also good that the charging port is for a USB-C which is now more commonly used for Mobile Phones and other gadgets. The charging wire that connects to the small dock (which can be disconnected from the dock) is a very long wire which makes it even better because if like me there isn’t really any space near the Xbox to put the dock to connect to a USB port, you have some options available with the length of the wire.
I never owned the series 1 controller, but apparently, on that there was a detachable battery pack, on the series 2 there isn’t, it’s just a built-in battery that you can charge via USB-C or the dock, as mentioned above.
I will admit that I was apprehensive parting with the amount of cash that one of these controllers’ costs, however, I took the plunge and I don’t regret my decision. It feels weird going back to the normal controller that comes with the Xbox, and I now take this with me whether I’m on my own Xbox, or I go to the living room and play on my wife’s Xbox.
What’s even better is that later in the year when the Xbox Series X launches, this controller should be compatible with it, so at least I don’t have to get rid of it and either buy a series 3 when the new Xbox releases or go back to the standard controllers. Hopefully, the build quality will last, as I know there were some issues with the Series 1, with the grips coming off or the bumpers braking.
Have you got one of the series 2 controllers? I would love to get your thoughts on your experience with it.