More money, sweat and tears were thrown into the creation of the Xbox Elite Controller than we could ever imagine, all as the creative forces at Microsoft HQ attempted to put together the finest controller the world has ever seen. For the most part they succeeded too, delivering a controller which gamers across the land would nail down as their daily driver.
But the Xbox Elite Controller – whether that be the Series 1 or Series 2 version – isn’t perfect. For some it’s a little too heavy. For others, a bit too fancy. For more still though it’s the price which gets in the way of allowing the Elite to become the controller of choice.
If however you want a pad in hand that is capable of providing what the Elite Controller allows, all whilst being cheaper on the wallet and delivering further twists, there are a host of alternatives. Some are even preferential to the official offering too.
Which are the best alternative controllers to the Xbox Elite? We think the following are in with a shout…
Turtle Beach Recon Controller
We’ll start with the Turtle Beach Recon Controller for Xbox, mostly as every gamer in the land knows of the quality that will be provided by a pad with the Turtle Beach name attached.
The Turtle Beach Recon Controller for Xbox is possibly the most industrial of all those on our list, filled with buttons, gadgetry and gizmos. It may well seem complicated to the naked eye, but once you get your head around button placements and use, it’s a cinch.
It’s a wired controller that needs to be cabled up to your console for any use to come about, but should you be able to cope with that tie (and you’ll need to because most on this list are wired offerings), will find the Recon Controller capable of handling pretty much anything and everything you can throw at it.
Round the front it’s the host of volume controls and equalisers that will have you setting things up as you see fit, whilst right stick Pro-Aim sensitivity also comes into the equation. But it’s around the back where the Recon shines, with the addition of extra paddles that are fully programmable.
Yes, the Recon comes with that rather plastic feel that many Turtle Beach products utilise, but it’s a great option to have should you be looking for a name to back up the pad in your hand.
PowerA Fusion PRO 2 Controller
If you’re interested in purchasing a new PowerA controller, then our first instinct would be to push you towards their brilliant Spectra Infinity – if only as having the option to light up your gaming sessions with all manner of colour is a joy.
Fast behind that though is the PowerA Fusion PRO 2.
Much more aligned with the Elite controller as the Spectra is the simple option, the PRO Fusion 2 feels glorious in the hand, especially when you have the soft-touch black faceplate in place over the sharper white.
It’s also helped by a simple volume control switch sitting on the front, but those looking for an alternative to the Elite will no doubt be interested in the Pro Pack around the back. Removable should you so wish, this Pro Pack brings in four paddles which work pretty much exactly as the Elite’s do. Programmable as you see fit and easy to hit (perhaps a little too easy to hit), if you need some proper custom buttons, the Fusion PRO brings it.
It also brings in trigger locks should they be your bag. You know, for when you need to prove yourself as a sharpshooter.
You can find the Fusion PRO 2 over at Amazon.
Nacon Revolution X Pro Controller
Over the last few years the Nacon team have gone big. You’d expect to hear that they’ve pumped money into games, but it’s in the accessories where they have really flown, buying up the likes of RIG and twisting stuff up to ensure their name is fast becoming synonymous with the gaming masses.
Designed for Xbox and coming in at under £100 in price, it works the same angles as you’d expect of an Xbox controller, albeit with slightly enlarged, easier-to-hit face buttons for good measure. It feels great to hold too, whilst the triggers and bumpers seem to be able to blend into each other nicely.
Again though, it’s what is on the back which is the best bit of the Revolution X Pro and the placement of four rear-mounted buttons are probably the best of all the controllers on this list. They sit under your third and fourth fingers and this means they can be hit pretty much immediately. We think this layout is the finest we’ve seen in an Elite alternative. In fact, we think the layout is better than the Elite itself.
When you include the free-to-download Revolution X App which lets you amend pretty much everything and anything about the controller (response curves of the sticks, travel of triggers and more), it’s easy to see how Nacon have nailed the controller needs of many.
The seal on the deal? The inclusion of Dolby Atmos sound no matter which headset you decide to attach to the Revolution X Pro along with some seriously well engineered metal attachments that can increase the personalisation and customisation even more.
This is one seriously good controller.
Victrix Gambit Tournament Controller
And then we have the self-proclaimed ‘world’s fastest controller’ from Victrix. And again, this one is a joy to use.
It’s some going, coming to market and declaring yourself as the world’s fastest controller, but that’s exactly what Victrix – the eSports arm of PDP – are doing. They seem to be backing up those claims too.
Fast or not though, we’re throwing the Gambit Tournament Controller in as a more than viable alternative to the Elite controller, mostly as it’s a brilliant addition to the gaming scene. Replaceable faceplates allow you to choose between a superb purple skin, or a more classic white, whilst the lightweight feel will certainly ensure this is the option to take for those not altogether sold on the hefty weight of the Elite.
There’s a ton of customisation away from that too. It comes in a case, and that houses multiple thumbsticks and D-Pad options as well as a couple of different paddles which attach to the rear of the controller – whether you want two or four buttons on that paddle is up to you.
There’s a very well accomplished App which helps power the Victrix Gambit Tournament Controller to all new levels too, letting you customise nearly everything you could wish for. It’s therefore seriously well set up for any gamer, whether they be an eSports pro, a wannabee or your every day casual.
DreamController Custom Elite Series 2 Controller
Being cheeky, we’re going to throw our beloved custom DreamController controller in here too.
An Xbox Elite Series 2 Controller which has been very slightly modded by the DreamController team, if you’re looking for the ultimate Elite option, this could well be for you.
DreamController can happily take a standard Elite controller (or Official Wireless Controller for that matter), and put a bit of a twist on proceedings, mostly in the form of new visual attire. Whilst they also allow for many modding opportunities, our current favourite is the Black and Gold Marble effect that they’ve added to our Elite Series 2.
It pretty much replaces the frontplate, letting you add in a bit of style and panache to your gaming sessions. And whilst we love the look that the Black and Gold Marble brings, there are a whole host of other skins available over at DreamController direct. In fact, there’s a bit of everything, from standard colour switches, to Marvel, Anime, Manga and even Harry Potter inspired designs.
Granted, what DreamController provide isn’t particularly cheap, but the quality that we’ve seen is of the very highest standard and so if you’re totally sold on the Elite Series 2 but want to be able to personalise it more than standard, we’d highly recommend paying the DreamController team a visit.
At the end of the day, there are a wide array of alternative controllers available for Xbox players who are in the market for something other than the brilliant Elite. But what is your favourite controller and has it allowed you the chance to put the Elite off to one side? Let us know in the comments below.