Best Xbox One Controllers

Updated November 2020
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Buying guide for best xbox one controllers

There are tons of amazing experiences exclusively found on the Xbox One, ranging from defending humanity against the Covenant’s alien hordes in Halo: The Master Chief Collection to tending a thriving garden of living piñatas in Rare Replay, to surviving the zombie apocalypse in State of Decay 2. But while the Xbox wireless controller packed with your Xbox One console was an excellent starting point for your Xbox adventures, there really is a controller for everyone.

Whether you’re shopping around for a superior controller that can adapt to your playstyle, affordable options for hosting multiple players, or simply a new color of the classic Xbox wireless controller, there is a massive range of Xbox One controllers out there to choose from.

We at BestReviews have compared and tested our fair share of quality controllers, so we definitely know how to help select the best Xbox One controller for you. Our shopping guide contains plenty of tips, as well as several of our favorites.

Sorry, but your collection of older Xbox 360 controllers are not compatible with the Xbox One console. It’s time to buy some new controllers!

Key considerations

There is a wide array of Xbox One controllers on the market, and while it might take some time to find the one that fits your gaming style, these are some of the baseline features that any worthwhile device should include:

  • Wired connection option to your Xbox One console

  • Indication that the device was either made by or officially licensed by Microsoft

  • Indication of compatibility with all versions of the Xbox One console and PC

  • 3.5 mm audio jack for headset

Design and comfort

Most Xbox One controllers share a similar design with the iconic and official Xbox wireless controller, but there are a few exceptions, such as the Hyperkin Duke, which was modeled after the chunky original Xbox controller first seen in 2001.

Many Xbox wireless controllers mimic the ergonomic shape and overall design because the original fits most hands comfortably. Be on the lookout for controllers that feature textured, rubberized grips and swappable thumbsticks if you’re in the market for an especially comfortable Xbox One controller.

Configuration

Although most players won’t even think about remapping the buttons to better control their favorite games or switch out controller pieces for a superior setup, there are premium Xbox One controllers that have hardcore fans covered. If you’re a dedicated Xbox One player or participate in esports, it’s well worth investigating premium Xbox One controllers that have hair-trigger locks for quicker trigger presses, several D-pad options, and extra buttons to assign functions to.

Xbox One controller features

While every official Xbox One controller can handle your favorite Xbox One games like a champ, some models have individual features and perks that other controllers don’t. Here are a few features to consider when comparing Xbox One controllers:

Vibration: Having your controller shake in your hands whenever your character takes damage makes for a more immersive experience.

LED lighting: Some controllers are lined with LED lights that gently glow in a nuclear rainbow of colors. If you want to stand apart from the pack, this might be your best bet!

Colors and patterns: Many controllers are available in one of two styles, but you could be overwhelmed by the huge selection of differently colored Xbox wireless controllers. Take your time to see what’s out there. Are you more of a grey/green, Ocean Shadow, or Sport White type of person?

Xbox One controller prices

Inexpensive: If you’re in need of a bunch of controllers to entertain a party of players or a large family, there are plenty of cheaper wired Xbox One controllers out there. These budget devices might lack some features like wireless play or vibration feedback, but you can pick one up for as little as $28.

Mid-range: Since your Xbox One console included at least once Xbox wireless controller, you might want to buy another for couch-side co-op with a friend or to upgrade to a design that fits your personal taste. Microsoft’s default Xbox One controllers range wildly in price due to the scarcity of designs and colors available, but you can easily find an Xbox wireless controller for between $45 and $70. Note that some of the most common colors like white and black are often the most affordable.

Expensive: If you’re interested in buying an Xbox One controller that features advanced button mapping, additional buttons, swappable thumbsticks and D-pads, and other advanced extras, expect to spend a bit more for the experience. These premium Xbox One controllers fall in the $130 to $140 price range.

Tips

  • Use your Xbox One controller without AA batteries by directly connecting it to your Xbox One. You’ll need a charging cable featuring a micro USB connection on one end and a full-size USB connection on the other. Simply plug the micro USB side into your controller, the USB side into your Xbox One, and forget about spending any more money on controller batteries!

  • Improve the signal. If your Xbox One controller keeps dropping its wireless connection, move closer to the Xbox One console and move objects that might be interfering with the wireless signal, such as laptop, cordless phone, or microwave oven.

  • Remap the buttons. Open the Xbox Accessories preinstalled on Xbox One S and Xbox One X consoles to remap the buttons on your Xbox One controller. Note that it’s important to keep the controls assigned to the A and B buttons or you won’t be able to use your Xbox One.

  • Reset your Xbox One controller to its default factory settings. Simply open the Xbox Accessories app, select your controller, press Configure, and select Restore defaults.

  • Turn on your Xbox One by pressing and holding the Xbox button on the controller. If the Xbox One console was already on, this button prompt will simply turn on the controller.
Why walk across the room to manually reset your Xbox One when you can simply press the Xbox button on your controller, navigate to Settings, and select the Reset Console option?

FAQ

Q. How do I update my Xbox One controller?
A.
Microsoft regularly releases important controller improvements, and if you believe that your device is in need of the latest software update, follow these simple steps:

  • Press the Xbox button to open the guide.

  • Navigate to System, Kinect & Devices, Devices & Accessories, and select your controller.

  • From there, enter the Device info menu, choose the Firmware version, and press Continue.

  • Once you see the “Controller Updated” message, you’re good to go!
     

Q. How do I connect a wireless Xbox One controller to my Xbox One console for the first time?
A.
It’s easier than you might think! Make sure that your Xbox One controller has fresh batteries or a full charge, and then press and release the Connect button on your Xbox One console. The Connect button is below the console’s Power button, next to a trio of curved lines that look like radio waves. Then press and release the Connect button on your controller. The Xbox button in the center of your controller will flash for a few moments, and you’ll know that it has a secure connection to your console when the Xbox button stays illuminated.

Q. How do I adjust my Xbox One controller’s vibration settings?
A.
Some people prefer to feel the rumble when their race car slams into a rival player while speeding at 100 miles per hour. Those who feel that a vibrating controller is a distraction can try the following.

  • Press the “Xbox” button.

  • Go to System, Settings, Ease of Access, Controller, and Vibration settings.
     

Note that some Xbox One controllers only have the option to toggle vibration on or off, while more advanced models allow you to fine-tune your feedback vibration settings.

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