Is the Xbox one elite controller worth getting? …Will I turn into Optic Scumpy overnight? …Is it really worth the money?
Well yes… and no, let me explain.
When it comes down to taking your gaming experience to the next level giving you that slight edge over your friends, or the random bloke sat in his bedroom at the other side of the world in multiplayer games, you’re really offered two options…
Neither of them are particularly cheap, so it comes down to what do they offer?
I’ll break down the Xbox One Elite Controller review here firstly with a quick general over view, and then I’ll get into all the little details below…
XBOX ONE ELITE CONTROLLER
- Removable back paddles
- Trigger locks
- Remappable buttons
- Swappable D pad
- 3 different styles of thumbsticks
- Xbox and Windows 10 compatible
- Lots of customization options
- Built with high quality materials
- Very sleek design
- Wired or Wireless
- Spare parts tend to ‘rattle’ around the carry case
- Setting up all the customization options can be daunting on the App
The Bottom Line
Best controller on the market at the moment for the Xbox One, only rivaled by the SCUF Infinity 1.
There’s no going back after you’ve tried it!
I’ll be honest, these were one of the reasons I bought the Elite.
As a huge FPS gamer and with how games like Call of Duty and Halo have progressed with their futuristic ‘double jumping’ and boosting, players were floating around my screen a lot more than the days of Modern Warfare!
What the paddles enable players to do in FPS games, is to jump and aim at the same time without having to never have a finger or thumb placed on the aim or shoot buttons, which in theory should make you a more accurate player and allow you that split second advantage over a player using a default Xbox one control pad.
The Xbox one Elite control pad has space for 4 paddles in total that you can take advantage of.
One of the huge pluses about the Elite over it’s rival pads is just how quickly and easily you can add, remove or swap them out.
I was so excited about these things, hoping I’d become a double boost jumping, wall running shooter God I threw all 4 into the back of the pad and jumped into an online game…
As a late twenty year old gamer who has been playing on consoles since the beginning of time, it was quite a big change!
All these years my brain had been trained with similar button setups from the days of the first Playstation 1
So adding 4 more in a totally new area of the pad threw my brain out of its comfort zone. Fingers that I usually had just sat relaxing around the grips after all these years, had a job to do!
The initial change with all 4 paddles was just too much for me. I tried giving it 24-48 hours for my brain to register what buttons I needed to press. I felt it would be better to just take it one step at a time and remove 2 of the paddles
I left 2 in there matched to the buttons I used more often. Doing this made quite a big difference, it still took me a good few days for my brain to register to press the back paddles instead of the buttons I had used for so many years.
Ultimately I feel it definitely increased my ability to aim and shoot ever so slightly quicker and more accurate while jumping in the FPS games.
I Don’t need them for every game...
Even though I’m now flying across futuristic maps in the FPS games, I still like to dabble in other games too that don’t need them – in my case Fifa.
Even though you could still leave the paddles in, or again learn the button configuration for other games too, the setup of certain games don’t have the same slight edge effect so I didn’t feel the need.
It literally takes me a second to simply lift the paddles out of the pad and I’m back to the more familiar default Xbox controller setup.
On the flip side of that, if I’ve had enough of getting beat on Fifa for a few hours and fancy going back to my FPS games…
It really is so easy to just put the paddles back in as they are magnetic, you pretty much guide them to the holes and they sort of fall into place for you..
When it comes to the paddles I am impressed.
If you’re new to them, just keep in mind the slight transition period you will likely need to go through coming to terms that you now have new buttons.
The bad part…
My only issue with my new found love of the back paddles is the fact that they tend to press buttons for me when I don’t want them to!
The way they sit on the back of the pad pretty much means that the pad needs to be put down onto a flat surface.
For example, I would of just finished fragging some noobs in a Call of Duty game, then be sat waiting in the lobby for the next match to start…
This is where I usually just put my pad on my leg and chill for a few minutes talking with my friends about how awesome my kill / death ratio was!
I literally can’t do that without my paddles getting pressed! The next minute, I’m getting pop ups on my screen asking if I want to leave the lobby because the B button has been accidentally pressed.
I play with my setup on a desk, so it’s not much of an issue for me to put the controller down on that and not have issues – However it’s still something to keep in mind.
THE ANALOG & THUMB STICKS
When it comes to control pads and their analog / thumb sticks it’s quite hard exactly how to explain how they feel in terms of their movement.
Until you actually try this pad for yourself compared to using a cheaper pad or even the official Xbox pad you would of received when first getting your console.
It’s just smooth
Smooth is the only way I can try put the movement of this pad in words, they just feel superior.
Prior to me getting my hands on the Elite, I had to get by with the Pro Ex controller I’d picked up from Argos because my standard Xbox pad had the kiss of death with my Right Bumper button breaking which after I searched how to fix turned out to be a common problem of the Xbox controller.
While I was trying to aim in FPS games with the Pro Ex, it just felt like it was sharp jumps across the screen, noticeably worse than the standard Xbox pad which I will say I never had any issues with.
Stick movement had never really crossed my mind until this point, I’d always used standard pads that come with the console bundles and if they had ever broken, I’d just buy another authentic standard pad.
In a way I’m actually glad I’ve now tried all 3 of these controllers because it allowed me to really feel the difference in each pads movement and ‘dead zones’.
Within the box as you can see from the image above there are 3 different types of analog sticks
- 2 short ‘standard’ sized concave with grip on the edge
- 2 ‘tall’ sized concave with grip on the edge
- 2 ‘tall domed’ sticks, similar to the feel of the Sony DualShock 3
Now there is a reason for all these sticks, and the Elite is the only controller on the market that gives you them all as standard.
We as humans have very different sized hands. Players with bigger hands can generally feel more comfortable playing with the taller sticks but there is actually a lot more to it than that if you really dig deeper…
I could actually run through the ‘Science’ behind short and tall thumb sticks and the benefits that they can have in certain situations and games but that would be a very long post in itself so instead check these out…
Kontrol Freeks if you have never heard of them are a company that sell ‘performance’ thumbsticks which very easily clip on and off your standard Xbox pads at a fraction of the price of buying something like the Elite.
So there are benefits to them, and if this is solely what you are wanting to improve on in terms of your gaming experience and not the full package that the elite offers, then I would urge you to save your money buying an Elite and look at just buying Kontrol Freeks for your stock Xbox pad.
Similar to the paddles, the great thing about this pad is just how quick and easy it is to chop and change between the numerous customisations available to you.
This time with the thumbsticks, you might be wanting the slightly taller sticks when playing shooter games, but then not be bothered about them when playing others.
I play with the shorter thumbstick on the left for moving and the taller stick on the right side to help increase my aim.
Now If I’m wanting to swap back over to another game which won’t really need the taller stick, if I really want to it’s as simple as lifting the right stick up and just slotting on my other preferred stick which again you just sort of hover into position and let the magnet connection firm them into position.
So as you can see from most of the images around the Elite, you can’t help but notice the circular shaped dish… Why is it there and what is it for?
The theory behind this new shaped D-Pad is primarily focused for users who play games that are quite heavy on using those buttons such as fighting games.
It’s meant to make it easier for the players to be able to hit those diagonal directions that little bit easier…
Personally I don’t really play many fighting games but I did try it out… I wasn’t blown away.
However going back to what I said before about the sticks feeling smoother and hard to explain, a player who plays games where the D-Pad directional buttons play a lot more of a dominance might feel it can really help them out. (Hey, at least I’m honest right?)
Now these again are fairly important, depending on the type of game you are actually playing. First what exactly is a trigger stop?
They are basically an adjustable mechanism which gives the user more superior control and reduce button ‘response time’.
Now why are these important?
We’ll use the example of playing a FPS game such as Call of Duty, and a Racing game along the lines of Forza.
Trigger Stops for FPS Games
By default, the trigger buttons for Call of Duty are the aim and fire buttons. Everytime you press your right trigger button you need to wait that split second it takes for you to ‘fully’ press the button before it is registered by your console and starts shooting in game.
With a game such as Call of Duty we wouldn’t want to increase that time, we would want it to perform that action as soon as possible so you get your bullets fired from your gun faster than your opponents.
So with trigger stops we can enable this, we can make it so that once you press the trigger buttons by the slightest amount the console will register it as a full button click.
Trigger Stops for Racing Games
Now on the flip side of the above when it comes to racing games which are dependent on how hard you press certain buttons for things like accelerating, players would want a greater range of motion – We don’t drive cars in real life by either not pressing the accelerate pedal at all or by pushing the pedal to the metal if only trying to move forward slightly or smoothly.
Turning them from short to longer trigger stops is as simple as sliding the green tabs up or down on the back of the pad or alternatively you can take it even further than that and fully customise them to how you want them within the app.
XBOX ONE ELITE CONTROLLER APP
Now this is where all the fun goes down any of you out there that love tinkering and customizing.
The amount of options within the app can be quite daunting at first, but this is where you would be able to make the Elite controller fit your individual needs.
Here you can mess with things such as, Stick movement, vibration levels, button mapping, trigger stop dead zones and saving your 2 presets, so you can easily jump between two games that require a totally different controller setup.
If you need any help when it comes to changing any of the options available to you then check out this page from Xbox supports website which gives you a quick brief run down on how to edit each individual setting
Below are a few images of the screens you will be greeted with within the app…
So is the Xbox One Elite controller worth getting? For me it was.
I bought it for the paddles to improve my FPS gaming and I feel it lived up to its expectations. I can jump, aim and shoot without having to take my thumb off the thumbstick.
That’s exactly the reason why they have been added and they do the job well.
This leads me onto “Will I turn into OpTic Scumpy overnight?” No, afraid not. He’s one of a kind.
Is it worth the money?
This boils down to the type of games you actually play, will the features like the paddles, extra D-pad, custom button mapping and trigger stops give you an advantage?
If fast paced multiplayer games are not your bag or you don’t actually play the Xbox that much then just save your money.
Now that I have used the Elite there is no way I’m going back to the standard Xbox controller unless I have to.
It’s built better, packs features that help my gaming experience and I sit on the Xbox for countless hours a week.
Well that sums up my Xbox One Elite controller review…
Do you own the Elite? I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments below… I’m currently trying to get my hands on the SCUF Infinity 1 so I can have a play with that and then bring a more detailed comparison of the Elite vs SCUF Infinity 1.