Top positive review
Love at first sight. Best controller I have ever used
November 7, 2019
It is reasonable to assume that if you're here, reading reviews for the Elite Series 2 Xbox controller, you're already a gamer or looking for a gift for a gamer. So you don't need to be bored with the nitty gritty details but this controller works with Xbox, PC, and bluetooth devices including iPads, etc. I attached photos of my unboxing to this review so you can see what's included. Worth noting is that several of the accessories fell out of their slots during shipping.
Long story short, the Elite Series 2 is a remarkably well built controller. I was absolutely stunned by the design and attention to detail. It has a surprising amount of heft but does not feel heavy compared to a normal Xbox controller. Here are the main differences compared to a standard Microsoft branded Xbox One controller:
1. Rubberized grip around the handles
2. Swappable magnetic joystics for different length/feel
3. Swappable magnetic d-pad from standard to disc shaped
4. Up to 4 optional paddles on the back of the controller
5. Adjustable tension joysticks
6. Adjustable trigger locks to increase/decrease length of pull
7. Rechargeable battery via USB-C (built in)
The controller comes nicely packaged in a zippered case, where it rests on a removable charging cradle and has slots for the various parts and accessories included. It can be charged directly via USB-C or set on the cradle either within or outside of the case. Note that the USB-C cable and the manual are underneath the case in the box, so the reviewer stating it wasn't included may just need to dig a little further.
The first time I connected the Elite 2 to my Xbox, it did a quick 2ish minute update and I was ready to go. The Xbox Accessories app lets you completely customize the button layout and joystick sensitivity as well as program as many or as few of the paddles on the back to your liking. You can then save these to up to 3 profiles directly on the controller which are swappable with the new face button in the middle and indicated by the 3 lights.
I've never used a controller with rear paddles before but the first thing I tried was a first person shooter setup where one paddle was jump and one was reload. This way you don't need to remove your thumb from the right joystick to do one of those actions, which is definitely helpful in fast paced games where every millisecond counts. So it would be safe to say that in experienced hands, this controller offers performance enhancements vs. other players. I also really like the adjustable joystick tension, which made it feel like minor movements could be made more consistently.
The Elite 2 feels fantastic in the hands and at this point, it is going to be difficult to go back to a standard controller. I am hoping it is as durable as it looks and feels and will certainly update this review if I run into any problems. It's fair to say that this is my favorite gaming controller I've ever used, from any generation on any console, hands down.
So if you're wondering if this is worth nearly 2 Benjamins, in my opinion the answer is yes. It is a gorgeous, well built controller that has some awesome tech that will allow serious Xbox gamers to excel. I highly recommend it as I am very happy with mine.
That being said, a good analogy would be coffee mugs. If you're the type of person who uses a cheap plastic mug that probably has a scuffed gas station logo on it, and you're perfectly happy with that even though your coffee is only warm for a little while, this controller may not be for you. If you bring your vacuum insulated stainless steel abominable snow-monster tumbler full of coffee everywhere and brag to your friends and coworkers about how you burned your tongue 3 hours after filling it up, this controller is for you, because only the best will do.
UPDATE 1/6/2019: After 3 months of steady use, the controller is working great, and the battery lasts far longer than it needs to. No visible wear and tear, and I have had none of the drifting or sticking button issues others have reported. Still very happy.