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Best Xbox controllers 2024

We've picked out a selection of the best Xbox controllers, with options for Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and Xbox One. Find the right one for you.

The best Xbox controllers will help to enhance your experience in the many fantastic games on Microsoft’s flagship console. If you’re after a new controller, we have recommendations for Xbox One, Xbox Series S, and Xbox Series X controllers. We’ve tried to cover all bases, so we’ve gone for variety and even included a steering wheel in the mix.

The best Xbox Series X games are at their most enjoyable when you have the right controller, and it has to be said that part of the reason that we count the Xbox Series X among the best gaming consoles is that its official controller is one of the best controllers to grace the gaming sphere – but, hey, other manufacturers have created some pretty great ones too, so that’s why we’ve picked out this selection for you.

Best Xbox Series X controllers

The best Xbox controllers for the top-of-the-range Series X console are:

Best Xbox controller: the Elite Series 2 on a plain background.

1. Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2

The Elite Series 2 is the best Xbox Series X controller.

Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 specs:

Customizable buttons Adjustable thumbstick and D-pads, 2 mini and 2 medium back paddles, 13 remappable buttons (via Xbox Accessories app)
Wired/Wireless Wireless
Battery life up to 40 hours
Weight 453.6g


  • Microsoft’s own controller
  • Adjustable to your needs
  • Cheaper Elite Series 2 Core variant available


  • A little expensive
  • Could do with more design variety

This is not only the best controller you could use for Xbox Series X, but one of the best gaming controllers ever created. It fits comfortably in most hands, and never requires you to contort your fingers in strange ways to reach any of the buttons. As Microsoft’s own controller, you’ll never have to worry about encountering any compatibility issues, either.

While you will no doubt notice that this controller comes with a fairly big price tag, it works so well and has so many options for customization that it’s well worth the price. You can configure the button mapping extensively, and with so many components that can be adjusted for your comfort, it’ll feel like it was made for you – which, in a sense, it will have been.

Not only is this great for the Xbox Series X (and S), but you can use it on the Xbox One as well. It’s also popular in PC gaming spheres since it’s compatible with most Windows devices. You can even use it on your mobile devices, which is handy for anyone streaming their games to their phone.

If the Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 is too expensive with all of its contents, the Core variant doesn’t come with the extra analog sticks, the paddles, or the charging dock, but it is cheaper and you can purchase the extras at a later date.

Best Xbox controllers: SCUF Instinct Pro

2. SCUF Instinct Pro

The SCUF Instinct Pro is the best Elite Series 2 alternative.

SCUF Instinct Pro specs:

Features 4 remappable rear paddles, instant triggers, interchangeable thumbsticks, profile switch, customizable faceplate
Wired/Wireless Both
Battery life up to 30 hours
Weight 280g


  • Fastest hair triggers
  • Customizable faceplate
  • Great ergonomics


  • No in-built battery
  • Questionable build quality
  • Expensive

If you’re looking for the absolute best performance possible in-game, then SCUF’s Instinct Pro is our pick of the bunch. While the Elite Series 2 has great hair triggers, the Instinct Pro’s can be configured to mouse click-tier levels of instantaneous response – perfect for climbing the Apex Legends ranks.

The remappable rear buttons are certainly different from the paddles found on the Elite Series 2, but they are by no means worse. We really enjoyed the gameplay experience with them after acclimatizing to their two-way controls, though they won’t be to everyone’s taste. Another great element that the Instinct Pro boasts over the Elite Series 2 is its customizable faceplates, which (within SCUF’s repertoire) allow you to add a splash of personality.

However, you can still customize the Elite Series 2 if bought through Microsoft’s Design Lab – the cost of which will still set you back less than the Instinct Pro, which has an eye-watering $229.99 price tag. Additionally, for such an expensive controller we’ve been disappointed by the number of user reports regarding stick drift and other build quality issues. As such, if you do pick one up then we’d highly recommend doing so from a place that offers an extended warranty option – better safe than sorry.

Best Xbox controllers: the PowerA Spectra Infinity.

3. PowerA Spectra Infinity Enhanced Wired Controller

The PowerA Spectra Infinity is the most affordable Xbox controller.

PowerA Spectra Infinity Enhanced specs:

Customizable buttons 2 remappable buttons
Wired/Wireless Wired
Battery life N/A
Weight 284g


  • Great price
  • Similar to Microsoft’s own controllers


  • Use of wire may be inconvenient
  • Less options for customization

We get it – the Elite Series 2 is an expensive piece of equipment – you could buy a few new Xbox games for what it costs! If you want something a little more affordable, then you should check out the PowerA Spectra Infinity, which is still a great controller, but notably much cheaper. This isn’t some shoddy third-party bit of gear either, as it was officially licensed by Microsoft.

So why’s this one so much cheaper than the Elite? Well, part of the reason is that this is a wired controller, so you’ll have to make sure you’re close enough to your console for it to be plugged in (like the good old days). This may be annoying for some, but at the very least it means that you don’t need to worry about charging it or replacing the batteries. It also offers fewer options for customization and button mapping, which may be off-putting for pro gamers.

Like the Elite Series 2, this is a controller that can be used on Xbox One and PC, as well as the Xbox Series X|S. If you enjoy playing on your PC as well as your Xbox, all you need to do is plug it into your computer or laptop and you’re away.

Best Xbox controller: the Ferrari Thrustmaster 458 Spider Racing Wheel with pedals.

4. Thrustmaster Ferrari 458 Spider Racing Wheel

The Thrustmaster Ferrari 458 is the best Xbox steering wheel for the Series X.

Thrustmaster Ferrari 458 Spider Racing Wheel specs:

Customizable buttons None
Wired/Wireless Wired
Battery life N/A
Weight 4.3kg


  • Comes with pedals
  • Feels like a real steering wheel


  • Some compatibility issues
  • A bit on the bulky side

Are the likes of the F1 games, Forza Horizon 5, or Forza Motorsport some of your favorite Xbox games? Well, when you play them with the Thrustmaster Ferrari 458 racing wheel, it gives you a whole new level of realism. You can even adjust the sensitivity levels so that it feels as much like your own car as possible. The addition of the pedals makes this feel even more immersive.

If you’re a fan of Xbox racing games, you’ll want to make sure that this wheel will be compatible with them. Almost all notable, major racing game series like Forza, F1, The Crew, and recent Need For Speed titles are all good to go, but it never hurts to double-check on the Thrustmaster website, as you don’t want to be disappointed.

Meanwhile, at almost ten pounds in weight, this can be a heavy bit of gear if you’ve not got the right set-up for it. With a purchase like this, it’s especially important that you’ve got enough space to use it comfortably – but if you do, it’s sure to be fantastic.

Best Xbox Series S controllers

If you’ve got the Xbox Series S, you can use any of the controllers mentioned above. However, if you’re looking for some more affordable options to go along with your more affordable console, we’ve got you covered. These are both also compatible with the Series X.

Best Xbox controller: the Xbox Core Wireless controller. Image shows four Xbox controllers.

1. Xbox Core Wireless Controller

The standard Xbox controller is the best Xbox Series S controller.

Xbox Core Wireless Controller specs:

Customizable buttons 13 remappable buttons (via Xbox Accessories app)
Wired/Wireless Wireless
Battery life up to 40 hours
Weight 408.2g


  • Official Xbox controller
  • Reasonably priced


  • Batteries need replacing
  • Few customization options

This is the standard Xbox controller, and it’s pretty darn fantastic. While we have given the Elite Series 2 our highest recommendation, the standard Xbox controller would be our next choice. It feels great, and as it has been manufactured by Microsoft, it’s another one where you’ll never have to worry about any compatibility issues.

This is a reasonably priced controller to match the reasonably priced Xbox Series S. Indeed, it’s the controller that Microsoft chose to package in with the console itself – although they seem to favor the white variation, and since there are so many other colors available, we recommend going for one of them, simply because white starts to look dirty pretty quickly.

Unfortunately, this controller lacks the customization options of the Elite Series 2, so you can’t quite make it your own in the same way that you can with its bigger sibling. However, one thing that it doesn’t lack is its broad compatibility with Windows devices, and smartphones, so you can use it for PC gaming and streaming your games on mobile.

Best Xbox controllers: Turtle Beach Recon Cloud controller.

2. Turtle Beach Recon Cloud Controller

The Turtle Beach Recon Cloud Controller is the best controller for cloud gaming.

Turtle Beach Recon Cloud Controller specs:

Customizable buttons 2 remappable buttons
Wired/Wireless Both
Battery life up to 30 hours
Weight 303.3g


  • Easy to use with phones
  • Decent battery life


  • Slightly more expensive
  • Fewer customization options

Gaming on the go is becoming increasingly popular, with all the big names in the console arena giving some way for gamers to take their games with them. Xbox is no exception, with cloud gaming options allowing you to stream Game Pass games directly onto your mobile device. The Turtle Beach Recon Cloud Controller is the best one to go for if you regularly take advantage of this feature.

With a special, adjustable clamp built into the top of the controller, you can easily attach your phone and position the screen so that, along with the controller itself, you’ve got a sort of makeshift handheld console. You’re not limited to using it for Xbox games, either, as it will come in handy for anything you like to play on your phone, and has a decency enough battery that you won’t have to charge it every five minutes.

If you’re worried the clamp will get in the way when you’re trying to just play on the TV like normal, don’t be – you can just take it off. Aside from that though, it doesn’t have anywhere near as many customization options as the Elite Series 2, and it is a little expensive, but if you love streaming your games to your phone, this is a (literal) game changer.

Best Xbox One Controllers

Any one of the controllers mentioned in this article will work on Xbox One, and we recommend them for use on that platform as much as any other. Having said there, here are a couple more recommendations that we think are specifically well-poised to suit the needs of Xbox One owners.

Best Xbox controllers: the PowerA Fusion Pro 3 in a human hand.

1. PowerA Fusion Pro 3 Wired Controller

The PowerA Fusion Pro 2 is the best Xbox One controller.

PowerA Fusion Pro 3 specs:

Customizable buttons Three swappable thumbsticks, four remappable buttons
Wired/Wireless Wired
Battery life N/A
Weight 241g


  • Buttons easily reconfigured
  • Comfortable to hold


  • A little expensive
  • No wireless play

If you’re still using the Xbox One you bought back in 2015, don’t worry – a new controller can do a lot to breathe new life into your aging console, and we recommend the PowerA Fusion Pro 3 as the best controller for the job. Unlike the standard controllers that came with the console, this has four programmable buttons that you can adjust to best suit your own personal style of play.

There are two rumble motors in the controller, which will help make your gameplay experience as immersive as possible. Speaking of which, it comes with an audio jack, allowing you to play your earphones or headset directly into the controller and enjoy the soundscapes of your favorite games more deeply. With easy options for button reconfiguration, plus any easy share button for instant screenshots and gameplay videos, in many ways, it’s an upgrade over the Xbox One’s original controller.

This is a wired controller, which may be off-putting for some readers as it may require adjustments to your gaming space in order to ensure that the wire doesn’t present a hazard and that your sofa is within range of your console. Still, even this has its benefits, since you don’t need to change the batteries in it and so never have to worry about it running out in the middle of an intense session.

Read our PowerA Fusion Pro 3 Wired Xbox controller review.

Best Xbox controller: GameSir G7.

2. GameSir G7 Wired Controller

The GameSir G7 is the best cheap Xbox controller.

GameSir G7 specs:

Customizable buttons 2 remappable buttons
Wired/Wireless Wired
Battery life N/A
Weight 480.8g


  • Decent pricing
  • Swappable faceplate and mappable buttons


  • Wired
  • Slightly less durable than others

GameSir is a respected controller manufacturer and if you’re looking for something that’s a little more affordable than some of the other options on this list, but also isn’t complete rubbish, then the G7 may be the choice for you. It’s not quite as sturdy as something like the Elite Series 2, but there’s still a lot to be admired here.

There are two buttons on the back which you can set to do whatever you want them to. Meanwhile, this controller also gives you the option of swapping the faceplate, giving you some decent options for customization. It’s really reactive too, responding to even the most subtle of movements, which is going to give you the edge in the best FPS games, especially.

This is another wired controller, which will be an issue for some gamers. It’s also notable that this is slightly less durable than other controllers. It’s not cheap or rubbish by any means, but if you had an Elite Series 2 in one hand and a GameSir G7 in the other, it would be obvious to you which of these was the more substantial piece of hardware. But, hey, for its price, compatibility with most platforms, and everything it does, the G7 is still a great choice.

What is the best Xbox controller?

While any of the controllers above are worthwhile investments, the best Xbox controller overall is easily the Xbox Elite Controller Series 2. Not only is it rechargeable, but it offers unparalleled customization options thanks to remappable buttons, interchangeable analog sticks, and a great battery life for long sessions.

It’s also one of the most premium options on the list, as it feels as high quality as it looks. It’s a bit expensive, but we’d say it’s worth the extra money if you can afford it.

What is the difference between Elite Series 2 and Elite Series 2 Core?

The Elite Series 2 and the Elite Series 2 Core are fundamentally the same thing. They both feature remappable buttons, an internal rechargeable battery, and the ability to use paddles or switch out analog sticks and the D-Pad. However, the Core version doesn’t come with the accessories, making it cheaper.

You can purchase these at a later date if you want to enhance your experience and feel like you’re missing out by not having paddles. But you’ll get a high-quality product no matter if you choose the Elite Series 2 Core or its more expensive counterpart.

How we chose the best Xbox controllers

When trying to narrow down the best Xbox controller, there were several criteria that we kept in mind. These were as follows:

  • Pricing: the amount you pay for a new Xbox controller can vary drastically, and we understand that everyone is working with a different budget. We wanted to list a range of differently priced controllers, without listing anything of subpar quality
  • Compatibility: there are now several different devices within the Xbox family, so we wanted to make sure we were recommending controllers that worked across each of the consoles
  • Design: if you like everything in your gaming space to match and look just right, you’ll want to be sure you get a controller that looks right for you. While making this list, we were conscious of controllers that have various color options available
  • Customization: gaming is a very personal experience, and you want to make sure that you’ve got a controller that can match the way that you like to play, so remappable buttons and adjustable components are important considerations
  • Power source: some Xbox controllers are rechargeable, others are battery-powered, and some are wired. A controller’s energy source is a big consideration when considering its overall quality

Read our how we test page for more information on the process that goes into these lists. For more Xbox guidance, check out our Xbox Series X vs Series S comparison. Meanwhile, if you want something to be excited about, our list of the best Xbox games will advise you on which game you need to be jumping into next with your new controller in hand.