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Best Xbox Series X Controllers (2021): Which One Suits Your Gaming Style?

One of the best things about gaming on the Xbox is the endless number of choices you get when it comes to controllers. The Xbox Series X is no exception to this. Not only is it compatible with old Xbox One controllers, but there are a bunch of new ones that were made especially for it too. That said, the wide selection can be a bit overwhelming so we’ve rounded up the top controllers to help you out. We’ve included budget, high-end, third-party, and customizable options.

Best Xbox Series X Controllers Comparison Chart

NameXbox Core ControllerXbox Elite Series 2Razer Wolverine V2
 Xbox core controller chartXbox elite series 2 chartRazer wolverine v2 chart
PriceCheck Price at AmazonCheck Price at AmazonCheck Price at Amazon
Connectivity-Connects to Xbox consoles with Xbox Wireless or the included USB-C cable

-Connects wirelessly to Windows 10 PCs, tablets, Android, and iOS via Bluetooth
-Connects to Xbox consoles with Xbox Wireless or the included USB-C cable

-Connects wirelessly to Windows 10 PCs, tablets, Android, and iOS via Bluetooth

-Connects to Windows 7 or 8.1 PCs with the included USB-C cable
Wired connection only
BatteryAA batteries for 40 hours of usageRechargeable battery with 40 hours of usageN/A
Interchangeable D-PadNoYesNo
Interchangeable ThumbsticksNoYesNo
Hair Trigger ModeNoNoYes
Audio Output3.5mm stereo headset jack3.5mm stereo headset jack3.5mm analog audio port

Xbox Core Controller

The Xbox Core Controller is the best overall controller for the Xbox Series X.

Xbox core controller design
The Xbox Core Controller is suitable for a wide range of hand sizes.

The Xbox Core Controller will always be top of mind for all Xbox consoles. It’s a very standard piece of equipment but even without all the bells and whistles, it has everything you could ever need in a controller. It has a solid and premium design that makes for an enjoyable experience, and yet its price tag remains reasonable. What’s even better is that it’s suitable for a wide range of hand sizes so even if your hands are on the small or big side, you’ll find the gamepad comfortable to use. As for performance, it’s a reliable, no-brainer option for the Xbox Series X.

But for the sake of nitpicking, one annoying thing about the Xbox Core Controller is that you need to load it with AA batteries to use it wirelessly. But of course, you can always get rechargeable batteries as a way around this. If you don’t want anything to do with batteries, just whip out the USB-C plug that comes with Xbox Core Controller so that you can connect directly to the Xbox Series X.

Xbox Elite Series 2

The Xbox Elite Series 2 is the best high-end controller for the Xbox Series X.

Xbox elite series 2 design
The Xbox Elite Series 2 comes with swappable parts and a rechargeable battery.

If you want an ultra luxurious gaming experience and you don’t mind splurging a hefty amount for it, go ahead and treat yourself to the Xbox Elite Series 2. Aside from the premium feel, you’re also paying for its customizability. Its triggers, D-pad, and joystick are all replaceable, allowing you to swap them out for ones that fit your style. And unlike the Xbox Core Controller, the Xbox Elite Series 2 comes with a rechargeable battery and one that packs 40 hours of game time no less. This saves you from the hassle of having to go out and buy a pack when your controller’s juices are low.

As if that doesn’t sound fancy enough, the Xbox Elite Series 2 comes with four extra paddles at the back which you can assign different tasks to. You can, for example, program them to change up the roles of your face buttons during complex games that require you to perform a wide selection of actions. Just be warned though that all of these features will cost you double the price of the Xbox Core Controller.

PowerA Enhanced Wired Controller

The PowerA Enhanced Wired Controller is the best budget controller for the Xbox Series X.

PowerA wired controller design
The PowerA Enhanced Wired Controller is sturdier than the other controllers in its price range.

As for those who have spent way too much money on a new Xbox Series X and have very little left for a controller, there’s the PowerA Enhanced Wired Controller. It’s a much cheaper option but one that’s able to stand the test of time. In fact, it’s a lot sturdier than other controllers in the same price range and can take quite a beating. While it definitely doesn’t feel as premium as the Xbox Core Controller, it still scores high in comfort and functionality. In addition, it has useful features such as a mic mute switch and a built-in share button.

Aside from saving a ton of money, another reason to buy the PowerA Enhanced Wired Controller is to lend it to your friends. If you’re always hosting game night, there’s no way you’re going to let them smash on your expensive Xbox Elite Series 2. You’d be less worried to have them play with something more affordable.

Thrustmaster Eswap X Pro

The Thrustmaster Eswap X Pro is the best customizable controller for the Xbox Series X.

Thrustmaster eswap x pro design
The Thrustmaster Eswap X Pro’s hardware and software are both highly customizable.

If you think the Xbox Elite Series 2 is customizable, wait ’til you get your hands on the Thrustmaster Eswap X Pro. With this controller, not only is it possible to replace the D-pad and the analog sticks, but you can even change up their positions. You can go for either a symmetrical or asymmetrical layout depending on your preference. The customization doesn’t just stop with the hardware because the software gives you even more things to play around with. You do have to note, however, that the Thrustmaster Eswap X Pro is a better match for those who like bigger controllers.

Aside from customizability, another thing you might like about this controller is the amount of buttons and extra options it has. It has a total of ten additional buttons and two switches which can be broken up into three categories. You get two trigger lock switches on the sides, six buttons for adjusting settings at the base, and four shortcut buttons on the back.

Razer Wolverine V2

The Razer Wolverine V2 is the best third-party controller for the Xbox Series X.

Razer wolverine v2 design
The Razer Wolverine V2 has hair trigger mode.

The Razer Wolverine V2 is a third-party controller for the Xbox Series X but it’s definitely a huge level-up from the cheap, generic ones on the market. Price-wise, it’s somewhere in between the Xbox Core Controller and the Xbox Elite Series 2. But quality-wise, it might even surpass the two Xbox controllers in some aspects. One of the most enjoyable things about the Razer Wolverine V2 is its Razer Mecha-Tactile action buttons which make a very satisfying clicking sound when pressed. These special buttons bounce back pretty fast too which comes in handy when you need to make quick presses.

Staying true to the Razer branding, this controller is highly customizable as well. Not only can you switch up the functions of the face buttons, but you can also activate hair trigger mode. This means that instead of having to press down hard, you can active RT and LT just by giving them a slight tap.

Verdict

The Xbox Core Controller bags the top spot for being reliable yet affordable.

Xbox Core Controller

Best controller overall

Razer Wolverine V2

Best third-party controller

Razer wolverine 2 verdict

The spot for best Xbox Series X controller goes to the Xbox Core Controller because it gets the job done without needing to be fancy or overpriced. However, there’s the Xbox Elite Series 2 if you want a controller that exudes a more premium and luxurious feel. If you want something that’s somewhere in between the two, the Razer Wolverine V2 is an excellent third-party option.

As for those who love being able to personalize their gaming experience, you’ll love the Thrustmaster Eswap X Pro for its highly customizable hardware and software. But if your main priority is to save as much as possible, you can’t go wrong with the affordable yet durable PowerA Enhanced Wired Controller.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ Which controller is the best for the Xbox Series X?

The Xbox Core Controller is the best controller for the Xbox Series X simply because it’s able to get the job done extremely well without all the bells and whistles. It’s affordable too which is a nice cherry on top of the cake.

๐Ÿ“Œ Which is the most affordable controller for the Xbox Series X?

The PowerA Enhanced Wired Controller is the best budget controller for the Xbox Series X. While it’s on the cheaper end of the spectrum, it’s a lot sturdier than other controllers in the same price range and can take quite a beating.

๐Ÿ“Œ What’s a good highly customizable controller for the Xbox Series X?

The Thrustmaster Eswap X Pro is the best customizable controller for the Xbox Series X. Not only does its hardware allows you to swap out the D-pad and joystick, but its software lets you play around a lot too.

๐Ÿ“Œ What’s the best third-party controller for the Xbox Series X?

The Razer Wolverine V2 is the best third-party controller for the Xbox Series X. Price-wise, it’s somewhere in between the Xbox Core Controller and the Xbox Elite Series 2. But quality-wise, it might even surpass the two Xbox controllers in some aspects.

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Denise Jose

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying. Researcher and yoga teacher passionate about article writing, photography, wellness, and mindfulness.