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Xbox Wireless Controller: One Minute Review
The Xbox Wireless Controller is not really a new gamepad, but rather a revised version of the Xbox One gamepad, which underwent some updates for its release alongside the new Xbox Series X/S consoles.
But while it may have the same name as its predecessor and a very similar design, the Xbox Wireless Controller is a marked improvement over Microsoft's previous basic gamepads. If this interests you, or if you're looking for a second wireless controller for your Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S console, we'll break down what you need to know.
If you need a new Xbox wireless controller or are looking for a replacement part for the holidays, the Black Friday 2022 sale period is sure to see some deep controller discounts. As in previous years, we've seen the controller heavily discounted, making it usually one of the best Xbox Black Friday deals around. check and around November 25th when the event starts to see if you can find a good deal.
The Xbox Wireless Controller feels familiar in your hand but subtly different, with improved tactile textures and refined geometry for a more ergonomic (and comfortable) gaming experience. We're also happy to see that Microsoft has finally implemented a dedicated Share button on its gamepad, making it much easier to take in-game screenshots and videos.
The Share button can sometimes be hard to reach though, and we were frustrated that the gamepad still wouldn't reload automatically; instead, a charging pack must be purchased separately.
It looks like Microsoft's new gamepad takes inspiration from the Xbox Elite Series 2 Wireless Controller and offers some of the top-tier design features of the premium controller in a more affordable form. The result is a stylish, affordable, and accessible controller that's a joy to use.
- Microsoft Xbox Series X Carbon Black controller at Amazon for $39 (opens in a new tab)
Xbox Wireless Controller: Pricing and Availability
(Image credit: Microsoft)
- Xbox Wireless Controller Price: $59.99 / £54.99 / AU$74.99
- Three colors at launch: Carbon Black, Robot White and Shock Blue
The Xbox Wireless Controller is priced at $59.99 / £54.99 / AU$74.99, but it's worth noting that every Xbox Series X and Series S console comes with a controller in the box.
You'll only need to buy another controller if you're looking to replace one, or a second (or third, or fourth) one for home co-op play. You shouldn't have too much trouble finding additional units, either, as the Xbox Wireless Controller is available at many major retailers, both online and in-store.
Available in Carbon Black and Robot White, the Xbox Wireless Controller also comes in striking Shock Blue. Since then, we've seen the range expand significantly, and if you're willing to pay a bit more for customization, you can even design your own color scheme, thanks to the Xbox Design Lab.
Xbox Wireless Controller: Design
(Image credit: LaComparacion)
- It feels familiar in the hand but subtly different.
- Improved tactile textures and refined geometry
- New Share button
At first glance, the Xbox Wireless Controller doesn't seem like a particularly drastic departure from its predecessor. It is similar in shape and retains the traditional button and trigger layout. However, on closer inspection, you begin to notice the subtle differences that Microsoft has implemented.
For starters, the exterior of the gamepad now sports a matte finish that closely resembles the designs of the newer consoles. While it certainly looks classy, it does have its downsides: The black controller that comes with the Xbox Series X easily picks up noticeable scratches and scratches.
Given the number of practical time controls you're subject to, you may find it difficult to keep yours in tip-top shape for years to come. However, there are other color variants of the controller available (you'll have to buy these separately, while the Xbox Series S includes a white version), and some may be less prone to scratches.
It's less of an issue, though, and overall we've found the Xbox Wireless Controller to feel like a more premium controller, both in look and feel. The revised pad now has tactile texture on the triggers, grips, and bumpers, which we think made the controller feel more secure in our hands.
(Image credit: future)
Also, while the controller is the same size as its predecessor, the bumpers and triggers have been rounded and shrunk by a few millimeters, making the gamepad less bulky. If you're someone with small hands, older Xbox controllers felt pretty heavy, but this simple change improves comfort levels in a subtle but noticeable way.
Perhaps the most notable changes to the controller are the addition of the "Share" button and the hybrid D-pad. The Share button essentially acts as a capture button, allowing you to easily take screenshots of your gameplay: a single click takes a snapshot, while holding the button longer saves a 15-second video by default (you can adjust the length of the video). in capture settings).
It's a lot easier than on Xbox One, where you have to press the home button and then X or Y, but we found it a bit cumbersome to quickly take a screenshot - your experience may vary depending on your experience, depending on the size. they are in your hands
The hybrid D-pad, on the other hand, aims to provide a middle ground between the classic D-pad of the Xbox One controller and the faceted and interchangeable puck-shaped D-pad of the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2. This gives as result in a kind of traditional D-pad, placed on a disk. Again, this is a minor but welcome change and is aimed at giving you more control and leverage over the D-pad, while also feeling more comfortable overall.
The D-pad also puts out a loud click that we've never heard from a controller before. You'll find it satisfying or a bit boring, we've often found the latter, though those used to mechanical keyboards won't mind at all.
But there's a lot about controller design that hasn't changed. It retains the 3,5mm audio jack and expansion port at the bottom, the USB charging port and pairing button at the top, and the View, Menu, and Xbox buttons at the front.
Xbox Wireless Controller - Performance
(Image credit: LaComparacion)
- Works on a variety of devices
- Low latency
- Rechargeable battery needs to be purchased separately
- Remappable (but is limited)
Along with these cosmetic changes, the Xbox Wireless Controller also brings feature enhancements. We found this controller to be more responsive, which is likely due to the lower latency Microsoft has boasted about (along with the higher frame rate stability of the Xbox Series X/S), while connecting the gamepad wirelessly. via Bluetooth to a variety of devices—including the Xbox One, an iPhone 13, and a Mac—it was simple.
The Xbox Wireless Controller again runs on AA batteries (regular or rechargeable), but if you want to avoid the hassle of constantly changing or charging batteries, you have two options. You can invest in a Play and Charge Kit (a rechargeable battery you can use to charge the controller while you play or between sessions), or connect your controller to the console via USB-C (although that, of course, limits your freedom to movement).
In terms of remapping, you can remap the Xbox Wireless Controller on Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S through the Xbox Accessories app, though the level of customization is somewhat limited.
The app lets you remap some buttons on the controller to suit your tastes and even gives you control over things like whether your controller vibrates and whether you want your sticks to automatically reverse. We found remapping fairly straightforward, though there are some buttons, like the Xbox button and triggers, that can't be changed.
Since the Xbox Wireless Controller uses the pulse activation feature found in older versions of Xbox gamepads, putting haptic feedback at your fingertips when you're driving, for example, on the dirt roads of Dirt 5 , the lack of activation remapping is understandable.
Xbox Wireless Controller: Should You Buy It?
(Image credit: Microsoft)
Buy it if ...
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Don't buy it if ...
Microsoft Xbox Wireless Controller: Price Comparison