Having the right controller in your hands is a critical step towards gaming domination. Microsofts own Xbox One controllers are excellent and always a safe purchase, but the days of all third-party Xbox controllers being cheap monstrosities only fit for your little brother are over. You can easily find third-party Xbox One controllers that offer comfort, quality, customization, and more, often at a lower price than the official Microsoft peripherals.Better yet, the best Xbox One controllers will also work perfectly with your gaming PC, and if you have the Xbox One controller wireless PC adapter, you don’t even need a USB cable. Using a controller to play PC games might sound crazy, but there are just some titles that work better with it than mouse and keyboard. It’s hard to believe, but it’s true.To help you sort it out the wide selection of Xbox One controllers we’ve compiled a list of only the very best. These will appeal to both serious gamers and those who just want to explore other options. We’ll also help you save on Black Friday, so be sure to check out the best Xbox deals on Amazon and Walmart.
TL;DR These are the Best Xbox One Controllers:
1. Microsoft Xbox One Elite
Best Xbox Controller
While the Xbox Elite Wireless Series Controller 2 (read our review) is now available, it’s just not something we’d recommend. It costs at least $30 more and as of this writing has too many issues to warrant the higher premium it demands.For these reasons we still recommend the original Xbox One Elite controller as the best Xbxo One Controller you can buy. It’s a big step over the standard Xbox One controller thanks to some extensively customizable controls. Starting with the thumb sticks you can add different caps depending if you like a concave or convex thumb sticks, additionally you also have taller stick options as well. Underneath the controller you can add up to four paddles, which you can hit with your ring fingers to substitute any of the face buttons. Lastly, you can switch the triggers into “hair-triggers,” so even the slightest pressure will set them off.
Like all Xbox controllers, it works with PC either wired, or wirelessly with the Xbox One wireless PC adapter. It’s built like a tank and extremely customizable. If you’re looking for the ultimate controllerperiod.
2. Official Xbox Controller
The Next Best Xbox Controller
It’s really hard to beat the classic Xbox controller that comes packed in the box with every Xbox One. If you’re looking to add a second controller to your arsenal or need a replacement, this is a solid choice. Note that this is Microsoft’s revised Xbox controller, so it comes with Bluetooth support and a slightly textured finish on the grips. Despite these improvements, this is one of the most affordable Xbox controllers you can get for just $40.You can buy the recharging kit and add extra life to your controller without the need to swap batteries constantly, or you can just toss a pair of double-As in there and have at it. Available in a host of colors, the Xbox Wireless controller is a great mix of price and familiarity.
3. Razer Wolverine Tournament Edition
Best Third-Party Xbox Controller
The Razer Wolverine Tournament Edition delivers a focus on build quality and customization options targeted at hardcore gamers. It comes with four programmable buttons and a quick control panel for functions like toggling between profiles or muting the volume to avoid annoying your roommate or spouse. Stiff analog sticks and rubber grips are designed to endure long gaming sessions without causing you to lose your grip.4. Razer Atrox Arcade Stick
Best Xbox One Fight Stick
The best way to play fighting games is with a fight stick and the best one for the Xbox One is the Razer Atrox Arcade Stick. This premium fight stick offers some incredible build quality with high-end Sanwa components.Of course, if you prefer using a different stick, other buttons, or just don’t like the box art, users can open up this fight stick and change virtually every part of it.
5. Hori Fighting Commander Pro
Best Xbox One Fight Pad Controller
A fight stick is a big commitment and a lot of money to spend on playing just one type of game. If you’re on the fence, you should consider a fight pad. The Hori Fighting Commander Pro gives you access to an extra pair of buttons and a real D-Pad, to make pulling off specials a cinch.While it’s great for fighting games, the Hori Fighting Commander Pro is it’s still mostly a traditional controller, so you can use to play indie games and just about anything you want. Its also wired, which saves you the hassle of keeping it charged, but that may be a drawback depending on your specific gaming setup.
6. Xbox Adaptive Controller
Best Customizable Xbox One Controller
The Xbox Adaptive Controller is specially designed for gamers with limited mobility. On its own, the Adaptive controller only gives you three inputs with an oversized D-Pad and two massive A and B buttons that users can hit with their palm, elbow, foot, or what have you.However, the Xbox Adaptive Controller isn’t meant to be used on its own. Rather it has 19 3.5mm jacks along its back, each of which corresponds to a single command triggered on the normal Xbox One controller. Users can plug in their own accessibility controllerswhich includes a massive variety of buttons, foot pedals, switches, joysticks and moreand turn the Xbox Adaptive Controller into a central control hub.
7. Hyperkin Duke Wired Controller
Best Xbox Controller for Xbox One
Thanks to Microsoft’s robust backwards compatibility, you can play a huge library of original Xbox titles. If you’re like us and want to play the game as close to the original experience as you can, you need the Duke.The Hyperkin Duke might not be made by Microsoft, but it’s been officially licensed by Xbox. This controller emulates the entire original Xbox Controller experience from its large, rotund shape to the almost excessive resistance on the thumbsticks. Of course, this blast from the past controller keeps the old-school black and white buttons to complete the experience.
8. Victrix Pro FS
Best Xbox One Fight Stick
Fighting games are seeing a real renaissance between Mortal Kombat 11 and Dragon Ball FighterZ, and so there’s never been a better time to get an fight stick to get into the action. The best arcade stick for the Xbox One is without a doubt the Victrix Pro FS. This is one of the few fight stick designed for Microsoft’s console and it’s a classy affair with a metal chasis and premium-quality Sanwa components.If you prefer to install a Korean lever or swap in any of your personalized buttons, you can easily flip open the top of the controller and get under the hood. The whole thing is even designed to be portable with a stick that easily unscrews and an integrated shoulder strap system.
9. Thrustmaster TX Racing Wheel: Leather Edition
Best Xbox One Racing Wheel
While Forza and other racing games nowadays are designed to play perfectly on a controller nothing quite beats the reactive and overwhelming force-feedback for a racing wheel. If you’re looking for the most authentic driving experience on the Xbox One you should get the Thrustmaster TX Racing Wheel: Leather Edition.This wheel delivers some of the strongest force feedback you can get from a belt-driven wheel. It’s also upholstered with soft leather so you can skip wearing gloves and you get an Xbox guide button to easily access your dashboard commands.
Xbox and PC Compatibility
The biggest advantage Xbox One controllers have over the DualShock 4 PS4 controller is they work wirelessly with your with your Windows PC right out of the box. No extra software or fiddling needed.While it’s true most PC games are best enjoyed using a gaming keyboard and high-quality gaming mouse, an ever-increasing number of games and menu systems are designed around the controller instead of the traditional WASD control scheme PC gamers know and love.
With an Xbox One controller, you just plug it into your Windows computer and you’re good to go. The PS4 controllers also work with PC but require a bit more effort. However, not all games will perfectly map their controls onto a DualShock 4, so an Xbox One controller is definitely your safest bet. Controller compatibility also makes swapping between Windows Play Anywhere and Xbox Game Pass for PC games like Cuphead, Forza Horizon 4, Gears of War 4 and more much easier.
To use an Xbox One controller on your PC requires you have Windows. There are Linux and Mac solutions, too, but they require more work. Getting your Xbox One controller up and running on PC is as simple as using a Micro USB cable to connect it to your gaming laptop or gaming PC. You can also grab a Microsoft Xbox One wireless controller adapter or if your computer has Bluetooth, you can pair it as you’d pair any other Bluetooth device.
Windows might take a second or two to update the drivers, but that’s it. You just hook your Xbox One controller to a PC and you’re good to go from there. Keep in mind, if you move back and forth between PC and Xbox One, you’ll need to pair the controller whenever you switch between the two.
Take Control
Of course, Xbox One traditional-style controllers are pretty great, and our guide to the best should help you in most gaming situations. But what about specialty controllers?For example, are you playing fighting games on a regular controller? If so, you’re doing yourself an enormous disservice. It’s possible to practice and get really good with one of these controllers, but for dominance in the fighting game community, you really need to pick yourself up a dedicated fight stick.
For driving games, like the excellent Forza Horizon 4, you’re going to want a racing wheel. It’s up to you to decide if you want to go all-in with dedicated pedals, gear shift, and racing chair. Same with flight sticks. You can make the experience as immersive as your budget allows.
The best part about buying a dedicated controller like a fight stick or racing wheel is they have the same compatibility as the traditional Xbox One controllers. Your fight stick will work on your PC the same as it works on your Xbox One X, same as the others.
Also, be sure to check out more of our expert tech roundups like our guide to the best 4K TVs for gaming, the best PlayStation 4 controllers, or jump-start your streaming career with one of the best capture cards for streamers.\
Make sure to keep an eye out for the best Black Friday Xbox deals as we get closer to the official kick-off of Black Friday 2019.
Kevin Lee is IGN’s Hardware and Roundups Editor. Follow him on Twitter @baggingspam