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More than 4 years have passed since the first Microsoft Xbox Elite Wireless Controller (Check on Amazon.com) was launched. A quality gamepad that bet everything on advanced configuration and customization options so that each player could adapt it to their individual taste. Extra buttons, interchangeable parts, and software to configure it. Today it is still considered one of the best controllers on the market. Fast forward four years and the Microsoft Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 (Check on Amazon.com) has done it again, further improving a gamepad that seemed almost perfect. This is not a facelift version with a couple of novelties for a quick cash grab, it is a total remake of the best controller in the market that makes it even better!
Microsoft Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 – Design
The Microsoft Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 sticks to the same premise: offer all the necessary options so that every gamer can customize it as he/she likes.
The device comes neatly tucked inside a carrying case which also includes all the extras. Below the gamepad, we find four interchangeable thumbsticks (with different heights and head), an additional D-pad, and four paddles that go on the back.
By taking it out of the case and giving it a more thorough inspection we can immediately note the first differences: the textured handles and the Profile button.
It is also heavier since this new series uses an integrated battery (not removable) that provides a solid autonomy of between 30 and 40 hours.
In addition, the carrying case hides a small charging base, but you can also charge it via cable.
Microsoft Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 – Performance
In the rear, we find two switches with three positions (instead of the two on the previous model) that can shorten the trigger travel. The shortest position converts them into normal buttons, with hardly any travel (ideal for shooters).
We also find the slots for the four paddles and the connector for the charging dock. The connection port on the back is now USB-C effectively updating the device to the new standard.
The thumbsticks are interchangeable but the novelty here is that we can now also adjust their tension (using the included adjustment tool) between three levels. We can, for example, set them to maximum tension for a better response in fighting games, although the resulting feeling cannot replace the feedback or handling we get using an arcade stick.
Perhaps, the most important upgrade with the Series 2 is one that we cannot see and one that everyone was asking for… Bluetooth connectivity for mobile devices and Windows 10 PCs!
Microsoft Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 – Software
But the new features are not limited to the hardware specifications. In fact, the Xbox Accessory app, now more mature than ever, also offers new customization options.
Apart from being able to remap any button and paddle, now, we can also assign virtually any system function to a button. You can, for example, transform the paddles into the X, A, Y and B buttons (so that you can game without removing your thumbs from the thumbsticks) and use the face buttons to take a screenshot, capture the gameplay, see your achievements or activate the voice commands.
But that’s not all: you can also assign a button to become a kind of “Shift” or “FN” key, which, when pressed in combination with a standard button, can activate its secondary function!
And all these configurations can be saved on one of the three customizable profiles (plus the default one) that we can store in the controller’s internal memory and activate using the Profile button.
Microsoft Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 – Verdict
Sadly all these improvements, while greatly expanding the gamepad’s functionality, come at a price. The Microsoft Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 costs (Check on Amazon.com), a premium price tag that, like most Pro controllers makes it available only to a select few.
Anyhoo, the Series 2 is literally the best gamepad in the market, both for its build quality and its vast personalization options. If you can justify buying it (or can simply splurge for the privilege) be assured that you won’t regret it since there is nothing better out there.