Microsoft Xbox One controller review: the gold standard for console and PC

A good gamepad for everything

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FOR

  • Precise D-pad
  • Impeccable finish
  • Precise analog sticks
  • Excellent ergonomics
  • Very comfortable grip
  • Wide vibrating triggers
  • Integrated microphone/headphone port

AGAINST

  • Uses batteries
  • No motion sensor
  • Not suitable for small hands
  • The battery pack and cable are optional

The Microsoft Xbox One (Check on Amazon.com) controller builds onto the characteristics that made the previous versions so much successful: namely, the famous analog sticks positioned asymmetrically and very comfortable grip thanks to the handles that fit into the palm of the hands.

Microsoft Xbox One Controller – Unparalleled comfort

<p>The new controller has a laundry list of incremental improvements, from a more precise cross-shaped D-pad to knurled thumbstick rims for better grip.

The ergonomics of the Xbox 360 controller (Check on Amazon.com) are also improved. The Xbox One controller retains the general shape and proportions of its eldest sibling but modernizes its appearance with sharper angles and less rounded corners. The comfort is unparalleled, the grip is virtually identical and almost excellent, provided that you are OK with the asymmetrical positioning of the analog sticks.

Weighing 232g without batteries and about 280g with a pair of rechargeable ones, the Xbox One is relatively light. For comparison, PlayStation 4’s DualShock 4 controller is the current champion with just 213g battery included. [Although it doesn’t offer native support for Windows, the DualShock 4 controller can also work on PCs with third-party software(DS4 Tool, Input Mapper), and there are even some games that support it].

The overall finish is also a step forward. There are no visible screws and the protrusion that was housing the batteries has disappeared. The battery compartment is now perfectly integrated into the design of the One controller. The only flaw we could find is that by opening the micro-USB port you can see the PCB, which is hardly elegant – but we are nitpicking here.

The plastic seems identical to the old one and feels pleasant to the touch. The face buttons are transparent and have colored letters, but their size and feel remain the same. On the other hand, the space between them has been reduced, as has their travel in order to improve reactivity.

The most significant improvement concerns the analog sticks and the D-pad: the sticks are still concave to help accommodate the thumbs, but they now have a rougher edge that enhances grip.

On the other hand the main flaw of the Xbox 360 controller, the infamous D-pad, has been completely redesigned. It sports a more classic look and its precision is greatly improved. It is also clicky, which can disturb some during first use.

Last but not least the triggers have gained in width, for added comfort. Their biggest novelty, however, is that they have their own vibration!

Microsoft Xbox One Controller – Wired and wireless connections

Microsoft Xbox One Controller – Wired and wireless connections

The Xbox One controller obviously works perfectly with all Xbox One home consoles, both wired and wirelessly. The same goes for the PC, where if you want to take advantage of the Xbox Wireless protocol, you will have to get Xbox’s wireless adapter, which is sold as an extra (Check on Amazon.com) – and so is the cable for that matter (Check on Amazon.com).

Microsoft Xbox One Controller – Performance

<p>The ABXY buttons are slightly lower and spaced more tightly, with the Menu and View buttons (no more Start and Select) moved out of the way to avoid accidental presses.

Tested with all kinds of games, the Xbox One controller is unbelievably versatile. Its small and precise sticks are great for FPS games and the new vibrating triggers are extremely accurate, especially for racing games. They manage to transmit the sensation of braking or accelerating so much better in games such as Forza Motorsport, so much so that such games are perfectly playable in simulation mode. A steering wheel is and always will be obviously superior in terms of precision, but this controller offers a convincing experience.

Microsoft Xbox One Controller – Verdict

Very enjoyable to hold in hand for long hours of play, the Microsoft Xbox One controller (Check on Amazon.com) is a safe bet. Its analog sticks are very accurate, and the new vibrating triggers bring something more in racing games. Its Windows compatibility is also an asset, so much so that there is not much room left for other controllers.

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