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I never understood why someone would pay a boatload of money to get his or her hands on a gamepad that is marginally better than a standard Microsoft Xbox One controller (Check on Amazon.com). Thankfully Microsoft definitely understood why and they are now the ones making the best customizable controller in the form of the Microsoft Xbox One Elite (Check on Amazon.com).
Microsoft Xbox One Elite – A premium controller
The price of the Elite is, without a doubt, the biggest dealbreaker for a controller that, beyond wanting to provide a sense of quality for the price, has everything a console or PC player might desire from a gamepad.
The other flaw is the absence of a rechargeable battery. Splurging (Check on Amazon.com) for a controller that, despite having an official battery pack that you can buy extra, decides to include two AA batteries in the box is somewhat an offense.
I understand that they take for granted that most “pro” gamers that will buy this kind of gamepad probably already have a charging kit, but that should not spoil the premium aura surrounding the package.
Microsoft Xbox One Elite – The good
With everything that bothered me out of the way, I have to admit that this is a wondrous controller. It is a bit heavier than the standard one, but the increase is subtle enough so that it only brings added firmness instead of fatigue in the hands after long gaming sessions.
The new rougher surface does not disturb the ergonomics of a controller that, at the design level, remains exactly the same. It also guarantees that neither sweat nor a loose grip will make this gamepad slip from your hands.
The additional sticks, a pair of mushroom-shaped Dualshock style ones, and a pair of tall ones that grant even more precision in a racing simulator can be combined however you choose to suit your needs and are easily interchangeable using the straightforward magnetic system that holds them in place while gaming.
The same goes for the two included D-pads, one similar to the classic controller and the other with flattened sides in order to create the perfect surface for better handling in fighting games.
But the real star of the show are the four rear paddles, placed on the back of the remote using the same magnetic system as before, that can function as any front-facing button and can be pressed without taking your thumbs off the sticks.
Be warned, they are extremely uncomfortable at first, especially for those of us that grip the controller as if we were chocking someone, but you will get used to them. Once you have the advantages are enormous, especially in competitive multiplayer games where performing an action a fraction of a second later can cost your life.
Above the paddles, you will also find two green switches that limit the travel of the LT and RT triggers depending on whether you want to play a racing game (long travel for added control) or shoot a gun (short travel for an instant kill). Too bad that the loud “clack” of the short travel wasn’t muffled.
Last but not least, on the front, in the middle, we have the new Profile switch that can toggle between two button configurations that are saved on the controller.
Microsoft Xbox One Elite – An automatic buy?
No, definitely not for most people. The standard Microsoft Xbox One controller (Check on Amazon.com) is a very good gamepad and most of us don’t really need something more. On the other hand, if you are a competitive gamer or someone that isn’t on a budget, then, by all means, yes, get the Microsoft Xbox One Elite (Check on Amazon.com), it is the best controller I have ever tried (and I have tried them all), and you will not regret it.