The best Xbox One controllers 2024

The best Xbox One controllers are still worth buying. Xbox is brilliant for backwards compatibility, and while that's true of games, it's also true of forward compatibility when it comes to peripherals. Xbox One controllers can still be used with the Series X and S, and there aren't nearly as many limits on controllers within the ecosystem when compared to PlayStation. 

The controller market is in a great place at the moment. The Xbox One generation sparked a lot of interest in the production of pro controllers that blur the lines between the comfort and ease of gamepads, and the competitive functions of a mouse and keyboard. After Xbox came out with the Elite line, a myriad of choices exploded onto the shelves, and now there are so many great controllers to suit all hand shapes and game genres. Before we break down the explicit benefits of each controller in detail, it's worth noting that many of the options below will serve you as the best PC controllers too. 

You can have confidence in the fact that these excellent Xbox One controllers will work with new-gen consoles and rival some of the best Xbox Series X controllers' performance (although they don't feature the newer 'share' button if they were made with the last generation console specifically in mind). In order to narrow your search slightly, we'd recommend sussing out what you'd use your new controller for. If it's just for general use as a replacement for your worn-out Xbox controller, you may not need anything more than the official gamepad. If you want something a bit more specific with back buttons or bespoke features that'll give you a competitive edge, an Elite controller will likely be worth the extra cash.

The quick list

The best Xbox One controller overall

The best Xbox One controller overall

Specifications

Wireless: Yes
Powered by: Lithium-ion internal pack
Battery life: 30-40 hours

Reasons to buy

+
Wildly customisable
+
Built-in battery
+
Modular thumb sticks and D-pad

Reasons to avoid

-
Sizeable price

Players seeking the ultimate in comfort and customization need look no further than the recently released Xbox Elite Wireless controller series 2. It doesn’t look too dissimilar to the original Elite made available back in 2015, but it sprinkles in just enough new enhancements that it easily takes the place of its predecessor and makes our list of the best Xbox One controllers. It still features such appreciated elements as modular thumbsticks, D-pads, and hair-trigger locks, yet the components for all three of these has been re-engineered to help all Xbox One enthusiasts to play like a pro.

It may hold a hefty price point when compared to some of the other Xbox One controllers featured on this list, but the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 justifies it by offering players over 30 new ways to play. Shorter hair trigger locks, for example, allows for faster shooting in competitive FPS titles, while the tension of all 6 thumbsticks included can be adjusted for enhanced aiming. It’s in this minute detail where the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 impresses most, serving as a great gamepad option for most Xbox One players but really shining in these subtle areas. And if that wasn’t enough, like the standard option, the Elite Series 2 works just as flawlessly on PC. It's not only the best gamepad for the previous generation console, but it's one of the best Xbox One accessories and Xbox Series X accessories overall as well.  

Read more: Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 review

A cheaper alternative to the Elite

Specifications

Wireless: Yes
Powered by: Lithium-ion internal pack
Battery life: 30-40 hours

Reasons to buy

+
Cheap for a pro controller
+
Premium feel
+
Exceptional battery life
+
Can use pre-owned / cheaper accessories

Reasons to avoid

-
No attachments whatsoever feels a tad stingy

The Xbox Elite Series 2 Core takes the high quality of the full-fat Elite Series 2 and brings it down to a more affordable price point, making it one of the best Xbox Series X controllers out there. To the untrained eye, and thanks to confusing naming conventions, it's quite tough to see what the differences between these two controllers are - besides the obvious colour changes. In fact, these two gamepads are practically identical in every way, and the main difference is the accessories you get bundled along with them.

Although I'm disappointed that there aren't any attachments on offer here, and really would have appreciated some form of back paddles or extra stick caps, I can't seriously fault the Elite Series 2 Core. It feels like going to a bougie, Michelin-star restaurant and being served something as basic as bread and butter. It's stripped back, simple, and you expect a more complicated course for how much you pay. But it's probably the best bread and butter you'll ever eat.

The original Elite Controller Series 2 will set you back $179.99 / £159.99 and comes with all the customizable goodies you could ever need for it. The Elite Series 2 Core only costs $129.99 / £114.99 and comes with the exact same body and features, but none of the accessories. These are available to purchase separately and can be used with the Core, but they will bring the total investment back up to $179.99. Otherwise, you can use third-party or existing accessories and attachments with it too.

All in all, this is one of the top-performing controllers for Xbox and PC that you'll find, which in many ways, is no surprise.

The best Xbox One controller under $40

The best Xbox One controller under $40 / £40

Specifications

Connection: Wired
Buttons: 23
Remappable buttons: 2
Headset connection: 3.5mm
Cable length: 2.5m
Weight: 271g

Reasons to buy

+
Grippy texture
+
Well balanced and spaced
+
On the fly remapping
+
Smooth movement

Reasons to avoid

-
No rubberized grip of Recon model
-
Bumpers feel slightly hollow
-
No chat mix on PC

If you don't want to break past $39.99 / £34.99, the Turtle Beach React-R is the best Xbox One controller open to you. We used to revere the PowerA Enhanced Wired gamepad for its budget price point and value for money, but that top spot has be firmly replaced now. The React-R is slightly cheaper at MSRP (by around $5), offers better paddles (and the ability to remap them on the fly), and even packs the brand's Superhuman Hearing mode in as well. 

Overall that's an astonishing value, and particularly impressive considering just how good this Xbox One controller feels to use. Some sacrifices have been made by slimming down the previous release (the Turtle Beach Recon Controller). You're dropping rubberized grips and Pro-Aim assist mode, for example. However, the textured plastic still holds your position well and you're still getting particularly pleasing ridges on the shoulder buttons as well. 

While lighter than more premium options on this list, the React-R still feels solid in the hand, with a satisfying resistance beneath each of the thumbsticks and a comfortable face button press as well. 

Overall, minus some personal frustration with the slightly hollow shoulder buttons and a lack of chat mix on PC, the Turtle Beach React-R is the best Xbox One controller under $40 / £40 right now. The value for money on offer here is outstanding, making it a must-see budget option. 

Read more: Turtle Beach React-R review

The best Xbox One controller for most