Is the Elite Series 2 controller still worth it in 2024?

The Elite Series 2 controller on a red background with the question "still the king?" next to it
(Image credit: Future / Duncan Robertson)

The controller market is in a great place right now. There are so many brilliant gamepads worth buying out there and, arguably, Xbox is the one to thank for that. Microsoft pioneered the pro controller craze with its Elite pads, and licensing deals for third-party products exist thanks to that. 

Ruling the roost since 2019 has been the Elite Series 2, the perfect controller for many people. It took a long time for the rest of the market to catch up to this gamepad, which features four back paddles, swappable thumbsticks, and a lot of great software integration with Xbox machines. Particularly among the best Xbox Series X controllers, it went without a rival for a long time. 

Almost five years after its release though, that isn’t the case any longer. I’ve reviewed two controllers recently that arguably overtake it. The Turtle Beach Stealth Ultra and the Victrix Pro BFG for Xbox both sit at $179.99, the same level as the Elite Series 2’s MSRP. They feature four back buttons each, swappable thumbsticks, and if you opt for the BFG, you get a modular design that you can tailor to whichever game you’re trying to excel in. Turtle Beach has microswitches to help with feel, as well as precise vibration, and a swanky display to help you customize it as you play. 

These new contenders are both officially licensed for Xbox Series X and S, and they even feature wireless support - something that third-party Xbox pads are typically not allowed to have due to licensing agreements. With such strong contenders emerging, you’d be forgiven for questioning your loyalty to the Elite Series 2. After all, five years on, we should really be thinking about an Elite Series 3 at this point. So, is this highly praised gamepad still worth buying? As someone who reviews controllers, constantly tests out the latest ones, and tracks their prices across two continents, here are my reasons for and against the Elite Series 2 in 2024. 

Reason for: Price 

The Elite Series 2’s price has been slow to come down over the years since it was one of the first-party Xbox Series X accessories, but it’s currently sitting at $150 at Amazon, down from its listed price of $179.99. That might not seem like a big reduction, but it points to more affordable rates as time progresses.

$150 isn’t exactly cheap, especially not for something that’s five years old. I’d still recommend it because of where it sits in the market though. Those aforementioned products from Turtle Bech and Victrix both sit at the same $179.99 price, so if you can get this first-party option for cheaper, you’re getting a bargain.

Xbox Elite Series 2$179.99$150.99 at AmazonSave $30

Xbox Elite Series 2 | $179.99 $150.99 at Amazon
Save $30 - The Elite Series 2 is still one of the best controllers money can buy, and when it’s cheaper than the other two best alternatives for Xbox, it’s easy to recommend. Its average price is only $3 more than this, but you’re saving a pretty great chunk compared to its regular retail price. Its lowest-ever price at Amazon was $137.99, and that was during last year’s Prime Day period.

Buy it if: 

✅You like the feel of Xbox controllers
✅ You want four extra back paddles
✅ You like having controller attachments at your disposal

Don't buy it if: 

❌ You want pro features but don’t need attachments
❌ You’d rather have a more up-to-date controller

If you’re turned off by the price of the Elite Series 2, even when discounted, the Elite Series 2 Core is also an option. It’s the exact same controller, just without the accessories pack you get with the full-fat model. You can still buy this separately, though, so the option is there to upgrade later. In my opinion, the Core model highlights some of the underrated parts of the Elite Series 2 - excellent battery life, remappable buttons on Xbox, and an evolution of the classic Xbox controller feel.

There are even third-party accessories you can buy that will work out slightly kinder to your wallet here. Thanks to the Elite Series 2’s magnetic slots for its back paddles, it's easy to find compatible ones.  

 Reason against: Longevity 

Turtle Beach Stealth Ultra Wireless review image of the controller with its lighting on

(Image credit: Future / Duncan Robertson)

One perk to buying the Turtle Beach Stealth Ultra or Victrix Pro BFG for Xbox is that they both sport Hall Sensor technology. Granted, the anti-stick drift modules of the Victrix Pro BFG come separately and require an additional purchase, but at least the option is there if you ever need it. Turtle Beach threw this fancy magnetic tech in their gamepad from the off, and it means you’re not going to run into thumbstick drift at some point down the line. 

We haven’t heard many reports about Xbox’s first-party controllers suffering from this annoying controller plague, but we do know that they use potentiometer thumbsticks, which are susceptible to wear and tear. 

If you want to ensure the pro controller you buy is going to last year well into the future, a more modern alternative to the Elite Series 2 might be for you. 

Reason for: Where's the Elite Series 3?

Xbox FTC leak – Xbox Series X refresh console

(Image credit: Microsoft)

For many players, the anticipation of an Elite Series 3 controller might make the thought of buying the Elite Series 2 less appealing. We haven’t heard anything about a new Elite Series controller, which is odd considering the length of time we’ve been waiting. What we have heard are leaks from last year about the Xbox Series X refresh that’s touted to happen soon. 

Along with Project Brooklyn, a new controller with haptic feedback reminiscent of a PS5 DualSense is on the way. We know very little about this though, so I wouldn’t hold out on buying a new gamepad because of these unconfirmed leaks. 

Given how many Xbox cancelations and studio closures we’ve seen in the last six months, there’s no guarantee that this controller is even still being worked on. Given the solid third-party offering at the moment, the brand likely has bigger fish to fry than a new gamepad. Xbox hardware sales have been lagging behind to such an extent that an Elite Series 3 is hardly going to turn the tide. 

I’d still recommend the Elite Series 2 based on how little information we have about new first-party alternatives.

Reason against: Great budget options 

GameSir G7 SE being held my a reviewer in dront of two Philips gaming monitors and various PC gaming gear

(Image credit: Future / Duncan Robertson)

Even if we take the options from PDP and Turtle Beach out of the equation, there are loads of third-party Xbox controllers with official licensing that have caught up to the Elite Series 2. Not all of them sport four back buttons, but you can get by in most games with just two. The GameSir G7 SE and PowerA Advantage Controller are wired but still offer some brilliant pro features for very low prices compared to the Elite Series 2. With more of these brands turning out affordable options, the Elite Series 2 isn't so appealing.

There are plenty of controllers sitting between the $40 and $50 mark, so you could buy a few of them and still spend around the same as it costs for an Elite Series 2. Yes, the first-party, premium options are "better", but not everyone necessarily needs them.

Overall, should you buy the Elite Series 2 in 2024? 

Xbox Elite Series 2 controller

(Image credit: Future/Josh West)

There are still loads of reasons to buy an Elite Series 2 in 2024. Almost five years on, it’s still one of the best video game controllers money can buy - even if the rest of the field has managed to catch up. You’re getting pro features, a faithful Xbox design, immense battery life, decent value for money, and there’s no confirmed sign of a successor coming up soon.

Equally, there are loads of reasons to buy competitor gamepads too, so shop around and see which has the most expansive feature set and best attachments for you and the games you play. Particularly if you’ve fallen victim to stick drift before, there’s value in going for Hall Sensor tech. Those who like the snappy feel of micro switch buttons might also prefer leaning into devices with them. Then again, if you can actually forgo a lot of the Elite features, budget brands have so much to appease you with.

If you play across multiple genres, and you want to excel in every game you play, a versatile controller with a modular design like the Victrix Pro BFG is for you. If you like tactile feedback and RGB looks, as well as a killer gamepad that works as well in single-player experiences as in multiplayer, look to Turtle Beach’s Stealth Ultra. If you’re a die-hard Xbox fan who wants the most out of their console, don’t seep on the elder statesman that is the Elite Series 2. It’s a steely-eyed veteran who can still take on those younger competitors.

If you’re in no rush and you want to wait and see what Project Brooklyn has in store, then maybe hold off for now. With Xbox hardware sales lagging so far behind PlayStation, a new controller could be one of the aces up Microsoft’s sleeve. If that’s of no interest to you, we’ve used our price comparison software down below to show you the best controller deals in your area.

You can find more controller recommendations by checking out our guides on the best PC controllers, the best PS5 controllers, and the best racing wheels for PC. 

Duncan Robertson
Hardware Editor

Ever since playing Journey at the age of 15, I’ve been desperate to cover video games for a living. After graduating from Edinburgh Napier University with a degree in Journalism, I contributed to the Scottish Games Network and completed an Editorial Internship over at Expert Reviews. Besides that, I’ve been managing my own YouTube channel and Podcast for the last 7 years. It’s been a long road, but all that experience somehow landed me a dream job covering gaming hardware. I’m a self-confessing PlayStation fanboy, but my experience covering the larger business and developer side of the whole industry has given me a strong knowledge of all platforms. When I’m not testing out every peripheral I can get my hands on, I’m probably either playing tennis or dissecting game design for an upcoming video essay. Now, I better stop myself here before I get talking about my favourite games like HUNT: Showdown, Dishonored, and Towerfall Ascension. Location: UK Remote