Just Delivered: Xbox One Elite Wireless Controller

Subject: General Tech | October 28, 2015 - 10:02 PM |
Tagged: xbox one, xbox, pc gaming

The Xbox One Elite Wireless Controller launched yesterday, and mine arrived in the early afternoon by mail. It was not a review unit, I bought it at retail, but I intend to publish my thoughts on the device in the near future. I am currently thinking up tests and benchmarks to run it through. Be sure to look out for that. It will be told from the perspective of a PC gamer who does not own an Xbox One console, and who does not intend to get one.

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I have been using it over the last two days, off and on, however. I must say, it is pretty solidly built from what I can tell. The thumb sticks rolls around with basically zero grinding sensation, and the D-Pad feels precise (although that will need to be actually tested). It does feel just a bit awkward for games that center on the D-Pad though, because my left thumb feels more natural somewhere between it, the left thumb stick, and the “view” (back) button. It is certainly better than a standard Xbox 360 gamepad for “16-bit” style games, but probably not a step-up from USB-based knock-off SNES controllers for enthusiasts who go for that sort of thing.

It's definitely the best offering that I've used for titles like Super Meat Boy, though... even as far back as Windows 98/XP era. Granted, I didn't dip too far into the niche companies.

So keep an eye out for our later review. It will probably be one of the few that exclusively focus on the PC, and was written by someone who could potentially see themselves buying one... because I did. A word of warning though -- the controller's firmware still cannot be updated without an Xbox One console (although the Xbox Accessories app to customize it is available for free in the Windows Store). I've reached out to Xbox PR asking for any update on that situation, and the answer will probably be a big part of the review.

October 28, 2015 | 11:55 PM - Posted by elel (not verified)

Just wanted to point out, you picture doesn't really sell the wireless nature of that controller.

October 29, 2015 | 12:13 AM - Posted by Scott Michaud

The wireless adapter is sold separately, and not available. I was saving that for the review.

October 29, 2015 | 07:21 AM - Posted by doctor1985

The price is heavy, but i'm still interested in it. I'll wait for the first reviews, tho.

Can someone tell or link me a "USB-based knock-off SNES controller for enthusiasts"? I'm mostly playing SNES on the original console and a crt tv but there are few games that are yust to expensiv to buy them as original.

October 29, 2015 | 04:32 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

I've never used one, so I can't say if they're good or crap, but many are listed on Amazon.

October 29, 2015 | 07:51 AM - Posted by MarkT (not verified)

The firmware thing really threw me off at the end, was like WTF uh yea.....

October 29, 2015 | 08:28 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Ask Microsoft to allow remapping the paddles to something other than existing controller inputs. This pad would be perfect if I could remap one of the paddle inputs to the 'Push to talk' button on my keyboard.

October 29, 2015 | 10:00 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Scott, according to the "Headset audio issues through the controller on Windows 10" section of this link the ability to update the firmware of the controller on Windows 10 will be coming to the Xbox Accessories app starting November 12, 2015


I too would very much like the ability to map buttons or paddles to regular keyboard inputs rather than just existing controller buttons added to the xbox accessories app. This would help expand the functionality to games where controller input could be a good option if not for the limited number of buttons or to just further customize this controller for PC use.

October 29, 2015 | 04:30 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

Thanks! I did not see that until now.

October 31, 2015 | 01:00 PM - Posted by Master Chen (not verified)

>Monolithic d-pad

November 7, 2015 | 01:55 PM - Posted by Malichite

Just a heads up for anyone considering this for a Win7/8/8.1 machine, but this is currently not supported. So here is the workaround:


You need to download the original Xbox One Controller drivers for Win 7/8/8.1 if you haven't already, then pull up the properties page on the unknown controller device, select the Driver tab, then select Update Driver, but this time select "Browse for driver software on your computer", then select "Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer", and lastly select the "Xbox Gaming Device" from the "Xbox One Controller" group and it should work from there. Any attempts to allow Windows to search Windows Update database and download automatically will fail since the new Elite controller has a different HWID that won't match anything.

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