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Microsoft Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 review: masterpiece

The Elite 2 is the best controller Microsoft have ever made, a triumph of engineering that sets a new standard for premium-grade gamepads on any platform. The new gen-two design includes more features, deeper customisation and clever creature comforts that make the Elite 2 a pleasure to use. Here’s why we love it – even though it’s not for everyone.

First off, let’s address the price. At £160 in the UK and $180 in the US, the Elite 2 costs three times the price of a standard controller; and it’s actually the same ballpark price as a brand new Xbox One S All Digital. That means it remains a luxury item that simply doesn’t make sense for all but the most invested Xbox and PC owners. Thankfully, this price differential is at least reflected in the depth of the feature list and build quality of the controller, with that premium feeling starting from the moment you take it out of the box.

While the Elite 2 comes in the same soft shell case as its predecessor, the lump of foam that supported the controller before has been replaced by a convenient charging stand – which complements the new rechargeable (but sadly irremovable) battery nicely. Remove the fabric cover, and pins on the wedge-shaped charger will line up nicely with contacts on the back of the controller. You can even plug a USB-C cable in through a specially designed flap in the back of the case, allowing you to charge your Elite 2 while keeping it fully covered.

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