If you ask anyone what the best controller is for the Xbox One, chances are they would say the official model. But maybe it’s a bit too bulky for your svelte hands, or maybe the asymmetrical analog sticks never sat right with you (or maybe it’s just too dang expensive).
If you dislike the official Xbox One controller for whatever reason, there are plenty of great third-party controllers out there for you. Here are some of the best Xbox One controllers from third-party manufacturers, many with their own unique features and designs to suit different folks.
1. Cronus Zen
Let’s start with a bit of a cheat entry, but one that should quickly grab your attention when you discover that it pretty much allows you to use any controller on any console. That’s right, the Cronus Zen (latest iteration of Cronus Max) is a device that lets you use PlayStation controllers on Xbox and vice versa, along with many other controller combos.
So if you want to crack out those old PS3 controllers or Xbox 360 controllers and use them on your Xbox One, you can. It supports wireless and wired controllers, and has a repository of thousands of mods, scripts and macros to optimize and remap your controller setup.
So no, it might not technically be a controller, but instead has the ability to raise your old controllers from the dead.
2. Razer Wolverine Ultimate
From peripheral giant Razer comes the Wolverine Ultimate, an Xbox One controller aimed at those who fancy themselves to be professional gamers. The Wolverine Ultimate features a variety of features that can give players an advantage. First, the controller has six additional programmable buttons in conjunction with the standard Xbox One controller layout. Players will find two shoulder buttons next to the left and right bumper/trigger buttons, as well as four trigger buttons located on the underside of the controller.
In addition, the Wolverine Ultimate features quick-swap thumbsticks and directional pads. These connect to the controller via magnets, making it easy to customize the controller on the fly. The Wolverine Ultimate also works on PC; however, Xbox One users will benefit from the Razer Synapse Xbox One app.
This apps allows users to tweak things like thumbstick sensitivity and set up multiple control profiles. Unfortunately, the Wolverine Ultimate comes with a hefty price tag at over $150.
3. Hyperkin Duke Wired
If it’s the best nostalgic Xbox One controller you are looking for, you will not do any better than the Hyperkin Duke Wired. This redo of a beloved and classic design adds a whole new level of fun to your Xbox gaming sessions. Vibration feedback is front and center, as are precision analog triggers and bumpers. The unit is durably built, and the key layout is instantly familiar, as few would dare alter the X, B, A, Y setup.
The “Duke,” as it’s best known, is not a small controller. That plus being a wired controller are perhaps the only two negatives for the Hyperkin. Classic design aside, Hyperkin did add an animated Xbox button on the controller that plays during startup. It’s a fun, if not entirely useful, addition that speaks to the level of joy that comes with owning the Duke.
4. SCUF Prestige
Designed with competitive gaming in mind, the SCUF Prestige adds numerous features over the stock controller that make it well worth its premium asking price. Ergonomics are top of mind for long playing sessions, as the reduction of weight makes it feel even lighter than the standard controller. The SCUF really shines with its four removable paddles that can be mapped to 14 different controller functions.
Want to remap your A, B, X, Y or left stick? You can quickly do that so that one of the paddles doubles as that function. This enables you to keep your hands on the analog sticks without sacrificing response time. Want to swap out your analog sticks? That’s no problem as, the SCUF allows you to remove the faceplate and swap it out with an available option for true personalization.
5. PowerA Enhanced
The PowerA Enhanced wired controller is nearly an exact copy of the controller that Microsoft ships out with the Xbox One console. At less than half the price of the real thing, this makes the PowerA Enhanced attractive for a secondary controller. Unfortunately, cutting costs down means omitting wireless capability. That being said, you won’t have to worry about charging any batteries.
In addition to being super affordable, the PowerA Enhanced has two trigger buttons on the underside of the controller that are easily programmable on the fly. Furthermore, the PowerA Enhanced controller comes in a wide variety of colors.
6. PDP Wired
What the PDP Wired controller for Xbox One lacks in features, it more than makes up for with its budget-friendly price. While professional controllers are great for hardcore Xbox One users, more casual users will find plenty to love with this wired solution. PDP is well known for its reliable build quality at a fraction of the cost of its more expensive competition. Everything you would need to play is here, including a 3.5mm headset jack for online gaming.
Do you want to remap your buttons for a more comfortable playing experience? Grab PDP’s Control Hub app and do exactly that. Another standout feature is the inclusion of a dedicated function button which enables users to quickly adjust the volume up or down. The function button also supports moving the game/chat from left to right with just a few taps. One last benefit is the inclusion of specialized grips on the tripper and shoulder buttons so your hands stay firmly in place.
7. Evil Shift
The Evil Shift is an esports favorite among Xbox One users. Like the SCUF, the Evil Shift focuses heavily on its paddle system which allows remappable buttons for personalized gameplay. As an esports-approved controller, having the ability to remap buttons for quickly performing complex moves is critical to ensuring victory. On top of that it has an ergonomic design that makes it fit perfectly in your hands for longer gaming sessions.
Rubber paddles ensure ideal control and grip so you don’t miss any opportunity to crush your opponents. The specialized thumbsticks are built with a wider surface area than the default controller to make sure you have maximum control while in the middle of gameplay. On top of everything else the Evil Shift has to offer, you can add hairpin triggers that respond immediately to quick-touch buttons that can save the milliseconds you need to pull off a last-minute victory.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Will my third-party controller break easily?
Not if it’s licensed and from a reliable manufacturer with a history of making controllers. Besides Xbox One controllers break pretty often themselves, which is probably why you’re reading this in the first place! Make sure you look into the warranty when you buy a controller so you’re covered.
2. Are third-party controllers better than official controllers?
To some extent this is subjective. In terms of ergonomics and design, you may well prefer a third-party controller, but you should also manage your expectations about build quality. First-party controllers will almost always be the most reliable and have the best battery life, as well as decent aftersales support. As with many things, you get what you pay for, so don’t go too cheap!
3. Are third-party controllers legal?
When buying a third-party controller, you want to make make sure you’re getting a ‘licensed’, which has been approved for use with the Xbox One. There are lot of super-cheap controllers on eBay (often sent over from China) that aren’t licensed and you take a bit of a gamble on when you buy them. They might work, but if they don’t you’re on your own.
4. Why are there so few third-party controllers?
Back in the days, we used to see third-party controllers around a lot more, and a big reason for the relative lack of them today is the rise of wireless controllers. Getting third-party controllers to work wirelessly is a more expensive and difficult process than wired controllers, and manufacturers likely just don’t want the hassle.
As you can see, there are plenty of excellent third-party Xbox One controller options on the market. You can also connect a keyboard and mouse to Xbox One. However, if you are still loving your Xbox One controller, you can also hook it up to your Android phone to play games. In fact, you can connect any Xbox controller to Android.
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