It’s been four years since Microsoft unveiled their first Xbox Elite controller, but now there’s a new Series 2 model coming that offers even more customisation options and better battery life. You’ll still have to fork out a mildly ludicrous £160 / $180 for it, but pre-orders are open now if you want to be one of the first to get one when it launches on November 4 for PC and Xbox later this year.
Much like the original Elite controller, the main appeal of the Series 2 controller is being able to tweak and customise your thumb sticks and trigger buttons exactly to your liking, supposedly giving you more control over the way you play your favourite games. Personally, I’ve always found the standard Xbox 360 and Xbox One controllers to be perfectly adequate when I’m not using a mouse and keyboard, but twitchy, competitive types with much faster reflexes than I may say otherwise.
And if you do happen to fall into that twitchy, competitive category, the new Series 2 controller looks to be a pretty decent upgrade over its predecessor. As well as a new wrap-around rubberised grip, the biggest new addition the Series 2 Elite controller brings to the table is its “adjustable tension thumb sticks”. This lets you choose between three different resistance settings, two of which offer the same amount of thumbstick resistance as Microsoft’s standard Xbox 360 and Xbox One controllers. Microsoft didn’t elaborate on what the third option was going to be, unfortunately, but if you’re particularly wedded to the feel of one type of Xbox controller over another, then the Series 2 model’s got you covered. Here’s a short trailer to see it in action:
Another big addition is its built-in rechargeable battery, which Microsoft claims will give you up to 40 hours of battery life per change. It also comes with its own detachable charging dock and USB-C cable in its fancy pants carry case, along with a bevy of new interchangeable thumbsticks, d-pads and paddle shapes. It also supports Bluetooth for the first time, too.
The Series 2 Elite controller also comes with an extra, shorter hair trigger lock setting, so you don’t have to press them down as far when firing in fast-paced FPS games, and it will also recognise any adjustments you make to said hair trigger locks automatically so you don’t have to keep making changes in the Xbox Accessories app every time you tweak them. Plus, it can now remember up to three custom profiles for the whole controller in addition to its default profile, and you’ll be able to switch between them at will using the new dedicated Profile button.
The Xbox Elite Series 2 controller will initially arrive in 24 countries come November 9, including Austria, Belgium, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland in addition to the UK and US. Other countries will be announced at a later date.See our E3 2019 tag for more news, previews, opinions, and increasingly surreal liveblogs.