Best answer: The Elite Series 2 has great features that are worth the upgrade, but if you still have a functioning first-generation Elite controller you may want to wait until it fully wears out before upgrading. If you’re using a base Xbox controller, the Series 2 would be a great addition to your gaming life.
The Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 improves upon its predecessor in numerous ways, most notably in durability. For the Elite Series 2, Microsoft has used adhesives rather than simple moulding to attach the rubber grips, which were notorious for falling off on the first edition controller. The plastics and hinges used on the shoulder bumpers also feel a lot more dense and durable, although we won’t be able to assess their wear and tear without some long-from testing.
Beyond the improvements to durability, the Series 2 also sports tension control for thumbsticks, which can be a boon for competitive play, allowing you to crank up sensitivity without losing accuracy. It comes with three stages of trigger locking too, as well as three separate profiles for bindings. Unlike the previous Elite controller, this one also comes with Bluetooth as standard for use with Project xCloud on mobile and compatible PCs.
Perhaps the best thing about the controller is the charging dock and internal battery. Microsoft says the battery life lasts around 40 hours depending on how hard you push it, but I’ve very easily exceeded that to around 60 hours in early testing. There’s no way to say how well the battery will handle its lifespan over time, as pertain to battery degradation and so on, but early signs are very positive.
Still, having four additional (optional) paddle buttons on the back, tension-controlled joysticks, and lockable triggers is a hard sell for $180, I would argue, given that an Xbox One S console itself starts at around $250 these days. The Series 2 is by no means so good that it’s a must-buy purchase for anyone, even the most serious gamers. The base controller is more than good enough, and costs only $40.
If you want the best of the best, though, the Series 2 is worth a look. You may get a lot of value out of the charging dock, additional features, and the ability to bind system-functions such as Xbox screenshotting and TV volume controls to the paddles, making the upgrade more than worth the asking price.
Probably the best controller ever
With improved parts and durability, the Series 2 is everything the original Elite controller should have been and much more, but it’s still very pricey.
Best on a budget
Bluetooth without breaking the bank
The base Xbox One controller more than gets the job done, with an ergonomic design and robust materials. However, you’ll have to pick up a rechargeable battery kit separately.