Having the best controller for your gaming needs is crucial. Having the best headset is important too, but having a comfortable, capable controller can be a literal game-changer. And given there’s only one controller in the box with the Xbox Series X and S, you’ll probably want at least one more to play with friends and family.
This list has the best Xbox controllers for the Series X and Series S that we’ve tested so far. We’ll continue to update this list regularly as we test new models.
Read more: Xbox Game Pass: The best games you need to play
Microsoft Controller for Xbox Series X and S
Best Xbox wireless controller for basics
If you just want a good standard wireless controller for the Xbox, start with the one that comes in the box. Available in multiple colors, Microsoft’s Xbox controller might not have a lot of features, but it is comfortable and can last for up to 40 hours on a couple of AA batteries. And if you’d rather have rechargeables, there are several options available — I’ve been using HyperX’s ChargePlay Duo that locks the controller into place for charging. There’s a 3.5mm jack on the front edge next to the expansion port for connecting accessories like a chat keyboard that fits between the grips or audio controls for your headset. You can also remap its buttons, flip the sticks and use other customizations with the Xbox Accessories app.
$50 at Microsoft
PowerA Enhanced Wired Controller for Xbox
Best Xbox wired controller for basics
We like the PowerA wired controller as a good, inexpensive option when you need an extra controller for guests or one to use while your wireless controller charges. There are two extra buttons on the bottom of the controller that can be mapped on the fly as well as a 3.5mm jack on the front for a headset. Just above the jack on top is a toggle for volume and a chat mute as well as a diamond texture to the bottom for better grip. Also, like many of PowerA’s controllers, it’s available in multiple colors.
$26 at Walmart
$38 at Best Buy
$26 at Target
Razer Wolverine V2 Chroma
Best Xbox wired pro controller
Feature-packed is an understatement for the Wolverine V2 Chroma. The ABXY buttons and the D-pad all use Razer Mecha-Tactile switches. They feel amazing, with a crisp response and satisfying click similar to the clicks from a mouse. There are also six additional buttons: two top bumpers and four bottom triggers. The bottom triggers are especially nice because the design makes them feel like paddles you’d find on other pro controllers but with a sturdier design like the rear triggers. There are also lockouts for the rear RT/LT triggers. Slide the switches over and they cut the travel distance in half for quick shots.
Razer also includes a couple of additional thumb stick caps: one taller concave cap for accuracy, one domed cap for quicker movements. There are RGB lights, too, and you can use Razer’s Synapse app for Xbox or PC to change them and remap the controller’s buttons.
$150 at Amazon
$202 at Walmart
$150 at Best Buy
RIG Nacon Pro Compact
Best Xbox compact wired controller
A good choice for smaller hands or anyone who just prefers a more compact controller. The grips are sculpted in a way that makes the controller comfortable to use even with larger hands and they’re textured, which kept the grips from slipping or sticking to my palms.
While it might not have the removable USB cable, extra buttons or swappable thumb sticks found on the company’s pricier Revolution X Pro controller, it actually has some features I didn’t expect at this price. For instance, there’s an app for the controller that lets you remap its buttons and adjust its sticks, trigger sensitivity and vibration. A switch underneath lets you drop between your custom profile and a classic mode.
There’s a 3.5mm headset jack on the front edge, which isn’t out of the ordinary. But RIG includes a license for Dolby Atmos for Headphones support to give you a more immersive experience in games, including Cyberpunk 2077, Gears 5, Borderlands 3 and Forza Horizon 4. Pair it with RIG’s own 500 Pro HX Gen 2 headset and you can really improve your gaming experience for less than $100.
$50 at GameStop
Scuf Instinct Pro
Best Xbox wireless controller for customization
This controller has it all. It can be used wired or wireless. The thumb sticks can be swapped for greater precision or faster speed. Holding the controller, your fingers fall naturally between two pairs of remappable paddles. The controller stores three profile configurations for the paddles and it’s preset for FPS, sport and racing games; a button on the bottom lets you quickly switch between them. Remapping can be done on the fly, so there’s no need for an additional app. There are also switches for the triggers so you can change them from a long pull to a quick click.
And then there’s the look. You can choose everything from the color of the buttons to the style of the thumb sticks to whether you want rumble installed. Scuf also has a variety of faceplates in different colors and designs. The price is the only real drawback here, starting at $200 and going up from there depending on your customizations.
$220 at Scuf Gaming
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