The PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One are, respectively, Sony and Microsoft’s most popular and financially successful gaming consoles right now.
This has led to endless comparisons between the two over the years. Everything from the hardware’s specs to its peripherals and accessories are included.
In particular, the controllers have been the source of much discussion. This article will respond to that debate and add our own in-depth analysis of the differences between the DualShock 4 and the Xbox One S.
Please take into account that we will be examining the most up-to-date versions of both of these controllers.
The DualShock 4
The design of Sony’s controllers has not changed much over the years. At first glance, the original DualShock controller and the DualShock 3 from the previous generation are virtually indistinguishable. It was interpreted as Sony taking the “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” approach.
But the newest DualShock 4 controller has shown that there is indeed still room for improvement. The modernized look and several useful new features are prime examples of this.
The picture above should give you a good idea of how much larger and more streamlined the DualShock 4 is compared to its forerunner.
It outperforms competitors in almost every usability metric. It has a mono speaker, a touchpad, a headphone jack, and smaller and more responsive analog sticks. It also replaces Sony’s Sixaxis motion detection technology with a gyroscope and accelerometer that is far more accurate.
The Xbox One Controller
Microsoft’s newest controller is an incremental upgrade over the Xbox 360 controller. Since the latter was widely regarded as one of the best controllers ever, particularly for PC, Microsoft decided to stick with the “tried and tested” formula for the 360’s successor.
Xbox One’s controller is sleeker and more understated than its predecessor, the Xbox 360’s. The 360 controller’s bright colors and flashy buttons are gone, and some useful new features have been added.
The Xbox One controller is much more pleasant to hold thanks to its responsive shoulder buttons, large and comfortable triggers, micro-textured thumb sticks, and overall reduced weight. The most notable changes were the inclusion of a headphone jack and a completely revamped D-pad, which was the Xbox 360 controller’s weak point.
|PS4 DualShock by Sony||Gamepad for the Xbox One by Microsoft|
|Size||Its dimensions are 161 x 57 x 100 millimeters.||size: 152 x 101 x 43 mm|
|Ports||Headphone jack (3.5 mm), Type-B micro USB port, and extension cable port||Micro-USB; AV jack (3.5 mm); auxiliary input|
|Connectivity||Wireless Technology (Bluetooth) and Computer Interface (USB)||Connections: Wireless (Bluetooth) and USB|
|Battery||Battery capacity (integrated Li-Ion): 1000 mAh||Removable two-pack of AA batteries.
AND/OR Rechargeable battery (available for purchase separately).
|Further Functions||Capacitive, multitouch (up to two fingers at once), and clickable
The device has a single speaker built in.
responsiveness to motion
Bar with Light-Emitting Diodes
|Activators of haptic feedback|
|Compatibility||Xbox One, Mac OS X, Linux, and Windows (via Steam or third-party drivers)||Sony’s PlayStation 4; Microsoft’s Windows|
According to the aforementioned table, the touchpad’s (starred) single physical button can be used to perform the duties of two virtual buttons.
DualShock 4 vs Xbox One Controller
Now we can get to the meat of the matter: which of these controllers is best? Hmm, I wonder…
In evaluating different controllers, it’s important to take both their visual appeal and their usability into account.
It’s difficult to pick a winner in terms of aesthetics, as it really comes down to personal preference. Quality is conveyed by both controllers, but the DualShock 4 has a more “futuristic” vibe while the Xbox One controller is much more stripped down.
When comparing the two controllers’ ergonomic qualities, there is no clear winner. Both have smooth, micro-textured grips that the user will not feel, and they weigh about the same. The Xbox One controller is heavier, though.
However, Microsoft provides a lot more exterior customization options, including the ability to make your own controller.
The Analogue Sticks
In keeping with their respective histories, the DualShock 4 and Xbox One controllers each feature analog sticks that are positioned differently.
The micro-textured edges of the Xbox One’s sticks make it practically impossible for the user’s thumbs to slip off, making them the more ergonomic option. There isn’t much of a decline in the quality of the DualShock 4 thumb sticks, but the reduced grit makes them more prone to accidental slipping.
In terms of features, the DualShock 4 is the best option. Sony’s analog sticks are more responsive and slightly stiffer in a positive way. They allow for greater dexterity and maintain their shape for an extended period of time.
The Directional Pads
The D-pad’s function has evolved considerably over the years. Its original purpose of movement is still used in some 2D games, while in modern 3D games it is primarily used for selecting items and weapons.
The D-pad for the Xbox 360 was widely mocked. It was shaky at reading input and almost unplayable for side-scrolling games. The Xbox One controller is a significant upgrade in every respect. Yet, it’s still not comfortable to use for 2D movement, as transitions between directions are rigid and accompanied by audible clicks.
When compared to its predecessor, the DualShock 3D-pad, the DualShock 4 only introduces minor improvements. As for the changes, it’s now slightly larger and has a better feel to it. It’s as responsive as the D-pad on an Xbox One controller, but it makes almost no noise and has smoother transitions between directions.
The Shoulder Buttons
Changes to the shoulder buttons on both controllers are minor and not particularly ground-breaking.
The Xbox 360’s shoulder buttons lacked a hold function, which was a major flaw. The Xbox One controller fixes this problem and also features enlarged shoulder buttons that are less of a challenge to use. However, when pressed, they make a distinct click that may be annoying to some users.
The DualShock 4 replaced the previous generation’s rectangular shoulder buttons with rounded ones and removed the pressure sensitivity they had previously featured. The new shoulder buttons have the same clicking action as the Xbox One controller’s buttons, albeit with a noticeably softer and less audible click.
The triggers are one of the main distinguishing features between the two controllers.
The Xbox 360 controller’s D-pad was terrible, and the DualShock 3’s triggers were unresponsive, in the previous generation. Their primary flaw was that they were extremely uncomfortable to hold for more than a few seconds due to their slightly convex design. The DualShock 4’s triggers have been improved to be more user-friendly.
The triggers on the Xbox One controller are, however, far superior. For starters, they’re larger and have an even more ergonomic design, both of which contribute to a more satisfying and immersive experience. Even more so, they feature a haptic feedback function that can add to the player’s sense of immersion, particularly in racing games.
We conclude with the various extras.
- Connector for headphones
There is a jack for headphones on both controllers. In this way, everything from earphones to headsets can go wireless. To counter this, the Xbox One controller has a slight edge because it can be used on a PC with any Bluetooth adapter. In contrast, the DualShock 4 can’t transmit sound wirelessly unless you use the official Sony Bluetooth dongle.
- Identifying movement
The DualShock 4’s integrated gyroscope and accelerometer is a glaring and noteworthy improvement over the Xbox One controller. With this feature, you can move the camera with greater precision and ease, which is especially helpful in shooting games. Further, it provides a method of controlling the pointer that is much less complicated to use than an analog stick.
The Xbox One controller lacks this functionality, while the DualShock 4 has it. The touchpad can be used for more than just directing the camera or cursor; it also doubles as two buttons when clicked. It also allows for a wide range of in-game gestures to be performed in PlayStation 4 games.
The best PS4 controllers 2022
Sony DualShock 4 – Best for casual gamers
First, we’ll use the tried-and-true DualShock 4. Sony has (mostly) resisted the temptation with the DualShock 4, releasing only one update to the pad, in contrast to Microsoft’s seemingly endless stream of Xbox One controller variants. This is likely due to Sony’s recognition that the DualShock 4 is already a competent controller and does not require frequent tweaks, refinements, or a flashy Elite variant.
Visually, it looks like a PlayStation, and at first glance, the controls appear to be identical as well, including the usual face buttons, D-pad, analogue sticks, and shoulder triggers. The Options and Share tabs are also here for your convenience. It can be charged with a microUSB cable and has a microUSB port for wireless use.
Although that’s the surface level, there’s more going on beneath. A touch pad that also functions as a button, motion controls (though not many games make use of them), and a light bar that changes color in response to in-game events are all included. The light bar is no longer restricted to the back of the controller; newer versions of the controller (released after 2016) also make it slightly visible through the touch pad.
In general, there is no reason to upgrade to the new DualShock 4, but there are times when doing so would be beneficial. It’s more reasonably priced than its rivals, is available in a wider range of colors than ever before, and is guaranteed to perform as advertised.
Nacon Revolution Unlimited Pro – Best Pro controller
Nacon has previously released a number of high-end controllers for consoles and PC, but the Revolution Unlimited Pro is their best effort to date. For the most part, this is because of the controller’s high degree of personalization; in fact, many have compared it favorably to Microsoft’s premium Xbox One Elite controller.
It’s easy to see why, given that the officially licensed Nacon Revolution Unlimited Pro adopts the same general design as Microsoft’s console, despite incorporating some PS4-specific elements (like a touchpad and light bar). The front is finished in a beautiful matte texture, and the back is made of a material that won’t let go of your sweaty fingers even when you’re playing an intense online game. You can adjust the volume and the microphone separately from one another on the controller’s rear, which is unusual.
Unlike the other controllers on our chart, this one has a more subdued design, with just a single LED ring around the right analogue stick to give it some flair.
The Revolution Unlimited Pro isn’t just functional, but it looks good doing it. The real magic happens when you connect it to your Mac or PC and start tweaking the analog sticks, weights, and the controller’s four additional buttons on the back.
The Revolution Unlimited Pro app from Nacon allows for even greater personalization. Not only can you customize the controller’s vibration settings on a motor-by-motor basis, but you can also tweak the sensitivity and dead-band of each trigger, remap any button, and tweak the response curve of your analogue sticks.
It goes without saying that different games call for different control schemes and reaction times, which is why Nacon lets you toggle between four different profiles with the press of a button.
Standard PS4, Advanced PS4, and PC control modes are all available, as is the option to switch between wired and wireless operation (using the included dongle). The Nacon Revolution Unlimited Pro is the ideal controller for cross-platform players because it can be used with both PC and PS4. That old adage about having one master controller still holds true.
Razer Raiju Ultimate – Best premium controller
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The original Raiju from Razer (which is no longer available) was a decent attempt at a high-end PS4 controller, but it was let down by its annoying wired gameplay, its cumbersome build, and its steep price tag.
Razer has improved the Raiju Ultimate by introducing wireless gameplay, (slightly) streamlining the design, and, uh, actually increasing the price, but whatever.
To be fair, there is a valid reason for that. The Raiju Ultimate is based on the design of Microsoft’s Xbox Elite controller. You can choose between wired and Bluetooth play with a switch on the back, and you can even use it with a PC via Bluetooth if you want to use it away from your PS4.
In every way, it’s on par with the high-end Xbox Elite controller. This Raiju has a more rounded, streamlined appearance than its predecessor and feels substantial in the hand. It’s completely black now without any traces of blue, and the face buttons are improved mechanical ones that click and feel good to the touch.
Two extra buttons can be found on each shoulder, and two more can be found on the back, just like the original Raiju. However, unlike most other controllers, the Raiju pad cannot be reprogrammed via the pad itself; instead, you must use the Raiju smartphone app, which allows you to create and save multiple profiles that you can then switch between via the controller.
The Ultimate’s standout feature is its compatibility with Razer’s Chroma lighting effects, which can be activated and customized via a dedicated app and a thin strip of LEDs surrounding the touchpad. Colors and effects can be assigned to profiles in the app, and the usual array of animations and color cycling options found in other Razer products are available.
While the Raiju Ultimate certainly has its benefits, it also has some significant drawbacks. For starters, it’s almost as expensive as the console itself, putting it out of reach for the vast majority of consumers. Unfortunately for American gamers, it is not yet available for purchase.
Another annoyance arises from the inability to use the pad’s audio features when connected via Bluetooth, even with wired headphones. You can only use a high-end headset with no controller required, such as Razer’s own Thresher.
Early Raiju units experienced technical difficulties, most notably lag and control stick drift. Our review unit has received the latest firmware updates, which have resolved these issues, but we can understand anyone’s reluctance to spend a lot of money on the tablet before seeing how it performs in the real world.
Razer Raiju Tournament – Raiju on a budget
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If the price of Raiju Ultimate is too high for your budget, you may want to look into the Tournament Edition instead. It has many of the same features, but of course loses some in the process.
Everything in the Tournament edition is permanently mounted, so you can’t change the placement of the D-pad or thumbsticks, which are two of the most notable features missing. That means you won’t have as much leeway for customization, but otherwise, the performance is about the same. The lack of a carrying case further undermines the product’s intended purpose, making it less than ideal for transport between tournament venues despite the name.
One other obvious difference between the two models is that the Tournament version employs a thumbstick layout similar to that of the Xbox, so players familiar with that design may prefer it to the Ultimate’s standard design. It’s not all black, though; you also have the choice between Quartz Pink (shown) and Mercury White, which helps make up for the lack of customizable RGB lighting.
Aside from that, the gamepad has the usual premium feel, mechanical switches, extra buttons that can be remapped, app support for configuring settings, and wired and Bluetooth connectivity. However, similar to the Ultimate, wireless play does not support audio output.
Evil Shift for PS4 – Best for customisation
We can’t deny that the extensive customization options available in Evil Controllers’ Evil Shift for PS4 make it our go-to controller for the PlayStation 4.
The controller’s innovative paddle system, which we’ve dubbed Shift Paddles, is what really stands out to us because it’s so unlike the paddle systems used in other controllers.
The Shift uses smaller, ergonomically shaped paddles that are mounted directly on top of activator buttons in place of traditional flappy paddles. Consequently, even the slightest of pressures will result in a lightning-fast response. Even if you strike the paddle at an odd angle, it will still register your strike.
There is also the option of regular buttons in the same location if you’d rather not use paddles. This is the only drawback If you want more buttons, you have to sacrifice rumble, and the same goes for paddles, which is a compromise that few other controllers make.
It’s becoming increasingly common to spend more on the gamepad’s accessories than on the console itself. For example, if you want the extra paddles to be re-mappable, you’ll have to shell out an extra $30.
The point is that there are so many options because most users will only use the ones they find useful to them. Some are designed purely for aesthetic purposes; they have colored finishes, chromed face buttons, and the ability to have a custom message or image superimposed on the grips.
The paddles aren’t the only practical choice. There are four different thumbstick heights available, with the option for different heights on each stick, as well as grippy finish choices and special mods that use button macros to improve performance in shooters (with one mod specifically for Fortnite), though these will render the controller invalid for most esports tournaments.
Good alternatives further differentiate the Evil Shift. Tactile trigger and button options cut down travel to just 1mm, with a clicky response that’s fantastic for shooters; however, be careful on the triggers as they reduce analogue control and aren’t recommended for driving games. For even more precise movement and aiming, you can increase the thumbstick tension to 200g (from 80g by default)—and again, you get to choose which thumbsticks and buttons get this boost.
There’s a lot to choose from, and it’s easy to go over budget if you aren’t careful, but the results speak for themselves: when properly outfitted, this is one of the most responsive pads we’ve ever used. It’s too bad you didn’t win the rumble, but if you’re serious about e-sports, a modified Evil Shift is one of the best choices out there.
Thrustmaster eSwap Pro – Best modular controller
While Thrustmaster is best known for its line of steering wheels and pedals, the company also makes a number of controllers for use with home video game systems and personal computers. However, the latest controller from the company completely shifts the controller market away from its traditional focus on the low-end. As well as eSports-level performance on PS4 and PC, the eSwap Pro controller features a novel system that allows you to modify the controller’s physical design.
This technology, known as T-Mod, lets you change the position of the analog sticks and the directions buttons. Small magnetic modules containing the analog sticks and directional buttons can be removed and rearranged during gameplay; there are no configuration options to change, and no additional software is needed. This gives players the flexibility to quickly switch between the Xbox One and DualShock 4 control schemes as the situation demands.
Additional controller modules can be purchased to expand the system’s capabilities, but they are not included.
In addition to its adaptable structure, the controller features tactile switches beneath each button that provide a crisp, satisfying click. You can easily toggle between two trigger activation presets using a switch on the controller, giving you an advantage in shooters while avoiding the problem of incompatibility with games that call for the full trigger activation range.
Additionally, the controller’s volume and mute buttons can be found on the underside, on either side of the 3.5mm headphone jack, alongside the standard PlayStation logo and the Touch Bar. Keep that in mind when playing games that make use of the technology, as you will be missing out on motion controls and a Light Bar.
There are four programmable buttons on the back of the controller, though we found them to be small and less intuitive than those on other systems like the Scuf Prestige’s paddles. When compared to controllers that allow you to remap buttons in-game, the Thrustmaster’s requirement that you use PC software to make changes to button assignments can be a bit of a hassle.
That’s okay, but the absence of wireless internet is a deal breaker. We realize that wired performance will always outshine wireless, but we’d still like to have the option to use wireless when the stakes aren’t as high in an eSports tournament. We understand that sometimes it’s about not having to rummage around for the braided microUSB cable before booting up the PS4.
Nacon Asymmetric Wireless – Best for Xbox fans
Despite the fact that the vast majority of PS4 controllers on the market have essentially the same layout, Nacon’s Asymmetric Wireless provides a slight variation.
If you prefer the shape and design of the Xbox One controller, but want the Touch Bar and Light Bar (albeit a miniature indicator LED rather than a full-sized bar), the Asymmetric Wireless is the perfect compromise.
The concaved analog sticks and wider design make for more precise input, particularly over the course of lengthy gaming sessions.
Nacon branding on the Touch Bar and analog sticks contribute to the high-end feel Nacon aimed for, but we were surprised to find no rubber grips on the back, which is unusual for third-party controllers in this price range.
As many would have guessed, the Asymmetric Wireless operates over wireless connections. It takes about an hour and a half to charge via microUSB, and you can use it for about seven hours before it dies.
But there’s a catch: unlike the DualShock 4, this controller requires a USB dongle to connect. While this isn’t a dealbreaker in most cases, it does mean that the PS4 controller can’t be used to power on the console from a distance, and it also means giving up a USB port. The good news is that you can use the same controller on both platforms thanks to the dongle’s PC compatibility.
Like the regular DualShock 4 controller, this one also has a 3.5mm headphone jack for listening to music and having voice chats.
Despite its extensive list of features, it isn’t ideal for use with games that call for special capabilities like motion sensors or a built-in speaker.
GameSir VX2 – Best for keyboard & mouse fans
The GameSir VX2 is a keyboard and mouse set that may appeal to you if you’re a PC gamer who has trouble wrapping their head around the idea of using a controller to play PS4 exclusives. The GameSir VX2 brings the familiar keyboard and mouse setup to the PS4, albeit in a more compact package, with a focus on first-person shooters and multiplayer online battle arenas.
There are TTC red mechanical switches and more RGB lighting than you can shake a stick at on this compact keyboard. It comes with a GameSir GM400 mouse, but you can use any mouse you like with the included USB-A port.
It plugs into your PS4 with a dongle, where we assume it’s fooling your console into thinking it’s a regular controller input, and then you can use your computer’s keyboard and mouse to play any game made for the PS4.
However, the GameSir app for iOS and Android allows you to create your own custom mappings, which is great because not all games offer the same level of support, with the focus being on popular titles like Fortnite and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. Although it may be a bit cumbersome to do so at first, Dreams now supports the use of a keyboard and mouse for game design.
The keyboard and mouse setup has the advantage of being much more precise than a regular controller, giving you a leg up in online play, albeit at the expense of your integrity.
Thrustmaster T.Flight Hotas 4 – Best for flight simulators
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The Thrustmaster T.Flight Hotas 4 joystick and thruster combo is another specialized option for PS4 (and PS5) gamers, and it’s ideal for flying games like the PS4 version of the space sim Elite Dangerous, and it’s compatible with PC if you game on both platforms.
With the flight stick’s array of buttons at your disposal and the life-size thruster providing precise velocity modulation, you’ll feel like a real pilot. When used together, the level of precision offered is unparalleled when compared to standard controllers, resulting in a satisfying and immersive experience across all titles that are compatible.
The two halves are joined by default but can be separated to better fit your setup, and there is a port for dual pedals (sold separately) if you need them.
Although it won’t work with a huge library of games, it will completely change the way you play Elite Dangerous and Ace Combat 7.
Best Xbox One controllers: Here’s what we recommend
The best Xbox One controllers we’ve chosen span a wide range of prices and feature sets, but they all have their merits. There’s something here for everyone; whether you’re looking for something cheap and easy to find, or you just like the look of crazy, cool RGB lighting, we’ve got you covered.
Best Wireless Xbox One controller: Xbox Elite Series 2
The new Xbox Elite Wireless Controller from Microsoft is superior to all other wireless Xbox One controllers because it improves upon nearly every aspect of the original.
- There should be around 40 hours of use from a single charge.
- Haptic feedback, Impulse Triggers, rumble motors, adjustable and swappable thumbsticks, assignable buttons, rear paddles, and dual analog sticks are just some of the notable features.
- Wire-free and USB Type-C wired connections are available.
- Black, as far as hues go
|There are a plethora of options for personalization.||Expensive|
|robust and aesthetically pleasing|
|Powered by a battery that lasts a long time|
When redesigning the Xbox Elite controller, Microsoft spared no expense. The Xbox Elite Series 2 controller improves upon the original Xbox One controller in a number of ways, from its wireless charging dock to its programmable buttons and interchangeable D-pads. To put it plainly, the Xbox Elite Series 2 is the finest Xbox One controller money can buy right now. But with such excellence comes a hefty price tag. Like video game consoles, it has become increasingly hard to locate in recent months. This is the best present you can give yourself as an Xbox player, but be prepared to pay a hefty sum for the privilege.
Best Wired Xbox One controller: Razer Wolverine V2 Chroma
The latest iteration of Razer’s wired Wolverine controller boasts improved actuation and response times as well as cutting-edge Chroma RGB light strips, which helped it make the cut.
- Battery life prediction: n/a
- Features such as rumble motors, assignable buttons, swappable thumbsticks, rear paddles, dual analog sticks, and Razer Chroma RGB lighting are also included.
- USB-C for wired connectivity.
- Black and white
|Aiming and navigating with analog sticks and buttons that can be configured individually||Only wired connections are supported.|
|RGB lighting with Razer Chroma||Expensive|
|Superior ergonomics of grip|
When it comes to wired controllers, the Wolverine V2 Chroma from Razer is a worthy alternative to the Series 2 Elite. It’s a high-end controller for gamers who don’t mind spending more for a specific feature or set of features, in this case wired performance. Razer has released their third Wolverine, the V2 Chroma. Its appearance is similar to the original V2, released in 2020, but with customizable RGB piping, and its six multi-function buttons are reminiscent of the original Wolverine Ultimate, released nearly ten years ago. It also includes the interchangeable D-pad and trigger locks of the Elite Series 2. Overall, it’s as pricey as the Elite controller series but just as appealing to serious gamers, making it our top pick for wired Xbox One controllers.
Best audio-centric Xbox One controller: Turtle Beach Recon Xbox Controller
The first controller from Turtle Beach brings a slew of improvements for players who use a wired headset, which is why it made the cut.
- Battery life prediction: n/a
- Features such as rumble motors, assignable buttons, swappable thumbsticks, rear paddles, dual analog sticks, and Razer Chroma RGB lighting are also present.
- Connector type: hardwired USB Type-A
- Black and white
|Enhanced hearing and manipulation of sound||Linked only via wires|
|Cushioned handles with built-in fans||Only analog headphones will allow you to use the audio functions.|
|Push-button Controls in the Back|
If you’re looking for a reliable wired replacement for your Xbox One’s stock controller, look no further than the Turtle Beach Recon. You have to plug it in, but then you get extra features like user profiles and quick-action buttons on the back. When compared to other controllers, the Recon stands out due to its emphasis on audio. The Recon’s 3.5mm headphone jack allows users to plug in a headset and gain access to the device’s onboard audio controls, audio presets for customizing their listening experience, and Turtle Beach’s competitive Superhuman hearing feature for better awareness of in-game sounds like footsteps. For players looking to get into competitive play without breaking the bank, this is the best Xbox One controller in terms of audio.
Best budget wireless Xbox One controller: Xbox Wireless Controller (2020)
Reasonably priced and consistently performing, the Xbox Wireless Controller is a solid choice for players of any budget.
- Forecasted runtime: 40 hours
- Differentiating Characteristics: Dual-analog controls, ground-rattling motors, and other rumbling extra
- Wireless and USB Type-C wired connections are available.
- Various Hues
|Inexpensive and reliable||Less room for personalization than more expensive options|
|Power source endurance|
|To be had in a range of hues|
In no way should the Xbox Wireless Controller be undervalued. The default Xbox controller is a cheap, sturdy, and adaptable gaming device. In addition to being compatible with Xbox One, this version also comes with the Xbox One S and Xbox One X and includes a convenient extra button. You can take a screenshot or record a video without leaving the game thanks to the “share” button in the middle of the screen. The “core” controller, as it is sometimes referred to, is a fantastic option if you plan on purchasing a second controller, as it is available in a rainbow of colors, has satisfyingly weighted buttons and triggers, and maintains its non-slip surface even during marathon gaming sessions. It may not have all the bells and whistles of the other, more expensive controllers on this list, but it can handle anything you throw at it.
Best cheap Xbox One controller: PowerA Enhanced Wired Controller
The latest wired Xbox controller from PowerA is a great option at a low price point, and the company has a solid history of making quality peripherals, which is why it made the cut.
- Battery life prediction: n/a
- Notable attributes include a pair of rumble motors, mappable buttons, an ergonomic shape, a diamond-textured grip, a pair of analog sticks, and a volume knob for your headset. Join in and talk about it
- Ports: USB-C with wired connectivity
- In a wide variety of hues
|Complete and well-thought-out set of capabilities||limited in ways that more expensive controllers are adjustable|
|Available in a range of hues|
If you want to save money without sacrificing quality, the PowerA Enhanced Wired Controller is the best cheap Xbox One controller you can buy. It’s a reliable wired option, and it has some extras that the regular Xbox controller doesn’t, like two programmable buttons on the back. If you want to use a wired headset with your device, there’s a dial for that, too. The controller’s textured grip makes it comfortable to hold, even if you’re holding your breath through a fierce gunfight. That’s a must-have feature for any gaming controller, wireless or wired.
Most accessible Xbox One controller: Xbox Adaptive Controller
The Xbox Adaptive Controller was chosen because it is the first and only controller of its kind, and because it is a major step forward in making video games more accessible.
- Twenty-five hours of use is the estimated battery life.
- Features to note include a wide variety of inputs for easy connectivity and a big, easy-to-use interface.
- Wireless connectivity, a wired USB Type-C port, and additional ports for accessibility-oriented accessories.
- Tone: White
|Created to be played by anyone, without special skills or training||Awkward to set up at times.|
|All-purpose controller with a respectable battery life|
|Options for input are so numerous that it’s dizzying|
When compared to other controllers for video games, the Xbox Adaptive Controller stands out as a truly innovative option. The two-button slab was designed for players who have trouble holding and/or using a standard gamepad, and it connects to other assistive devices to give those players full control. Almost any accessory that makes it simpler for new players to jump in and start having fun can be plugged in. It also has a 3.5 mm jack, USB, and Bluetooth connectivity, as well as support for the Xbox wireless controller. Depending on your requirements, it may take some time to get it set up, but it’s the only controller on the market that can do what it can. Its special features make video games accessible to people who couldn’t play them before.
Q: Are third-party Xbox controllers worth buying?
Selecting an external controller does not equate to “settling” or purchasing an inferior product. In many cases, third-party accessory manufacturers offer functionality that Microsoft hasn’t implemented in its controllers, such as Razer’s customizable RGB lighting. In spite of this, the bar for quality among controllers, even “budget” controllers, is as high as it has ever been.
Q: Do I need any extra accessories for my Xbox controller?
For wireless gameplay, the Microsoft standard wireless controller still requires two AA batteries, so be sure to stock up. There is also the option of purchasing rechargeable batteries or an Xbox rechargeable battery kit to avoid the need for disposable batteries and the subsequent e-waste.
Q: Are Xbox controllers hard to find in stores?
Your expectations should guide your search. Most stores stock either the standard Xbox Wireless Controller or more affordable alternatives like PowerA. Specialized options, such as the Razer Wolverine V2 Chroma and the Xbox Adaptive Controller, are much harder to come by and are therefore best sought out online.
|D-pad||the DualShock 4|
|Triggers||Actuator for the Xbox One|
|Features Beyond That||The DualShock 4|
It’s clear that the two most popular controllers are fairly evenly matched. Most people wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the two.
The D-pad and triggers are the primary contrasting features. While the Xbox One controller’s triggers are generally superior, the DualShock 4 wins hands down when it comes to the D-pad. However, the former will shine in 2D platforming games, while the latter will shine in racing games.
The DualShock 4 has earned our highest recommendation. Why? Why? Because it has every feature of the Xbox One controller and more. Both of these devices are high-quality controllers, and there aren’t any major drawbacks to either one. The choice, as we’ve said before, comes down to personal preference.
Finally, the Xbox Series X controller and the PlayStation 5 DualSense have both been unveiled, so you may be interested in reading our initial comparison of the two.