While there are certainly some great third-party options available for folks in need of a new Xbox controller, the best ones tend to come straight from Microsoft itself. The regular Xbox Series Wireless Controller is fantastic, after all, as are the many variants of it that feature snazzy custom designs. For those looking for a competitive edge and extra functionality, there's also the premier $179.99 Xbox Elite Controller Series 2.
In the middle lies the Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 Core, which is essentially a more affordable Elite Controller Series 2 without some of its usual accoutrements. The standard white and black version of the gamepad has an MSRP of $129.99, with red and blue models costing an extra $10. Right now, though, you can get one from Walmart for just a hair over $85 thanks to an incredible deal.
Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 Core (Red/Black) | was
$139.99 now $85.17 at Walmart
The Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 Core comes with customizable thumbsticks and trigger locks, along with a textured grip, support for three input profiles, and a stellar 40+ hour battery life. It may not have the back paddles the regular Series 2 controller does, but you can add aftermarket ones later. Right now, you can get one for its lowest ever price — provided you're okay with a red colorway.
This is a massive 39% discount, and it's by far the lowest price we've ever seen the controller sell for. However, there is a catch here; this lower price is only available for the red Elite Controller Series 2 Core, which is a colorway you may not be a fan of. If you like the red or can look past it, though, we strongly recommend taking advantage of this deal if you're interested in the gamepad.
Both the Elite Controller Series 2 and the Core variant that's on sale are marketed towards competitive gamers, as they both come with tunable thumbsticks and hair trigger locks to help you aim precisely and execute trigger inputs as fast as possible. Textured rubber grips also ensure you'll have no trouble keeping your hands on the controller while you play. Other nifty bells and whistles include a stellar 40+ hour battery life, support for customizing three different input profiles in the Xbox Accessories app, and the ability to personalize the color of its Xbox button in said app.
The main drawback of the Core gamepad is that it doesn't come with the back paddles you get with the regular Elite Series 2 that can have extra inputs mapped to them. Their absence here is disappointing when you consider just how impactful having additional buttons is, but on the plus side, the controller does still come with notches for paddles. That means you can get third-party ones like eXtremeRate's (also on sale right now) and add them to the gamepad down the line.
Notably, Microsoft also doesn't include spare thumbsticks, a carrying case, or a charging dock with the Core. These omissions are far more reasonable, though — the price has to be brought down somehow, after all.
In our Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 Core review, Windows Central Managing Editor Jez Corden criticized the lack of paddles, but went on to ultimately state that it's "one of the best Xbox controllers on the market" if you want a more affordable Elite Controller that still offers some of the regular Series 2's extra functionality and its top-tier battery life.
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