Amazon's $25 Xbox One Controller checks all the boxes at half the price of Microsoft's gamepad
Amazon has an Xbox One controller that's about half the price of the official gamepad but is ideal for gaming on a budget.
Amazon continues to solidify its position as the jack-of-all-trades, now offering a growing range of accessories for Xbox One. Positioned under the no-frills "AmazonBasics" range, these accompaniments to your console promise a low-price tag without comprising on build quality.
After previously exploring the online retail giant's line of charging accessories, we're exploring Amazon's take on the Xbox One controller itself. Promising comparable functionality to Microsoft's official solution at half the price, it's an attractive pickup for budget-conscious gamers. And while it may forgo luxuries of some higher-end controllers, it still nails the basics.
The AmazonBasics Xbox One controller inherits much of its feature set and likeness from the official controller, presented in a familiar, clean design. Anyone acquainted with the Xbox One will know what you're getting on the surface – all the inputs of the standard layout are also present here.
With the proprietary Xbox Wireless protocol tied to Microsoft, the AmazonBasics controller is bound to wires like many third-party solutions. Packing a 9.8-foot USB cable that connects directly to the console, the controller still offers suitable range for the average living room. Other staples of the modern Xbox One controller make the cut, including an integrated 3.5mm headphone jack and dual rumble motors for vibration.
Once in-hand, initial impressions of the controller are reassuring, including odd attributes that give this controller a premium flair over similarly priced alternatives. Its weight is relative to the official controller, avoiding the lightweight touch of many other third-party devices. While the more angular design fails to match the ergonomics of the original, it still sits comfortably in my hands. And the bonus of the textured rear goes a long way, providing a sturdy grip exceeding Microsoft's own design.
A promising controller is offered here, though Amazon does cut corners where many premium alternatives don't. The dedicated Xbox accessories port is absent, rendering some headsets, chat pads, and other products incompatible. The Xbox One's unique rumble triggers are also ditched, losing the precision vibration for the trigger buttons. Despite neither feature is essential, they're examples of comprises made to pursue the low price point.
The build quality of this controller meets a high standard but still falls short of other controllers in certain areas. Certain buttons feel mushy and less responsive than the official counterparts; the most notable of these being the bumper buttons. Especially when some Microsoft controllers have documented durability issues over time, its long-term feasibility should be questioned.
While the AmazonBasics controller may not stand out for its features, its price point is what sets it apart from the competition. Amazon's controller comes in at just $24.88, shipping in both black and white variants. Meanwhile, similar official Xbox One controllers are priced upwards of $50, at over double the price of Amazon's offering.
That's a significant price difference, and while it might not offer the spectacle of Microsoft's controller, it still excels at the essentials. For the average gamer, cutbacks are far outweighed by the saving you'll receive. Those who demand the best should look elsewhere, but you won't find better when wrangling a budget.
The AmazonBasics Xbox One controller is available exclusively via Amazon, priced at $24.88 in the U.S.
Read more: AmazonBasics Xbox One controller accessories charge you up on the cheap
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Matt Brown was formerly a Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.