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The next Xbox Elite Controller might have removable triggers

The current Xbox Elite Controller allows you to fine-tune your gaming experience, with the option to swap out your joysticks and D-pad, and add an additional four buttons on the underside of the controller in the form of paddles. You can also remap all of the buttons, and toggle between two pre-defined configurations.

The controller's hair trigger locks are one of my favorite features, allowing you to activate the triggers with a minimal press. If this patent is any indication, the next Xbox Elite Controller could have fully customizable triggers to go with it.

It's always worth noting that patents don't equal products. This might just be a protective measure designed to prevent competitors from using the same method in future devices. It also might just be an internal design that might work better in a conceptual form rather than in reality. Either way, the detail in this particular patent is pretty exciting, and hey, it's fun to speculate.

The patent was filed originally in March 2016 but wasn't published until December 15th, 2016. It details an array of accessories for a controller with detachable triggers.

The patent details how trigger accessories would be held in place by magnets, similar to those used on the joystick and D-pad accessories bundled with the current Elite Controller. It also shows multiple types of triggers, including ones that look more like handlebars.

"The present disclosure is directed to a customizable game controller that includes one or more differently configured trigger-type controls that can be swapped out in a tool-free manner.""For example, differently configured removable trigger accessories may have different sizes, materials, ranges of motion, spring tensions, pull weights, and/or finger positions. In one example, such a configuration facilitates the use of differently configured removable trigger accessories that are customized for particular types of video games."

Handlebar triggers might grant the user greater precision in games like Forza, where controlling the accelerator pedal makes use of the entire range of activations available to the Xbox trigger. I feel there's also some scope for a wider range of branded accessories for triggers too, as video game manufacturers could build accessories that more fully match a game's aesthetic.

Either way, it's a potentially exciting evolution for the Xbox Elite Controller, which already lacks Bluetooth support as seen in the third-generation Xbox One S controllers. Even if this patent doesn't reach the production stage, I'd say it's clear that Microsoft isn't finished with Elite-style peripherals.

See the Xbox Elite Controller at the Microsoft Store (opens in new tab)

Jez Corden
Jez Corden

Jez Corden is a Senior Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

21 Comments
  • Anyone else find the paddles too sensitive? I can barely graze them accidently with the tip of my fingers while playing and it registers as a press. It's mostly my left ring finger hitting the bottom left paddle, So I keep that one removed, but the bottom paddles feel more natural to press while engaged in a game, to me.
  • Yeah I found that with the bottom paddles, I usually keep those off and use the top ones instead.
  • I only have 2 of the paddles attached. Having all 4 just means I miss-click all the time, but 2 is totally manageable and helps a lot.
  • Yikes! I initially read that as you keeping your left ring finger removed (instead of the bottom left paddle) until the rationality kicked in. Guess I'm high on fatigue. Agree with the bottom paddles being easier to engage.
  • Too much Assassin's Creed? :P
  • Yes but you just need to be aware of the paddles ans hold your controller in a way to avoid them.
  • Not sure if this is widespread info but if you double press the sync button on the controller it disables the paddles until you double press it again. Gives a rumble feedback to let you know it worked as well. Very handy for when you need to out your controller down.
  • Wow i didnt realize that at all! thanks for the tip
  • Mind: Blown
  • No, I found them to have an input delay that kept getting me killed in Halo 5. Luckily, I told Microsoft this, and they told me they weren't willing to do any repairs on an out-of-warranty device, even if I wanted to pay for it.
  • And I'm guessing use Bluetooth?
  • I'm hoping so (Just makes sense....plus I think it would work with Steam Link then). Some here will say "pfft no pro gamer will use Bluetooth you n00b" but these controllers are aimed as much at consumers who want a premium and customised experienced, so adding it along with the built in WiFi direct is not an issue IMO and can only be seen as a positive.
  • Indeed! Having a Bluetooth would be a great addition to already great controller. This is one of the most requested addition and it will just makes Elite Controller more desirable. So it doesn't make sense not to have it in terms of customer satisfaction, profit and branding. Pro gamers can always connect it wired which should be always an option for something like this class.
  • Hopefully, would be silly if not
  • I'd like them to sell some accessory kits with smaller paddles and add customization controls for the Dashboard.
  • You can buy kits, just not from MS.
  • Yea they have them at GameStop I think power a makes them the paddles are smaller. They have a halo one and a gears one. I think this site had a write up on them.
  • Would be nice if they are out the same time with Scorpio.
  • I'm eagerly waiting for a revised Elite controller with Bluetooth and preferably in white to match my Xbox One S.
  • If they aren't going to improve the build quality and warranty, then to hell with this. I'm still mad at MS for selling me a $150 controller with a 90-day warranty and absolutely no repair services whatsoever. That's comically stupid quality control and customer support, having something that will break right out of a short warranty, leaving the customer with no option other than a self-repair, even if he offers to pay for the work.
  • They really need to up the quality of the product. The elite controller is susceptible to the same problems as the standard controller. They start to fail just out side of 90 days.....and on a $150 controller....not again. The best part was when Team Xbox told me to just "go buy another controller". Thanks no thanks