PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) Xbox One Limited Edition controller hands-on

Xbox One Controller
Xbox One Controller (Image credit: Windows Central)

Microsoft expanded its line of Xbox One accessories at Gamescom 2018, debuting a rustic limited edition variant of its wireless gamepad. Inspired by the last-man-standing shooter, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG), the design incorporates staples of the battle royale sensation, marking its Xbox Game Preview departure.

While the official PUBG controller won't hit store shelves until October, we had the opportunity to get up close and personal following its reveal. It's also available for preorder right now for about $70.

See at Amazon

Microsoft designed its limited edition PUBG Xbox One controller with attention to the game world, which sees players scavenging for resources across desolate locations. Its design reflects something players could uncover among the loot, with a rough utilitarian design distressed by the elements.

The main controller faceplate features a gray digital camouflage, battle-scarred by stylized scratches that are supposed to look like they came from use in the field. A murky brown rust also permeates from the top-right hand corner, with scuffed surfaces around buttons and on the grips. This is paired with a metallic brown direction pad, also scuffed with a corroded finish.

Numerous subtle references to the game are scattered across the controller, too, setting this apart as a uniquely PUBG product. On the left thumbstick is a vibrant blue highlight, directly referencing the (infamous) blue circle, while the right stick features a gray crosshair. A vibrant red cross also overlays the right trigger and the PUBG logo is lightly embossed on the rear battery door.

This controller mostly shares the feature set of other third-generation Xbox One controllers, including the 3.5mm audio connector, Bluetooth, and a rear textured grip. However, this design debuts the first "textured triggers," adding a hashed surface to the LT and RT buttons. While I expected this to be merely marketing, the new approach to the trigger actually provides a firm feel for added in-hand grip. While simple, it makes the unit feel more premium, which we hope to see in future controller designs.

Should you buy the PUBG Xbox One controller?

The PUBG Xbox One controller isn't the most distinct limited edition Xbox One controller, with this year's Sea of Thieves limited edition as an example of more vibrant styling. However, the unit still captures the essence of PUBG, from its battle-hardened aesthetic to signatures of the battle royale formula.

Textured triggers also set this controller apart from its predecessors, offering more grip and a better overall feel. Benefits may be seen in shooters, racing games, and other popular genres, which could help justify this as your next Xbox One controller.

The PUBG Xbox One controller is currently scheduled for an October 30 release in the U.S. and other major Xbox regions. Although this falls after the game's Xbox Game Preview departure, the promise of "exclusive in-game content and an exclusive in-game clothing set" is sure to keep some fans interested.

To secure your PUBG Xbox One controller, preorders for the device are now available on Amazon, priced at $69.99. Be sure to act quick, with its limited edition design suggesting that once worldwide stock depletes, it'll be gone forever.

See at Amazon

Matt Brown

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.