Should you upgrade to the new Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2?

(Image credit: Windows Central)

Should you upgrade to the new Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2?

Best answer: The Elite Series 2 has great features that are worth the upgrade, but if you still have a functioning first-generation Elite controller you may want to wait until it fully wears out before upgrading. If you're using a base Xbox controller, the Series 2 would be a great addition to your gaming life.For the latest and greatest: Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 ($180 at Microsoft Store)Does the job: Xbox One Controller ($40 at Amazon)

Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 is a big upgrade, but pricey

Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Beyond the improvements to durability, the Series 2 also sports tension control for thumbsticks, which can be a boon for competitive play, allowing you to crank up sensitivity without losing accuracy. It comes with three stages of trigger locking too, as well as three separate profiles for bindings. Unlike the previous Elite controller, this one also comes with Bluetooth as standard for use with Project xCloud on mobile and compatible PCs.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Perhaps the best thing about the controller is the charging dock and internal battery. Microsoft says the battery life lasts around 40 hours depending on how hard you push it, but I've very easily exceeded that to around 60 hours in early testing. There's no way to say how well the battery will handle its lifespan over time, as pertain to battery degradation and so on, but early signs are very positive.

Still, having four additional (optional) paddle buttons on the back, tension-controlled joysticks, and lockable triggers is a hard sell for $180, I would argue, given that an Xbox One S console itself starts at around $250 these days. The Series 2 is by no means so good that it's a must-buy purchase for anyone, even the most serious gamers. The base controller is more than good enough, and costs only $40.

If you want the best of the best, though, the Series 2 is worth a look. You may get a lot of value out of the charging dock, additional features, and the ability to bind system-functions such as Xbox screenshotting and TV volume controls to the paddles, making the upgrade more than worth the asking price.

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden is a Managing Editor at 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 tea. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his XB2 Podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!