One of the most common arguments between gamers is which console has the best controller. Some gamers prefer Sony’s offerings.
Some prefer the feel of the Switch Pro controller (which looks suspiciously like an Xbox controller).
Some gamers will go even further back and claim the Gamecube’s controller was perfect. No one says the Nintendo 64’s controller. That thing was awful.
Lots of gamers prefer the Xbox controllers. They fondly remember the original “Duke ” and everything else since has been an improvement.
The thumbsticks placement is more ergonomic and the shape is less slippery than the Dualshock and Dual Sense.
The new Xbox controller looks to change all this with even more upsides than ever before. Microsoft is committed to backward compatibility in a big way.
This means your old controllers will work with your shiny new series X. It also means if you buy yourself a fancy new series X controller, it will work on your older hardware.
So why buy a custom Xbox controller?
Microsoft hasn’t gone crazy adding fancy new gimmicks to the series X controllers. There’s been no generational leap like the Dualsense. This is what allows this great backward compatibility.
However, there are downsides:
The looks. The stock controller is pretty bland. People may love or hate the look of the competition’s Dual Sense but at least Sony is willing to take risks when it comes to the looks of their controllers.
The stock controller is a little light on features. There’s not much there to give you an edge or enrich your gaming experience.
Simply put, Microsoft has played it safe.
Luckily, there’s a lot of choice for Custom Xbox One controllers. Because of this, I’ve split this list into three parts:
Custom Xbox controllers that are certified by Microsoft
It’s simply a normal, stock Xbox controller but you get to customize it yourself.
There are no performance options here No fancy thumbsticks or special triggers. No flappy paddles or extra buttons.
However, if you just want a pretty controller this is for you. Just log in, pick your colors for different parts and you’re done. There are no fancy gamer skins, just simple color options. They look pretty good!
If you want a pretty custom Xbox One controller that won’t break the bank. This is the controller for you.
Catch that enemy sneaking up behind you or get them when they’re reloading.
Two Mappable Quick action buttons
Ergonomic Cooling Grips and vibration feedback.
This is a bit of a niche controller.
The Turtle Beach custom Xbox controller is mostly about sound. This makes it an ideal controller for competitive FPS shooters and battle royales.
The different EQ presets and the ability to hear the little details like enemies’ footsteps or reloads can be a real game-changer.
Just remember that to get the most of these features, you’re going to need a decent sound system or headset.
It also comes with remappable rear buttons which can also come in super handy when gaming. If you were to build a custom controller yourself this option could easily add upwards of $30 so having them at this price range is awesome.
Unsurprisingly for a custom controller in this price range, there are some compromises, however.
Firstly, it’s wired. Some people prefer a wired controller, but not me. If your gaming set up is in the living room and you don’t live alone then wired controllers are a nightmare.
They get stepped on, accidentally unplugged and they’re a hassle to store.
This Turtle is not the prettiest custom Xbox controller on the market. It comes in two colors, black or dirty white.
For my money, the black is slightly nicer but there are much better-looking controllers out there.
If the turtle beach controller was all about sound then the Razer is all about customizing your experience.
The controller is slightly more comfortable to hold than a stock Xbox controller. The bigger improvement here however is the rubber grips.
My hands tend to get a little sweaty during intense gaming sessions and these grips do make a difference.
The hair-trigger mode is great for shooters. Switch this mode on and the travel distance on the triggers is greatly reduced. This helps with your reaction time and gives you an insanely high rate of fire.
The controller also comes with more tactile buttons than a stock controller. These are especially great for any fans of platformers. If you’re running emulators on your Xbox this is a great pick for retro games.
The Razer also comes with two remappable buttons. Added buttons on a controller are always a bonus and it’s great that they’re remappable. However, the location of the buttons is a little baffling.
This controller boasts great ergonomics but these two buttons are anything but ergonomic, especially if you have small hands.
They’re far too small and a reach to hit. They would have been much better on the back.
Again, this isn’t the prettiest controller on the market but it does get bonus points for the nice accenting.
New next-generation (NXG) mini-sticks with a longer lifespan and greater precision
Physical locking for triggers to directly remap rear buttons
T-MOD technology and Hot-Swap feature lets you swap a module with any other – at any point in a game
Extremely high-precision modules and action buttons, with minimal response times
I grew up a Playstation gamer. After two decades of playing predominantly on DualShock, my muscle memory is used to the button and stick placement.
My hands have become claws that struggle to hold an Xbox controller. My thumb can never find the left thumbstick. It feels awkward.
I’m no fanboy. I just find the Xbox controller difficult to use. This is why I love the Thrustmaster. You can swap around the thumbsticks and d-pad to suit you. It might be a gimmick but it’s a great gimmick.
No corners have been cut either. Despite the modularity, everything feels as it should. The sticks and d-pad still feel great and super responsive.
On top of the modularity, it comes with the performance customization you would expect at this price range. It has rear buttons which are fully remappable as well as locking triggers for easy shooting. Great!
Any list of custom Xbox controllers is always going to feature the Elite version 2. At least until the Version 3 releases, I guess.
The Xbox Elite controller is the big daddy of custom controllers. Since the first version was released these controllers have been hailed as either the best controller on the market or (somewhat more controversially) the best controller ever.
I can see why. The Elite 2 takes a lot of what the other controllers do and just does it better. The build quality is brilliant, it feels professionally built.
It might not be as feature-rich as some of the other options on this list, but it has most of the features you could want.
Finally, the Elite 2 is great value for money. On top of all the features, it comes with swappable pieces and you also get a cool carrying case and charging dock.
It’s also one of the very few custom Xbox controllers that are wireless. It’s hard to see why you might pick anything else.
This is perhaps the most advanced custom Xbox One controller on the list. It has mods for days. We’ll start with the cosmetic options.
This is the most cosmetically modded controller on the list. Everything on the outside is changeable. There are also more options than our last entry. This makes it easier to create a controller that doesn’t look terrible.
Some of the options are also pretty impressive. RGB sticks and buttons? Yes, please.
The real meat though is in the MZ Titan Chip. This equips your controller with a range of performance mods that you choose from. These are mainly hacking again and aimed at FPS players.
The cool thing though is you can hook up your controller through an app to change your presets and settings. This is a nice touch missing from other modded controllers.
Unfortunately, there is a pretty big downside here.
Some of the mods will mean you can only play FPS games with this controller. Specifically, the modified triggers mean you won’t be playing racing games. The low actuation means your car would only ever accelerate 100%.
Cheaper options on this list that are Microsoft certified don’t have this problem.
If you just want a pretty controller that looks a little different you can’t go wrong with an Xbox Design lab controller. There’s no performance benefit but they’re cheap and they look cool. You can find one here.
If you’re sticking to controllers certified by Xbox (and you probably should) and want performance then you can’t go wrong with the Elite 2. It’s the king of controllers for a reason. It has all the options you could want and no real compromises. It just feels great. Comparable controllers, like Razer’s lineup, just don’t feel as high quality.
If you want a little Blackmarket helping hand then the Modded Zone controller is probably for you. It has the hacks you might need to improve your performance and lots of cosmetic options. If you’re not looking for hacks though I’d stick to a Microsoft Certified controller. You are paying a lot for the hacks.
Personally? I’d go for the Elite 2. If you want it to look pretty you can drop a few dollars on a nice skin and save yourself for a few bucks. Or if you have the space and care about performance go for the Razer keyboard. As a console gamer, it’ll take some getting used to, but you’ll never look back.
Q. How much does a custom Xbox controller cost?
Well, that depends on how much you want to spend. Budget orientated options can be grabbed for about $50. Great options like the Elite 2 are up for grabs in the ball part of $150. However, if you’re going balls to the wall with the customization and looking to add some cheaty hacks you could easily be looking at north of $300.
Q. Does Microsoft still make Custom controllers?
They sure do. You’re talking about the Xbox design lab. The design options are limited compared to some custom sites but you can walk away with a pretty cool looking controller.
Q. How does Xbox design lab work?
It honestly couldn’t be any easier.
– Visit the site here – Click Design Yours. – Choose different color schemes for individual parts of your controller from the drop-down boxes – Add to cart and you’re done.
Q. How much does a design lab controller cost?
Your design lab custom Xbox controller will set you back around $70. This is incredibly reasonable for a controller you’re designing yourself.
Q. Are Xbox design lab controllers BlueTooth?
Yes! They feature two modes of connectivity. They connect to your Xbox through Xbox wireless. You can connect to your Windows 10 PC, tablets, iOS and Android devices using Bluetooth. Check compatibility here.
Q. Are custom Xbox controllers worth it?
Maybe! The best thing about custom Xbox controllers is you have a tonne of options. If you’re into competitive gaming and want to give yourself a little edge then they could be worth it. But just remember they won’t magically make you a pro gamer. Practice makes perfect.
Likewise, a design lab is a great way to pretty up your controller for relatively little cost.
If you don’t care about competitive gaming or don’t care what your controller looks like however… Don’t bother.
Q. Can you get an aimbot controller?
Websites go out of their way to avoid that term but yes. If you suck at shooters and want to ruin the fun for everyone else there are options out there. We’ve even included them on this list.
Quite a few custom Xbox controllers come with these kinds of aftermarket modifications. You can get one here.
Just remember. If a Mod or server gets suspicious of your performance, you’ll get yourself banned from your favorite game.