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An honest Microsoft Xbox Elite 2 controller review

I have been using the Elites since their release, both the Elite 1 and the second version. This spans years already. The main game I have played with them is FIFA, followed by the Doom series and some others like Ori.

I have used the Elite 2 with both the Xbox One X and the Series X.

THE GOOD: The options it gives you. That you can exchange the sticks according to what you need is huge. Adjusting the tightness of the sticks is nice. The general build feeling you get when you have it in your hands, it screams quality. The extra pads on the back are surely useful for they that want to invest the time in get used to them, I removed them at day 1, but it is nice to have the option. That you can customize the button layouts and response curves of the sticks is a plus too, but I have never used this in any game either. The way you can lock the triggers in different positions is really nice, I have used this at times, but not often though. In summary this controller gives you a ton of options you won't get with other controllers.

THE BAD: I will give you ONE word that summarizes the complete failure of both the Elite 1 and 2 controllers: BUMPERS. The Elite 1 had a million issues with them where they broke like snowflakes, so easy that you find a ton of bumper repair kits for the Elite 1 online. When Microsoft announced the Elite 2 they emphasized that the redesign of the controller was total, and its true, they went into a complete overhaul of the internals. You can feel it since the first time you have one in your hands, specially with the bumpers, they feel solid, the click feedback they give you when pressed is wonderful, so I had big hopes for them and to put all the nightmares from the bumpers on the Elite 1 in the rear view mirror. Sadly this wasn't going to be real. What has happened is that the issue with the bumpers on the Elite 1 has just been changed with another one on the Elite 2. They don't break anymore, but after just a few months of use they develop a multi clicking issue. The system under them goes from been a solid single firing pistol to being a machine gun that can fire at random times when you less expect it. When the issue starts to show it is subtle, a double press here, another there, you think no big deal, but once it starts it never goes away, with the pass of the weeks it gets worst. First it is one of the bumpers, then both. After some moths you can't trust in your LB and RB buttons anymore. It is specially noticeable in menus on a game like FIFA where you have to use them a lot, or when navigating the Xbox dashboard menus. With one press you end up jumping 2 or even 3 screens back and forth instead of only one. In game this problem can have devastating effects as you can easily guess. Very very disappointing.

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I have shown the controller to the store I bought it from and they have confirmed the issues. I have got the product exchanged for a new one already 3 times, always for the same reason, and they always get the problem after some months of normal use. I am now going to take the 3rd one to the store to get my money back. After testing 3 Elite 2 during the last year and all of them developing the same issue with the bumpers I have lost hope on them and this is sad because everything was there for they to be crowned as the best game controller produced in history. At the end this product has just been another missed opportunity from Microsoft.

I am lucky because we have very strong customer protection laws here, but I know this is not common in other parts of the world so my advise is to be very aware of this problem and have your eyes open. At the first second you notice strange behavior at pressing the bumpers go and get your money back. This controller is just to expensive to take the risk.

I recommend you to stick to the normal Xbox controllers. The new ones that Microsoft launched with the new Series consoles are excellent. I have not have one issue with the one that came with the Series X since December that I have been using it. They are not expensive and feel very well made compared with their Xbox One counterparts, and if one breaks it’s not that big of a deal to replace it as they are much cheaper than a controller like the Elite 2.

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