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Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 - My Thoughts


DoctorEncore
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When I'm not collecting old NES games, I'm all about my Xbox. I've had the original Elite controller since it's launch in 2015 and it is unequivocally the best controller ever made. The shape, the heft, the texture, the added features: everything about it screams excess. I probably put at least 1000 hours on it and it's still kicking. That being said, one of the textured hand grips has been peeling for the last year and I wore the thumbsticks down. Thankfully those are easy fixes with a little super glue and some third-party rubber grips. I never had issues with the bumpers, possibly because I don't play many first-person shooters.

Having said all that, I received the series 2 controller last week and, as you'd expect, it's quite good. But it doesn't feel "4-years later, $30 more expensive" good .

For starters, they tried to fix the grip-peel issue by integrating the textured material right into the controller handles, but it just doesn't feel as nice. The bumps are smaller and a bit harder and I don't love them. They also added a rechargeable battery, which sounds good, but also means the controller is as good as dead when the battery dies. I got used to the added heft that replaceable, rechargeable batteries added to the original controller and I miss that here.

There are some crazy new high-speed features like three levels of depth compression for the triggers, the ability to adjust the tension of the thumbsticks, slight tweaks to the paddles, and USB-C charging. But in all honesty, I'd recommend finding a series 1 controller and saving yourself $50-80.

Anybody else use either of these controllers? Thoughts?

P.S. I think the DualShock 4 is also a great controller and finally brings Sony into the 21st century, but it still can't compete with Microsoft's standard controller. Offset analog sticks forever!

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Fun fact, controllers like Xbox only use off centered sticks because Sony has a patent on the side by side symmetry. They didn't do it for any ergonomic reasons. 

I candidly hate the Xbone controller because the bumpers right next to triggers feels so off, esp how they're smooth and roll into each other. I'm not sure if the elite corrected this. 

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16 minutes ago, Startyde said:

Fun fact, controllers like Xbox only use off centered sticks because Sony has a patent on the side by side symmetry. They didn't do it for any ergonomic reasons. 

I candidly hate the Xbone controller because the bumpers right next to triggers feels so off, esp how they're smooth and roll into each other. I'm not sure if the elite corrected this. 

I'm sorry, but that's just not true. This is not a patent issue, but instead one of ergonomics and personal preference. In fact, the Wii Pro Controller had symmetric analog sticks, but Nintendo ditched them in favor of offset.

In the usual gameplay scenario, the left thumb sits on the left analog stick and the right thumb sits on the face buttons. This allows the thumbs and hands to be symmetric during the majority of gameplay time for most types of games.

However, with the rise of first-person shooters, we saw the introduction of games that required players to have their thumbs resting on both analog sticks for the majority of gameplay time. In this scenario, symmetric sticks lead to symmetric thumb and hand positioning. 

Obviously, both arrangements are perfectly adequate because hundreds of millions of people use each layout. My personal preference is for offset.

As for your second comment, I've never had any difficulty with the bumper/trigger transition. In fact, I prefer the minimal clicks on the Xbox controller versus the larger trigger-like buttons on the DS4, but this is also personal preference.

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