Gamepads are an important component of PC gaming. For a while, the Xbox 360 controller has been the go-to choice for gamers and was praised for how comfortable and ergonomic it was. However, it was not without a few flaws and that is part of the reason the launch of the Xbox One controller wireless pad was received well in the gaming community. If you are looking to upgrade your Xbox controller, here is a comprehensive review of the Microsoft Xbox One wireless controller with emphasis on design, variants, functionality, and improvements from its predecessor.
The new Xbox One wireless controller features a sleeker, minimalist design when compared to its predecessor. Its frame is slimmer and the textured cheap-feeling plastic used on previous controllers is gone. In addition, the Home button comes with a silver hue while the Back and Start buttons are replaced by View and Menu buttons respectively, which are smaller. Most importantly the D-pad is revamped to make thumb movements easier and more comfortable. The new D-pad is designed with a concave depression, which is different from the previous design that was modelled around a protrusion. These changes make it easier to use the pad.
The Controls and Custom Controllers
On top of offering different colour schemes and special editions, Microsoft also allows gamers to design custom controllers thanks to the inclusion of the Xbox Design Lab, which allows you to customize colours, material, and you can also add a personalized engraving. That aside, the controls on the new Xbox One wireless controller cannot go unmentioned. The analogue stick was not moved, but it comes with some improvements, the biggest being the new concave shape of the thumb grip that helps to minimize slipping. Also, the sticks feel lighter and are more responsive when you put them in comparison with Xbox 360 controllers.
Shoulder Buttons and Triggers
Although the triggers and shoulder buttons on the Xbox 360 were good, the Xbox One wireless controller has offered an improvement nonetheless. The new changes include wider triggers, which are easier to hold. In addition, the triggers come with their own vibration motors, which help to improve the immersive experience. Also, they have higher pressure resistance compared to their predecessors. In the same way, the shoulder buttons were enlarged, but these don’t come with any extra functionality. Regardless, they are still better and more comfortable to use, which is something every gamer would appreciate.
Apart from offering wireless connection capabilities, namely Xbox wireless and Bluetooth, the new Xbox One controller also features additional connectivity options. It offers a MicroUSB port, used for charging or when you need to connect to a PC or console. The other option is an expansion port, used for chat pads, an audio control panel, and other accessories. Finally, the controller offers a 5mm jack, used for headsets and headphones. An advantage with this controller is that it’s designed with a higher throughput than Bluetooth because it works on a higher-frequency signal, which makes it particularly useful for multiple controller connections.
Naturally, the Xbox One controller is fully compatible with the Xbox One S, Xbox One X, and the Xbox One console. However, this will not work with Xbox 360, which only works with a 360 controller. Therefore, consider that fact if you look to give your 360 console another go. In addition, the Xbox One wireless controller is fully compatible with Windows 10, so you can use it seamlessly with your PC. You can connect the controller to a PC via the USB port provided, or through Xbox Wireless and Bluetooth as mentioned above.
One thing that misses in the Xbox One wireless controller is an integrated battery. This means the controller uses two AA batteries as its source of power. The batteries are estimated to last up to around 40 hours, but this can vary from one battery brand to another. And although Microsoft does not advise users to try rechargeable batteries, these are also an option that you can find on the market as part of your Xbox One accessories. If the official charge kit is too expensive for you, try other third-party batteries on the market.
Gamers looking to improve their setup will fancy the new Xbox One wireless controller. It comes as an improvement to its predecessor with better design, a sleeker look, and overall better performance. From the buttons and triggers to the connectivity options available, the controller is designed to make your work easier. It adopts a minimalist yet functional approach to design that is meant to boost your gaming experience. In fact, the controller has been received warmly in the gaming community, a testament to the fact it offers features gamers have been waiting for all along.