The gamepad feels incredible and is heavily customizable; overall, it’s one of the best controllers I’ve ever used. But unfortunately, its hardware is nearly always faulty directly out of the box. Thankfully, Microsoft’s new custom Design Lab Elite Series 2 gamepad seems to solve most of these issues (or maybe I just finally got lucky).
Read this story for a full recap of my experience, but I’ve been through roughly seven to eight of the old Series 2 controllers. Sometimes the gamepad’s shoulder buttons or the Y button fail, or occasionally, the face buttons just don’t work. In one case, the left joystick stopped clicking. It’s always a different problem, but with every standard Elite Series 2 I’ve used, there’s an issue out of the box as soon as I start gaming with it.
No, I’m not buying a new controller every time and have mostly gotten the gamepad replaced under warranty, but this is still unacceptable given its $229 cost.
Here’s where the new custom Xbox Elite Series 2 gamepad comes in. I’ve been using the Custom Elite Series 2 gamepad since early November, and so far, my experience has been flawless. The face buttons continue to work, and the Y button remains responsive. I’ve probably used the controller for roughly 20-30 hours of sweaty Halo Infinite ranked action, and everything has been smooth.
It’s unclear if Microsoft’s parts supplier or manufacturing process has changed with the Design Lab Elite Series 2. However, if my gamepad is an accurate indication, it seems the tech giant may have solved the controller’s issues — at least as far as the custom version is concerned (it’s also really cool to be able to fully customize the Series 2gamepad).
I’m not sure if Microsoft’s Series 2 Core gamepad also fixes the high-end gamepad’s issues, but if this video is an accurate indication, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
The Design Lab Elite Series 2 starts at $149.99 for the base controller that doesn’t include paddles or additional thumbsticks. The version that offers all of the accessories (which is probably the one you want because that’s the point of the gamepad) starts at $209.99.
I’ll update this story if I start to run into issues with the Elite Series 2. Do you own a custom Elite Series 2, and have you run into any issues with the gamepad? Let me us know in the comments below or tweet me @Patrick_ORourke.