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 that 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
- Aftermarket Xbox One Modded controllers
- A Wildcard entry
So read on to find the best choice for you.
Certified Custom Xbox Controllers
1. Xbox Design Lab: Custom Monochromes
- Standard Xbox controller
- Design your own controller
Our first entry is a pretty simple one.
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.
- Easy to use designer
- Oh so pretty
- No performance mods
Price: Around $70
2. Turtle Beach Recon Controller: For Audiophiles
- Turtle Beach Audio Advantage
- 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.
- Great price
- Awesome audio options
- Remappable rear buttons are great
- Ergonomic as hell
- Not pretty
- Only as good as your audio gear.
Price: Around $60
Interested? Get one here
3. Razer Wolverine V2: Great Ergonomics
- Designed for Greater Control and Precision
- Additional Remappable Front-Facing Buttons
- Mecha-Tactile Action Buttons and D-Pad
- Hair Trigger Mode with Trigger Stop-Switches
- Razer Controller Setup for Xbox
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.
- Very ergonomic
- Direction and action buttons feel great
- Hair-trigger mode makes a visible difference.
- Remappable buttons
- Boring aesthetics.
- Extra button location is baffling.
Price: Around $150
Like it? Get it here
4. Thrustmaster ESWAP X PRO: Best for Xbox Converts
- Fully modular
- 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!
- It’s modular!
- Everything feels great
- Remappable rear buttons
- No color options
- Not pretty
- Modular only useful to some
Price: Around $160
Looking to swap out your controller? Get it here
5. HORIPAD Pro: Budget Option
- Fine-tune the sensitivity for the analog stick, dead zone, and LR Trigger
- Customize and save up to four profiles with the Companion App and easily switch between them with the Profile Button
You might be thinking that the features list looks a little skinny compared to our last few entries.
You would be right. The Horipad Pro is pretty simple, it’s also pretty cheap. This doesn’t mean it isn’t good though.
What’s the point in paying for features you’ll probably never use? The Horipad’s main selling point is the fact you can fine-tune your stick and LR Trigger sensitivity.
This is great for the shooter players out there, especially if you’re a sniper.
I’m also a fan of the four profiles. This means you can have different sensitivities depending on the class you are playing, or the game you are playing.
The looks are nothing to boast about. But again, this is a budget piece. The green rings around the sticks at least spice things up a little bit.
My only complaint is it feels a little like the kind of knock-off second controller you might get for Xmas.
- Super Cheap
- Sensitivity tuning is useful
- The companion app is cool
- No color options
- Feels a little budget.
Price: A little over $40
On a budget? Get it here
6. Razer – Wolverine Ultimate: The Best Razer
- Epic customizability: Swap your thumbsticks and D-pad
- 6 Remappable multi-function buttons
- Tactile buttons
- Low accentuation Triggers
Razer isn’t messing around here. This is quite clearly Razer’s answer to the Xbox Elite controller line and their newest flagship. (There’s an Xbox Elite review right below this.)
Lots of custom Xbox controllers come with 2 extra buttons. Some come with 4. I’m not sure I’ve seen 6 before. All remappable.
These come in the shape of two additional bumpers on the back and FOUR extra triggers which go in the center-back.
These extra buttons and triggers do let you customize your gaming experience. The locations of the extra triggers and bumpers mean they’re hard to press accidentally. Which is great.
But I’m not sure I’ve really WANTED extra triggers? Maybe just extra buttons would have been fine.
These extra options are also not especially ergonomic if you have smaller hands Those extra triggers can be a stretch to reach.
The Wolverine Ultimate also won’t be winning any beauty pageants. The RGB is a nice touch and screams GAMER.
However, the lump at the bottom is ugşy as hell and hurts the ergonomics. For my taste, the whole thing just looks and feels a little busy.
- Buttons everywhere
- Very customizable
- Remappable buttons are useful
- Not the best ergonomics.
This baby comes in at around $160 Get it here!
7. Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2: The Original Big Daddy
- Swappable thumbsticks and paddle shapes
- Swappable D-Pad
- Up to 40 hours of battery life
- Four Paddles
- Low actuation triggers
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.
- Great value for money
- Great customizability
- Excellent build quality
- No cosmetic customization
- Everyone has one at this point
Price: Around $160
Want to go Elite? Get it here.
8. Scuf Instinct Pro: True Xbox Custom Controller
- 4 rear remappable paddles, ergonomically desşgned
- Instant triggers
- Performance Grip
- Interchangeable Thumbsticks
- Removable Faceplate- customize your looks on the go.
You may have noticed a theme so far on this list. Most of these controllers are only half custom.
You can swap thumbsticks on them, customize your settings, etc., but they all look boring. None of them are that different from the stock controller OR actually look worse.
Well, let me introduce the Scuf Instinct Pro. This is a truly custom Xbox controller that is certified and approved by Microsoft.
Feature-wise, it’s pretty impressive. It’s not really doing anything you can’t get from an Elite 2 or high-end Razer but what is?
Instead, the big selling point here is that the controllers’ cosmetics are fully customizable. You have three options.
The standard controller starts at around $200. At this price point, it looks pretty boring.
OR you can choose one of their custom skins. Some of these are pretty cool but nothing too special.
Or third, you can use the site’s customization tool and go crazy! A fully custom version is going to set you back at around $260.
If you add in the carry case pack that comes FREE with the Elite 2 and you’re looking at just south of $300.
Worth it for a unique controller? You decide.
- The best level of customizability
- Microsoft approved
- Great performance features
- A little pricey
- Similar to Elite 2
Price: From around $200-$300
Got some money to burn? Get it here
Aftermarket Xbox One Modded Controllers
1. Controller Chaos Custom Xbox Controller: It’s Modded
- Full cosmetic customization
- Modified internals to provide hacks like auto-run and auto-aim.
- Uses an original Microsoft Xbox One shell
Welcome to the Darkside of custom Xbox One controllers. Our next few entries are not Microsoft-approved.
Using the Controller Chaos controller design tool you can design a truly custom and modded Xbox One controller. We’re talking about modding the insides and the outsides.
The cosmetic modifications are…. Ok. You can change the look of every external piece, which is great. Unfortunately, some of the options are a little tacky.
It can be pretty difficult to create a controller that doesn’t look awful.
There are also perhaps too many options. Halfway through my setup, the design tool started to lag and it was hard to tell if my choices were being applied.
The real charm of this controller though is for the not-so-royal gamers.
You can add a chip that contains a whole host of hacks. From quick scoping to auto-aim and beyond. Personally, I don’t approve of mods like this, but I’m not here to judge.
You also have the option of remapping buttons, but this can get expensive.
A fully tricked-out custom Xbox One controller here will set you back around $430. Which is basically as bad as buying a new console.
However, if you’re a little more selective with mods you can get one for a lot less.
- Maximum customizability
- Hack mods
- Mods explained on site
- It can get expensive
- Mods feel like cheating
Price: Your choice, but upward $300
2. Moddedzone Custom Xbox One controller: Money to Burn
- Full cosmetic customization
- Lots of choices of performance mods
- MZ Titan Chip
- Adjust your settings using the Smartphone app
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.
- The most customizable controller
- App connectivity
- Good choice of cosmetic options
- Limited compatibility with games
Price: Anywhere up to $540
Fancy one? Get it here
- It’s a Keyboard and mouse
- Mechanical Switches
Ok, I know what you’re thinking. This isn’t a custom Xbox One controller. This is a keyboard and mouse combo.
Well done Sherlock.
So why include it? Because if you’re buying a custom Xbox One controller it’s probably because you want to be better at FPS games.
Well, most Pros use a keyboard and mouse for a reason. A mouse is always going to be more precise than a controller. Even a great controller like the Elite 2.
If you’re solely used to console gaming a mouse and keyboard might take some getting used to.
However, once you get the hang of it you’ll see a huge improvement. Better still, since most players are on a controller you’ll have the advantage without being labeled a hacker.
- It’s a mouse and keyboard
- It’s a mouse and keyboard
- It takes up a lot of space.
Price: Around $250
Like my Wildcard? Find it here
So which controller is best?
At the end of the day, that’s really up to you.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.