Best Xbox Elite Series 2 Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals & Sales 2020:
Released in late 2015, the first Xbox Elite controller was able to convince us despite its very high price of € 150. Almost 4 years later, here comes the Elite Series 2, its replacement. Even more expensive (180 €), it is also even better.
Praised for its finish, its remarkable comfort and its numerous customization options. The first Xbox Elite controller nevertheless had some faults and lacked functions. That even the classic controllers had since obtained (since the release of the Xbox V3 controller ). In particular connectivity Bluetooth allowing wireless connection on PC and mobile devices. Above all, the competition has since progressed well and the Elite controller had to face formidable competitors signed Razer (Wolwerine Ultimate) or even Nacon (Revolution Unlimited) and Thrustmaster (eSwap Pro Controller)for PS4 compatible versions. Microsoft has therefore improved all aspects of its controller in order to once again outperform the competition.
This is paid at a high price, however, since if the Elite already cost a trifle of € 149.99, it is today the tidy sum of € 179.99 that Microsoft is asking for its Xbox Elite 2 Series controller. A rising price, which can however be partly explained by the integration of a battery in the controller and a charger in the carrying case. Let’s see together whether it is reasonable to spend such a sum for a gamepad, as successful as it is.
Best Xbox Elite Series 2 Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals & Sales 2020
4. Elite Series 2 Studded Grip Skin Set for Xbox One Elite Series 2 Controller by Foamy Lizard. Sweat Free Silicone w/Flat Top Anti-Slip Studs + 8 QSX-Elite Thumb Grips (Green)
Construction and ergonomics
Outstanding manufacturing quality
Like the first Elite controller, the Elite Series 2 is identical to the original Xbox One controller. But wants to be better in all aspects of its manufacture. The finishes are impeccable and the plastic of very good quality.
This second Elite controller opts, like the first, for a smooth finish and soft to the touch which undoubtedly gives it a more “premium” appearance than the slightly rough plastic of the classic controller.
However, as pleasant to the touch as this finish is, it is clear that our hands do not benefit particularly from use, since unlike the first Elite of the name, it does not cover the entire facade and stops above the handles to make room for a textured elastomer surface. Composed of multiple triangular facets in relief. It is similar to the gray surface used on the back of the handles of the first version of the controller.
On the Elite 2, this finish is therefore used all around the handles, probably with a view to improving the grip of the hands and limiting sweating. In practice, however, it cannot be said that the handling is better. On the contrary, our hands finally hang better on the soft surface of the first Elite. Even if it is visibly at the cost of slightly more visible signs of wear. In this regard, it is hoped that Microsoft will have taken care of the durability of its coating. Since it was not uncommon for that of the first Elite to take off over time. The risk seems more limited here, insofar as the textured surface is much wider and the junctions are made on areas not subject to repeated friction.
An extra battery for a few grams less
Anyway, the grip remains good with this Elite Series 2 and fortunately. Since the joystick is still quite heavy (342 g, with directional disc and paddles on the back). The integration of a battery as well as the reduction in mass still allow a reduction of 17 g compared to the first Elite with its 2 batteries. The Series 2 takes the opportunity to correct its balance, weighing a little less forward.
Because it is therefore one of the big novelties of this Xbox Elite Series 2, Microsoft finally says goodbye to batteries to prefer a battery! We would have appreciated that it was removable. But it would certainly have added a few grams to an already heavy controller. The autonomy reaches a small forty hours and the recharging is done by USB-C with the cable provided or by using the magnetic base that Microsoft has very cleverly integrated in the carrying case provided.
This base is removable and can be placed on the TV stand, for example. Just put the handle on it, the charging being done via magnetic contactors. Convenient and quick to keep your controller constantly charged.
Customization and configuration
Well-made but classic buttons
If there is a change in construction, there are also improvements on the side of the controls on the Elite Series 2. First of all at the level of buttons A, B, X and Y, identical in appearance . But which are more reactive, offering a better rebound. They are a little firmer than those of the first Elite, but seem identical to those of the last Xbox V3 controllers.
More anecdotal, the home button is now mounted on a tact-switch and therefore produces a small click on activation. Click similar to the one you hear when you press the LB and RB button triggers. These have been revised and are proving to be less noisy and a more reactive suspicion.
Progress in triggers
Below, the LT and RT triggers do not radically evolve and are very slightly firmer. Above all, they gain a 3-position locking latch. We can thus choose to use their entire stroke, to reduce it by half or, as a novelty, to transform them almost into buttons with an even shorter stroke.
4 smaller and more practical pallets
Microsoft has also reworked the 4 palettes located on the back of the controller. That we activate in principle with the middle and ring fingers. Those of the first Elite were too sensitive and too long, to the point that they were sometimes activated by mistake. In return, activating them was done at lightning speed. Aware of the delicacy of the operation, Microsoft therefore first of all reduced the size of the Series 2 pallets. We are less likely to tear them off or activate them by grabbing the joystick.
Note that the buttons associated with them are firmer, for a touch that is fairly close to that of the LB and RB button triggers.
This is what emerges from the different buttons on this controller. A certain very pleasant homogeneity, the activation and touch forces being similar from one command to another. We thus find the same sensations when handling the directional cross. The 4 directions being well marked while remaining flexible enough not to disturb the use of the disc that can replace the cross. We also get more flexibility with the latter than with that of the first Elite.
Firmer and always removable sticks
Let’s finish this round of novelties with analog sticks. The Elite Series 2 always offers different caps to vary the pleasures. We can thus use the same as those of the classic Xbox. One controller, concave and with relief on their periphery. Replace the one on the right by a version with a higher axis in order to improve accuracy when aiming in a shooter. For example, or even use the single convex cap provided if you prefer “old-style” sticks. We can see that all the official console levers have switched to more or less concave sticks. Another duo of caps, still concave, but smoother, is also available, for those who like to put their thumbs on larger and less rough sticks.
But the main novelty of these analog sticks lies in the possibility of adjusting their firmness by more or less compressing their spring using a small tool provided. 3 settings are then possible, the most flexible corresponding to the sticks of the classic Xbox One controller, while the firmer provides sensations closer to those known with the Xbox 360 controllers. The nuance is subtle, but very real.
Simple and complete software, also on console
In terms of configuration, there is of course always software “Xbox Accessories” (available on Xbox One and Windows 10) to change the function of all the action buttons on the controller. It is also possible to assign a secondary function for each of them, which is activated when another button of our choice is pressed (Shift function).
Otherwise, there is an adjustment of the sensitivity curve of the analog sticks. With several presets which allow rapid testing of different sensitivities. We can then, as desired, favor a more frank attack at the start of the incline to gain responsiveness, or on the contrary reduce the sensitivity on the first degrees to be more precise. Enough to adapt to all styles of play. The stroke of the triggers can also be adjusted, in particular to correspond to the mechanical adjustment used on the joystick. Since the latter cannot unfortunately automatically change the software adjustment of the joystick.
All of these settings can be saved to a profile, before sending it to the controller memory. The Elite Series 2 can thus accommodate 3 different profiles, in addition to the default profile which cannot be deleted.
Precision and responsiveness
With all these customization possibilities, the Xbox Elite Series 2 controller is undoubtedly one of the most comfortable and versatile controllers. But when it comes to talking about performance, can we hope for the best? At the level of the main buttons, not really, the sensations obtained being very similar to those that one can have with a classic controller. We can regret here that Microsoft has not opted for mechanical switches as yet have recently done Razer and Thrustmaster.
It is rather at the level of analog sticks that the differences are most felt. The adjustment of their sensitivity allows you to choose quite finely what suits us best for each type of game and the use of different caps with in particular a model with a higher axis clearly gives advantages in terms of precision. Shooting games, but also racing games, are the first to benefit.
The directional disc alternative to the cross is shown for its part precise for fighting games. If it does not replace a good arcade stick, it still offers sufficient precision and fluidity to express our few talents of virtual brawler. We also appreciate it for action-adventure or platform games ( Celeste , Hollow Knight , Dead Cells …).
Even more accomplished than the first Elite controller, this Xbox Elite Series 2 has almost everything of the ultimate controller. We could have wished for more responsive main buttons. But when it comes to comfort, precision and personalization, we simply don’t get any better. Unfortunately, it charges a high price for its services, but it is the best joystick of the moment, without a doubt.
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