The best Xbox controllers for every playing style

Pick the right one for the job.

Every gamer has their own personal playing style, and regardless of where you fall on the casual to hardcore spectrum, you’ll want to pick a controller that works for you. For some, ergonomics and continuous single-charge play hours are key. For others, specialized functions like sensitive triggers and customizable thumbsticks are a must. If you’re just starting out, building a controller collection for your next party, or just want to pivot to something decked out with custom LEDs to match your room, we’ve got you covered.

Here are a few of the best Xbox controllers currently available.

The classic: Xbox Wireless Controller

A Familiar Feel

The latest version of the original. Amazon

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If you’ve ever played Xbox before, then you’ll recognize this classic controller. It can run on two standard or rechargeable AA batteries for wireless play, the latter of which can be charged in the controller using micro USB. You can play with it plugged in, too, for unlimited gaming. It comes in a plethora of colors, all with a grippy rubber finish.

Add some color: PowerA Spectra Enhanced Illuminated Wired Controller

Everyone Will Be Looking

Custom LED lighting lets you dazzle the competition. Amazon

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Add a splash of color to your gaming rig with this illuminated Xbox controller. Choose from seven different LED edge lighting colors using the dedicated cycle button in the back, and enjoy the added benefits of the two mappable buttons and trigger locking function. The grip is a bit stronger on this controller than on the traditional controller, too.

Competitive edge: Razer Wolverine Tournament Edition Gaming Controller

Now We’re Getting Serious

Ergonomic and optimized for exceptional playing. Amazon

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This gaming controller from Razer is a great choice for competitive players who need all the edge they can get. With four programmable multi-functional buttons and a hair-trigger mode that turns on and off with the flip of a switch, this controller will respond to your every whim and give you superior control over your experience. It’s even got custom Chroma lighting effects for flaunting your personal style.

Ultimate upgrade: Elite Series 2 Controller – Black

Stay In The Game For Longer

This option brings the experience to an entirely new level with adjustable-tension thumbsticks and the three custom profile options. Amazon

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The Xbox Elite Series 2 controller is the ultimate upgrade to the classic controller, building on the traditional design to bring extended gameplay as well as customizable functionality. With interchangeable thumbstick and paddle shapes and a whopping 40-hour rechargeable battery life, it’s a durable choice that is tailored to your personal taste all the way down to the adjustable-tension thumbsticks and the three custom profile options.

Budget pick: PDP 048-082-NA-RD Wired Controller

Great As A Backup

Versatile and affordable option for group play. Amazon

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If you’re looking to add to your controller collection without breaking the bank, the PDP wired controllers are a durable option at a great price point. The eight-foot cable offers plenty of room to move around and is detachable for easy storage. Vibration and audio control buttons on the front of the controller offer a customizable user experience, and the textured buttons and non-slip grips keep your hands firmly on the action.