What is it?
On November 4th 2019 Microsoft launched their new Xbox One and Windows 10 controller, the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2, the successor to the original Elite controller.
The Elite Series 2 offers a host of customisability options. Standout features include: additional paddles on the back, adjustable and detachable thumb sticks of varying height and shape, wrap around grip, hair-pin triggers and interchangeable D-Pad options.
However, the features of the Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 are not just mechanical. Using the Xbox Accessories App on either Xbox One or Windows 10, you can also adjust a range of additional settings to suit your preferences such as input mapping, shifting and thumb-stick and trigger sensitivity.
What can it do?
The controller supports three customised profiles saved to the controller at any one time, which may be shifted between by pushing the central profile button. A white light will display which corresponds to the current profile selected.
The Elite Series 2 offers almost complete button remapping, including the paddles at the back of the controller. This combined allows the player to have three setups on demand for a variety of game genres.
The controller also offers the ability to turn one of the remappable inputs into a ‘shift‘ button. This in turn allows for the remaining remappable inputs to have two inputs mapped to it. One as its primary command, when the Shift input is not activated, and another for when it is (like when you use shift on a keyboard).
The Elite Series 2 offers the ability to adjust the trigger sensitivity with a flick of a mechanical ‘hair-trigger’ switch. This is done via a switch located on the back of the controller that will lock the trigger on one of three settings to activate, between full movement (standard controller trigger press), half movement, and a short movement.
Xbox says, “the hair-trigger mechanical switch works great for shooting games because it reduces how much you need to pull on the triggers to fire. It may not work as well for driving games, as you need the accelerator to go the full distance for maximum acceleration.” Therefore, adjusting the trigger sensitivity in the app may be useful. Other settings can also be adjusted in the app, which we will outline below.
In addition to the adjustable mechanical hair-triggers, you can also adjust the trigger sensitivity further through the Xbox Accessories App.
Here you can select at exactly which point of the trigger pull you would like the action to take place. This allows you to set deadzones and an activation point.
You may also set a false activation zone. That is to say, a set amount of trigger pull where nothing at all will happen. For instance, this may be useful for individuals who sometimes may accidentally press the trigger.
Both left and right triggers can be customised independently.
The thumb-sticks may also be adjusted to suit various requirements.
The controller comes with four detachable magnetic thumb-sticks of differing shapes, sizes, and heights.
When the thumb-stick is removed, you can use the silver key tool that comes with the controller to adjust the screw inside the thumb-stick housing. This adjusts the force required to move the thumb-stick.
This adjustment has three settings to choose between: light, medium, or heavy. For reference, ‘light’ has been described as similar to the weight of an Xbox 360 controller.
The thumb-sticks may also be adjusted in the Xbox Accessories App to change how their physical movement responds in-game.
The App has several preset options that affect the sensitivity and behavior of both of the thumb-sticks. These settings may be a little daunting at first, as it is quite different to some of the simpler sensitivity sliders seen in some games.
Xbox say of the setting, “you can select Default, Delay, Aggressive, Instant or Smooth, depending on how responsive you want the stick to be in your game. For example, if you want the controller to respond faster over a shorter stick movement, select Instant. You’ll see a graph that shows you a visualisation of the response curve of the stick. Note Depending on the game you play, these settings will have different responses. One way to test your settings is to set Slot 1 to Default and Slot 2 to your customized setting.”
You can also get visual feedback of these settings in the App. When you move the thumb-stick you will see two round icons moving as well. One coloured one, in this case orange, and a separate black/grey translucent one.
In the example above with the Sensitivity Curve set to Instant, if you moved the thumb-stick to the left (black symbol), the software (coloured symbol) is responding to exagerate the movement further, which would be felt in-game.
If you wish for the aided adjustment by the software to be increased or lessened, you would adjust the Curve Adjustment slider on the left hand side.
You can adjust the vibration strength for each or the four rumble motors in the controller (left trigger, right trigger, left handle and right handle) independently, between 0-100%.
Thank you and happy gaming!
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For more information on the controller visit: https://www.xbox.com/en-GB/accessories/controllers/elite-wireless-controller-series-2