Xbox announces less expensive Elite Series 2 Core controller

Xbox Elite Series 2 Core controller

A fancier controller that’s a little easier on the budget

Xbox is adding a new variant to its line of Elite Series 2 controllers. For those looking for something a bit more straightforward and a little cheaper, the Xbox Elite Series 2 Core controller is on its way.

The Elite Series 2 has been popular, alongside its predecessor. But at $179.99 MSRP, it is also a bit hefty in the price tag. That’s where the Core comes in.

The new Xbox Elite Series 2 Core controller has the “essential” components of an Elite Series 2, with fewer bells and whistles. There’s still adjustable tension on the thumbsticks, a rubberized grip, and hair trigger locks. Button remapping is also fully available through the Xbox Accessories app. And it comes in at $129.99 MSRP, a full $50 cheaper.

So what are the key differences? Well, the Core doesn’t come with a special charging dock. No sets of paddles, additional thumbsticks, standard D-pad, or carrying case either.

With the Core, you just get the controller, the USB-C cable, and a thumbstick adjustment tool. You can see the comparison below, via Xbox:

Elite design, in the lab

So really, the Xbox Elite Series 2 Core controller is a cheaper controller with fewer customization options. It still has a bunch of the on-board features though, like custom profiles. And 40 hours of rechargeable battery life feels pretty dang good for any controller.

If you end up deciding you want to upgrade later, Microsoft is also selling the bonus components in a separate package. Pre-orders for the Core controller are live here, and expected to release on September 20.

So if you’ve been on the fence about an Elite controller, this might be enough to get you over to trying one out. Or, if you want to go the extra mile, Xbox Elite Series 2 controllers are also coming to the Design Lab for this holiday season. Time to finally build the ridiculous, colorful, expensive controller of dreams.

Eric Van Allen