HomeTechnologyNewsAre high-end gaming controllers worth the high price?

Are high-end gaming controllers worth the high price?

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The controller that came bundled with your current-gen console is pretty good regardless of brand, but better versions are always out there. However, when you see the asking price of these “elite” controllers, you might wonder, are they really worth it?

What exactly is a high-end gaming controller?

High-end game controllers are specialized game controllers that are designed to offer a superior gaming experience. They are typically priced higher than regular controllers, and are often aimed at serious gamers who want to invest in top-of-the-line hardware.

High-end game controller features can vary, but typically include the following:

  • Personalization Options: Some higher-end controllers allow you to customize the layout and feel of the controller, for example by changing the joysticks or adjusting the weight of the controller.
  • Precision Components: Higher-end controllers may have more precise and precise components, such as more sensitive joysticks or more responsive triggers, which can improve performance in certain games.
  • Durability: Higher-end controllers are often made with higher-quality materials and components, making them stronger and more durable.
  • Specialized functions: Some higher-end controllers may include specialized features designed for specific games or playstyles, such as additional paddles or buttons that can be assigned to different in-game actions.

There is no strict definition of what constitutes a high-end gaming controller, and the features and capabilities of different controllers can vary widely. Some high-end controllers may offer a wide range of features and customization options, while others may focus on a specific aspect of game performance, such as accuracy or responsiveness.

RELATED: Are gaming mouse pads worth it?

Who gets the most out of Premium Controllers?

Before spending hundreds of dollars on an upgraded game controller, you’ll want to weigh the pros and cons carefully. These controllers aren’t aimed at the average gamer, and yes, even self-identified “hardcore” gamers would probably be better off sticking with the standard models. However, if any of these use cases match your needs, you may want to consider upgrading:

  • You play competitively and want whatever fair advantage you can get.
  • You often have to repair or replace your standard controller.
  • You need more control over controller layouts or button placement.
  • He often travels with his handler.
  • Standard controllers are awkward for you to use.

If, on the other hand, you mainly play single-player games without any control or comfort issues, there isn’t much point in buying one of these expensive controllers. Its main advantages just don’t translate to enough value for anyone who doesn’t feel held back by a standard controller.

Will a higher end controller make me a better gamer?

It is taken for granted that these controllers will improve your performance as a gamer, but is this really the case? The thing is, it’s not just about the controller, it’s about you as a player.

Think of it this way: If you’re not constrained by the performance and handling of your minivan, then trading it for a Ferrari won’t do you any favors. In other words, if your standard controller wasn’t slowing you down, a fancier controller won’t necessarily let you do better.

In fact, higher levels of sensitivity and precision can have the opposite effect, where the sharpness of your instrument no longer smooths out its own rough edges. However, if you take the time to take advantage of the additional precision and accuracy, you will undoubtedly do better than before. It’s just not as simple as buying a better controller; how you play matters.

First party options

Now that you have a good overview of what these expensive controllers are, let’s take a look at some high-end controllers first hand and what each one offers.

Xbox Elite Series 2 is a high-end gaming controller for the Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S that has improved button response, an adjustable tension joystick system, four paddles on the back, a d-pad redesigned and a rechargeable battery. . It is customizable and designed for hardcore gamers who want the best performance and control.

Elite controllers were pioneers in this product category and are a great choice for Xbox and PC gamers who want the best controller experience possible. There are third-party alternatives, like the Razer Wolverine, but the Elite controllers are hard to keep up with.

The Sony DualSense Edge controller, released in 2022, offers similar features to the Elite Series 2. This includes easily interchangeable and replaceable joystick modules, special function buttons to quickly access PS5 menu options, better comfort, button-swappable rear paddles, and an innovative cable lock to prevent an attached cable from slipping out.

This is the first time Sony has jumped into the higher-tier controller ring. The DualSense standard is highly regarded, but overall Edge is an improvement in all areas, with a focus on benefiting competitive gamers the most. The Edge’s battery life is moderately worse than the standard controller, but as the inclusion of a cable lock suggests, for competitive gamers, playing wirelessly on battery power isn’t the way to go anyway.

The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller is a game controller designed specifically for the Nintendo Switch video game console. It launched in March 2017 alongside the Switch and is an optional controller that can be used instead of the Joy-Con controllers that come with the Switch.

The Switch Pro Controller has a traditional gamepad layout, with a directional pad (D-pad), four face buttons, two analog sticks, two side buttons, and two triggers. It’s designed to be comfortable to hold and use for long periods of time and has a rechargeable battery that can last up to 40 hours on a single charge.

That being said, the Pro controller is the “odd” one here for a number of reasons. First, it’s not particularly expensive, and second, it really only brings the standard controller for the Switch up to par with the standard controllers from Sony and Microsoft. Unlike the Elite Series 2 and DualSense Edge, though, the Switch Pro controller is something all docked Switch owners should consider. It may be “optional,” but it’s such a big upgrade over the standard Joy-Con that it feels essential.

Beyond these first-party options, there’s a whole universe of third-party controllers out there that promise something better than the built-in controller that comes with your console. It’s a jungle out there, so take your time finding the perfect controller for you.

RELATED: Get a Nintendo Switch Pro Controller Mount for a better portable experience

Alternatives to high-end game controllers

While an “elite” or “pro” driver has several advantages over standard drivers, you may only appreciate some aspects of the experience they bring. In that case, the more affordable alternatives offer some of what higher-end controllers do.

This may sound a bit strange to some console gamers, but a keyboard and mouse can be a great alternative. Some gamers prefer a keyboard and mouse setup for certain games, as they can offer greater accuracy and precision. A surprising number of console games support keyboard and mouse control, and since many console gamers also use desktop monitors for competitive gaming, it’s a good choice.

The caveats here are that your specific games may not support a keyboard and mouse, or the game may segregate players who use controllers and mice. If you play competitively, there may also be restrictions on the use of this solution.

Many third-party controllers on the market offer a range of features and price points. These controllers can be a good alternative to higher-end controllers if gamers want something more affordable or customizable. For example, some cheaper third-party controllers may offer better precision or paddle controls, but have less durability or build quality. If you don’t mind a lower quality device, it’s a viable option.

Some gamers may be drawn to higher-end controllers because they offer a lot of flexibility, which is great for accessibility. However, Adaptive Controllers are explicitly designed for players with disabilities and offer a variety of customization options and specialized features. They can be a good alternative to high-end controllers for gamers who may have a hard time using traditional controllers. Not to mention, devices like the Xbox Adaptive Controller are aggressively priced.

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