Official controllers are amazing gamepads that can last for years, but the best aftermarket controllers bring something unique to the table. These controllers come in many forms to fit your video game needs. That includes budget-friendly backups and custom Xbox One controllers geared towards professionals. In our list, you’ll find both of those styles along with the top models from third-party manufacturers.
- Best Overall: Razer Wolverine Ultimate
- Best Custom: SCUF Instinct Pro
- Best for Audiophiles: Turtle Beach Recon Controller
- Best for Fighting games: PowerA FUSION Fightpad
- Best Budget: PDP Gaming Controller for Xbox One
- Best Compact: RIG Nacon PRO Compact
|Razer Wolverine Ultimate||SCUF Instinct Pro||Turtle Beach Recon||PowerA FUSION Fightpad||PDP Gaming Controller||RIG Nacon Pro Compact|
Best Overall: Razer Wolverine Ultimate
- With interchangeable thumbsticks and two interchangeable D Pads, swap between optimized thumbstick heights and shapes, and quickly change between a tilting or individual D Pad button layout
- The Razer Wolverine Ultimate comes loaded with a slew of extra buttons for advanced gaming 2 remappable Multi Function bumpers, 4 Multi Function triggers and a Quick Control Panel
- With the remapping function both on the fly or with Razer Synapse for Xbox , you can master next level techniques like moving and aiming with both thumb sticks
- Show off your personal style with Razer Chroma's wide selection of lighting effects and stunning profiles, completely customizable through Razer Synapse for Xbox
- Optimized ergonomics that stays comfortable after hours of practice, and interchangeable parts so it adapts to your hands and playstyle
When a company puts the word “ultimate” in the name of a product, they better deliver. That’s not a problem with the Razer Wolverine Ultimate controller, our top pick for the best aftermarket gamepad. Razer is a customizable gamepad that can do it all.
The Wolverine Ultimate is comfortable and has four multi-function triggers on the back. You can switch out the thumb sticks, but the D-pad is also removable if you prefer a tilted layout. The additional shoulder M1/M2 buttons are another perk that sets this aftermarket controller apart from standard models. It’s highly configurable down to the rumble.
As this is a Razer peripheral, gamers will also get Chroma lighting with multiple profiles. A small quick control panel on the bottom of the controller allows you to access stored profiles in an instant or mute and control the volume. Hair Trigger mode is another nifty feature that uses mechanical stop-switches for competitive gameplay.
It’s hard to find a fault with the Razer Wolverine Ultimate unless you simply prefer a wireless controller to one that’s wired. It’s worth the price over a stock Xbox One controller. With a few extras, it’s also one of the affordable and customizable options around. The Razer Wolverine Ultimate is available in Black or White.
- Six additional buttons
- Quick control panel
- Chroma lighting
- Trigger Mode
- It’s wired
Check out the Razer Wolverine Ultimate on Amazon.
Best Custom: SCUF Instinct Pro
- Your game is about to get better and faster. Four rear, Remappable Paddles can be configured to 16 functions and are embedded within the controller placing them at your fingertips for faster play and increased durability.
- New adjustable Instant Triggers eliminate the trigger pull allowing you to switch from a regular trigger to a mouse-click action for when you need ultra-fast shots and the interchangeable textured thumbsticks ensure optimum playing ability.
- When you're playing fast, settings matter. The controller's onboard Profile Switch allows you to save up to three paddle remapping configurations that can be selected with the press of a button.
- The ergonomic design and high-performance grip provide the ultimate non-slip comfort no matter how long you play, while SCUF Instinct Pro's wireless connectivity allows you to play comfortably from a distance.
- Express yourself with thousands of customization combinations. With wide variety of thumbstick and faceplate colors to choose from, you can make this controller truly your own.
When you’re gaming competitively, a standard Xbox One controller just won’t do. What you need is a controller like SCUF Instinct Pro with quick triggers and grips to stay comfortable during long play sessions. Built for speed, this controller has three onboard profiles for the paddles on the back. A switch allows you to switch from a regular trigger to an “instant” trigger in seconds and those back paddles are configurable with 16 different functions.
SCUF is known for designing aftermarket controllers that are in line with official ones, and the Instinct Pro Custom is the closest thing you’ll get to the Elite Series 2 from a third-party manufacturer. The back of each handle is grippy, ensuring the controller will never slip out of your hand. The thumbsticks are removable, but so is the faceplate, which opens the doors to interesting possibilities. Unlike comparable pro controllers, the SCUF Instant Pro is wireless, so you will need to consider battery life even if it comes with a sturdy 6’ braided cable.
While gamers were a little put off by the build quality on the Prestige, the Instant Pro is an improvement and one of the best aftermarket Xbox controllers for customization. It’s the next best thing to the premium official controller, but with some very nice extras and strong rumble motors. The only downside is the price tag, which is more than the Elite Series 2.
- Remappable paddles
- Removable thumbsticks and faceplate
- Wireless connectivity
- Custom profiles
- High-performance grip
- It’s expensive
Check out the SCUF Instinct Pro on Amazon.
Best for Audiophiles: Turtle Beach Recon Controller
- TURTLE BEACH AUDIO ADVANTAGE - Easy access audio controls only available from Turtle Beach including EQ presets, game & chat volume mix, Mic Monitoring and more
- SUPERHUMAN HEARING - From quiet footsteps, to enemy weapon reloads, Superhuman Hearing setting gives you the ultimate audio advantage
- RESPONSIVE CONTROLS - Play in confidence with textured triggers and bumpers, an accurate 8-way D-pad, and smooth thumbstick movement
- TWO MAPPABLE QUICK-ACTION BUTTONS - Configure both rear buttons to your preferred function and save up to selectable four profiles. One of two mappable buttons, Pro-Aim, tunes thumbstick sensitivity for enhanced long-range accuracy
- FOUR TURTLE BEACH SIGNATURE PRESETS - Customize your game audio with four EQ presets, including Bass Boost
Turtle Beach is best known for its gaming headsets, and some of its technology finds its way to controllers. If you’re looking for audio enhancements, you won’t go with the Turtle Beach Recon Controller, one of the best aftermarket Xbox controllers.
On the Turtle Beach Recon, you’ll find a control module on the top with volume controls. You can access four custom profiles from the company or tweak the audio to your liking. That includes in-game audio and chat mix, along with mic monitoring. Superhuman hearing allows gamers to sense an enemy’s approach more clearly, which could be the difference in life or death in a match.
The controller is comfy with grips designed to keep your palms cool and textured triggers and bumpers. It has two mappable quick-action buttons on the rear, one of which acts as a Pro-Aim feature for sniping. Dual rumble motors in the triggers and handles also provide a strong tactile response on this aftermarket Xbox One controller.
Whether you are a Turtle Beach headsets fan or want an aftermarket controller built with audio in mind, the Recon should be at the top of your list. It’s well-built and won’t wear you out when gaming for hours. For now, you choose from two colors: Black and White.
- Enhanced audio capabilities
- Quick action buttons
- Pro-Aim sniper tuning
- Textured cooling grips
- Signature presets and profiles
- Not as programmable as other models
Check out the Turtle Beach Recon Controller on Amazon.
Best for Fighting Games: PowerA FUSION Fightpad
- Six-button, Arcade-Style layout with Alps action buttons for precise control
- Toggle switches for d-pad and shoulder buttons enable customizable options
- Highest quality floating d-pad design delivers responsive and smooth motion
- Optimal weight balanced for a comfortable and solid feel in your hands
- Three swappable magnetic faceplates let you Switch up your style and Color preferences
If you’re a fan of action games, you’ll appreciate the PowerA FUSION Fightpad and its familiar design. The six-button layout on the FUSION is perfect for the quick response times required in console fighting games. The buttons will be familiar to anyone that played fighters on Sega systems. Two ALPS action buttons added to the front allow for customization on the FUSION Fightpad.
While the floating D-pad is silky smooth, a toggle switch on this controller turns it into a thumbstick. You can assign the shoulder buttons for thumbstick clicks as well. You can’t remove the D-Pad, although this officially licensed controller does allow gamers to switch out magnetic faceplates in an instant.
If you’ve been using a traditional Xbox One controller for fighting games, the FUSION Fightpad can take your game to an all-new level. We love that you can customize the layout. Not to mention it comes with two additional faceplates. Some users felt the D-Pad could use some work, but most gamers think this Fightpad is a great choice for classic and new fighting games.
- ALPS action buttons
- Magnetic faceplates
- D-pad toggle
- 3.5mm audio input
- 2-year warranty
- Some D-pad complaints
Check out the PowerA FUSION Fightpad on Amazon.
Best Budget: PDP Gaming Controller for Xbox One
- WIRED COMPATIBILITY - Officially licensed by Microsoft for Xbox Series X|S, One Windows 10 PC Laptop Gaming Rig Computer or Steam via USB.
- CUSTOMIZABLE ERGONOMIC CONTROLLER - Use the free PDP Control Hub App to remap gamepad Buttons, reconfigure triggers, Dual Rumble Motors and dedicated Share Button. Perfect addition or replacement controller.
- WIRED HEADSET READY - Communicate with your team using the 3.5mm audio jack and adjust volume on-the-fly with the audio controls located on the d-pad. Works with your favorite headset like PDP LVL40 or LVL50.
- NEXT-GEN GAMING - Perfect for top FPS games: Halo Infinite, Fortnite, Call of Duty (COD) Modern Warfare/ Black Ops, Overwatch, Rainbow 6, APEX Legends, RPG/ MOBA or Adventure Games: Diablo, League of Legends, Minecraft. Best affordable controller.
- THOUGHTFUL GIFT - Perfect for gamers, holidays, Christmas gifts, birthday gifts, Father’s Day gift, back-to-school gift.
Most of the best aftermarket Xbox One controllers that made our list have one thing in common – a hefty price. Many cost as much, if not more, than the Xbox Core controller. PDP Gaming Controller for Xbox One is affordable and ideal for those with a tight budget. This controller has a detachable cable and standard controls. Its modern design is on par with the original but has subdued graphics across the front. You can adjust the volume from the D-pad. Its dual rumble motors will bring your favorite games to life with a roar – not a whimper.
The company included a 3.5mm audio jack on this budget-friendly Xbox One controller and provides access to the PDP Control Hub app. From here, gamers can remap buttons on the gamepad and adjust the settings to suit their needs. It’s a nice touch for the price and something you generally don’t find on other affordable controllers.
True, PDP is not wireless and doesn’t have removable joysticks, but it’s half the price of controllers with those features. Again, the PDP Gaming controller is the best Xbox One controllers for gamers on a budget or anyone looking for a cheap, secondary controller.
- Excellent price point
- Dual rumble motors
- Control Hub app
- Range of colors
- The cord is only 8’ long
Check out the PDP Gaming Controller for Xbox One on Amazon.
Best Compact: RIG Nacon PRO Compact
- COMPACT GRIP. PRECISION CONTROL: Featuring an ergonomically compact design with larger buttons, this controller is built reduce hand fatigue and allows you to play longer. Textured high grip surfaces and concave thumb sticks offer superior comfort and precise control.
- PRO CUSTOMISATION: Achieve pro levels of customization through a dedicated App that lets you map buttons, set thumb stick sensitivity, trigger dead zones and much more. Store one custom profile or switch to classic mode which allows it to function as a standard controller.
- WIRED FOR PERFORMANCE: The Pro Compact Controller offers a low latency solution for gamers that improves reaction time and never runs out of battery when it matters most. A highly durable and flexible nylon, braided cable measuring 9.8FT/3M ensures that you have more than enough length to suit your gaming setup.
- ENGINEERED FOR 3D GAME AUDIO: Seamlessly unlock Dolby Atmos for Headphones the moment you plug in your controller, giving you access to precise 3D Audio (headphones required). React faster and more accurately as you are able to detect the distance and direction of your threats.
- HEADSET READY:This Officially Licensed wired controller for Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One features a 3.5 mm headset jack for audio and chat functionality (headphones not included).
One thing gamers have grappled with is the size of video game controllers. it’s a real issue for children beginning to game and adults with smaller hands. If you’re looking for something more compact and comfortable, consider the RIG Nacon PRO Compact.
Although it’s not as “grippy” as other models on our list, the RIG Nacon has concave thumb sticks with a compact form factor that’s perfect for smaller hands. Its durable and long 9.8-foot cable comes in handy during long gaming sessions.
This compact Xbox One controller also has customizable features. A switch on the back allows you to move from a classic to a custom profile. You can check for dead zones or adjust the sensitivity through an app that unlocks button mapping capabilities and other features.
Compact controllers for Xbox One aren’t many, and the Nacon Pro Compact is undoubtedly among the best aftermarket Xbox One controllers for gamers looking for something smaller. Its customization options are solid. RIG makes the most of Dolby Atmos 3D sound. Just how “small” is it? Users liken it to a smaller version of a PS4 controller.
- Compact, ergonomic design
- Button mapping
- Textured grips
- Nice price tag
- Build quality
Check out the RIG Nacon PRO Compact on Amazon.
How to Find the Best Aftermarket Xbox One Controllers
When shopping for a new Xbox One controller, the number of options can be overwhelming. Over a dozen manufacturers create products in this niche. Factor in older models, and your options could widen to over a hundred controllers. To find the right controller to fit your gaming style, factor these things beforehand.
- Game Selection
What Kind of Gamer Are You?
Before shelling out money for a new gamepad, think about the types of games you like to play. Official Xbox One controllers are great but have limited features and range compared to some aftermarket controllers.
Do you enjoy fighting games? If so, you may want to consider a secondary controller designed specifically for those titles. Alternatively, a controller with paddles on the back can work wonders in shooting and racing games.
For all-around gamers, look towards controllers that are a replica of the original. You can save a few bucks by cutting back on the bells & whistles and have a gamepad suitable for any genre you load on your console.
Do you need a secondary controller for two-player games, or did your original bite the dust? Are you just interested in a cheap Xbox One controller for kids to use or to take on the road? That’s where usage comes into play, ultimately impacting the pricing of any aftermarket Xbox One controller.
Controllers are durable, but cases can crack and become mushy over time. If you spend hours gaming every day, you’ll want a controller that can handle the stress or one with replaceable buttons. D-Pads and joysticks on customizable gamepads are detachable, which can extend the life of a controller while improving your gameplay.
Wired vs Wireless Xbox One Controllers
This is one tricky area to navigate and may even shock people looking for a new Xbox One controller. The official controllers are wireless, but those models are few and far between for those looking at aftermarket controllers.
Wireless controllers allow you to move around without being tethered to a console. However, the technology isn’t cheap. Plus, there are only a handful of third-party wireless Bluetooth controllers.
Wired Xbox controllers are easier to find and cheaper than their wireless counterparts. Your freedom is limited, but latency is improved and you’ll never have to worry about battery life. If you need a “basic” wireless Xbox One controller from a third-party manufacturer, you’re better off going with an official gamepad from Microsoft.
There aren’t as many features on a gaming controller as you’ll find on the consoles themselves, but there are several noteworthy additions from third-party manufacturers.
Extra buttons are the most common feature on aftermarket Xbox One controllers along with button mapping. This is usually handled through software, which allows users to set multiple profiles. Want extra triggers? That’s an option, and so are paddles on the back of aftermarket Xbox gamepads.
You can find controllers with built-in LED lighting and audio features that highlight in-game action. Some customizable models allow gamers to remove and replace joysticks or D-pads as well. Button mapping is fairly common with aftermarket controllers, but you’ll pay extra for features like lighting or removable buttons.
The Bottom Line
The only true substitute for replacing the Xbox One controller is to buy the original, which isn’t an option if your budget is tight or you’re looking for something unique. The best aftermarket controller won’t break the bank and can provide you with some killer feature not found on official controllers from Microsoft.
Last update on 2022-12-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API