Xbox Wireless Controller (2020) review: The best yet – PCWorld

August 17, 2022 by No Comments

Microsoft has been making game controllers for more than 20 years, and it’s settled on a basic formula. Thus, the latest revision of the iconic Xbox controller isn’t so much a revolution as it is an evolution. The 2020 Xbox Wireless Controller ships with the Xbox Series S and Series X, but it works almost as well on other devices, and the design is subtly improved from the Xbox One-era gamepad. The result is an excellent, well-supported controller you should consider no matter how you game.

At a glance

Expert’s Rating


  • USB-C port is better for long-term support
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Refined, more tactile d-pad
  • Grippy textures and slimmer body


  • Rechargeable battery is not included
  • Share button is hard to reach

Our Verdict

Microsoft made an already excellent game controller even better with strategic tweaks to the buttons, shape, and USB port.

Best Prices Today: Xbox Wireless Controller (2020)




Xbox Wireless Controller (2020): Design and build quality

If you’ve held an Xbox controller in the past decade, the latest revision will feel familiar. However, Microsoft tweaked the geometry of the controller a bit, so accessories you had for older controllers may not fit perfectly. This, along with a few millimeters shaved off of the triggers and shoulder buttons gives the 2020 refresh a less bulky body. 

The Xbox Wireless Controller’s underside has a dot texture to help with grip even during intense gaming sessions.

Ryan Whitwam

The grips are smooth on the top, but the underside and the triggers have a subtle dot texture to make it more secure, even if your hands get sweaty in the midst of an intense gaming session. The bottom edge sports the standard Xbox expansion connector, as well as a headphone jack. On the top, we see one of the most important changes: a USB-C port to replace the micro USB on older controllers. This newer standard is more durable and makes connecting to non-Xbox hardware easier. I also applaud Microsoft for including a long eight-foot USB-A-to-C cable with the controller.

The thumbsticks are asymmetrical, with the left stick higher than the right. They both have concave tops, whereas the second-gen Xbox Elite Controller has one convex stick that’s better for fine aiming. The d-pad is below the left stick, and the ABXY button cluster is above the right stick. The d-pad has gotten a long-overdue overhaul with this unit. The control is now dish-shaped with a raised section in each of the cardinal directions, making it easier to hit diagonal directions. On the flip side, the rim collects skin oils and dust, requiring frequent cleaning to keep it looking tidy. 

Recognizable trigger designs from other Xbox controllers.

Ryan Whitwam

All these buttons, along with the bumpers and triggers, are easy to press without shifting your grip, but there are some lesser-used controls grouped toward the middle. The traditional view, menu, and Xbox/power button are all present, but the 2020 revision adds a share …….



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