Microsoft acknowledges Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 hardware issues (2023)

Microsoft acknowledges Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 hardware issues (1)

What you need to know

  • Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 buyers are reporting out-of-box issues with Microsoft's latest flagship gamepad.
  • A sizeable number of users report problems affecting buttons, wireless connectivity, thumbsticks, and more.
  • Microsoft has acknowledged the problem and is investigating.

Update November 14: Following a request for comment alongside our original report, Microsoft has acknowledged issues reported with the Xbox Elite Controller Series 2. The platform holder has launched an investigation with aid from internal engineering teams, providing this statement to Windows Central on the matter:

At Microsoft, we put all of our products through rigorous quality assurance testing. However, like any hardware, there is the possibility that a small percentage of devices may experience issues. We are aware that a small number of users may be experiencing issues with the Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 and are actively investigating with our engineering teams. We encourage any customers who experience issues with their hardware to contact Xbox Support.

The original story follows:

Microsoft recently launched the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2, the second-generation revision of its flagship gamepad, aimed at Xbox One and Windows PCs. The premium $180 accessory sets out to deliver leading comfort and experience in its class, boasting customizable components and heavyweight design.

Those ambitions are similar to the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller, first debuted in 2015, although now refreshed with adjustable thumbstick tension, wireless charging, and Bluetooth, among other enhancements. But that follows the original design, which was plagued with well-documented shortcomings and poor durability. Peeling grips and faulty bumper buttons were among common issues, which Microsoft appears to have fixed with Series 2.

We received the Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 ahead of launch and walked away impressed throughout the weeks. While long-term durability is difficult to gauge, the improved gamepad exhibited clear refinements and matching build quality with the price tag. But with Series 2 shipping to the public from November 4, it's been a week of issues for some customers.

Microsoft acknowledges Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 hardware issues (2)

Xbox Elite Series 2 buyers have taken to the web to share their frustration, reporting out-of-box issues with Microsoft's latest design. Like the original Elite, quality appears to be a mixed bag, as a mega-thread of disgruntled buyers hits the Xbox One subreddit, while some report flawless hassle-free experiences. Hiccups are natural for any new product launch, although they're only further emphasized by a variety of problems against that premium $180 price tag.

One Windows Central staff member had two faulty controllers — with a third on the way.

The most prominent issue appears to stem from the Xbox Elite Series 2's face buttons – primarily the A, B, X, and Y ensemble. Many report sticky or unresponsive buttons, essentially rendering the controller unfeasible for everyday gaming. One Windows Central staff member experienced the same issue with two Series 2 controllers purchased from Best Buy, with his third device currently in transit as a replacement.

We've also heard of numerous instances of inconsistent connectivity, both over the Xbox One's proprietary wireless connection and the newly-integrated Bluetooth. Stick issues include failing to center after being pushed or "drifting," where thumbsticks register inputs when not physically moved. Some report reactions to the new rubberized grip, with one Reddit user claiming the material causes their "hands to itch and sweat." The Xbox Elite Series 2 mega-thread compiles many of these issues on the Xbox One subreddit, matching our experience alongside further faults.

Microsoft acknowledges Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 hardware issues (3)

The full scale of Xbox Elite Series 2 controller issues is unclear, though highlights apparent troubles surrounding the product, even with Microsoft's second crack at the flagship. The first-generation Xbox Elite was infamous for its shortcomings, claiming fixes in 2019, although it appears to have sprouted new issues for Microsoft. It's possible with any product launch but shows a steadily-developing poor reputation for the Elite line amid consumer concerns. It's a shame really — as we said the Series 2 could be the best controller ever made.

We'd love to hear your experience with the Xbox Elite Series 2 in the meantime, via the comments or Windows Central Gaming on Twitter.

(Video) Xbox Elite Series 2 After 1 Year: Did Microsoft Fix The Durability Issues?

For those experiencing issues with the Xbox Elite Series 2, we recommend contacting your retailer for further steps on a replacement. For those unaffected, check all inputs via the Xbox accessories app, and look out for potential defects.

Microsoft acknowledges Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 hardware issues (4)Premium Gaming

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The Xbox Elite controller returns for 2019.

At long last, the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller has been updated. Series 2 brings big improvements to the table, such as Bluetooth connectivity, a charging dock, adjustable tension for the thumbsticks, and much more.

Xbox (opens in new tab)


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Microsoft acknowledges Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 hardware issues (5)

Matt Brown

(Video) XBOX ELITE Series 2 Controller Problems | Responding to Comments

Matt Brown is Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.


  • I experienced the sticky button on my controller but with normal use for a week it stopped sticking.

  • The only issue I had was with my A button sticking but pushing it a couple hundred times fixed it. I don't have issues with the sticks, grips, or any other buttons so I think I lucked out...I was worried though when that A button was sticking. Others also reported that using the controller for a bit made the buttons stop sticking.

  • Maybe the rubber underneath the button turn sticky due to heat during transport / while it was in the warehouse?

  • Sigh... this is why Microsoft needs a dedicated testing team and programmatic testers (re-hire). They would have been able to identify these defects before controllers made their way to the public.Firing the testing team and programmtic testers was another highly short sighted decision.

  • This is an issue with quality control in China more than anything else. They just need to put pressure on Foxconn & Co. to up their quality control standards. But yeah, that likely requires having to pay for someone to actually be on sight to oversee the testings.

  • Looks like you too have been in the business, I have dealt with Foxconn and QC teams and know how much of a hassle this all can be but yes, this seems to fall almost directly on QC at this point and should be addressed quicker than later, these issues are really flooding M$ and XB and is more hurtful than not, a quick resolution will be the only way through this all.

    (Video) Elite Series 2 Controller Thumbsticks issue! Not Working! Easy Fix! (Complete Walkthrough)

  • I got 2 Xbox Elite V2 controllers. One from Best Buy. Com one from Walmart four days before it was supposed to be released. I am having zero issues.

  • Haven't had issues. Knock on wood.

  • What is the current method that Microsoft uses to ensure quality for their hardware? Razer boasts rigorous quality control for their gamepads on their website. Is there something similar for Microsoft or do they just not test the gamepads?

  • I just bought Razer Junglecat to use with Razer Phone 1, and it has consistent connectivity issue, as well as some other small issues. I think they didn't do a good job either.
    Nintendo joy-con also has infamous drifting issue. I don't follow Sony, so not sure if they have better quality control or just the same. I mean, it seems the whole industry forget how to product a expensive controller with good quality.

  • The video released that talk about the improvements to the ES2 controller shows a few clips of a large manufacturing room using robots to simulate button presses and stick rotations for extended periods of time. More than likely they pick 1 out of every hundred or thousand for QC testing in these so they should have picked up these defects. I'm thinking these defects happens while in storage after the testing.

  • So I guess Microsoft just treats their early buyers as "Hardware Insiders" then?

  • Has anyone attempted any updates via accessories app or Xbox settings? Seems like response issues might be taken care of by that kind of thing, I mean I usually end up seeing updates coming out right when things are sold

  • I got the controller on The 4th when It come out. I have not had a any issues as of yet. With the original I just had the grip come loose but that happened after two years of use. I feel the new one is perfect.

  • I’m on my 4th one.1st - damaged out of the box. Pieces came loose during shipping and caused major damage.
    2nd - A button wouldn’t register intermittently.
    3rd - A button wouldn’t register intermittently.
    4th - A and Y (and sometimes B) button wouldn’t register intermittently.Unacceptable for a $180 controller.

  • I feel that's just unlucky because I had no issues in mine. I've had no issues so far. I suppose I'm just lucky cuz I had no issues even with my first generationother than grip on the bottom be coming loose after about two years of use though. I am sorry that you went through that and I hope you get a fifth one that will ultimately work. Sometimes when things come off a conveyor line there are some dead sometimes and that just happens with every product there is a 10% chance of failure that comes off the production line. And some things fall through the cracks it happens. Companies using anticipate this and have a budget for failure. I'm not saying it's wrong but it's just the way of business. Again I hope you get the fifth one that is going to be the charm.

  • I'm on my second. My first was like your 4th, and my second is like your 2nd/3rd. I will bring my laptop and test the next one in the store, once they are in stock reliably.

  • Thanks for the good vibes everyone. Unfortunately, after a month delay, #5 and 6 arrived on Tuesday with the same issues. A button on one intermittently unresponsive, A and Y button on the other. Logically Im with you on the manufacturing tolerance issue, but I must have the worst luck in the world to get 5 defective ones. At this point I don't really know what else to do, but I hope someone keeps this topic in the conversation. Right now it feels like Microsoft made the delay to allow the PR mess to go away.

    (Video) Microsoft Xbox Elite Series 2 Controller replacement warranty 'Website not Working'
  • This is pretty crappy. I'm glad I didn't pay the 630 USD that they want to charge for this in my country (don't cry for me).

  • OMG that's an insane amount of money.

  • That was exactly my reaction too. It's insane. It doesn't even justify import rates, shipping, taxes. They just sell it at whatever price they want. That's Argentina nowadays. Hope better days come. But it's gonna get darker before sunrise.

  • Should I mail you one?

  • Luckily seemingly I haven't experienced any issues at least to the degree I would consider them issues. I will pay more attention as there were moments A and B didn't seem to respond but this was only through navigating menus or youtube. Perhaps the "intensity" of gameplay forces me to use enough pressure that I don't experience these not registering "when it mattered."

  • Why are their statements always defensive and say "small percentage"? There are thousands of reported problems with this controller and putting out a statement that's basically a shrug emoji is tone-deaf and offensive to anyone with half a brain. How difficult is it to state the facts? Maybe go with "specific batches have problems, these are the ones we know about, it's unacceptable, we're going to make it right through either a refund or an exchange, and we're sorry"

  • Because in the grand scheme of things it is small.
    A lot of the issues have been resolved by just using it.
    If it turns out to be more you’ll hear about it. The red ring days can’t happen anymore because the internet screams very loudly.

  • If 500,000 sold (not an actual sales figure) and 5000 of those became defective, that would be only 1% of all the units sold. Thousands affected, but still a small percentage.

  • Because the internet likes to take something that's actually a relatively small failure rate and make it seem like the product is highly likely to be unreliable and you shouldn't buy it.Even this article is engaging in that. They need to push back on that or it'll scare people off, even when the vast majority of people who buy one aren't going to have an issue. That it is ultimately not effective in changing that perception doesn't really change that either. If they didn't add that, people would make claims about how the product is a reliability disaster and even MS admits it.They did say they were taking it seriously, trying to identify the source of the problem. They'll make right with anyone who has an issue via support.

  • Par for the course, the MS apologists stating the obvious but missing the point. Just b/c it's a "relatively small" percentage doesn't mean you treat it as a non-problem which is effectively what they're doing. This is the classic MS playbook. The only difference is they at least immediately acknowledged the problem which probably means it's much bigger than the apologists want to believe.

(Video) Is The Core Different Than The Elite Series 2? Full Tear Down Guide


Does the Xbox Elite controller 2 have problems? ›

We've received claims that a small percentage of our customers are experiencing mechanical issues when using their Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2.

Why is my Xbox controller having connection issues? ›

If your Xbox controller won't connect, you should first make sure the batteries aren't dead. You can also try updating your Xbox One controller and console to fix the issue. Check that there are no interfering objects or devices, and move or disconnect them if necessary.

Is Microsoft working on a new elite controller? ›

Microsoft is announcing a new Xbox Elite 2 Core controller today, and it's priced at $50 less than the existing Xbox Elite 2.

How do I reset my Xbox Elite 2 controller? ›

You have a couple of different options when it comes to resetting your Xbox controller. According to Microsoft, the standard method is to press the controller's power button for 5 to 10 seconds, which will force it to shut off completely. To turn it back on, simply hold the power button again.

What is the lifespan of a Xbox Elite controller? ›

Microsoft has been testing the controller and says that it'll last up to 10 years, if not longer.

Does the Elite Series 2 break easy? ›

It's hefty and quality and springy in all the right ways. It cheapens other standard controllers, making them feel like inadequate plastic toys. But, it'll probably also break down at some point. The rubber grips will come loose.

How do I revert my Xbox Elite controller firmware? ›

Revert your controller's firmware through an Xbox console

Select Check controller firmware to open the controller firmware reversion screen in the Xbox Accessories app, then follow the instructions in the app.

Why does my Xbox Series 2 controller keep disconnecting? ›

Your controller needs new batteries. The firmware in your controller needs to be updated. Your controller is too far away from the gaming console. There are too many devices connected to your gaming console.

Why does my Xbox Elite controller keep disconnecting? ›

If your Xbox controller keeps disconnecting, then you might just need to update the firmware. To check whether your controller has the latest firmware, go to Profile & system > Settings > Devices & connections > Accessories. This will allow you to check whether the firmware is up-to-date.

Is there going to be an elite 3 controller? ›

Xbox Elite Controller Series 3 release date rumors

There's no confirmed date for the Xbox Elite Controller Series 3 just yet. Despite being nearly three years in, the Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 still takes the top spot as one of the best controllers you can get today.

How do I update my Series 2 Elite controller? ›

To do this, press the Xbox button  to open the guide, choose Profile & system > Settings > Devices & connections > Accessories, and then select the controller you want to update.

Is there going to be an elite series 3 controller? ›

The Xbox Elite Series 3 Controller release date is expected to be during November 2023.

Can you factory reset a Elite Series 2 controller? ›

You can use the Xbox Accessories app to configure your Elite controller, or reset the configuration via a PC.

Why is my Elite Series 2 controller not working? ›

If your controller won't power on at all, replace the controller batteries with fresh ones and make sure they're inserted correctly into the controller. Note The Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 uses a built-in battery, so if you're using an Elite Series 2, skip this step.

Can I factory reset my Xbox controller? ›

Yes. Just hold the Sync button for about 20 seconds, the controller will start vibrating and then it will reset itself. Ok, now you know the Xbox Controller can be reset, let's take a look at how in a little more detail…

How long should an Xbox Elite 2 controller last? ›

How to care for your controller's battery. The Elite Series 2 has a battery life of up to 40 hours when used wirelessly without a headset. Battery life varies significantly with additional accessories (such as headsets), usage, and other factors.

What controller last the longest? ›

Far and away the longest lasting of the bunch is the Xbox 360's wireless controller. Although, like the Wii remote, it's not rechargeable, the 360's controller was able to run for nearly 60 hours on a single pair of Duracell AA batteries.

Is the Elite Series 2 worth it? ›

The Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 is the best gamepad for the Xbox One/Xbox Series consoles, and one of the best for PCs. It has an excellent feel, plus hardware and software customization tricks that the standard Xbox Wireless Controller does not. It's also quite expensive at $179.99.

Can you replace the Elite Series 2 battery? ›

There is a battery compartment which is easily accessible once the controller is open. The compartment is just closed by T6 screws and the battery inside is replaceable.

What is so special about the Xbox Elite Series 2 controller? ›

The new Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 – Core in white at $129.99 USD MSRP includes the essential components you need to unleash your best game. Experience adjustable-tension thumbsticks, wrap-around rubberized grip, and shorter hair trigger locks.

Should I update my Xbox controller? ›

The Xbox One gaming console allows users to update their controllers. While it is not required, Microsoft makes frequent firmware updates to the gaming accessory. These firmware updates make various improvements to the controller, including enhancements for headset adapter capabilities and much more.

Why is my controller not working with Strike pack? ›

The cable may not be connected properly. Detach the cable from the Strikepack and reconnect it to the Strikepack, ensuring that the cable is pushed in all the way. Even though it lights up, it can still be poorly connected. Make sure that the short connector is also connected to the controller's micro usb port.

How do you reset an Xbox One controller on PC? ›

Solution 5: Re-pair the device

Go to Settings > Devices > Bluetooth (on Windows 11: Settings > Bluetooth & devices). Select the controller, and then select Remove device. Press the Pair button  on your controller. On your Windows device, choose the controller from the list of available devices, and then select Pair.

How do I update my controller firmware? ›

How To Update Xbox Controller Firmware - YouTube

How do I get my Xbox controller to stop disconnecting? ›

How to Fix Xbox One Controller Disconnecting (Best Tutorial)

Why is my Xbox Elite Series 2 controller flashing? ›

If your Xbox controller is blinking and won't stay on, charge the batteries or replace them if they are dead. Check the controller for problems like loose connections or malfunction. If the controller is out of sync with the console, sync it up again.

Why does my Xbox controller keep flashing and not connecting? ›

A Blinking Xbox Controller Is Trying to Tell You Something

It's usually weak batteries or because the controller is no longer paired. Recharging or replacing its batteries usually does the trick. If not, pairing the controller to your console again may resolve the issue.

What's better SCUF or Xbox Elite 2? ›

The scuf paddles are way better than the ones that come included with the elite series 2. They sit a little higher off the controller so you never really accidentally push the paddles.

Do Xbox Elite controllers get stick drift? ›

Does the analog stick of your Elite Series 2 (model 1797) Xbox controller drift onscreen without you moving it? If so, it probably has what is called “analog stick drift.” There are multiple causes of stick drift. Sometimes it can be caused by damage—like dropping it—for example.

Can you overclock Xbox Elite controller? ›

I started using an elite 2 and love it so far. Yeah same way as a ps4 controller too... You can overclock any controller, it's pretty easy. I have all of mine overclocked.

How do I know if my elite controller needs updating? ›

Open the Xbox Accessories app. Connect your Xbox Wireless Controller by using a USB cable or the Xbox Wireless Adapter for Windows. When the controller is connected, you'll see the message Update Required if an update is mandatory.

What does Xbox controller firmware update do? ›

Xbox Device Firmware Updates

The latest Xbox controller device firmware is now available on your console or Windows PC. This release includes fixes and updates that deliver performance improvements to Xbox One controllers with Bluetooth support, Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2, and Xbox Adaptive Controllers.

What is the hair trigger lock on elite controller? ›

The hair trigger locks are the green switches right above the paddles. When flipped up, they allow pulling their respective trigger fully. When flipped down, you can only pull the trigger about 3/4 of the way.

When did Elite Series 2 come out? ›

The Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 — Core launches on September 21, 2022, according to the Microsoft website. You can pre-order the controller through the site right now, with free shipping.

What are the 3 lines on the Xbox Elite controller? ›

There are also three LEDs that light up to let you know which profile you have selected. Much like the original, there's no instant, on-device button remapping, but you can create three profiles to instantly switch between. The Xbox Accessories app lets you fully customize all the buttons on the Elite 2 controller.

How do I fix my drift controller? ›

How to fix PS5 controller stick drift
  1. Try adjusting the input threshold. ...
  2. Reset your PS5 DualSense controller. ...
  3. Clean the analog stick on the PS5 DualSense controller. ...
  4. Make sure your software is up-to-date. ...
  5. Turn off your controller's Bluetooth, then turn it back on.
29 Jul 2022

Where is the serial number on Xbox Elite controller? ›

If you have the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2, the 14-character serial number is in the lower center on the back of the controller.

How long does an Elite Series 2 last? ›

The Elite Series 2 has a battery life of up to 40 hours when used wirelessly without a headset. Battery life varies significantly with additional accessories (such as headsets), usage, and other factors.

Is the Elite 2 controller worth it? ›

TechRadar Verdict

The Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 improves upon the quality-of-life issues of its predecessor, offering a durable, premium controller with plenty of customization options for you to try out. It's the best Xbox controller on the market - but it doesn't come cheap.

What's better SCUF or Xbox Elite 2? ›

The scuf paddles are way better than the ones that come included with the elite series 2. They sit a little higher off the controller so you never really accidentally push the paddles.

Can I send my Xbox controller to Microsoft to get fixed? ›

Microsoft does not offer a repair service for controllers. If it is in warranty they replace it.

How do I claim my Xbox One elite controller warranty? ›

To find out if your Xbox One Controller is under warranty, you'll need to know the controller's serial number. You can find it inside the battery compartment, below the barcode. When you have the number, go to the controller replacement request form and enter it in the serial number field at the bottom of the page.

How do you check if your Xbox controller is under warranty? ›

Check your Microsoft warranty
  1. Sign in to with your account.
  2. Select the device that you want to check the warranty on.
  3. In Device coverage, you'll see what kind of warranty coverage your device has and how much time is left.


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