by Goran Damnjanovic, Gaming Columnist
Published in Gaming on 16th September, 2019
While the Xbox One is far behind the PlayStation 4 when it comes to first-party exclusive games the console is unmatched with its insanely large selection of controller designs.
You gotta love Microsoft and the company's dedication to provide each gamer with their own unique controller design with the Xbox Design Lab.
The site allows gamers to design their own Xbox One controller with a huge list of customization options. But if you're too lazy to do it or simply don't know what design you want Microsoft has a huge selection of unique Xbox One controller designs to pick from.
Many of those are special edition controllers tied to specific games or events and today we'll try to pick the 15 coolest Xbox One controller designs, no matter whether they are available or not. And don't worry, if a design is discontinued and cannot be bought anymore, we'll notify you just below its name. So, let's pick the 15 coolest Xbox One special edition controllers.
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The latest design in the long-running series of special edition Gears controllers, the Gears 5 Kait Diaz is another masterpiece of design. The striking murky ice color is perfectly in tone with the latest game and its icy environments (although the good chunk of the game is happening in a desert but oh well) and two-tone gray and dark blue analog sticks are in superb sync with the icy front.
The buttons and the rest of the body are colored in a darker shade of dark gray providing a pleasant contrast to the bright face and the D-pad follows the body and is as bright as the rest of the face. Finally, we have a nice detail with the green tint of view and menu buttons while triggers keep the contrast on the back of the controller with their deep blue finish, the same one used on the analog sticks.
And let's not forget the nice COG badge on the front along with engravings that gave us a stylized look of a Gears armor. Perfection.
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While it doesn't have much in common with the art design of PUBG the PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds Xbox One Controller is a sight to behold. The star of the show is a masterfully designed front of the controller, with a couple of small scratches on the body and lots of them on the D-pad, giving the controller a pleasant ruggedness.
Next, we have the left analog stick encircled in dark blue and the right one placed in the middle of the aiming reticle, which also looks very nice.
The digital camo looks superb and the big X printed on the right trigger lets players know what to press in order to aim down sights. That grizzled gold D-pad is at contrast with the rest of the controller, adding up to the attractiveness and on the bottom, you'll find PUBG logo to let you know which game this special edition controller is made for.
Phantom White Amazon ($53)
Phantom Black Amazon ($55)
See-through electronics were always cool, ever since Nintendo gave us transparent Game Boy. I still remember my transparent Super Nintendo controller with a tiny monochromatic screen showing which button is pressed. That was the slickest-looking controller I've ever owned. And the two transparent Xbox One controller designs are also pretty cool.
They both follow the same philosophy in being completely transparent on the top and then slowly dimming the view of the electronic below until becoming completely opaque just under the middle.
They both went for a contrast looks but I like the dark one more because that contrast works much better when you have a dark tint slowly being assimilated into white than vice versa. But despite your own preferences, they are both great looking controllers.
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Another looker. The mesh pattern (which is quite prominent on various Xbox One controller designs) encircled in subtle silver lines and two tiny orange triangles provide plenty of details that completely substitute the lack of colors.
And then you have dark grey, almost black, borders around the mesh accompanied by additional two triangles below the mesh pattern, completing the design.
The rest of the controller is pretty simple yet effective. The beautiful dark military green color looks excellent on every controller and the smoky bronze covering the bottom is a perfect companion to the sleek military green. Another striking Xbox One controller featuring military design.
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This is probably the prettiest special edition Xbox One controller of them all. Just look at it! the front looks incredible. Subtle transparency is accompanied by the mesmerizing shade of purple along with subtle specks that should present tiny drops of water. And then you have perfectly sprinkled glow in the dark green with the final (and possibly the best) detail being the glow in the dark skull.
The left analog stick is encircled in a stylized compass design which is perfectly balanced with the rest of the front body design and purple-and-green face buttons just further add to its already otherworldly level of appeal.
The bottom is encased in a simple black with two crossed skills on the battery cover and sides featuring the striking purple translucent plastic. And yes, the right trigger is colored in gold, but that's okay. Yup, this is definitely the prettiest one of them all.
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Gray/Blue design is very pretty but this Gray/Green is even prettier. The two colors go hand in hand with each other and while blue gets near, green triumphs because it's used to a lesser degree than the blue in the other design, giving the controller minimalistic look that is simply astounding to look at.
The two shades of gray complete the design complementing each other and giving the green tint of the analog sticks room to breathe and to become quite noticeable despite the fact it's used in such an unassuming way. Simple yet effective.
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Another controller design that's a part of the "Tech" line of Xbox One controllers is a subtler in its looks compared to the Combat Tech design but that doesn't prevent it from looking even better than its military green cousin.
The use of dark grey gives the controller a futuristic look that can complement almost any room and bright mesh pattern along with the accompanying lines around it create a pleasant contrast that's quite noticeable but never tacky.
The border surrounding the mesh along with dark triangles below it, D-pad, and face buttons are colored black, complimenting the dark grey that dominates the front body.
The black buttons create a second layer of contrast generating a complex design pattern that slowly rises while you look at it, a pretty unique feature for this controller.
The front looks are completed with three minimal icons that look pretty nice with the bottom being coated in a simple combination of black and grey.
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While the Royal Red design is just too red and too bright, the Gears 4 Crimson Omen design gives the Xbox One controller lineup a red controller that looks awesome.
The combination of dark red and slick black always looks extremely attractive and here it's even better thanks to the plethora of details on the front side. Details such as the smoke red signature gears skull and extremely detailed scratches found on the right side. The blood splatters in various shades of red are the perfect finish for this amazing design.
Black buttons looking like their letters are etched into the buttons with a primitive stone tool are perfect additions and the back is covered in a simplistic yet effective combination of crimson red, black, and blood-red from the front with the embedded COG logo found on the battery cover. The second best looking of the bunch, just below the phenomenal Sea of Thieves design.
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Another Gears controller design, this time made to accompany the excellent Gears 4. JD Fenix was the titular character in the game and the controller bears his name. And it looks pretty solid.
Dark grey is always great and when combined with a sky blue it creates a calming pattern that's strikingly different from the spirit of Gears games, but it does work excellent.
Next, we have rugged lines and faux rivets creating a rugged look of the controller, like it was made from scraps by crafty Outsiders. The skull in the middle doesn't feel right (it looks weird since it's divided by the middle line splitting the controller in two) but blue details along with blue top ridge and bumpers fixes this lapse and creates a nice-looking upper part of the controller.
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This is a work of art. The controller itself is laser etched and the front body features lots of extremely detailed battle scars along with the smoke red, almost black gears skull.
And then you have the various blood splatters covering the front, creating a grizzled look but at the same time making the controller extremely attractive, especially when seen live.
Black and dark red face buttons are almost submerged into the body but the black shade gives them some contrast and makes them noticeable.
And then you have the awesome D-pad etched with famous weapon icons that show the most used weapons in Gears games: Lancer, the chain grenade, Gnasher, and Snub Pistol. The bottom is covered in the same crimson red along with black side grips and a beautifully detailed COG icon placed on the battery cover.
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Yes, Halo 5 Master Chief special edition controller is indeed pretty but Locke version is prettier. It got that futuristic look that is completely in line both with Halo 5 and Xbox One design.
Uneven honeycomb design on the sides looks excellent which is pretty hard to accomplish because creating sides that aren't completely equal in design usually ends as a failure. The gunmetal coating looks superb and is cleverly amplified with lapis blue lines on the body and D-pad.
Buttons and analog sticks are colored into neutral gray, staying in the background and making gunmetal and lapis design to shine in the front. The same is done with the upper bridge and bumper buttons while the sides are etched with Halo-related icons. Futuristic and extra sleek.
Covert Forces Amazon ($90)
Night Ops Amazon ($70)
There is a plethora of camo Xbox One controller designs but these two are my favorites. The first one looks amazing thanks to its combination of shades of grey and black, which work wonders with this particular camo pattern.
Everything else is plain black with old school button colors, creating an inconspicuously looking controller that in actuality looks pretty attractive.
The second one takes a different camo pattern, a pattern that isn't found on other camo Xbox One controller designs. This one looks fluid, without jaggies and with more elements overlapping one another. The grey and black are accompanied by metallic gold and the combo looks amazing.
The sticks and buttons are also gray and black, keeping the simplistic design but the D-pad is of the same metallic gold color adding the controller a bit of swag. The final touch are textured trigger grips, perfect for playing shooter games.
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The Advanced Warfare special edition controller has lots of gold details but they really go with the rest of the design. This is probably because, bar the D-pad, other gold details bear the rugged, dirty shade of gold that looks amazing next to the metallic grey coating on the front.
There are lots of small details that add to the complexity without sacrificing pretty looks and the simple colors found on buttons and analog sticks put dirty gold color to the front and center, creating an attractive controller that's at the same time simplistic and complex, with lots of small details that can go amiss in case you throw just a quick glance at it.
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This is the first special edition controller for the Xbox One and it still is one of the prettiest. It looks just so clean and minimalistic with orange, black, and white combined in an amazing way.
The orange and black details on the sides bear a clear resemblance to Titanfall while the logo in the middle makes sure you know alongside which game this controller launched.
Buttons feature old school coloring scheme (mostly omitted on other special edition controllers) and the simple black coating of the analog sticks, the D-pad, and the bumpers and triggers let the orange details shine and make the orange-white combo even better.
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Last but not least is the Sport White controller. As the Titanfall one, this one looks so clean and minimalistic. White coating accompanied by mint green details on the front and back alongside gray mesh pattern looks stunning.
Next, we have the D-pad and the analog sticks that are light grey, providing low but noticeable contrast to the eye-bleaching white dominating the controller. The D-pad looks especially nice with its metallic shine.
Buttons on the front combine white and gray in creating an attractive design and the onyx black Xbox logo on the top looks incredible. Another controller design that looks simplistic but is actually pretty intricate.