According to Microsoft, “nearly all” of the external parts of the Series 2 can be customized, including its body, back case, D-pad, bumpers, triggers, thumbsticks and buttons. In an Xbox Design Lab first, you can also select between a cross-shaped or faceted D-pad and customize the colour of the thumbstick and base ring. Like other Xbox Design Lab controllers, you can add a 16-character message to the gamepad.
Microsoft’s new custom Elite Series 2 starts at $149 for the base controller that doesn’t include back paddles or additional sets of thumbsticks. That said, ‘Elite Accessory Packs‘ with various thumbsticks, paddles and case options will be sold separately. On the other hand, a custom Elite Series 2 gamepad that includes paddles, extra thumbsticks, D-pad option and a carrying case/charging pack, starts at $209.99. If you don’t already own an Elite Series 2, this is likely the gamepad most people will be interested in.
The Elite Series 2 Xbox Design Lab option is coming to Canada, the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, most Western European countries, and select Southeast Asian countries.
While I once really liked Microsoft’s Elite Series 2 gamepad, the high-end controller has been plagued by hardware issues, and I’m on roughly my eighth gamepad currently (I keep getting it replaced under warranty). If it’s not the ‘A’ or ‘Y’ button only working 75 percent of the time, the right bumper or the joystick button stops working properly. I’ve even encountered problems with the Series 2’s back paddles and the gamepad constantly disconnecting.
With the release of this new Series 2 custom option, I’m hoping that Microsoft has finally ironed out the Xbox Elite Series 2’s several issues because if this gamepad features the same hardware as the current version of the gamepad, it’s not worth buying.