Make your own Xbox One Controller
We think Microsoft's E3 2016 keynote was one of its best in years. From the unveiling of the long-rumored Xbox One S, to the announcement of Project Scorpio, Microsoft's hardware division must have been working around the clock to make this year one of the best for us tech enthusiasts.
But with all the excitement around the new consoles, Microsoft's other major hardware announcement slipped through the cracks.
Thanks to the all-new Design Studio section of the Xbox website, you no longer have to use the same ol' monocolor gamepads everyone else uses – Design Studio allows you to customize your Xbox One controller with over 8 million color combinations.
We took Microsoft's new customization tool for a spin and created a guide to crafting that perfect gamepad.
But two last caveats before begin: Currently Xbox Design Lab only ships controllers to the US, Canada and Puerto Rico, and Microsoft has yet to announce UK or Australian availability. Also note that a custom controller currently costs $79.99 – or $89.99 if you have it engraved with your name – which is about $20-$30 more than a standard Xbox One gamepad.
If those facts don't stop you in your tracks, proceed onto Step 1.
1. Check out the Community Gallery to get inspired
After landing on the Xbox Design Lab home page, scroll down past the YouTube video until you see the community gallery section. Here you'll see all the controllers that the gaming community have made so far.
As you peruse the gamepads, take a look at the color patterns that catch your attention. The best place to look is the "Popular" section where you'll find NFL team knock-offs, superhero-themed gamepads and zany color combos that will make your jaw drop.
Each section of the controller customization process (which we'll go over in a minute) has 15 color options, and each component can be customized independently of one another. This means if you want pink thumbsticks and a bright blue faceplate, go right ahead. No one will stop you!
After you've got your fill of inspiration head back to the Xbox Design Lab home page and click "Design Yours".
2. Walk through the steps
OK, deep breath. Things are about to get exciting.
Start off your custom controller by picking the body color. There are 15 options here – Retro Pink, Lightning Yellow, Glacier Blue, Electric Green, Storm Grey, Deep Pink, Zest Orange, Photon Blue, Military Green, Ash Grey, Regal Purple, Oxide Red, Midnight Blue, Abyss Black and Robot White.
Once you've picked out a base color, use the 360-degree viewing tool to spin the controller around to the back to get an all-encompassing view of what the gamepad looks like so far, then proceed through the rest of the sections. Once you've finalized your design, click "Save and Finish".
3. Don't forget to get it engraved
On the next screen you'll see three options: "Edit," "Add Laser Engraving" and "Share to Gallery".
The former brings you back to page you were just on while the latter shares your design to the Community Gallery you were checking out a few minutes ago.
But the middle option, "Add Laser Engraving", is worth checking out. This option allows you to add any phrase to the front of your controller – expletives excluded. You can add your own GamerTag, or your buddy's if you're buying this as a gift.
The only catch is that there's a 16-character limit on the word(s) and getting a laser engraving adds an extra $9.99 to the cost of the controller.
Once you're satisfied with your phrasing, click "Save and Finish".
4. Enter your payment info
You've probably done this before on numerous other sites, so I won't dwell on this step.
Check that the total price matches what you got – it's $79.99 for the base controller and an additional $9.99 if you had it engraved – give your controller one last final check, and enter your payment and shipping info.
5. Play the waiting game
Microsoft told us that forr anyone who orders gamepads between now and August, delivery will begin in early September. After that, all other orders will be delivered within 14 business days.
6. Pwn some noobs with your sweet custom controller
That's it. In your hands you hold one of your first custom-designed Xbox One controllers. Go out and pwn responsibly.
When you're ready to step it up to the Pro level, check out the stellar Xbox Elite Wireless Controller, Microsoft's pricey pad that simply stands second to none.