8BitDo's Xbox controller includes high-end features at an affordable price

8BitDo wired Xbox controllers
(Image credit: 8BitDo)

Controller manufacturer 8BitDo has just announced its new wired Xbox controller which, despite its affordable price, includes a litany of features that are hard to find on similarly priced unofficial controllers, or even the official controller that's included with your Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S console.

The 8BitDo Ultimate Wired Controller for Xbox, to give its full name, will begin shipping on May 31,2022,  and can be pre-ordered right now on its Amazon store page for $44.99 (around £34.99). For comparison's sake, that's roughly $15 cheaper than the official Xbox Wireless Controller.

That cheaper price point doesn't mean that the 8BitDo Xbox controller is skimping on features, though. Screenshots of the pad seem to hint at a solid build quality, and an 8BitDo press release says it will feature trigger vibrations and enhanced controller grip for extra stability and comfort.

Additionally, the 8BitDo Xbox controller features two back paddle buttons, which aren't at all found on the official Xbox Wireless Controller. These back paddles, as well as the rest of the controller's buttons, stick sensitivity and vibration strength can all be customized and adjusted via the 8BitDo Ultimate Software mobile app, too, which should allow for a particularly intricate level of customization.

These controller setups can also be saved to a profile, which can then be switched between on the fly simply by pressing the profile switch button at the center of the controller. Finally, there's also a quick-swap button on the pad, emblazoned with a star. By holding two face buttons and pressing the quick-swap button, you can quickly swap over the actions performed by those two buttons.

Above and beyond for customization?

8BitDo could be providing an Xbox controller with an unprecedented level of customization, then, especially for a pad at this relatively budget price point. And sure, the controller isn't wireless - one way it's likely keeping costs down - but players who don't consider that to be an issue may want to consider the 8BitDo Xbox controller as their next pad.

That may especially be the case for PC gamers, as the controller is also compatible with Windows 10 devices as well as Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. Unfortunately, the controller's Bluetooth connectivity only applies to its mobile app, and therefore cannot be used to play on Nintendo Switch or mobile devices. That means you'll have to look for a different controller if you were thinking of playing Xbox Cloud Gaming on the go.

That's a bit of a shame, as this isn't the first time 8BitDo has produced a controller designed for Xbox consoles. We were previously greatly impressed by the 8BitDo Pro 2 Wired Controller for Xbox, a simple yet slick pad that also featured a range of customization options at the exact same price point as the brand's upcoming device.

Still, we won't knock 8BitDo's new controller too much, as it does appear to be offering customization options quite similar to Microsoft's premium Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 (which retails at $160 / £160) at a significantly lower price. However, improved features such as additional supported devices via Bluetooth would have been nice to see.

Rhys Wood
Hardware Editor

Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.