Xbox Design Lab has reopened for custom Xbox Series X controllers

Xbox Design Lab
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft has announced that Xbox Design Lab, its controller customization software that allows gamers to design their own controllers, can now be used to create Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S controllers.

The announcement was made during the Xbox Games Showcase Extended event where we caught our first glimpse of newly minted Xbox Series X controllers. 

Just as before, Design Lab will let you customize several aspects of the controller including the color of the controller, buttons, sticks and triggers, but also lets you laser etch a phrase – your Gamertag, most likely – on the front. 

That said, the downside is that Xbox Design Lab-made controllers are a bit more expensive, especially if you opt for the laser engraving. A custom controller comes to $79.98 before tax here in the US versus the $59.99 you’d regularly pay for a standard gamepad – though it should be noted that the service is available globally and your local prices might vary. 

Is this the best way to buy an Xbox Series X controller?

When Microsoft closed down Xbox Design Lab in September of last year, we knew it had to be because it was gearing up for the launch of the new hardware, the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S – but little did we know back then how hard it would be to obtain that new hardware once it came out. 

It seems that now Microsoft feels it's in a better position to accommodate both its own manufacturing needs – the controllers it needs to go inside each new console package – as well as the custom controller crowd. 

The silver lining? If you're having a hard time finding an Xbox Series X controller in stores near you, you can now just order a custom one that will arrive directly to your house in a week or two.  

We designed one a few years ago when the program first opened, and our custom TechRadar Xbox One controller has been our go-to gamepad ever since.

Nick Pino

Nick Pino is Managing Editor, TV and AV for TechRadar's sister site, Tom's Guide. Previously, he was the Senior Editor of Home Entertainment at TechRadar, covering TVs, headphones, speakers, video games, VR and streaming devices. He's also written for GamesRadar+, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer and other outlets over the last decade, and he has a degree in computer science he's not using if anyone wants it.