Xbox Design Lab: how to make the custom Xbox Series X controller of your dreams

Xbox Design Lab Skyrim controller
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Xbox Design Lab lets you create a custom Xbox Series X controller that’s unique to you. If you’ve ever wanted to own a gamepad that reflects your favorite sports team, video game, personality, or simply stands out from the crowd, Xbox Design Lab is well worth checking out.

There’s a myriad of customization options available that allow you to create your perfect custom Xbox controller – almost every element can be tweaked to suit your taste, and you can even have the controller laser-engraved with a message of your choice.

If you’re tired of using the standard Xbox Wireless Controller, then, or haven’t been turned on by any of the limited edition designs like the Forza Horizon 5 pad, here’s how to create the custom Xbox controller of your dreams using Xbox Design Lab. Remember: these controllers also work on Xbox One, as well as PC and mobile via Bluetooth. 

Pick a color, any color

Xbox Design Lab

(Image credit: Microsoft)

There are 18 colors to choose from when picking the body of your new Xbox controller, including classics like Robot White and Carbon Black. New colors have also been added, like Shock Blue, Pulse Red, and Volt Yellow. A preview of your selected color choice will be shown on the left-hand side, so you can quickly see how things are looking at a glance. 

Most of the color options available are made with plastics containing 30% post-consumer recycled (PCR) materials by weight. Microsoft hopes that these color options will reduce the amount of waste plastic that ends up in landfills.

Get a grip

Xbox Design Lab controller

(Image credit: Microsoft)

If you want to make your new controller a little more fancy and comfortable to hold during those frantic gaming moments, there’s an option to add rubberized side grips for an additional fee ($5.99 / £4.99), but the grips only come in black. That might be a deal-breaker for some, but the rubberized side grips really do help to add a premium feel.

Next up is the back of the controller which houses the battery compartment. You’ll have 18 colors to choose from just like before, as well as the option to add rubberized back grips. Again, the grips come in black, so bear that in mind as it may affect your chosen color scheme.

The controller’s bumpers, triggers, thumbsticks, and D-pad can also be jazzed up to your liking. The triggers and D-pad both have a fancy metallic option for $3.99 / £3.29 each, and they look great in person.

Time to get personal

Man holding Xbox Series X controller in the dark

(Image credit: Shutterstock/Miguel Lagoa)

To really separate your controller from the pack, you can choose from a selection of different face button color schemes, as well as change the look of the View, Menu, and Share buttons

However, to truly give your Xbox Design Lab that custom seal of approval, you can personalize your new pad with a laser-engraved message. Whether you want to include your partner’s name, your Xbox Gamertag, or something completely out of leftfield, you’ll have 16 characters to write a message of your choice.

How much does Xbox Design Lab cost?

An Xbox Design Lab controller costs $69.99 / £59.99 without any additional flourishes added. If you add rubberized grips, back grips, metallic triggers, and D-Pad, plus a personal laser-engraved message, expect to pay $99.94 / £79.55. Delivery usually takes 14 business days of placing your order.

While these additions might seem superfluous, they can help give the controller a more premium look and feel. The laser-engraved message is also a nice touch if you’re buying an Xbox Design Lab controller for someone as a gift.

Is Xbox Design Lab available in my country?

Xbox Design Lab is available in the US, Canada, and most Western European countries. The service was temporarily paused in October 2020 to prepare for the launch of the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S but returned in July 2021 with more customization options than ever before.

Adam Vjestica

Adam was formerly TRG's Hardware Editor. A law graduate with an exceptional track record in content creation and online engagement, Adam has penned scintillating copy for various technology sites and also established his very own award-nominated video games website. He’s previously worked at Nintendo of Europe as a Content Marketing Editor and once played Halo 5: Guardians for over 51 hours for charity. He is now an editor at The Shortcut.