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Posted by MisterSims (71 posts) 11 months, 21 days ago

Poll: Most comfortable current-gen gaming controller? (553 votes)

PS4 Dual Shock 4 Controller 44%
Nintendo Switch Pro Controller 10%
Xbox One Controller 25%
Xbox Elite Controller 19%
Steam Controller 2%

Though not exactly realistic, preferably, answers would come from those who have gamed at least one session on each controller, for comparison sake.

If you haven't used the Steam controller, that's fine. Not many people I know who have.

Wondering what you duders think!

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#1 Posted by ripelivejam (13163 posts) -

The Duke (on a technicality)

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#2 Posted by MisterSims (71 posts) -

@ripelivejam: Haha good one... I remember when the whole world hated the Duke. Then the Controller-S came out and everyone rejoiced. So now the Duke is back! ...For some reason. Nostalgia is funny like that I guess. At least you like it! Haha. But yeah, it didn't make the list because of the technicality.

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#3 Posted by Onemanarmyy (4317 posts) -

I would be very worried if the 150$ controller turned out to not be the most comfortable controller of the bunch.

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#4 Posted by Quipido (1562 posts) -

This poll is doomed to result in the PS4 one winning because most people have it and will vote for it for that reason alone.

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#5 Posted by Yesiamaduck (2545 posts) -

As someone who owns the all i think it goes.






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#6 Posted by mems1224 (2505 posts) -

Xbox elite controller by far. Love how hefty it feels and how customizable it is. The paddles are awesome even though they take getting used to. I've also just formed a habit of playing with the magnet sticks while a game loads. 2nd place would be the new revision of the Xbox one controller.

I have a steam controller and use it occasionally to play slow stuff like civ on my TV. It's fine but not my favorite.

Don't like the DS4. The triggers are a massive improvement over the DS3 but still fall far behind the Xbox triggers. They're too squishy still. Also not a fan of the analog stick placement and how tight the sticks are. It's an ok controller but I only like it for fighting games. It's horrible for shooters. Also the battery life fucking blows and so does the dumb light.

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#7 Edited by Ares42 (4343 posts) -

The Wii U pro. In my eyes it's the perfect controller. It takes all the good parts of the Dualshock and xbox controller while also removing all the bad parts. It's simple, but functional. I don't really have anything bad to say about it.

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#8 Posted by The_Greg (539 posts) -

All of the current gen controllers are really comfortable. I'd say that Xbox and Steam controllers take it for me, simply because the grips on the PS4 one are a little narrower and my hands are quite big.

To be honest, it's hard to say as they're all great.

I can't comment on the Switch Pro. Never touched it.

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#9 Posted by alexl86 (868 posts) -

I use the Dual Shock 4 and Xbox One Controller regularly and think they are both very good. Definitely improvements on their predecessors. I do like the Switch Pro Controller better than those two, so I have to say it is the best. Honestly, this is the first generation I feel like every console has great controllers.

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#10 Posted by MeierTheRed (5913 posts) -

I have three of the mentioned controllers, but i prefer the DS4. It fits my hands well and i like the feel of the buttons more then on the others. Stick position means nothing to me as i can do both and have no issue.

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#11 Posted by nutter (2112 posts) -

@mistersims: I’ve got long fingers, so I always liked The Duke. It was like a Dreamcast controller without all those terrible, uncomfortable rigid angles.

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#12 Edited by nutter (2112 posts) -

@mems1224: Same issues with the DS4. It’s way better than the DS3, but the triggers and sticks just don’t do it for me.

And yeah, I feel like I don’t play my PS4 as much since I’m always charging the controllers. If the battery life is bad, at least pack in a decent length USB cable. I bought a 6’ cable for my PS3. This gen, I didn’t bother and use my PS4 less as a result.

For the record, I think both Microsoft and Sony have super solid controllers this time around. I haven’t used a pro controller for my Switch as last gen I only used it for Bayonetta 2.

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#13 Edited by fatalbanana (1106 posts) -

I would guess the One Elite controller is better but the DS4 is the best controller I've used. I haven't tried the revisions but the launch One controller is trash and doesn't even come close in my opinion. loved the 360 controllers but it hasn't aged well in my experience. The Switch controller isn't bad but nothing really special and the steam controller is just sort of an ugly duckling, not the worst but I wouldn't really compare it to the others.

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#15 Edited by inevpatoria (7436 posts) -

The Xbox One Elite controller is far and away the most premium-feeling controller I've ever used. It's like playing video games with a luxury vehicle.

If we're talking strictly comfort, and not functional quibbles like D-pad woes, I'm also a massive, massive fan of the Switch Pro controller. Big, flat face buttons that offer a nice tactile action, comfortable triggers and shoulder buttons, and rubberized grips that come standard on every Pro controller. Again, the D-pad is a glaring flaw. But everything else feels so natural that I'm willing to dismiss it.

The standard Xbox One and PS4 controllers are a wash. At gunpoint I'd probably tell you the ergonomics of the Xbox One controller suit my tastes more, but the materials seem cheaper, making Microsoft's controller feel more noticeably hollow than its Sony counterpart. Sony's controller, on the other hand, has some of the most satisfying trigger action I've ever enjoyed. That's a nice contrast to the spongy discomfort that represented one of the unfortunate hallmarks of the PS3 controller last generation. Better materials and trigger feel aside, the truth is, I moved on from the thumb-stretching stick placement of the Dual Shock more than a decade ago.

When it comes to those standard controllers, I despise the faux-rubber diamond texture both Sony and Microsoft have on their entry-level controllers. I slightly despise Microsoft's implementation more than Sony's.


My list, then:

  • Xbox One Elite Controller
  • Nintendo Switch Pro Controller
  • PS4 Dual Shock 4
  • Nintendo Joycons (which I think are great, by the way, I just prefer the Pro Controller in most situations).
  • Xbox One Controller


TL;DR -- Barring the Steam Controller, which I've never used, all of the current generation controllers are actually pretty darn good.

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#16 Posted by WillyOD (353 posts) -

Xbox Elite easily. Xbox norm then. Then PS4 which is only slightly worse (thumbsticks). I also own Switch Pro but I haven't tried it more than a minute, but it does not seem superb.

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#17 Edited by glots (4295 posts) -

I haven't tried Elite or Steam Controller, but DS4 is the best one out of the remaining bunch. Xbone controller is also alright, as well as Pro Controller.

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#18 Posted by Justin258 (15647 posts) -

The Switch Pro controller feels absolutely perfect in my hand. I love it. I don't know exactly what makes it feel better than the very similar Xbox One controller, but it feels great nonetheless. I've mellowed on the Joycons a bit - they feel well-made as far as construction goes and I'll play with them if I have to, but they are absolutely not comfortable in my hands.

The Xbox One controller is a close second. At first I actually didn't like it because I felt like the handles angled out a little too much, but after a short while I got used to it and now my hands conform almost perfectly to it - not quite as well as the Switch Pro, but damn close. I have never used an Elite controller, I can't justify spending $150 on a controller when the Xbox One controllers I do have already fit my hands so well. I guess the D-Pad's not great, but it's much better than the 360's and it works well enough when I need it.

The Dualshock 4 is a good controller, but my hands never conform to it quite the way I want them to. This is odd because at first, I liked it better than the Xbox One controller, but after using both extensively I'd rather use the Xbox One controller. The DS4 is great for 2D games, though, because out of the bunch it's got the most comfortably placed D-Pad. And it's a pretty good D-Pad.

The Steam Controller doesn't feel bad to hold, but I've never comfortably played a game on it. Something is always off.

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#19 Posted by Vookatos (21 posts) -

Weirdly enough, I think Joycons are my favorite. I love being able to hold my hands apart, and I loved both Wii and, to a smaller extent, Wii U's controllers for that. Aside from that DS4 feels the most comfortable. Love the cool texture on the back.

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#21 Edited by Mosthigh (17 posts) -

Switch Pro, DS4 second. The Xbox controller feels cheap AF. I have never used the Xbox Elite or Steam controllers so I can't comment.

I know the Joy Cons aren't on the list but they are the only controllers to have caused me physical pain so they are dead last in my book.

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#22 Posted by frytup (1287 posts) -

Controllers are such a personal thing. It's always fun to read completely contradictory takes on the same things.

I favor the Xbox One this gen. It fits my hands best and, to me, has much better button and trigger feedback. When and if they actually update the Elite to current spec (with Bluetooth) I'll be very tempted to pick one up.

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#23 Posted by Sahalarious (770 posts) -

this truly surprises me, I like my ps4 well enough, but i have hated that damn controller since day 1. built in speaker forcing me to find the setting to turn it off in any game that uses it, a compleeeeetely unnecessary touchpad and a literal share button made the whole thing repulse me. It dies sooner than it is charging for, and sony still refuses to adopt the offset joystick model. I voted for switch pro controller for comfort alone, but the xbox one controller is my go-to for all PC games and as a result makes me buy all fighting games on xbox.

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#24 Posted by TravisRex (819 posts) -

As someone who only has a ps4, (i use a xbone controller on pc) the ps4 controller is ass. Dpad is the only thing good on it. The shoulder buttons are far too sensitive and the placement of the right stick is terrible for technical fighting games (ufc). I also, more than id like, always hit the ps4 menu button by accident when moving the left stick to the right, particularly horrible during multiplayer matches when pausing isnt an option.

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#25 Posted by BoOzak (2573 posts) -

It really depends on the game. I wouldnt want to play FPS or driving games with the DS4 (or really any playstation controller) but it's better for third person action games and action adventure games in general. I'd say the elite is probably the best (which it should be considering how damn expensive it is) but the DS4 is the most comfortable.

I've not used the NS Pro Controller or the Steam controller.

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#26 Posted by Efesell (4478 posts) -

I'll have to go with Xbox One just because the triggers on a PS4 controller are so annoyingly easy to throw and it kinda drives me nuts.

My new Xbox controller with the non garbage bumpers though I have literally no complaints for.

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#27 Edited by Sin4profit (3501 posts) -

As someone who plays games exclusively with the Steam Controller i didn't vote as my experience with the rest of the other controllers here are limited. But i thought i'd write out my perspective here anyway.

Xbox One Controller: experience too limited to even have an opinion, i've basically navigated menus with it and that's about it. Before this generation i played on a 360 controller and it seems to be prettymuch the same...so i liked that one...at the time.

DS4: I've played through Resident Evil 7 and played a little Let it Die. Here you'll see how familiarity will skew an opinion as i thought the first person controlled perspective felt like trash in RE7. Can't tell if it's the software, or the limitations of the hardware, but i'm use to far better control of FPS games on the Steam Controller and there was a mental disconnect between what i wanted the game to do and what i could get it to do with the controller, mostly with the aiming. Physically the controller felt fine in the hand but, "comfort" in terms of usability i like the Steam Controller a lot more.

Steam Controller: The controller, when you understand what it has to offer allows more control than traditional controllers can offer. As far as usability it's far superior to traditional controllers. As far as physically holding it, if you grip it like a traditional controller it will likely fatigue your hands but when you get use to a looser grip it's fine. One thing i don't like about it is the convex thumb stick. Very occasionally my thumb will slip off of it in the middle of a game, debating on swapping out the thumb stick for a concave one. At this point, going back to "traditional controls" just feels bad. Like when you got to expert mode in Guitar Hero and switched back to easy mode, everything suddenly feels slow and wrong.

My idea of comfort mostly refers to usability, i don't think any of the controllers listed are built poor enough to be uncomfortable, so familiarity will likely dictate personal comfort for each controller.

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#28 Edited by n00bs7ay3r (317 posts) -

I haven't used the Elite or the Xbox One controller since I do not own an Xbox One but I have to imagine that those are the best.

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#29 Edited by conmulligan (1904 posts) -

I regularly use an Xbox One Controller, DualShock 4 and Switch Pro Controller and they're all great. The DualShock 4 and Pro Controller are probably the most comfortable, but just by a hair, and I prefer the Xbox Controller's analogue sticks and triggers. The Pro Controller's sticks are also really good, but the lack of analogue triggers limits its potential as a non-Switch controller. If you don't need analogue trigger control or are only ever going to use it with a Switch, the digital triggers work great; I imagine they're especially useful for something like Dark Souls which has non-analogue actions mapped to them.

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#30 Posted by Sweep (10595 posts) -

Switch pro has a real nice weight to it. I think I'm most comfortable with the Dualshock 4 just because that's what I've spent the most time with, but I think the Switch Pro is the best ergonomically.

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#31 Edited by Nodima (2602 posts) -

Dual Shock 4 on the technicality that it's the only controller with the proper analog stick placement. I'll never understand why most people consider the sticks in the middle to be the controller's primary flaw when it is in fact the smartest thing about it. I've been playing video games since the NES and while I understand the d-pad is no longer the dominant method of control for console games, it's still far better for navigating menus and makes aesthetic sense as a four button counterpart to the four buttons on the right side of the controller. I've always thought XBox controllers look confused about themselves.

I will say though that in terms of build quality it might be my least favorite Dual Shock. Maybe things have changed but of the three controllers I've owned all of them lost bits of the rubber on the analog sticks, and all of them have developed squeaky wheels on the triggers. The two controllers I still use are also just a couple years old and their battery life is already something like four hours.

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#32 Posted by HatKing (7450 posts) -

Oops, read that as most uncomfortable and voted Steam controller. Had to check compatibility on that hunk of trash at one point, and my arthritis and I will forever resent the person who assigned me that task.

For me, the most comfortable is the Xbox One controller, or preferably the Elite version of it (though, they're very similar structurally). I also like the Switch Pro controller, probably because it's basically mocking the Xbox controller. And the PS4 controller is the best iteration Sony has ever had, as far as my hands are concerned. They're all pretty damn solid.

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#33 Posted by Luchalma (538 posts) -

DS4 for analog placement alone. I play enough 2D games still where I need a controller with a D-pad in its proper place. And it just feels lovely in the hand.

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#34 Posted by isomeri (3120 posts) -

I've not tried the Steam controller really, but out of the three I have at home the Xbox One pad fits my hands the best with the Switch Pro controller coming second and the DS4 third. They're all great controllers, but the DS4 feels a bit small in my hands and I prefer the offset thumb sticks on the Switch and Xbox One controllers.

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#35 Posted by DevvyBoyyy (195 posts) -

I like the DS4, but it just feels so much more flimsy than even the regular XB1 controller to me. And the analog sticks are in the wrong place!

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#36 Edited by Zuldim (320 posts) -


My hands are symmetrical, my controller should be.

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#37 Posted by andrewf87462 (891 posts) -

I suppose it depends on hand size really. I've got all of the controllers listed in the poll and the Elite controller is easily the most comfortable one for me.

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#38 Edited by JohnyMyko (1869 posts) -

The PS4 controller is the only one from the list that I got, never had the opportunity to try the others, so I voted for that one. But I think the analog sticks on it are absolute garbage that hurts my thumbs.

Also, I'm not sure if I would enjoy the way the xbox controllers have the left stick on the top instead of being symmetrical.

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#39 Posted by cikame (2793 posts) -

I greatly prefer the left stick position of the Xbox controller.
You're moving your character with the left stick right? So you can change weapons or do whatever on the d-pad with your right hand while continuing to move, it's something i did in Gears all the time, you can't do it with a Playstation pad unless you take your right hand all the way off the controller, or stop moving (great idea in games with combat).
Also i don't like the Playstation d-pad anymore, i learned to use the rocker style d-pad on an Xbox controller and now i can't do diagonals with a PS pad, and the position of the Start button is s***.

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#40 Edited by TheRealSeaman (133 posts) -

I have a hard time praising the PS4 controller because of the poor battery. I feel like just looking at mine the wrong way makes it drop to 2 bars.

I own the Xbox One controller, DualShock 4 and Switch Pro Controller. The comfiest is the Switch, it's so smooth and nice to hold.

So for comfort alone, Switch Pro Controller.

But personally I only play my games with dual N64 controllers.

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#41 Posted by fnrslvr (579 posts) -

It's been the Elite and the Switch Pro for me. Voted Elite, but Nintendo made handles that feel more-or-less perfect to grip, so maybe I should've went with the Switch Pro. Oh well.

DS4 feels better than the DS1/2/3, but still a little unsettling? Like, they realized that the handles are meant to have depth and conform naturally to the user's grip, so the handles are no longer these painful pancake things that the DS1/2/3 had, but it's still strange. Like, the volume is there in the handles now, but I'm still not sure it's shaped right. Also obviously the left stick is still in the wrong place, and the d-pad is still weird.

I have never understood why Nintendo's older controllers get so much hate around here, when their contemporaries were the DualShock lineage. If you don't fill out the handles on your controller then people get a whole lot of avoidable medical issues with their hands from contorting their hands to grip the handles. Nintendo always filled out the handles, Sony didn't. It's an open and shut case.

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#43 Posted by Atlas (2739 posts) -

I've never held a Xbox One controller or an Xbox Elite controller. I used my 360 gamepad as my PC controller for years, but after it finally wore out I switched to DualShock 4 and I've been really happy with it. My PC doesn't have Bluetooth so I have to plug it in like a sucker, but the actual controller is comfortable and works great. I never liked the DualShock 3 - triggers were spongy, sticks were stiff, never felt great in my hands - but the DS4 is a great controller. I still think I prefer the Xbox setup of asymmetrical analog sticks, but maybe that's just because I used the 360 gamepad for so long.

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#44 Edited by BrunoTheThird (830 posts) -

Dualshock 4:

  • A vast improvement over the DS3 in some ways, but the triggers pinch my fingers and don't feel that well designed or made. The give on them is horrible.
  • The sticks are a bit too close together for me -- my thumbs stop each other if I'm moving right and looking left, for instance -- but the deadzone and whatnot is perfect for me, plus they click down very easily, without causing unwanted stick movement.
  • The face buttons are super responsive and my overall favourite, easily, but the option and share buttons are really bad. Tiny, flush for no good reason, etc.
  • The d-pad is my least favourite, also. Diagonal jumps are far less consistent compared to the Nintendo and Xbox, based on my tests. The Hori Fighting Commander 4 is my favourite in that regard, though.
  • It's easier to hold than the X1 in two ways -- lighter, slightly less angular -- but doesn't quite fit my grip where the handles meet the body. My fingers are never really settled in that area, and I'm readjusting a lot. It doesn't hurt, though; I like the ergonomics overall, it's strong.


  • The Windows compatibility has been a godsend for me; so much easier to handle.
  • The triggers are the best of the three by far, with a smooth give and a soft cushioning feeling that also manages to feel tight when shooting. They're very well made and comfy, but the way they curve upward at the tail can cause discomfort in long sessions, same as the DS4.
  • I like the sticks okay, performance-wise, but they're fractionally too high for me, and clicking them down isn't a fun experience; the sticks often wiggle like crazy if I don't click them perfectly straight downwards. That could be easier and more forgiving if the shaft of the sticks were wider and shorter like the PS4's.
  • The surface of the sticks are inferior, also, as I don't like the reptilian edges, and they gather dirt constantly on the inner ring of the rubber.
  • The d-pad is beautiful, though. Clicky, responsive, one solid piece, closer to the body of the controller for a superior reaction time. No sponginess at all.
  • The start and back buttons are the best of the three, just, but the face buttons don't quite stack up to the DS4 which are closer to the body, flat, and great for tapping in comparison to this. Better than the N-Pro, however.
  • Comfort-wise, it's heavy and a bit angular on the handles, but my hands fit it much better than the DS4, and I notice it less. It doesn't feel like it's in my hands but an extension of my arms. The triggers are the only thing that ache me in long sessions. I prefer it overall, but a mixture of the two would be the dream.

Nintendo Pro:

  • This is the only controller of the three that fits my hands perfectly, and I mean perfectly. It feels like it was made for my hands, and it's a dream. 10/10 for comfort.
  • The face buttons are very good, but need to be more rounded and not so pill-like to compete with the other two. They're clickier than the X1 individually, which is in its favour, but not as comfy to press over and over due to the shape, and in actual play, that clickiness does not overcome the iffy shape, and they end up the worst of the three for some more involved games. Too high and harsh, but decent once you wear them in.
  • The d-pad is the best of the three for my money. Higher than the X1 yet still very stiff and clicky, with a grippier finish that gives it the final edge. It was 100% consistent in my extensive diagonal jump test. Never wavered once.
  • The sticks are buttery smooth, closer to the DS4, but the pitch and yaw aren't as tight as the other two. The housings should be a bit more narrow to stop the sticks feeling so loose, but they're comfier than the X1 and I prefer them, though they share the dirt-magnet inner ring.
  • The 'triggers' aren't satisfying to press in shooters, period, they're much more like great buttons, but they function perfectly and are so, so comfortable to press in comparison. I could use them all day, but you don't feel cool. Luckily there's hardly any shooters on the Switch, so it doesn't matter at all, they're just perfectly functional and comfy at all times in all games.
  • The start and select are better than the DS4, but still too flush and clicky. Not as good as the X1, but placed better.
  • The bumpers on all three are evenly matched. Responsive and comfy, though the DS4's are slightly squashier. Makes no difference in-game, though.

I give all three a solid 8/10, but the Pro is my comfort king.

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#45 Posted by Quantris (1295 posts) -

Those rubberized grips on the Switch Pro are great. I haven't held an Xbox Elite but I'd guess it has something similar, which would address my main complaint about the Xbox One controller -- the body of the controller just feels cheap. So out of the ones I've tried I would say the Switch Pro is most comfortable (also, my hands are on the small side so that helps I'm sure).

Whereas my only problem with Switch Pro are the triggers, which are fine for games on the system but kind of disqualify it from other things (i.e. using it on my PC). I use an Xbox One controller for that (hopefully, upgrading to an Elite eventually).

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#46 Edited by fnrslvr (579 posts) -

@quantris said:

I haven't held an Xbox Elite but I'd guess it has something similar, which would address my main complaint about the Xbox One controller -- the body of the controller just feels cheap.

The Elite is very similar with the rubberized textured grips, yeah. It's also feels a hell of a lot "sturdier" than the standard Xbox One controllers. That said, I think the Switch Pro probably has the greatest grips ever made, both in terms of texture and hand fit, so temper your expectations a touch. (I probably shouldn't've voted Elite over Switch Pro. Oh well, it is really close.)

The more recent standard Xbox One controllers (I got one with my X) have nice texturing on the handles. Feels far less cheap, I don't feel bad at all about using it at my parents' house where I don't have access to my Elite. I suspect they've made minor alterations to the bumpers and the general hand fit as well, because it feels noticeably improved.

I've had three generations of Xbox One controller now (a launch-era one, the first headphone jack model, and the most recent model which I got with the X), as well as the Elite, and it's been cool to see them improve over the course of the console generation. Only major complaint I've had has been that the d-pads don't tend to stand up to much more than a hundred or so hours of KI. (I'll be pretty mad if the Elite's d-pad dies on me, but that hasn't happened yet.)

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#47 Edited by Viqor (223 posts) -

Xbox One Elite, mostly because of the build quality and customization. The ergonomics are good, same as the regular X1. Sometimes I feel it's a little too big, but only really in games that require you to use both the shoulder and trigger buttons on one side simultaneously, so it's not a big issue. I really love the customization and especially the rear buttons: I only use 2 of them but I find a good use for them in almost every game I play. I like the Dualshock 4 just fine, but I mostly use my X1 Elite controller with a converter to play PS4 games.

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#48 Posted by Vextroid (1576 posts) -

The Xbox One controller followed very closely by the Switch Pro Controller.

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#49 Posted by ATastySlurpee (665 posts) -

I own a PC, PS4, & a Switch. PS4 is my primary, but when I go to my friends and play his XBOX ONE, man that controller is comfy

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#50 Posted by soulcake (2753 posts) -

Gravis Gamepad.