Last Minute Holiday Gift Guide Part 2: Controllers

Our editors are sharing their picks for what to buy for the gaming fans in your life. Next up, that classic gamer gift: new controllers.

Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 – Core (Blue/Black or Red/Black)

Now available in Vibrant Red or Blue, the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 – Core offers all of the core (pun intended) features of the Xbox Elite Series 2 at a lower price. The adjustable-tension thumbsticks, shorter hair trigger locks, and standard face buttons can then be further customized using three different profiles. Then, if you want to upgrade to swappable analog sticks, back paddles, and D-pad, you can always do so later.

PlayStation 5 DualSense Wireless Controller (Volcanic Red or Cobalt Blue)

These two new colorways are functionally identical to the standard DualSense controller that comes with the PlayStation 5, meaning you get the same advanced haptic feedback, adaptive triggers, and touchpad functionality, in addition to the usual buttons and sticks. But now they’re red—like lava!—or blue—like cobalt! Mineral-tastic! Look, we decided we were going to make all the gift guide entries the same length, so bear with us.

Nintendo Switch Joy-Con (Pastel Purple/Pastel Green or Pastel Pink/Pastel Yellow)

Over the past six years, Nintendo has done a great job of offering a variety of color options for the Switch’s Joy-Con controllers, letting you slide a bit of extra personality onto the sides of your system—great for showing off on the go. This year, the Big N introduced two new pastel pairings, offering a softer vibe than previous options. Of course, you can also mix and match these new colors with your other Joy-Con to be a real trendsetter.

DualSense Edge

Built to look and feel like the standard PS5 controller you already know and love, Sony’s first official pro controller then beefs itself up with changeable analog stick caps, adjustable trigger sensitivity, additional back buttons, and a host of profile options for customizing your controller just the way you like it. Our favorite feature? If you have any problem with the analog sticks, you can easily swap them out rather than replacing the whole controller.

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