I am someone who has always used the controller that comes in the box with my Xbox. Never have I deviated from the default controller and bought something else, whether it be made by Microsoft or a third-party brand like Razer or Turtle Beach. Today, I am starting to consider breaking that streak.
Today, Turtle Beach announced the Stealth Ultra, its new wireless controller for the Xbox and PC. This thing is totally bananas at $200, which makes it even more expensive than Microsoft’s own Xbox Elite controller, which costs $179. However, that $20 price increase might actually be worth it for the absolutely bonkers experience you get with this thing.
In a statement, Cris Keirn, Interim CEO & SVP of Global Sales for Turtle Beach, described the Stealth Ultra as “beyond any other controller in the market today.”
“The Stealth Ultra’s premium components, build quality, and features elevate it beyond any other controller in the market today, and firmly establishes it as the must-have controller for gamers who want the best. Turtle Beach controllers have been designed to provide the ultimate in control and to integrate features far exceeding the category. The all-new Stealth Ultra is a supreme testament to that ideal and another clear example of Turtle Beach continuing to deliver on that promise to our fans.”
I will certainly talk about everything else that this controller has, but there’s one feature that by far stands out from the rest: this thing comes with a built-in display. Not only does the display give gamers access to 10 onboard profiles to adjust how the controller functions per game, but it will even serve up notifications from social media. I have no idea why anyone would need that, but the fact that this exists makes me so happy — it means gaming companies are getting weird again.
A patented, Turtle Beach-exclusive feature only available on Stealth Ultra, the Connected Command Display shows social media notifications from your phone on the controller’s dashboard, meaning no more glancing away from the game and missing key moments while checking notifications. The Stealth Ultra’s Connected Command Display also gives players access to on-the-fly adjustments for 10 on-board profiles for different game genres or character loadouts. The display also allows gamers to adjust key controller performance aspects, like button mapping, thumbstick response, dead zones, and vibration intensity, as well as adjusting its visual style with 16.8 million different RGB colors so you can set your preference for aesthetics, notifications, and low battery warnings.
In addition to the absolutely insane concept that is that display, the Stealth Ultra also comes with built-in RGB lighting because — you know — gamers. Being a controller that’s so expensive, you’d expect the controller to feature no drift thumbstick, and thankfully, it does. It also features adjustable triggers, four mappable action buttons, and comes with two extra thumbstick caps. Turtle Beach also says it includes the company’s “proprietary, lag-free 2.4 GHz wireless connection.”
The Stealth Ultra’s AntiDrift thumbsticks use contactless Hall Effect sensors to enhance accuracy and improve durability, and two extra sets of domed thumbstick caps are included for added customization. The trigger stops are adjustable for short hair triggers in action or FPS games, to full travel distance for fine adjustment of throttle and braking in racing games. Plus, four mappable quick-action buttons let gamers configure their exact control preferences depending on the game being played.
In order to use the controller with your Xbox or PC, you will unfortunately have to use an included USB-A transmitter, so that’s a bit of a bummer. However, the controller does come with a built-in battery that can last up to 30 hours and a charging dock that can juice the controller back up to 100% battery life in under two hours. The number of times I’ve been mid-game and had my controller die is, well, a lot, so this might actually be worth considering.
The entire controller can also be customized using the company’s Control Center 2 companion app, which Turtle Beach says will be available on Xbox, PC, Android, and iOS. They also released an announcement video if you want the TLDR on the thing:
The Turtle Beach Stealth Ultra controller will be released on December 15th for $199 worldwide. I am seriously considering trying this thing out. I was almost tempted by the Xbox Elite controller when it was released, but this thing might finally get me to try something that isn’t just what you get in the box with your console.