The Xbox Design Lab website is back, letting users officially create their own custom controllers that are then built and shipped by Microsoft. The Lab was first launched in 2016, but shut down for a bit during the Xbox Series X/S launch. Now, it’s back and supports the new Xbox controller too.
The Design Lab works similarly to third-party-run custom controller websites, letting folks pick different colours for different parts. Want blue triggers and a green front? You can do it. However, unlike those sites, The Design Lab controllers come officially from Microsoft, and in my experience have had much better build and colour quality. It also tends to be cheaper too: A fully custom controller from Microsoft will run you $US69 ($88). You can get a custom message engraved on it too, if you are feeling fancy. But that will bump up the price by 10 bucks.
Our own Fahey has made some nice-looking controllers using the service. Back in 2017, he made a really slick Xbox gamepad using bits and parts that had been recently added to the site.
Back in October 2020, Micorosft shut down the Design Lab service, but made it clear this wasn’t permanent. Instead, the tech giant was pausing support for the site until sometime in 2021. Turns out that sometime was June! The big difference now compared to 2020 is that the site supports the new Xbox controllers, which include a nifty little share button. (I wonder where Xbox got the idea for that button. Hmm…)
If you want to make your own classy (or nasty) looking Xbox controller, you can jump over to the site today. Just a heads up: Even after the minor pause and update, Microsoft still isn’t doing custom designs for Elite controllers.