Dream Controller Review: Beautiful But Expensive Custom Controllers

Xbox Elite Dream Controller Review

Inject a bit of luxury into your videogaming experience with a custom printed controller from Dream Controller.

Custom controllers are trendy, let’s face it. Sure, it may only be superficial, but for those of us who play games on our consoles every day, having a little bit of your personality reflected in the object you hold in your hands for hours at a time is an attractive prospect. And one of the best custom controller manufacturers on the market is Dream Controller.

Dream Controller offers premium designs for Xbox, Xbox Elite and Switch Joy-Con controller, along with full custom Switches, Meta Quest 2 and even Airpods. These aren’t simply cases or covers: they’re professionally printed hydrographics applied directly onto the controller. You’re getting an authentic and new first party controller, but one that’s been custom printed. And the results are, quite frankly, beautiful.

We’ve had our hands on a custom printed Xbox Elite Series 2 controller, with Dream Controller’s ‘Watercolor Leopard’ design applied to it. The printing quality is very good: vibrant with no sign of any printing errors. You can opt for just the front, or the front and back printed (at an extra cost, of course – we’ll get to that shortly). Ours came printed on both sides, a gorgeous yellow-pink watercolour treatment breathing life into a controller that would ordinarily be plain black. It’s a thing to behold – and our other controllers look incredibly boring in comparison.

Xbox Elite Dream Controller Review

Our Xbox Elite Dream Controller came very well packaged. It’s exactly how an official Microsoft product would come packaged, with the addition of a ‘Dream Controller’ sleeve. That means in the box we have the protective holster you’d expect with an Elite controller, along with the changeable thumbsticks, paddles and d-pad. Everything is brand new; the box even has all of the official Microsoft instructions and warranty information in there (although we suspect any warranty with Microsoft would be void. Dream Controller instead offer a 30 day money back guarantee for faulty goods, and a six-month window for free repairs).

Xbox Elite Dream Controller Review

There’s an inordinate number of designs to choose from on Dream Controller’s website. Many are anime-inspired, with others based on popular films and TV. There are Marvel designs, of course, and some even as random as Shaun the Sheep. There are even some game-themed controllers – with some as obscure (but very much appreciated) as Neon Abyss. If you’d rather have something more neutral, there are plenty of non-branded patterns to opt for, too. In other words, you’re more than likely going to find a design that you love.

However – and this is a big however – purchasing a controller from Dream Controller is not cheap. A standard Xbox controller will cost you $60, but a Dream Controller Xbox controller will set you back at least $120. And the Elite Controller we got our hands on? While from Microsoft the standard product will cost you $180, Dream Controller prices start at $240 – going up to $265 if you want the front and back printed.

Xbox Elite Dream Controller Review

That’s a lot of money for a bit of custom colour. But watching the ‘How It’s Made’ video available on any one of Dream Controller’s product pages gives an insight into the care and expertise that goes into making one of its controllers. This isn’t a quick and easy process, and that’s reflected in the price. Ultimately, this is a luxury product: it might be expensive, but it’s going to make a statement.

Would we whole-heartedly recommend a Dream Controller? If you have the money to spend and want a high quality custom controller, then yes. Cheaper options do exist, of course. Microsoft’s own Design Lab costs significantly less (although its designs are much more limited), and looking on Amazon and the like will turn up any number of custom face plates and transfers. But here, you’re paying for quality – and quality is what you’re going to get.

Dream Controller controllers are available from the official website. Using code ‘DREAM10’ will net you 10% off any order.

Thanks to Dream Controller for supplying us with a unit for the purposes of this review.