Why Are Xbox Controllers So Expensive? (11 Reasons Why)

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Freya Crawford

Freya Crawford is a self-confessed geek. She loves gaming, watching classic movies, and her guilty pleasure is trashy reality TV. She also enjoys collecting old NES and Gameboy games.

If you are a fan of console gaming, you have probably gotten into consoles like the Xbox. However, most of these consoles require other items to be usable, such as a controller.

If you have seen the cost of Xbox controllers, you may be wondering why Xbox controllers are so expensive. I did some digging, and here is what I learned!

Why Are Xbox Controllers So Expensive?

Xbox controllers are expensive because they are made from costly materials that require qualified engineers and other employees to design and create. Moreover, there was a high demand for Xbox controllers despite the shortage of controllers. Plus, the various features of an Xbox controller add to the final cost of it.

Are you curious to learn more facts about what attributes to the price of Xbox controllers? I made a list of factors below, so keep reading!

1. High-Quality Materials

Usually, one of the main drivers of an Xbox controller’s price is Xbox’s materials to make the controller.

For instance, most of the parts used to make the Xbox controller are steel, which is usually expensive.

Moreover, other parts of the controller, such as circuit boards, are fragile and can get costly.

2. Wireless Connectivity

Another major feature that has made Xbox controllers more expensive is the wireless connectivity.

For example, Xbox now allows its users to use the controllers without dealing with wires unless they need to charge the controller.

However, developing and utilizing this wireless connectivity is not cheap, so Xbox has to factor that into the price of the controllers.

3. Increased Demand

Generally, gaming has been more popular than ever, with almost everyone playing some type of game.

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For instance, streamers have led to most youth buying consoles to play the same games that their creators play.

Moreover, lockdowns from the COVID-19 pandemic caused more people to look for entertainment at home, usually gaming.

Unfortunately, this meant a huge increase in demand for gaming consoles and related equipment, especially Xbox controllers.

4. Shortages

As stated earlier, there is an increased demand for Xbox controllers, and this was especially true during the COVID-19 pandemic when more people wanted to play games while at home.

However, few manufacturing companies were open to produce more Xbox controllers, which led to various shortages.

Moreover, whatever few manufacturing companies that were running had a tough time keeping up with the demand for Xbox controllers.

Therefore, companies like Xbox had to start charging more for Xbox controllers to deal with these shortages.

Also, it is important to note that there is a restricted supply for Xbox controllers in general, but the exact reasons as to why have not been confirmed.

5. Warranties

5. Warranties

When you purchase an Xbox controller from a legitimate seller, you usually get a warranty for the controller.

Further, almost all Xbox controllers have a 90-day warranty after the purchase date that allows users to have the controller replaced or repaired within that period.

Typically, the warranty will serve as an “insurance” for any potential damages that the controller may have, which Xbox factors into the final price of the Xbox controller.

6. Engineering

Typically, controllers are not easy to make, and many engineers will be required to think of a functional and practical design for each controller.

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Normally, engineers must be hired and paid to create the designs for the Xbox controllers, which can take quite a bit of time and effort that they need to be compensated for.

7. Consoles Aren’t Profitable

Truthfully speaking, consoles are not as profitable as you think. While a company can sell millions of consoles, most people do not constantly buy new consoles.

That said, this is because people are unlikely to need more than one of each console edition unless they break it, which does not happen that often.

Usually, these companies focus on releasing more peripherals like controllers to create more revenue.

For instance, Xbox may release a new controller with more features, such as a touchpad, that the last controller did not have, which will urge Xbox users to buy the latest controller.

8. Willing Markets

More often than not, the market will decide how much an item will cost based on the perceived value.

Therefore, the target market can actually make an item more expensive than it should be because the target market would pay for it regardless.

For instance, most people who use Xbox controllers are teenagers and young adults who want the most out of their gaming experiences.

That said, this younger market will be more willing to pay for the best Xbox controller possible, which allows Xbox to charge more for its controllers.

9. Labor Costs

As stated earlier, engineers have to be hired to make the controllers, but Xbox will have to employ a lot of other employees to keep the company running.

For instance, engineers will not be the ones solely creating each Xbox controller as other employees can set up the controllers once they have the design and instructions.

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Therefore, this means that Xbox will have to factor in the costs of the employees into the controllers to pay them appropriately.

10. Profits

Generally, the main reason why Xbox controllers are expensive is that Xbox is still a company that needs to make a profit.

For example, if Xbox were to make the controllers cheaper, Xbox would not have enough money to earn a profit while paying for the employees and other input costs.

11. Various Parts

Typically, you are not only buying the controller itself when you purchase an Xbox controller because it comes with various parts.

For example, each Xbox controller comes with a DC charger and battery, which will be factored into the price.

To learn more, you can also read our posts on why PS4 controllers are so expensive, why GPUs are so expensive, and why gg domains are so expensive.


Xbox controllers are expensive because of the costs it takes to make them since the employees, materials, etc., will be factored into the price of the controller.

Moreover, Xbox still needs to profit from the controllers since Xbox does not earn that much through its consoles, and Xbox’s target market is willing to pay for expensive controllers.


  • Freya Crawford

    Freya Crawford is a self-confessed geek. She loves gaming, watching classic movies, and her guilty pleasure is trashy reality TV. She also enjoys collecting old NES and Gameboy games.

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