FirstEditScreenControllers are boring. Now, thanks to the Xbox Design Lab, there are 8 million ways to make them shine. The new service offers gamers the opportunity to design their own Xbox One controller through an online interface that is both simple and fun.

To begin, gamers of all ages can go here, and select the “Design Yours” option on the lower left hand side of the page to get started. From there, the possibilities are endless. Note: a Microsoft account is required to proceed past the first design stage.

Step one of the Xbox Design Lab is where the creative magic happens. Here, enthusiasts can select the color and style of nearly every single part of the controller, including the front and back of the body, bumpers and triggers, D-pad, thumbsticks, view and menu buttons, and the ever-important ABXY configuration. As a designer, this was my paradise.FinalFrontThe Toy Insider office was in dire need of a new resident controller, one with enough pizazz to match the colorful nature of the work we do. With the Xbox Design Lab, it wasn’t hard to make that happen. For the body of the controller, I was faced with 15 color options. There was retro pink, lightning yellow, electric green, zest orange, and regal purple all shouting my name, but it was photon blue that ultimately received the honor. I eventually chose midnight blue for the D-pad and thumbsticks (this provided some great contrast), lightning yellow for the back, and oxide red for the bumpers and triggers. Gray on white buttons made for a perfect accent.

What’s so great about the Xbox Design Lab is how simple and intuitive it is. Color changes load quickly, so designers can easily toggle between the colors they’re contemplating, and the visual render of the controller is quite realistic. Not only does this give creators a good idea of what their controller will look like when it arrives, but it’s simply just pretty to look at. And with the option to view the controller on a 360-degree axis, gamers can literally rotate their customized controller and view it from any angle they can imagine. Sometimes, it’s all about perspective.

Kids can even save their designs and come back to them later, just in case they want to show a friend or sleep on their creative vision for a night (or if you’re like me, a bunch of nights) before pulling the trigger.


Once joystick junkies finish dousing their personalized handheld with color, the Design Lab will load a new page and display a mosaic of beautiful images that show off all of the controllers’ curves, edges, and perfect imperfections. To anyone who gets this far in the design process and doesn’t make the purchase: I admire your godly resistance to temptation.

From here, users can choose to add a laser engraving (for a small additional fee) for a more personal touch, or go back and make more adjustments. Designers won’t be able to choose the color, style, or location of the engraving, but it’s just another way for gamers to make it theirs, or for parents to distinguish between kids’ controlllers. As you may have guessed, I went with a “The Toy Insider” engraving on my design.

The Xbox Design Lab is really neat, and it’s a downright blast to use. Heck, I even went back and designed a few more controllers just for kicks. Turnaround time is about six weeks, but things like this are worth the wait. And at a cost of just $10 more than a standard controller, there’s no reason not to get your hands on one. Thanks to the creative hub that is the Xbox Design Lab, the process of creating a unique controller quickly becomes just as enjoyable as the games kids will play with it.

Check out the video below for even more colorful creations.