Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

5 Xbox Design Lab Controllers The Internet Is Drooling Over

Many of the coolest custom consoles have never seen the light of day, but Microsoft once had a way to offer gamers fully customized and super colorful controllers via the Xbox Design Lab. Players could color coordinate to their hearts' content and receive their unique controller in the mail with just a few clicks. Design Lab was put on hiatus when the Xbox Series X and Series S were released, but now, the service is back in full force to deliver players those sweet, sweet candy-colored controllers they've been dreaming of. Even better, the lab now offers custom controllers for the latest Xbox consoles.


James Hunter, Xbox's senior director of strategy and business, broke the news via a blog post, explaining that Xbox is happy to be "providing our fans with choice and opportunities to express themselves" once again. The new and improved Xbox design lab has 18 colors for players to choose from, as well as a variety of engraving options to mark special events. Most of the color options even include recycled plastics for the environmentally conscious.

Creative gamers flocked to the Xbox Design Lab website to make their own masterpieces and inevitably share them online, and fans are stunned by the results. Here are some of the top designs created by gamers so far.

Metroid-themed madness

"Metroid Dread" has been around longer than most people realize, but that doesn't mean the fan hype over the upcoming title from Nintendo is any less palpable. "Metroid Dread" will correct the mistakes of past games and provide the first 2D "Metroid" adventure in almost 19 years. Gamers are excited, understandably, and even though the new title won't release on the Xbox, two gamers created colorful controllers to celebrate the announcement.


@HiddenDLC tweeted a picture of their "Metroid" inspired Xbox controller from the Design Lab, saying, "I'm so happy seeing all the love the 'Metroid' series is receiving, I made a 'Metroid Dread' edition Xbox Controller." The controller features a white body, with a turquoise back plate and red accents on the bumpers and joysticks.

Dr. Satish Shewhorak of POC in Play joined in the fun by creating his own "Metroid: Dread" controller. It similarly features a white face plate, red bumpers, and a red D-pad, but the joysticks are a crisp turquoise color. Both designs are stunning in their simplicity and their quiet nods to Samus' revamped suit, which has aqua accents.

What does it feel like to chew an Xbox controller?

It's typically unadvisable to take a bite out of your controller, but one design by Aarik Dorobiala, the community manager for Obsidian's upcoming "Grounded," has fans second guessing that general rule. Dorobiala created a 5 Gum-themed controller in the Xbox Design Lab. The controller featured a black body, gray back plate and D-pad, and minty green joysticks and bumpers.


In his tweet, Dorobiala said the resemblance between his controller and the popular chewing gum brand was "unintentional," but the color combination looks like the perfect marriage of cool and cute. Xbox's official Twitter account responded to the design by advising Dorobiala, "Please do not chew on your controller." Dorobiala made no promises, but insisted he'd try not to. 

One of Dorobiala's coworkers then challenged him to create a Durance controller to honor the legendary "Pillars of Eternity ” character. Though it's unclear what that design might look like, it goes to show how versatile the Design Lab is, allowing gamers the opportunity to make controllers of that fit personal aesthetics and pay tribute to their favorite games or characters.


Think pink

Xbox UK host and streamer Bexbomb showed off her new Design Lab controller on Twitter, staging artistic shots of it in all its pink glory. To complete the picture, Bexbomb even photographed the controller next to some flowers, allowing fans to see just how bright the controller really is. 


Bexbomb's controller features hot pink accents, with a softer pink body, white buttons, and a gray backplate and bumpers. Xbox UK kindly engraved Bexbomb's controller with her gamer tag, even further personalized to her liking. Many gamers yearn for softer colors in gaming paraphernalia, and this pink controller with its uncluttered design and subtle engraving might just do the trick.

Bexbomb's fans all responded positively to her new pink controller, with many of them commenting that they also wanted to order themselves a customized design from the Lab. One gamer even posted a picture of her matching device, calling the two women twinsies. 

Controllers with Pride

For Pride 2021, Xbox shared a limited edition controller with select streamers, but some fans wanted more from a Pride controller. More personalized devices to honor specific groups were almost impossible to obtain, but Xbox's Design Lab makes it possible for gamers to combine colors in order to represent themselves more fully.


Gamer @Kaelyrhn created a controller honoring transgender people. It featured a pink backplate and blue front, with pink joysticks and white bumpers. In addition to showing confidence and joy in one's gender, the controllers also look stunning and would be a great addition to any player's collection.

Another gamer responded to the design, saying, "I'm kind of proud of Xbox right now for giving options instead of like you know camo steel gold extreme etc." It's true that many gaming devices often use masculine-coded colors while passing over more colorful options. More options allow gamers to personalize their setup and feel like their tools reflect their identity.

Gotta Catch 'Em All

"Pokemon" may never have a game on Xbox, but "Pokemon" fans certainly play the rival console and would enjoy representing their fandom with a pocket monster themed controller. Twitter user @ArylinMarie took to the Xbox Design Lab to create four iconic "Pokemon" controllers, each designed after first generation Pokemon. @ArylinMarie said, "So, the Xbox Design Lab just relaunched, and I'm already making all Pokemon themed controllers that I might, or might not get... eventually..."


@ArylinMarie created Charizard, Pikachu, Bulbasaur, and Squirtle controllers, with each matching its respective character perfectly. The Pikachu design even had red joysticks that mimicked Pikachu's red cheeks.

Other gamers responded to the thread to praise the cute "Pokemon" designs. One noted how addicting the customization can be, while others simply agreed that the designs were beautiful across the board.

At $69.99 per controller (with a small uncharge for engraving), gamers might not be able to get as many designs as they'd like. Still, the Xbox Design Lab provides gamers with a chance to express their personality and wear their Xbox fandom with pride.