|For control items, you start with the standard blue X, yellow Y, red B and green A buttons. There are two thumbsticks, one on the upper left and one in the center right. There is also a directional (d-pad) in the lower left.|
Next, you have a pair of shoulder buttons at the "top" of the unit, up above the other buttons. You also have a pair of triggers below those shoulder buttons.
Finally, you have a center X button that can be used to turn the console on and off, plus a "start" and "back" tiny white buttons on either side of it.
The unit has a rechargeable battery unit inside it, the size of two AA batteries. You have to buy a recharger set SEPARATELY that lets you charge up while you play. In essence you plug the charger into the back of the controller - and the other end into the USB port in the front of the XBox 360 unit. So you play with the controller "wired" as it charges up. When it's fully charged again, you just pop off the wire and keep playing.
The range of the wireless unit is 30', which is probably much further than anybody is really going to even try playing a game at. The wireless is much easier on your hand - no cable holding you down - plus it's a great help in keeping your gaming area organized. You can easily pass the controller from person to person, and visitors can come and go without tripping over wires.
The documentation says you can get 40 hours of gameplay between charges, but if you have features such as vibration on, that sucks the time down to maybe 8-10 hours. It's up to you of course - I personally like having vibration on because it is often important for gameplay to get those warning signals.
Still, even if I have to plug the cables in every 10 hours or so to give it a juice boost, I still love wireless!! Highly recommended.
Buy the XBox 360 Wireless Controller from Amazon.com