PowerA – Enhanced Wired Controller – Xbox One Review

Manufacturer: PowerA
Where to buy: PowerA
Price: $29.99 – Or Region Equivalent

If you’re anything like me, you’ll go through your fair share of Xbox One controllers, especially following a session with the likes of Cuphead. That being said, there’s a variety of manufacturers out there to select from, and prices tend to vary considerably. Now, if you’re looking for affordability, there’s no shortage of choice. The problem, however, is that when you go cheap, you’re typically getting what you pay for. It’s because of this that I’ve made a habit of shying away from that option, but after trying the PowerA Enhanced Wired Controller, I’m a convert.

Whilst nowhere near on the same level as quality as the costlier options on the market, I daresay that the PowerA Enhanced Wired Controller is up there with the best of its kind, and certainly among the best of its price bracket. Sure, there’s a few drawbacks to be mindful of, but in the grand scheme of things, if you’re looking for a sturdy kit that doesn’t break the bank, but still manages to cover great resilience and a solid quality, this is for you. With that in mind, let’s dive on in and get to the nitty gritty. What makes PowerA’s controller a standout option?

First and foremost, the controller sports some advanced features; namely two extra buttons located to the rear of the pad, alongside a profile button. The controller is indeed wired, and it lacks the deep customization of its high-end contemporaries, but still, for the lump sum of just $29.99, you cant be too expectant. The controller excels in regards to what it offers, giving you just the right amount of flexibility. It helps, of course, that the mapping process remains easy to apply; the whole process taking just little more than a few seconds to setup from the get-go.

You’ll power on the controller and sync it to your console via connecting the eight foot wire from pad to Xbox One. Once powered, you’ll press the program button on the rear of the pad. Doing this will see the controller’s LED flashing, signifying that the controller is now in assign mode. During this phase, you’ll simply press the button that want you to remap, and then tap the advanced button you wish to remap it to, to finally assign it. Naturally, you’ll repeat the same process for the remaining advanced button, and that’s that, you’re all set and ready to go.

The controller comes with some very easy-to-understand instructions, giving you all the intel that you need in regards to setup, resetting the remap, and so forth. It couldn’t be any easier if it tried. Moving back to the wire length, the wire, as aforementioned, offers plenty of reach. Whilst it may be a bad move to play in the presence of children running through the home, I can only report good things here. I’ve played using the controller for an absolute age now, and although I do usually aim for a wireless setup, the generous wire length gives plenty of leeway.

With the fundamentals out of the way, how does the controller feel? Surprisingly, it feels a lot better than I was expecting. Sure, you’re bound to notice a few differences between this and the official Xbox One controller, but still, it’s remarkably comfortable nonetheless. The controller’s framework is sturdy and robust, and comes finished in a smooth rubberized finish that feels great. I should also point out that there’s a wide range of designs and colors to select from, many of which are accessible directly from PowerA’s rather impressive diverse storefront.

Every single function on the controller is well set too. The controller’s face buttons have a good click to them, as do to the triggers, the bumpers, and the D-Pad. I’ll say the same for the View and Menu buttons, as well as the Guide button. The main difference from an aesthetic point of view, is that the Guide button does not illuminate. Instead, a small LED located just under the Guide button showcases power. Elsewhere, the thumbsticks are well structured; both are precision-tuned to ensure you’re given great feedback in regards to your overall movement.

These too click rather well, and throughout its entirety, the PowerA Enhanced Wired Controller is clearly built to last. I’ve hammered a variety of games using the controller, from Sea of Thieves, right through to DOOM. There’s no give whatsoever, the controller has stellar durability for its cost. You’ll also find a headset jack to the underneath of the controller, no different to the official Xbox One controller. The only issue here is that you’ll not be able to plug-in specific accessories that are supported elsewhere, but again, for its cost, we cant really grumble here.

There’s a reason this controller is officially licensed by Microsoft, and that’s because unlike many of the gimmick choices out there, the PowerA Enhanced Wired Controller is very low cost, very high value. The ability to map buttons gives you just enough freedom to manipulate the controller how you see fit, granting you an edge in the process. The fact that, even with that to the side, the controller is so comfortable, so durable, and so resistant, is the proverbial cherry on the cake. It’s responsive, it’s well designed, and above all else, simply put, it’s a great option.

Conclusion

The PowerA Enhanced Wired Controller is outstanding value. Not only is this a massively affordable option, but it’s surprisingly robust and gorgeously designed. The ability to fluidly remap buttons to the advanced extras is as easy as breathing, and as responsive and as reliable as can be. It helps, of course, that the whole framework feels great to hold, offering comfort, resilience, and flexibility throughout even prolonged sessions of gaming.

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Good
  • Sturdy, reliable, and resilient.
  • Some flexibility through its enhanced button features.
  • Nice amount of cord length to it.
  • Great overall value for its cheap cost.
Bad
  • Buttons are slightly smaller than its official counterpart.
8
Great
Usability - 8.5
Design - 7.5
Durability - 7.5
Value for Price - 8.5
Written by
Howdy folks! Now, as of July 23rd, 2019, I no longer operate here at Xbox Tavern. It was one hell of a ride; creating this, building this, and operating it for several years, but, we all hit a proverbial point that encourages us to move on, and that's what I've done; handing the reigns to the very capable Jamie. Want to keep in touch? My Gamertag is Kaloudz Peace! Love to you all, Mark!

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