Game Reviews

PowerA Fusion Review: Elite Switch Controller With a Catch

Story Highlights
  • “The PowerA Fusion is a solid third-party option as long as you're comfortable trading key features for customization.”
The PowerA Fusion Switch controller in its case.

PROS

  • Robust bundle deal
  • Easy customization
  • Sturdy assemble
  • Handy once more paddles

CONS

  • Pricey
  • Missing key choices
  • Reduced battery life

The PowerA Fusion might merely be the closest we get to having an Xbox Elite Series 2 equal for the Nintendo Switch. The third-party controller is loaded with bells and whistles that make it actually really feel like a forward-thinking redesign of the proper Nintendo Switch controllers.

Considering that Nintendo often strikes sideways comparatively than forwards with tech, there’s a lot to get obsessed with proper right here. The PowerA Fusion comes with mappable once more paddles, swappable joysticks, and completely different customization selections which have on no account been potential on a formally licensed Nintendo controller. Though regarding third-party gear, there’s on a regular basis a stage of compromise. Some missing elementary choices add a stage of give-and-take that players would possibly wish to weigh sooner than making a pricey dedication.

The total bundle deal

The PowerA Fusion retails for $100, which makes it dearer than a customary Switch Pro controller. When wanting on the complete bundle deal, it’s easy to see why. The discipline doesn’t merely embody a wi-fi controller. There’s an once more paddle pack, 4 thumbsticks, two swappable faceplates, and additional — all housed inside a helpful carrying case.

It’s laborious to consider Nintendo making one factor with the an identical sort of utility …

Considering that the official Pro Controller retails for $70 with none of that justifies the extra $30.The closest parallel to the PowerA Fusion is the $180 Xbox Elite Series 2, which is an equally rich bundle deal. They aren’t exact comparisons considering that the Elite Series 2 is fairly extra technologically superior, but it surely absolutely’s the closest we’ve seen regarding Switch know-how.

The PowerA Fusion Switch controller with all its parts.

The controller itself (with out the once more paddles put in) is totally cozy and doesn’t actually really feel terribly fully completely different from a customary Pro controller. Some of its buttons protrude out a little additional and the grips actually really feel a contact thick, but it surely absolutely doesn’t have the knockoff design of the third-party pads we grew up with.

Removing and altering components is a snap, really. The magnetic faceplates pop correct off and the thumbsticks are easy to swap. There’s even some flexibility with the paddle pack. Each paddle could possibly be merely modified, and the pack itself could possibly be popped out at any time if it is getting in the way in which through which. Just wanting on the Fusion from a customization standpoint, all of its shifting components are intuitive and easy to take care of. It’s laborious to consider Nintendo making one factor with the an identical sort of utility throughout the Switch’s lifetime.

The pleasure of once more buttons

The once more paddles are the principal attraction proper right here. When the skilled pack is connected, the controller will get 4 metallic paddles that sit between the grips. Buttons could possibly be merely mapped to each paddle with merely three quick inputs.

There are some limits to the mapping. Button mixtures can’t be assigned to 1 paddle. I was moreover hoping to map the most effective stick’s cardinal directions to the paddles to control Tetris 99’s concentrating on the system, nonetheless no dice. The additional doable use is that players will map the 4 main face buttons to the once more so that they on no account ought to take away their thumb from the most effective stick.

The PowerA Fusion Switchj controller's back paddles.

Even with their limits, the paddles could possibly be extraordinarily useful. While I couldn’t map my concentrating in Tetris 99, I’d assign my rotate buttons to them. It’s a straightforward change, but it surely absolutely meant that I on no account wanted to swap between purpose and rotate, which could have risked a misfire when dropping objects throughout the fast-paced late recreation. When testing with New Pokemon Snap, I mapped each paddle to considered one of many face buttons, which added additional fluidity to taking photographs. I on no account misplaced full administration of the digicam and can scan or throw fruit with out shifting a finger.

I found that my palms felt a little cramped on events making an attempt to position my fingers throughout the thick controller. I wouldn’t title it uncomfortable by a prolonged shot, but it surely absolutely did require a a lot much less pure grip. One good perk proper right here is that the paddle pack is completely removable and the slot it pops into could possibly be closed up when it’s out. Anyone who feels prefers it’s getting in the way in which which might merely take away it. Even with their limits, the paddles could possibly be extraordinarily useful.

I did experience a issue with the two left paddles on a regular basis mapping to the an identical button. PowerA says that’s doable as a results of a defective model. Given that others didn’t have that disadvantage, that does seem like the case. However, it does operate as a reminder of a hazard you run with third-party gaming tech; it’s extra sturdy to ensure consistency versus the first-party product from a agency like Microsoft. Though considering Nintendo’s private, official controllers are notoriously defective (spurring Joy-Con to float lawsuits), the PowerA isn’t really unreliable by comparability.

Give-and-take

All of those shiny choices might sound too good to be true — and so they’re, to an extent. While the Fusion choices all sorts of customization that Switch players have solely dreamed of, it’s moreover missing some fundamentals.

There’s give-and-take proper right here as players could be sacrificing some fundamentals for personalization potential.

The most evident disadvantage is that the controller choices no rumble. I don’t suggest that it’s lacking the Joy-Cons’ HD rumble; it doesn’t shake the least bit. Even with all the thrilling extras, that could possibly be a deal-breaker for some. It’s moreover missing the amibo reader efficiency, which is presently in a common Pro controller. That’s a lot a lot much less of a disadvantage considering that Amiibo assist has on a regular basis been an space of curiosity, nonetheless, devoted followers may be a little delay by its absence proper right here.

The battery life is a step-down, too. While the Pro controller can final so long as 40 hours, the Fusion taps out at round 20.

The PowerA Fusion's thumbstick and buttons.

That’s the place the $100 value stage turns into additional of a debate. It’s not like PowerA is offering all the capabilities of a Pro controller with a lot of extras. There’s give-and-take proper right here as players could be sacrificing some fundamentals for personalization potential. Whether or not it’s the worth it lastly comes proper right down to what a participant values in a Switch controller. Those who merely want one factor nearer to an Xbox controller can stick with the Pro controller.

If the priority is customization, there’s no comparability, as a results of Nintendo offers subsequent to nothing in that division. It may also be plugged in, which is a step up from a few of PowerA’s regular AA-powered wi-fi Switch pads.

Our take

The PowerA Fusion is a sturdy Nintendo Switch Pro controller completely different for players who want, properly, additional administration. The once more paddles, swappable faceplates, and removable joysticks all make this actually really feel like worthwhile funding. If the PowerA had rumble efficiency and Amiibo assist, it’d be a easy enchancment. Those omissions make the $100 price tag actually really feel a little steep for anyone who merely needs a greater mannequin of the Pro controller, comparatively than a highly effective, alternate one.

Is there a greater distinction?

The official Nintendo Switch Pro controller is sturdier and cheaper, though the Fusion is uncontested regarding its customization.

How prolonged will it ultimate?

The battery lasts as a lot as 20 hours, which is half of what the official Pro controller offers. Compared to completely different third-party controllers, it feels sturdier than ordinary, even with some plastic buttons.

Should you buy it?

Yes. If you’re notably trying to find additional in-depth customization for Switch controls, the Fusion is a pretty sturdy bundle deal. Otherwise, stick with the Pro.

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