The PowerA Enhanced Wi-fi Controller is among the higher third-party pads for the Nintendo Swap. You might be almost definitely to purchase one since you desire a full-size controller however can not abdomen the $59.99/£54.99 value of the Nintendo Swap Professional Controller.
A lot of you need to follow the first-party pad. It prices solely $10 extra (with the PowerA coming in at round £40/$50) has better-quality buttons, rumble, NFC and a chargeable battery.
The PowerA Enhanced Wi-fi Controller For Nintendo Swap isn’t any dud, although, and also you’ll usually have the ability to discover a number of of the numerous design variations of this pad promoting approach beneath the unique worth on-line.
That breadth of designs could also be a part of the enchantment too, significantly in case you’re shopping for for somebody a little bit youthful who loses their thoughts on the sight of a pad that appears like a Pokéball.
PowerA despatched us the Apex Legends model of the Enhanced Wi-fi Controller to check out. Highlights embrace solid-enough construct high quality, a good D-pad and cozy additional buttons that may be mapped to behave like every of the primary buttons.
This provides a touch of the performance of a way more costly pad, though you possibly can’t swap across the major button mappings as you may with a Pleasure-Con or Swap Professional Controller.
It’s a must to use AA batteries, there’s no rumble. And whereas latency is okay on Swap, the PowerA Enhanced Wi-fi Controller doesn’t work effectively in case you attempt to use it along with your cellphone as a substitute, in our expertise.
8BitDo makes some fairly compelling options to the PowerA Enhanced Wi-fi Controller. However you are able to do a lot worse, and this pad is a stable match for many who are likely to largely use their Swap in handheld mode, however want a pad for infrequent docked classes. And one which doesn’t value an uncomfortably giant chunk of the cash you initially spent on the console.
Design: the pad of a thousand faces
The PowerA Enhanced Wi-fi Controller’s advertising depends closely on tie-ins. Certain, you may get plain colour pads, however the branded ones get extra consideration.
This Apex Legends model is among the much less eye-catching PowerA makes. There are stacks of Pokemon Enhanced Wi-fi controllers, Animal Crossing designs, Mario ones and extra.
These entrance plates usually are not hot-swappable, and the colours of buttons and fonts range between fashions too. The Cuphead Enhanced Wi-fi Controller makes use of quite a lot of orange plastic, for instance, so wouldn’t look fairly proper with one other fascia on high anyway.
Construct high quality: combined outcomes
Low weight is among the first stuff you’ll discover after selecting up the PowerA Enhanced Wi-fi Controller. It weighs 159g with out batteries, virtually 100g lower than the Swap Professional Controller and Xbox Sequence X pad (with out batteries).
Your preliminary assumption could also be it’s because PowerA makes use of low-cost, skinny plastics. However it’s largely because of the PowerA Enhanced Wi-fi Controller’s lack of rumble motors.
These sit within the pad handgrips in different controllers of this form. These grips are empty right here, so whereas the PowerA Enhanced Wi-fi Controller feels rather a lot like an Xbox pad, the weighting is completely different.
Low weight is nice for teenagers, and fatigue-free play, however right here a big quantity of the burden makes the pad appear to wish to tip away out of your grip, not into it. It is because the batteries sit on the again.
Nevertheless, that there’s an apparent cause for the pad’s low weight is reassuring. The PowerA Enhanced Wi-fi Controller’s plastics usually are not truly flimsy, and there’s no creaking from torsion as you wrench the pad round in your arms.
This doesn’t imply the PowerA Enhanced Wi-fi Controller’s construct is ideal. The 2 analog sticks have rubberized surfaces, and really feel eerily just like the Xbox Sequence consoles’ sticks, however the entire different buttons and controls use easy plastics. First-party pads have a tendency to make use of barely completely different supplies for the A/B/X/Y buttons, as a result of the texture of them is so necessary.
The PowerA Enhanced Wi-fi Controller’s face buttons really feel barely primary, and have extra hole suggestions than these of a top-price pad.
Nonetheless, the D-Pad is stable and will appear an enormous improve in case you love 1-on-1 fighters, however hate enjoying them on Pleasure-Cons.
The PowerA Enhanced Wi-fi Controller has two extra buttons on the again, one on every grip.
These present among the performance of a way more costly console controller and assist masks you could’t customise the button format as a lot as you may on a Nintendo Professional Controller.
You long-press a button on the heart of the rear till the entrance LED shines white. Press one of many major buttons, then one of many again ones to make it copy its enter.
The PowerA Enhanced Wi-fi Controller doesn’t have a number of profiles to allow you to rapidly swap between mappings for various video games. However this course of solely takes a number of seconds and the buttons are positioned proper beneath your center fingers. It is one of many pad’s greatest options.
The PowerA Enhanced Wi-fi Controller misses out on a number of necessary extras discovered within the Nintendo Swap Professional Controller. There’s no rumble in any respect and no NFC, used to scan Amiibo toys.
We are able to dwell with out NFC, however the lack of any rumble appears a disgrace when the rival 8BitDo Professional 2 has rumble motors. Certain, that pad doesn’t have the extra refined HD Rumble of the Nintendo Swap Professional Controller, however a very rumble-free controller might really feel a little bit too inert to a few of you.
The PowerA Enhanced Wi-fi Controller additionally makes use of AA batteries reasonably than a chargeable cell. PowerA says you’ll rise up to 30 hours of use from a pair. This may, in fact, rely on the standard of the batteries you utilize. PowerA bundles a pair of OEM Duracells.
In case you use quite a lot of batteries you may wish to think about shopping for a top quality set such these from Eneloop, which maintain cost about in addition to a non-rechargeable battery.
The PowerA Enhanced Wi-fi Controller additionally lacks a USB connector. You may argue it doesn’t want one, as there’s no battery to cost. However this is able to additionally allow you to use the pad with a cable, wired up.
Enter lag vs Pleasure-Cons
Enter lag just isn’t that easy to check. It’s the hole between you urgent a button and the Swap’s on-screen response.
We needed to see if the PowerA Enhanced Wi-fi Controller has worse latency than the usual Pleasure-Cons, so we used a 240fps digital camera to see if there’s a noticeable distinction.
We judged this by counting the frames between a full despair of the button and the primary body of animation when switching between gadgets within the Swap menu. It’s not as exact a method to measure latency as hooking up an LED to the controller’s circuit (giving a clearer visible cue of a button press), however we’re right here to get an thought in regards to the relative distinction in responsiveness, not absolute figures.
The Pleasure-Con enter kicked in on-screen after 32 frames, suggesting an enter lag of 133ms. The PowerA Enhanced Wi-fi Controller took 40 frames, suggesting an enter lag of 160ms. In real-world phrases, this implies the PowerA is likely to be two frames behind the Pleasure-Cons in a 60fps sport or a single body in a 30fps sport.
We didn’t discover the PowerA Enhanced Wi-fi Controller’s latency distracting, or noticeable, however third-party pads like this do are likely to have barely larger enter lag.
Issues take a flip for the more serious in case you attempt to use the PowerA Enhanced Wi-fi Controller as a pad to your cellphone. We tried it with two Androids, and the lag was insufferable. The pad’s entrance LEDs additionally continued to flash in sequence, suggesting it remained in pairing mode even when related, which will be the supply of the difficulty.
We additionally tried the PowerA Enhanced Wi-fi Controller with a Mac, and it labored completely, providing the identical kind of responsive really feel you get when enjoying in your Swap.