Generally, when looking for a new controller for your Xbox Series X|S console, you don’t always think about some of the third-party companies. Mostly because Microsoft has a pretty strong monopoly on the controller market. But there are some third-party options worth looking into. One of these is PowerA for a number of reasons.
For one, the company’s controllers are some of the closest it gets when it comes to compatibility and likeness. They feel similar in the hand and offer all of the same button positions, usually with a few more to make use of. On top of that, they are one of the few companies that have been officially licensed to sell special edition-themed controllers. One of which we get to talk about today.
In this case, we have been using PowerA’s Mass Effect N7 Edition Xbox X|S Wired Controller. Themed after the popular video game franchise, this controller bares a unique design across its front.
Since it is wired, there is no need to worry about replacing batteries. This is good for those who spend a lot of time playing games. Helping to save a little money in the process. This also means the controllers easily work in other situations, which we will get to in a moment.
As mentioned, the controller looks similar to the normal Xbox controllers. Minus a few differences, such as being a little lighter, and the D-pad feels a little different. It also has a volume up and down toggle near the bottom that also pushes in to mute or unmute the microphone (all for when you are using a wired headset with it). The port for the wired headset (if you use one) is at the bottom.
Beyond that, all other buttons are in the same locations outside of a few extra ones on the back.
The back side of the remote contains two extra buttons that can be custom mapped on the console. Along with a third bottom in the center which is for programming those buttons. You can map those buttons to be any of the buttons on the front of the controller.
Like any other wired controller for the Xbox consoles, there is a micro-USB port on the top of the controller for connecting the cable between the controller and the console (or Windows PC).
It does come with the USB cable so there isn’t anything else you need to get it working with your console (or PC).
Of course, there is a lot of chatter about what controllers do or do not work with Tesla vehicles. PowerA has been considered one of the top choices out there (including by us), so we had to put it up against a few Tesla models to make sure nothing has changed. Especially, since you run into a review here and there that claims they do not work (which is likely caused by people plugging their controller into the wrong ports that do not support data devices).
Anytime we come across a new Xbox controller, this is always something we need to point out due to the growing popularity of using Xbox controllers within these vehicles. Especially, ever since Tesla announced that it was adding support for Steam within recent Model S and Model X vehicles. The controller also works well for the normal Arcade features, so it works with Model 3 and Model Y vehicles as well.
Our experience with using this controller (and other PowerA models) has been pretty positive. We haven’t run into any issues like joystick drift and (as mentioned) it even works well with Tesla vehicles. From Xbox Series X to modern Windows machines, this makes for a great alternative to the official Microsoft wired controllers since you really can’t find them. The current official options are typically just the wireless controller with the plug-and-play cable kit.
The Mass Effect design is nice, although it mostly just appears to be a matte wrap on the controller. As long as you treat it well, it should last a long time. However, if you are rough on the controller, the design might get scratched up (just something to consider). Overall, it does seem to be a pretty good controller for a third-party option.
Our score for it was also quite influenced by its price (especially, when it goes on sale) and the fact that it is one of the few good models that work with Tesla vehicles.
|Our Rating||Average Price*|
*Average price is based on the time this article was published
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