Controllers are definitely different nowadays than they used to be. There were times when a game pad was simply more designed to be conventional rather than complex. But as time progresses, competitive gaming or esports some players like to call it started to grow, there has been an evolution to the basic game pad.
Instead of going to your local store and having the option to buy either the official or third party standard controllers, there are now options for pro controllers. The pro controllers are also similar to the stock controllers in how they’re sold.
You do have your official variants that are made by the same brand that developed the consoles like Microsoft or Nintendo. And then you have the third party variants that are made by well known gaming brands like Razer.
What is a Pro Controller?
Pro controllers are basically what you think they are. They are gamepads specifically targeted to the enthusiastic gamers who wants the most out of a gamepad. These controllers tend to have more quality of life features like having grips, an app that allows you customize certain controller settings, or the ability to set the tension on your triggers. But most importantly, the ability to map various command inputs on the back controllers through buttons or paddles.
There are so many to choose from, and it seems like the competition will only grow bigger as we continue to game throughout the years.
Now the next question comes in, should you try out a pro controller if you have never tried one before?
The answer is yes, and while these controllers are certainly going to be a marketed as a premium product, but like I’ve mentioned, there is so much competition going on.
What that means is there are going to be cheaper options or if you’re an enthusiastic gamer, you’d want to go the more costly route.
The Many Brands
The best brand that seems to heavily focus on giving players the pro controller experience without hurting the wallet is Power A. These folks also make different controller variants too, so if you prefer having to use a pro Playstation controller over an Xbox, they have options.
There are definitely more options if you choose to look around even further. One controller that’s been on my radar is the Victrix Gambit. This is the Xbox variant and it’s by far the cheapest variant compared to the Playstation.
It boasts for being the fastest Xbox controller in the world and having the usual components and features you’ll get from pro controllers. Recently, it’s been on sale and it could be the controller that’s more welcoming for first time pro controller users.
Scuf Gaming is probably the most well known for making these types of controllers. Back in the Xbox 360 days, they built paddle driven controllers for professional console players and they still remain to do so.
The company also allows players to personalize their own controllers if they want to make them stand out, but don’t expect Scuf to offer budget variants of their products. They tend to market their products for those who want a premium experience, and that’s what they’re all about.
A Stock Controller User’s Experience
I recently jumped on the pro controller bandwagon because well, I’ve been only using stock controllers for the rest of my life. It was about time I try out using a peripheral that was more designed for the hardcore players.
After all, I’ve been gaming for a long time in my life, and I thought I have to use one since these types of controller feel like it’s targeted to players like me.
My first pro controller experience was none other than the Elite Series One. While I did enjoy my time with that gamepad, I did encounter issues with its longterm reliability and build quality overall. With that said, it still is a functional gamepad that I manage to keep it as a backup controller.
The paddle function is certainly a wonderful feature that definitely makes the stock controller quite hard to go back to once you’ve accustomed yourself to it.
This feature is specifically designed to ensure the player doesn’t let their thumbs off the stick for better performance. It’s generally common to map any sort of action input that forces the player to let go of their thumbs to hit the face buttons like jumping in Call of Duty.
Another great option to use the paddle configuration to map one of the directional pad buttons because sometimes certain directions will force the player to let go of their left thumb to hit one of the buttons.
It was also interesting to try out the different stick options which can definitely spice up your playing experience by making you figure out which options might be suited depending on the game.
As someone who’s into first-person shooters, I find myself liking to use the default sticks if I’m playing any games that has more emphasis on close quarters. The long stick is definitely better for games that’ll have the player engage more long range encounters.
Despite having problems with my first pro controller experience, I simply cannot go back to the stock controller. It’s just nice to have all these quality of life features that the Elite offers, and in a way, it makes gaming feel somewhat refreshing.
Especially, you have to consider every game you play, will have different paddle configuration you’ll be mapping to or different stick options you would try out.
You Must Try It Out Soon
Pro controllers might seem like it’s a product only targeted to those who want to compete and make a living by playing video games at the highest level. However, don’t let that sort of image fool you.
These controllers can certainly be a great product to those who are just passionate at playing video games and want more features from the peripheral they use.
It’s truly something one should try out especially if you’re a long time gamer and you consider yourself a controller player. Without a doubt, the pro controller is an experience that you must try out especially in this day and age.
Time will tell if the industry will make pro controllers into the new stock controllers for the future. That would definitely be awesome and who knows what kind of revolutionary features the future pro controllers could have for us.