PowerA Fusion Pro Wired Controller – Review

US based gaming company, PowerA, has a long history of producing hard working, high performance and quality gaming accessories. Covering Playstation, Xbox, Nintendo and PCs, there’s something for every type of gamer within the PowerA stable. Today, though, we’re looking its newest member: the Fusion Pro Wired Controller.

Fusion1

Designed for Xbox and PC gaming, the Fusion Pro Wired Controller is the culmination of years of experience in an industry that’s tough to crack, and even tougher to stay on top. The Fusion Pro takes gaming to serious levels, offering the gamer a competitive edge through a series of interesting, and well-designed features.

In the Box & Design

It’s an official licensed Xbox controller, for the Xbox One, and comes packed in a tasteful, hard-backed carry case. Within is the controller itself, together with a separate set of anti-friction rings, a couple of analogue thumb sticks, and a mappable Pro Pack – which is a clip on unit that adds a set of four paddles on the underside of the controller.

To begin with, the controller is a suitably weighty and firm unit that fits comfortably in the hand – as would most licensed Xbox controllers. The layout of the top-face buttons and sticks are standard, as are the triggers. There’s a 3.5mm audio jack at the base of the controller, and recessed micro-USB connection to the top.

The underside is where things begin to become more interesting, however. As with a lot of controllers these days, you’ll find a pair of three-way, adjustable sliders to configure the triggers – adjusting for shorter trigger response times and ultimately faster action. In the centre of the underside of the controller is a pop-open enclosure, where a battery pack would normally be located in a wireless setup. Open this and you can fit in the mappable Pro Pack paddles, which extend out and down the rear of the hand grips without interfering with the controller’s operation.

The Pro Pack paddles work by mapping any single button, movement or trigger commands to each of the paddles. With four paddles available, you’re able to take some of the strain out of movement, or having to continually hit a button to collect loot, without taking your digits off the critical buttons and sticks. It may only seem like it’s saving you tenths of a second, but in intense battles, that could mean the difference between life and death.

The front face plate of the Fusion Pro can removed, revealing a set of magnetic mount points and giving you access to quickly change out the anti-friction rings or the sticks. It takes a matter of seconds, and with the included silver and green metallic rings, concave, short, tall or convex thumb sticks, there’s a good choice of variety.

You’ll also find a heavy-duty, 10ft USB cable included, as well as documentation, a couple of stickers, warranty card and PowerA paraphernalia. All in all, it’s a neat setup and you certainly can’t fault the company on delivering an eye-catching package design.

In-Game

Obviously the real test is in-game, and thankfully the Fusion Pro doesn’t let you down. Thanks to its build quality, you’ll find the Fusion Pro accurate, tough, and comfortable over lengthy gaming sessions.

Thanks to it being both Xbox and Windows compatible, there’s no third-party driver setup needed when you plug it into a PC. Within a few seconds, once Windows detects and sets up the controller, you’re able to use it and all the buttons, plus the mappable Pro Pack paddles.

We tested it with Borderlands 3, Far Cry 5, Elite Dangerous, and Rocket League, all of which took their toll on the controller in different ways. The Fusion Pro did exceptionally well, and with the minimum of in-game controller button mappings. We even took it for spin in a few retro emulators, and while emulating a Sega Mega Drive three-button controller may seem a little excessive, it performed wonderfully – we only wish we had this controller back when we played Streets of Rage the first time around.

Conclusion

Many gamers would balk at the idea of a wired controller in this day and age, but we disagree. Wired controllers reduce lag – even though it is minuscule – reduce the need to recharge or replace batteries, and thanks to the length of the cable supplied with the Fusion Pro, we’re able to sit some distance from the TV or monitor. It’s also worth noting that as the supplied cable is heavy-duty, the risk of it becoming tangled over time is virtually nil.

Overall, we’re really impressed with the PowerA Fusion Pro Wired Controller. It’s feels good, looks good, is solid and takes a beating, and offers a great set of customisable extras. Available from the 1st October for £89.99, we think it’s worth the cost.

PowerA Fusion Pro Wired Controller
  • Overall
4.4

Summary

Superb Xbox and Windows 10 controller. Accurate, excellent grip, and programmable features.

– Mappable Pro Pack – map buttons to the rear paddles on-the-fly without letting go of the thumb sticks
– Three-way trigger locks – adjust for shorter trigger response and faster action
– Dual rumble motors – Immerse yourself in the game world with responsive rumble feedback
– Alps analogue thumb sticks – four available with short, tall, Convex, and concave variants

David Hayward

David has spent most of his life tinkering with technology, from the ZX Spectrum, getting his hands on a Fujitsu VPP5000/100 supercomputer, and coding on an overheating Raspberry Pi. He's written for the likes of Micro Mart, Den of Geek, and countless retro sites and publications, covering reviews, creating code and bench testing the latest tech. He also has a huge collection of cables.

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