Worth getting a handle on?
Third-party Nintendo Switch controllers don’t really offer much of a better experience outside of what first-party Pro Controllers can do. Sure, there are neat features, and sometimes even better designs (like that wicked Waluigi controller we want so badly), but when it comes to long-term play, Nintendo’s models seem to be the more dependable model.
But PowerA has an interesting argument to make with its variation of the Fusion Pro, this time for the Switch. It offers some cool features to help players customize their experience when it comes to using a controller with their system, including the ability to use a taller control stick, along with being able to swap functions when needed. But the question is how much you’re willing to pay for these features since the Fusion Pro goes for a higher price than most peripherals.
Switch ‘Em Out
First off, you can actually remove the faceplate off of the Fusion Pro, going from black to white with ease and even moving around the analog sticks. You can take off the default ones and attach a much longer aiming stick, along with a smooth convex stick for a better feel. It actually works pretty well, though you might want to keep everything in the included case, so you don’t lose the original sticks.
As far as what controller front we prefer, black seems to work best in coalition with the rubberized grips on the controller. But white isn’t too bad either, and really stands out in a collection of otherwise multi-colored units. The choice, obviously, is yours.
Speaking of the back of the unit, along with the rubberized grips, there’s also four paddle buttons that you can customize however you see fit. You can remove these if you’re not a fan of extra functionality, but it’s really cool how you can tap on these and get strong actions within the game. At least try it before you shake them off, as they can save your thumbs a world of pain.
Assigning buttons is fairly easy, and you can also change around analog stick functionality if you feel like doing something different. That makes the Fusion Pro excellent for those that feel like tweaking their controller for impressive performance. It all depends on if you really need it.
A Steep Price, and Missing Features
While the Fusion Pro has some awesome features, it’s not completely loaded. While you can play it wired or wireless (with up to 20 hours on a charge – not bad), the 3.5mm headphone jack only works while the controller’s plugged into the unit. That’s a total bummer, as it’d be far more relaxing to chill on the couch without a cable attached. Still, at least headphone functionality is great from the units we tried out.
On top of that, the controller also doesn’t include rumble support. That’s right, you’ll have to deal without feeling the functionality of your games and relying more on general controls to get you through it. Not really a dealbreaker, but I’m curious as to why PowerA hasn’t figured out a solution for this yet. Scanning Amiibo figurines also doesn’t work, but I assume that’s an exclusive Nintendo thing, so I’m not too worried about that.
Perhaps the biggest setback, though, is the price. Whereas most Pro Controllers go for $60-$70 depending on where you go, the Fusion Pro will normally set you back $100. That’s a steep price for a controller that isn’t the total package, though what it offers may be worth it to some. Still, here’s hoping that a Fusion Pro 2 is coming soon for Switch with rumble features, more faceplates and other stuff. Just to see what can be revised.
Not a Controller For Everyone, But It’s Got Its Moments
So we circle back around to what you want from a controller, really. The Fusion Pro isn’t a bad Switch controller at all, as it feels comfortable and offers swappable features far more than any other peripheral before it. And the faceplates are excellent, though I would’ve preferred a bigger variety of colors. Yet, the price and lacking stuff it doesn’t have keep it from being as highly recommended as, say, a Pro Controller. But if you want to take your competitive game an extra mile and don’t mind the missing content, you’ll be just fine with this purchase.