PowerA’s $99.99 Fusion Pro for the Nintendo Switch is made for avid gamers who desire a extra customizable controller. It’s extra just like Microsoft’s Xbox Elite than Nintendo’s Switch Pro gamepad, with a handful of elements you may bodily swap out to raised suit your preferences. For occasion, for those who don’t like the best way that the Fusion Pro’s analog sticks really feel out of the field, you’re welcome to swap them. There are two additional sticks within the zip-up case that it ships in. In addition to the 2 commonplace sticks, there’s a a lot taller concave stick, in addition to a tall clean convex stick that feels extra like one thing you would possibly discover on an arcade stick.
The customization doesn’t cease there. The Fusion Pro helps swappable face plates, too. The default white plate is matte textured and feels just like many different controllers, but the black plate has a grippier texture that blends in additional seamlessly with the Fusion Pro’s rubber-coated grips. The Fusion Pro is somewhat larger than the Nintendo Switch Pro, but it doesn’t stray too far in ergonomics and structure. It connects wirelessly and is simply as dependable because the Nintendo-made controller relating to lengthy battery life, like PowerA’s smaller Nano Enhanced controller that I reviewed final 12 months. PowerA claims as much as 20 hours per cost, and it has no hassle assembly that metric. This controller features a 9.8-foot USB-A to USB-C cable to recharge or to play in wired USB mode (a swap on the again of the Fusion Pro toggles between wi-fi and wired modes).
The actual spotlight of the Fusion Pro is on its again, the place as much as 4 mappable paddles could be put in onto a detachable module referred to as the “Pro Pack” that snaps on. You can map as much as 4 controller features (other than analog motion) to the paddles, making the Fusion Pro extra customizable — and accessible — than different controllers made for the Switch. The module is elective, although. If you don’t need it on the controller, it pops off simply.
The Fusion Pro’s rear paddles got here in useful in video games which have difficult management schemes like Monster Hunter: Rise. Even in video games with easier schemes, it may typically simply be good to not have to succeed in for a button or two, and as an alternative depend on the paddles. I loved drifting round corners in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe with a paddle as an alternative of reaching up for a shoulder button.
Assigning features to the paddles is straightforward. There’s a button on the controller’s rear that’s devoted to programming every paddle, and the method includes holding it for three seconds till an LED lights up on the controller’s entrance aspect. Then you faucet the button you’d prefer to have remapped, then press the paddle to which you’d prefer it to be assigned. In addition to being nice for simplifying a controller structure, the paddles might be a boon to some folks from an accessibility standpoint.
You can acquire numerous utility by utilizing the Fusion Pro, but it doesn’t come significantly low cost. At $100, it’s $30 greater than Nintendo’s personal Switch Pro controller. It’ll be price buying for individuals who really need a couple of additional ranges of customization, particularly because it’s not an enormous worth increase over Nintendo’s Switch Pro controller. But it’s lacking some essential options that some folks might not be prepared to chop out — and ones that Nintendo’s Pro controller has up on it.
The Fusion Pro lacks vibration, and it doesn’t characteristic an NFC chip to learn Amiibo playing cards and figures in video games that help that performance. Those omissions are widespread amongst third-party controllers, but it’d all be good to have in a controller at this worth. I initially was excited to find that the Fusion Pro has a 3.5mm audio jack, but that pale as soon as I spotted that it may solely be used when it’s wired to the Switch dock with its included cable. It would have additionally been good if the directional pad might be swapped out for a distinct one, which is one thing that Microsoft’s Xbox Elite controller permits.
The Fusion Pro isn’t an ideal all-in-one alternative for the Switch Pro controller, and I wouldn’t recommend that most individuals buy it if their wants are already met. Though, regardless of its flaws, the deep stage of customization that it presents makes it compelling sufficient if you’d like or want customized controls on the Switch.
Photography by Cameron Faulkner / The Verge