For those who’ve seen my snakebyte controller review, you know that I’m highly skeptical about these third-party controllers due to being burnt by them in the past. As such I tend to take an exorbitant amount of time to properly analyze these types of products. The one we’re covering today is the PDP Faceoff Wired Controller. We received this during holiday 2019 and have had between 5 to 6 months to properly assess it. It’s had months of use, fallen a few times, been packed away for travel, used by kids and even left unused for some time. Despite all of this I can safely say that our review unit has yet to show any signs of malfunctioning.
As per usual, here are the manufacturer specs:
- 3.5mm audio jack supports in-game audio and USB-chat, adjust volume on-the-fly using the D-pad on the controller
- Customize your gameplay with dual programmable paddle-style back buttons
- Swap out and snap in different Faceoff faceplates with the unique interchangeable design
- Includes a 10-foot fixed USB cable
- Officially licensed by Nintendo
The controller belongs to the Faceoff Pro controller line of products manufactured by the third party game accessories brand, PDP. This line of products all have the capability to be partially customized using any Faceoff™ Pro Controller Faceplate. PDP sells a few faceplate kits on their site for around $10 USD. These kits include a new faceplate for the controller as well as analog sticks and a large circle D-Pad. Now I’m not a big fan of cosmetic stuff myself but I do fancy the idea of being able to effortlessly replace damaged sticks. They could have gone even further and allowed for every button on the controller to be replaceable, but it’s not a flaw of the product.
If it has any they would be the plastic packaging, nondetachable cable, lack of rumble support and inability to wake the system. Yup, you read that correctly. This product doesn’t really have many other flaws excluding those and that one about packaging was a nitpick so we don’t seem like we’re unbiased. In a way it’s difficult to dislike the PDP Faceoff Wired Controller for what it lacks thanks to all that it does right.
In comparison to most other Switch controllers, I’d say it’s as comfortable as an Xbox One controller. The grips are smooth, ergonomically comfortable in the hands even after hours of extended play, has nice weight and with the 10ft cable it’s possible to sit at a considerable distance from the Tele while you play. It even has similar grooves on the sticks for your thumbs to fit comfortably, along with nice clicky buttons. The PDP Faceoff Wired Controller features all the standard buttons you’d find on a Nintendo Switch; X,Y,B,A,L,R,LZ,RZ,LS,RS,+ Button, – Button, D-Pad, Capture and Home. Every button has a nice clicky feel that begs to be pressed intently and that’s not all. Accompanying them are two extra programmable buttons on the back similar to those found on an elite controller.
Programming them is a simple affair involving holding the function button then pressing the programmable button you wish to program. The Function – Button will then begin to flash. While flashing you can then press the button on the controller you wish to map to it. This includes the Home and Screenshot buttons. If you wish to disable them then you follow the same process but instead of pressing press both programmable buttons while the function button is flashing. This is something you’ll likely find yourself doing when not using the programmable buttons since they tend to be easily accidentally pressed. They can also be easily be removed via a switch on the back if you don’t fancy the feel of them.
As a whole, this is what I’d consider to be ahighly appealing product. With it’s fully functional audio 3.5 jack similar to those on the DualShock 4 and XBOX ONE controller, it’s well above most other third party options for the switch. I was even able to use it on my PC thanks to its standard USB 2.0 connector. All I needed to do for it to work was enable Nintendo Switch controller support on Steam and that was it.
Third party controllers tend to be difficult to recommend due to questionable build quality, compromises and sometimes their price. So one by one let’s address these concerns.
The build quality for me was superb. It endured the constant assault of my active lifestyle, yet hasn’t shown any noticeable degradation. Buttons all feel just as clicky as the day we received it and the sticks are just as firm with zero drift issues.
The compromises are present with the lack of rumble very apparent, especially when considering some competitors are including such features in their products. Add to that the very real loss that comes with a lack of haptic feedback may find you leaving it aside in favor of other controllers with that feature. I’d recommend the manufacture add it in their next revision along with pressure sensitive triggers and the ability to wake the system.
Lastly there is the price. At $25 USD per Amazon.com listing at the time of writing, I’d say it’s a steal of a deal to get as a secondary controller. Amazon.co.uk however has it listed at an MSRP of £35 with some discounted at £25. Since the pound is worth more than the USD I feel the price should definitely not be more. At £25 I can comfortably recommend getting one but any higher and its a bit of a rip off considering the US price.
The PDP Faceoff Wired Controller used for this review was provided by its manufacturer, PDP.