We reviewed PowerA’s Spectra controller for the Switch last year, and now we’ve had our hands on the Xbox version.
We called the PowerA Spectra Enhanced Switch controller “excellent”, going so far as to say it’s better than the standard Switch Pro controller in every way. So of course, we had high hopes for the Xbox version. Needless to say, we’ve not been disappointed. As far as third party controllers go, this might be one of the best you can buy on the budget end of the scale.
It’s similar in design, although of course this time it resembles an official Xbox controller rather than a Switch Pro. If you’re used to cradling Xbox controllers in your hand, then, you’ll feel at home here. The shape is almost identical to an official pad, and the button layout matches perfectly, too. Like a Xbox Series X/S controller, it has a ‘share’ button, although its d-pad is more like an older Xbox One controller, rather than the more circular directional buttons found on the newer models.
It also packs in its own bells and whistles. If you’re using a headset, you’ll find volume and mic controls right there on the face of the controller. Turn it over, and you’ll find additional buttons on the back, along with three-way trigger lock switches. Those additional buttons can be programmed however you like on the fly, and the trigger locks provide a shorter trigger distance. Perfect for FPS games or situations where you need to quickly and easily throw or shoot.
Already, those features set the PowerA Spectra Infinity controller ahead of the competition. But its how the controller looks that really wins us over. This is an RGB lover’s dream! The edge of the controller, along with the edges of the buttons, thumbsticks and d-pad, are all adorned with LED lights. It’s great in the controller’s default colour of green, but fiddle around with the customisation, and you can make your controller look something spectacular.
You see, the lights are split into three zones, and each one can be independently programmed. Have green, blue and red all fade into each other, for instance. Or choose different shades of the same colour for a striking gradient effect. You can also choose to have the colours solid, flashing or pulsing. The options are endless, but the end result is something seriously eye-catching.
It’s not over-the-top, either. This amount of RGB lighting often gives us pause, but the PowerA Spectra Infinity Xbox controller gets the balance just right. It never looks too much. It’s simply eye-catching in the best way possible.
There’s one drawback to the Spectra Infinity over a standard Xbox controller, however: it’s wired. But as you’ll quickly realise if you’re shopping for a third party Xbox controller, they all are. It at least means you don’t need to worry about your batteries running out. Also, the included USB cable is braided and three metres long; even if your console is at the other side of the room to you, it shouldn’t be a problem. Handily, it also tightly clips into the top of the controller, so you’re not at risk of accidentally tugging it out and damaging it should the cable get tugged or caught.
A wire is a small price to pay for everything that the PowerA Spectra Infinity Xbox controller offers. This is a fantastic-looking controller, and it feels wonderful to use. Its weight feels similar to an Xbox controller, as does the shape of it in your hands, so it’s very easy to get used to. Buttons and thumbsticks feel high quality, as does the texture of the controller itself. We’ve been won over, and considering you can pick one up for as little as £29.99 – practically half the price of an official Xbox controller – this really is a winner.
A sample unit was provided by PowerA for the purposes of this review.
Buy PowerA Spectra Infinity Xbox Controller on Amazon