Rotor Riot Wired Video Game Controller Review
Mobile gaming has never really been able to capture my attention for more than a few minutes. The on-screen touch control never truly gave the precision needed to really enjoy console-quality games. Sure, some made-for-mobile games have been a lot of fun; Angry Birds, Tiny Wings, Ski Safari, and even my latest addiction, Dr. Mario World. But I never truly felt comfortable playing games that were originally designed for console gaming, since this usually means I’m forced to utilize some on-screen touch controller. Well, now I might finally be able to enjoy some console-quality games on my iPhone with the help of the Rotor Riot Wired Controller.
The first thing I noticed was just how similar the controller looks to the Xbox One controller. If you’re an Xbox One gamer, you will feel right at home. PlayStation gamers might feel all weird with the asymmetrical thumbsticks – but maybe they’ll finally realize how comfy that style is. Even the face buttons feature the same X, Y, B, A buttons – right down to the colours. Also included are both left and right bumpers, triggers, and L3 and R3 buttons (pushing down on the respective thumbsticks). It’s also worth noting that the d-pad feels great. If I didn’t know any better, I would have figured Microsoft was the manufacturer of this fine controller – but it seems like more a case of Rotor Riot borrowing the design.
Picking the controller up, it’s shocking how light it feels. That’s not to say it feels cheap, the construction feels pretty solid. However, if you compare the weight to console controllers, there’s quite a bit of a difference. This is probably attributed to two things; lack of force feedback (rumble) and lack of batteries. The controller is powered by your mobile phone, which I imagine would impact your battery life, but I didn’t really keep track of that during my short game sessions. One neat feature is the added lightning port on the controller, so you can charge and play at the same time. The controller features an expandable cradle where your mobile phone will rest. Once you add your mobile phone, you’ll immediately notice the added heft, and because it’s located off centre, you’ll have to adjust to how you hold the controller. It’s almost as if someone was trying to tug the controller away – it doesn’t make it unplayable, it’s just noticeable. It’s worth noting that the cradle will only allow for a phone to be placed horizontally, so games that play vertically will be of no use here.
Plugging the controller in will prompt you to download the Ludu Mapp app, a decent app that lists various games available on the iOS store that are compatible with the controller. It’s a great starting point and conveniently notes the game prices too. I tried a handful of games while using the Rotor Riot controller; Max Payne, Fortnite, Shantae Risky’s Revenge, Crossy Road, and Jetpack Joyride. They all worked without needing any adjustments in their respective menus. Games that were designed for mobile gaming, like Jetpack Joyride, definitely didn’t benefit from the controller support. Conversely, games that were designed with console gaming in mind, like Fortnite, were far more enjoyable.
So, what’s wrong with the controller? Well, not a heck of a lot. It does what it does, and it does it well. The problem is with the platform. Most iOS games are designed specifically with touch screen in mind, so gamers with the Rotor Riot controller are really at the mercy of developers implementing controller options. There are maybe a few dozen decent games that have controller support. The best news I can offer is that it seems like most of Rockstar’s iOS offerings are supported. As I noted before, I played Rockstar’s Max Payne and it played brilliantly with the controller – I honestly couldn’t imagine going back to touch screen controls. Rockstar has a number of older Grand Theft Auto games available on iOS, all controller supported – so if you’re looking to dive back into those classic games, the Rotor Riot controller would be a wise investment.
The Rotor Riot controller does a great job providing controls for iOS gamers looking to go beyond the often frustrating touch screen options. If you enjoy first-person shooters like PUBG or Fortnight or third-person games like Max Payne – or really any game that was originally designed for a console controller – then you really can’t go wrong with this accessory. My only recommendation would be to review the list of compatible games first and make sure there are enough games available to warrant the purchase. You’ll also be able to stream Steam, PS4, and Xbox One games as well – I tried to get the Steam games to stream, but I just couldn’t figure it out (no fault of the controller – more of an issue with my PC being a jerk). Bottom line, if you need an iOS controller, the Rotor Riot controller is a solid choice that should do the trick nicely.
***Rotor Riot Wired Video Game Controller provided by the publisher***
- Decent clone of Xbox One controller
- Can play and charge at the same time
- No fuss installation, just plug and play
- iOS platform has a limited selection
- No option to orient mobile phone vertically
- No force feedback