If you’re looking to invest in another wired controller for your Xbox or PC – especially if you’re after a gamepad that can give you that ‘pro’ feel without breaking the bank – the PowerA Fusion Pro 2 is certainly worthy of consideration.
PowerA, if you’re unfamiliar, has been around since 2009. The peripheral manufacturer has been making officially licensed Xbox gamepads for years, as well as working on controllers for Sony and Nintendo’s consoles.
PowerA launched the Fusion line of high-end gaming accessories in 2017. The PowerA Fusion Pro 2 controller is the latest item in this line geared towards Xbox users, particularly those who’ve already nabbed themselves an Xbox Series X/S next-gen console.
But is the PowerA Fusion Pro 2 controller worth buying? Is it as good as it looks? Keep on reading, and we’ll lay down all the essential info in our full review!
There’s no denying that the PowerA Fusion Pro 2 gaming controller for Xbox consoles and PC represents really good value. With lots of customisation options and a couple of killer features, this wired controller has a lot going for it, despite a few flaws that stop it from being perfect.
The PowerA Fusion Pro 2 is a wired controller that is designed for use with the Xbox Series X/S consoles (although it’ll also work on Xbox One and PC). It connects via USB cable (as opposed to wireless), and it packs an impressive amount of features despite its fairly reasonable price point.
The PowerA Fusion Pro 2 has a price of £79.99 GBP, which puts it around the midpoint of the market – it’s slightly dearer than buying a standard Xbox Wireless Controller (which generally retail for just under £60) but significantly cheaper than buying a top-of-the-line Xbox Elite Wireless Controller (the Series 2 model of which goes for more than £150).
Included in the cost, you get a sturdy storage case as well as an extra faceplate, removable back paddles and a number of alternative thumbsticks – you get much more than just the controller in terms of bang for your buck! But you don’t get a wireless option, which might be a deal-breaker for some.
PowerA Fusion Pro 2 design
At first glance, a casual onlooker might think that the PowerA Fusion Pro 2 controller is actually the official Xbox Wireless Controller, such is its commitment to matching up with Microsoft’s established design language. Look a bit closer, though, and you’ll notice that there are a few key differences – some for the better and some for the worse.
In the ‘pro’ column, the handy volume-control dial in the middle of the controller is a very much welcome addition. But in the ‘con’ column, some players might not be pleased to see an old-school, four-directional D-pad here rather than the multifaceted circular option that Microsoft opts for these days.
Those aren’t the only hits and misses, either: another positive is the rubberised grips, which will counteract sweaty palms nicely; but on the negative side, the overall form factor feels a little chunky and heavy, and the menu/share buttons in the middle of the controller seem a bit cheap.
Overall, the design choices make it feel like this controller can’t decide if it wants to be a budget option or a proper pro controller. There are no cardinal sins here, but it’s not completely heavenly either.
The PowerA Fusion Pro 2 has plenty of cool features, especially if you like to tinker with controllers to get them just right – there are two magnetic faceplates (a sleek white one and a textured black one). You can also swap out your thumbsticks for alternative options that come included (there are taller ones, shorter ones, and also a ‘convex’ one with a rounded top).
There are also optional back paddles if you like to have some extra controls on the rear of your gamepad. And there are three-way trigger locks on the back, as well, which allow you to set the LT and RT buttons with just the right amount of give for your tastes. And we’re pleased to report that swapping between all these options is really easy and user-friendly.
Perhaps the standout feature is the volume dial – positioned just beneath/between the D-pad and the right stick, it allows you to control your audio without having to leave the gamepad – which we’ll talk about more in a minute. (Spoiler alert: we loved it!)
One feature you will not get here is wireless functionality, so don’t go expecting to connect this controller to any of your Bluetooth devices – this is a wired option through and through, and it really is designed for Xbox and PC use only.
The controller also has dual rumble motors, which control the vibration on offer here – however, we found the rumble to be a little bit too loud and would’ve liked to feel it more than we heard it. That being said. However, you’ve got to admire the sheer amount of features that this controller offers at its price point.
There is a lot to love in terms of actually using this controller, and we used it for some lengthy sessions with the Xbox Series X without encountering any issues. There was never any drift or disconnections to worry about, and it always felt like we had a solid amount of precision and control.
Although the controller does feel a little on the big and weighty side, we didn’t have any issues with it, and it quickly became our go-to choice for FIFA 21 sessions when you want to be as precise as possible. The triggers, the bumpers and the sticks all felt great, and the grip worked wonderfully as well.
One of those aforementioned features definitely shines the brightest while you’re playing, too: that volume dial at the heart of the controller is a highly enjoyable and absolutely game-changing addition, to such an extent that we’d love to see other companies working this functionality into their own gamepads.
This handy little dial allows you to increase or decrease the volume in your headset without taking your hand off the controller, and you can also press down on the dial if you want to mute your microphone. It works with any headset, but we particularly enjoyed pairing this controller with the LucidSound LS50X headset (which makes sense, considering that PowerA owns LucidSound).
All in all, this controller felt just right to use, so it’s easy to recommend the PowerA Fusion Pro 2 – particularly to anyone who doesn’t want to spend more than £100 on their next gamepad.
Setting up the PowerA Fusion Pro 2 controller literally couldn’t be easier – simply plug the other end of its USB cable into your Xbox console or Windows 10 computer, and it should start working straight away.
If you want to tinker with the controller by removing the back paddles, changing the faceplate or swapping out the sticks, all of those processes are fairly simple and self-explanatory. There are instructions included, but most players should be able to work it out just by pulling bits off and squeezing bits on.
If you’re looking to spend less than £100 on a cable-connected controller that will work with an Xbox and/or a PC, we’d recommend the PowerA Fusion Pro 2 as a really solid choice. If you’re able to spend a fair bit more, though, you might get a slightly better experience. But this controller will do the job for most gamers, as long as you don’t want a wireless option.
- Set-up: 5 / 5
- Design: 2.5 / 5
- Features: 4 / 5
- Performance: 5 / 5
- Value for money: 4 / 5
Overall star rating: 3.9 / 5
The PowerA Fusion Pro 2 controller is out now, and most major retailers – such as Argos and Amazon – seem to be carrying it here in the UK. If you want to buy one, then it should be fairly easy to find a PowerA Fusion Pro 2 wherever you like to buy your gaming bits. If you’re looking for a deal, check out our snazzy widget below, which should automatically pull together the best prices on the web.
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