MOGA Pro Bluetooth Gamepad Hardware Review

MOGA Pro Bluetooth Gamepad Hardware Review

May 31, 2013

There are a lot of gamepads available for Android. I mean, a lot. Plus, there’s the ability to plug in Xbox 360 controllers, so the landscape is inordinately crowded. But there might just be a king of the hill finally: the MOGA Pro. This is a Bluetooth gamepad that features the standard Xbox 360 layout, and comes with a tablet stand.

Unlike most controllers where actually usage of the controller feels like an afterthought, the MOGA Pro is incredibly ergonomic and a joy to hold. The controller is light, but the rubberized grips mean that it fits in one’s hand perfectly. Extended gaming sessions are comfortable. The buttons all have a nice, solid response to them, especially the shoulder bumpers and triggers. MOGA claims this is based off of parent company PowerA’s Ecl1pse controller, which is apparently used at tournaments. I can belive it, as this is one nice controller.

The only complaint I have is that the d-pad is a bit on the stiff side, but it may just take some breaking in, and it’s still light years ahead of the 360’s default d-pad. The joysticks are a bit loose for my tastes but that didn’t have a significant impact on me. Try the joysticks out with many games – The Conduit HD had deadzone issues with the joysticks that didn’t arise elsewhere.

MOGAProbyPowerA_Front

Now, the problem with many gamepads that use their own standardized APIs is that it’s a cause of severe fragmentation in a land where the HID protocol exists. The original MOGA controller lacked HID support so some games were left unsupported. Well, the MOGA Pro can be run in “A” mode which supports MOGA-compatible games, and “B” mode which is HID mode. Connecting takes a few seconds when done through the app, but it’s otherwise a painless process. Games that supported HID had no difficulty with me on the MOGA Pro. Sadly, I could not get HID mode to work on Windows 8, which is a shame because this would be a perfect controller to use via Bluetooth. For comparison, the Nyko Playpad’s HID mode kinda works but that controller is also just mediocre.

The MOGA Pivot app is a good portal not just for connecting the controllers to the device but to also find MOGA-compatible games. It’s not a separate store, just a portal, which is quite welcome. Also, the MOGA comes with a code for a free game. Sweet babies!

There are a lot of Android gamepads out there. I issue my highest recommendation for this controller.

The MOGA Pro is available for $49.99 from MOGA’s website and other retailers.

MOGA Pro Bluetooth Gamepad Hardware Review Rundown

9.5
Build Quality - Once you get this thing in your hands, you'll feel how solid this thing is. That slightly-stiff d-pad is the only issue I have with the build. Those rubberized handles are ingenious. The MOGA Pocket feels just as sturdy.
10
Functionality - It connects quickly enough through the app, it has a rechargeable battery, the built-in phone stand works well, the included tablet stand is great too. All the buttons and joysticks work as well as you'd expect them to at a top-notch level. The HID support makes this worthy of a perfect Functionality score.
9
Usefulness - While not every game supports gamepads, this one supports most every one that does thanks to its HID support. And with this controller, you'll want to play more controller-optimized games!
10
Value - $49.99 for this controller is a bit more than most gamepads that are out there, but you're paying a premium for quality.
10
Overall - Look, I've used too many gamepads that feel like substandard products, which is inexcusable when a company is literally selling a device used to play games. There's no reason for it to be mediocre. MOGA put care into making this controller work and it absolutely shows. This is the Android gamepad to buy.
Carter Dotson
Carter Dotson, editor of Android Rundown, has been covering Android since late 2010, and the mobile industry as a whole since 2009. Originally from Texas, he has recently moved to Chicago. He loves both iOS and Android for what they are - we can all get along!
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