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.
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.