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PowerA Fusion Professional for Swap assessment: tweak-friendly, however not with out faults

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PowerA’s $99.99 Fusion Professional for the Nintendo Swap is made for players who desire a extra customizable controller. It’s extra much like Microsoft’s Xbox Elite than Nintendo’s Swap Professional gamepad, with a handful of elements you may bodily swap out to higher suit your preferences. For example, in the event you don’t like the way in which that the Fusion Professional’s analog sticks really feel out of the field, you’re welcome to swap them. There are two additional sticks within the zip-up case that it ships in. Along with the 2 customary sticks, there’s a a lot taller concave stick, in addition to a tall easy convex stick that feels extra like one thing you may discover on an arcade stick.

The customization doesn’t cease there. The Fusion Professional helps swappable face plates, too. The default white plate is matte textured and feels much like many different controllers, however the black plate has a grippier texture that blends in additional seamlessly with the Fusion Professional’s rubber-coated grips. The Fusion Professional is somewhat greater than the Nintendo Swap Professional, however it doesn’t stray too far in ergonomics and format. It connects wirelessly and is simply as dependable because the Nintendo-made controller in terms of lengthy battery life, like PowerA’s smaller Nano Enhanced controller that I reviewed final 12 months. PowerA claims as much as 20 hours per cost, and it has no bother assembly that metric. This controller features a 9.8-foot USB-A to USB-C cable to recharge or to play in wired USB mode (a swap on the again of the Fusion Professional toggles between wi-fi and wired modes).

The actual spotlight of the Fusion Professional is on its again, the place as much as 4 mappable paddles might be put in onto a detachable module referred to as the “Professional Pack” that snaps on. You possibly can map as much as 4 controller features (except for analog motion) to the paddles, making the Fusion Professional extra customizable — and accessible — than different controllers made for the Swap. The module is optionally available, although. For those who don’t need it on the controller, it pops off simply.

PowerA Fusion Pro controller for the Nintendo Switch

Mapping the paddles to one of many Fusion Professional’s buttons is straightforward, requiring a number of button presses.

The Fusion Professional’s rear paddles got here in useful in video games which have sophisticated management schemes like Monster Hunter: Rise. Even in video games with easier schemes, it could actually generally simply be good to not have to succeed in for a button or two, and as a substitute depend on the paddles. I loved drifting round corners in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe with a paddle as a substitute of reaching up for a shoulder button.

Assigning features to the paddles is straightforward. There’s a button on the controller’s rear that’s devoted to programming every paddle, and the method entails holding it for 3 seconds till an LED lights up on the controller’s entrance aspect. Then you definately faucet the button you’d prefer to have remapped, then press the paddle to which you’d prefer it to be assigned. Along with being nice for simplifying a controller format, the paddles might be a boon to some folks from an accessibility standpoint.

PowerA Fusion Pro controller for the Nintendo Switch

The extent of customization is hard to beat for a Swap wi-fi controller.

PowerA Fusion Pro controller for the Nintendo Switch

You’ll solely get audio by the Fusion Professional’s 3.5mm audio jack in the event you’re in USB mode.

You possibly can achieve loads of utility by utilizing the Fusion Professional, however it doesn’t come significantly low cost. At $100, it’s $30 greater than Nintendo’s personal Swap Professional controller. It’ll be value buying for individuals who really need a number of additional ranges of customization, particularly because it’s not an enormous value enhance over Nintendo’s Swap Professional controller. However it’s lacking some essential options that some folks will not be prepared to chop out — and ones that Nintendo’s Professional controller has up on it.

The Fusion Professional lacks vibration, and it doesn’t characteristic an NFC chip to learn Amiibo playing cards and figures in video games that assist that performance. These omissions are widespread amongst third-party controllers, however it’d all be good to have in a controller at this value. I initially was excited to find that the Fusion Professional has a 3.5mm audio jack, however that pale as soon as I noticed that it could actually solely be used when it’s wired to the Swap dock with its included cable. It might have additionally been good if the directional pad might be swapped out for a distinct one, which is one thing that Microsoft’s Xbox Elite controller permits.

The Fusion Professional isn’t an ideal all-in-one substitute for the Swap Professional controller, and I wouldn’t counsel that most individuals buy it if their wants are already met. Although, regardless of its flaws, the deep stage of customization that it provides makes it compelling sufficient in order for you or want customized controls on the Swap.

Pictures by Cameron Faulkner / The Verge

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