Horipad Pro Controller Review
It’s not often that you’ll stumble across third party hardware products that have been officially licensed by Xbox, with the traditional green Xbox One banner emblazoned on the packaging, but the Horipad Pro For Xbox One is one such controller.
As such you’d expect that this product would be of the highest quality, and live up to the high quality standards that Microsoft themselves set for their gaming accessories. Unfortunately, first impressions of the Horipad Pro are not exactly stellar ones.
The initial unboxing is when the trepidation first sets in. The controller is extremely light; in fact, if you are an Xbox One owner this is probably the lightest controller you’ll ever hold. This is great for gamers with smaller hands, or maybe younger gamers who easily grow weary from holding the larger, official Microsoft controllers.
The controller’s light weight immediately gave us misgivings about its durability – it’s natural that the first though that crept into our minds was “poor build quality”. In all fairness, though, there was no sign of this throughout our testing. Despite its distinct lack of weight compared to its competitors, this controller still feels well put together. There are no creaks from the components when it’s put under undue pressure from minor bouts of gamer rage and frustration (something that factored in a lot during testing, thanks to Destiny‘s Iron Banner). The triggers and bumpers are sturdy and loosen up nicely within the first hour or two of use, but not so much so that you don’t feel the resistance you’d expect from a quality controller.
One of the biggest disadvantages the Horipad exhibits over its competitors is the shape and size of the bumpers and triggers. The bumpers are extremely pronounced and the triggers are incredibly wide compared to other Xbox One controllers. At first this can seem quite alien and make the controller difficult to get to grips with, literally, but after 15-20 minutes of continuous play you’ll find your hands adjusting to the ergonomic variations and treating the controller much like you would with any other peripheral; as an extension of yourself.
The only other real drawback of the controller is the material from which it’s manufactured; it’s a slick, glossy and semi-transparent plastic. While this may make the controller good to look at, it can cause some – very minor – issues with ‘Sweaty Palm Syndrome’ when locked into a serious gaming session. The design would benefit greatly from some form of ‘grippy’ material, whether that be rubberised sections or textured plastic in strategic locations.
The real selling point of the Horipad Pro is the additional buttons on the underside of the controller, bringing a level of customisability we never expected would reach controllers at this price point. The rear function buttons are really easy to programme, too. There are two LEDs on the controller that signify which state the controller is in. There is a singular red LED to the right of the cental Xbox button that when in a solid state shows the controller is on and working as it should be.
To the left of the Xbox button is a green LED which comes on, in a solid state, when the assign button in the rear of the controller is pressed and held for 3 seconds. When one of the rear function buttons is pressed the green starts blinking and then goes off when a button is pressed assigning it to the respective function button. It’s that simple to assign the buttons on the Horipad Pro and the buttons can be re-assigned at any time, even mid play.
The Horipad’s easily assigned quick access buttons, the ergonomic (albeit unusual) design, solid construction and wired setup up all add up to a controller that easily warrants its bargain price. Currently available on Amazon for £33.68, the Horipad Pro is a great budget alternative to the more costly professional and “Elite” controllers on the market.