The Elite Controller is – in our words – the best video game controller ever offered by a console manufacturer. We awarded this £119.99 accessory a perfect five stars, and we’ve yet to find any controller that beats it – it’s easy to see why on release it sold out faster than a doughnut stand next to Chief Wiggum’s patrol car.
With replaceable parts a feature of the Elite – thumbsticks, d-pad and paddles can all be swapped out – we thought there would be a market for aftermarket parts – but actually these have been pretty thin on the ground. PowerA stepped up, and have produced several game-themed accessory packs – including kits based on Forza and Killer Instinct, as well as the gorgeous Halo component kit (none officially released in the UK) and this Gears of War Component Kit. If you fancied the Limited Edition Gears of War 4 Elite Controller, but baulked at the asking price of £159.99, this kit might be the next best thing.
The component kit includes you get four paddles, two d-pads, two sets of analogue thumb sticks. All attached to the controller in the same way as the standard parts – using magnets – and feel solid in place with no give, rattle or wiggle. Although some of PowerA’s marketing images show thumbsticks with grey shafts and red tops, we can confirm the final product ships with anodised red shafts and a black finish for the top of each thumbstick.
“The official Gears of War Component Kit is a true fan’s addition to the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller. Designed alongside The Coalition, to bring praise to your favorite game and performance expected for GOW gameplay. The kit includes a variety of magnetic components, including shorter paddles and low-friction, textured analog rings to withstand wear & tear. Fine-tune your accuracy and individual gaming style without compromising the quality expected for the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller. Choose from 2 Standard Analog Sticks, 1 Mid-Tall Analog Stick, 1 Domed Mid-Tall Analog-stick, 2 Upper Paddles, 2 Lower Paddles, and 2 Directional Pads.”
The thumsticks are mix n’ match. First up are two identical shorter thumbsticks, each with a heavily etched surface for maximum grip. The third thumbstick is the same size, but with a smoother dome top. The fourth thumbstick is taller (though not as tall as the tall OEM thumbstick) with the same etched finish.
Both d-pad options – the cross and the disc – are virtually identical to the OEM accessories in size, but here are finished in a gloss red. The disc has icons representing the standard weapon slots in Gears, which is a nice touch – up for grenades, down for pistol, etc.
The four back paddles – two grey, two red – are shorter and broader than the original paddles, and add that authentic Gears look to your controller.
The quality of the parts is top notch – throughout testing they remained snugly fitted to our controller. We appreciate the little details like the Crimson Omen on the pads or the small weapon icons on the d-pad, and we found the shorter, broader paddles meant that the paddle tips were right in the sweet-spot for those of us with larger hands.
For the Gears fan, this is a more cost-effective way of getting the Gears look for your Elite controller without shelling out £160 for the (admittedly stunning) Gears Limited Edition controller. At $30 this kit isn’t cheap, but the quality of the components matches that of the original equipment, and adds a little bit of crimson style to your gaming.
The Gears of War Component Kit is available from GameStop (US only) for $29.99.
Give your Elite Controller a touch of Crimson style.
PowerA offers this stylish kit for our much-loved favourite controller. With a hefty price tag of $30, the Gears of War Component Kit is aimed at true Gears fans, but there’s no doubting the quality on display.