The modern gamer is presented with a lot of options when it comes to controllers. Console developers themselves are offering up a greater variety of controllers such as Xbox’s Lunar White, Dawn Shadow, Dusk Shadow and of course their immensely popular Elite controller.
With Microsoft themselves flooding the market with great controllers it’s forced third party controller producers and modifiers to really up their game. That’s exactly what the good folks at Controller Modz have done.
Not content with simply producing custom designs for controllers, Controller Modz have gone one step further by integrating a number of unique features right into the controller itself. These features stand apart as there are no switches or paddles for you to flick and tap but instead the system utilises some pretty nifty programming, especially if you opt for their signature Razorback Maxfire Modchip.
The Maxfire Modchip is one of those products that will divide opinions right down the middle. Some will state this is a product that is readily available and if you pay for it why shouldn’t you take advantage of it? While there will be other still who will almost certainly offer up cries of foul play.
It’s easy to understand both sides of this argument. The Maxfire Modchip offers up some incredible customisable controller layouts all of which are integrated into the controller itself. Some of the available adjustments include:
- Rapid Fire – This will turn you piddly little single or burst fire weapon into an all conquering weapon of mass destruction.
- Akimbo – Tired of holding the left trigger whilst shooting your adversaries? Well that’s a thing of the past because the Akimbo option automatically mirrors the press of the right trigger. Whether that means firing a second weapon for you or automatically aiming down the sights.
- Drop Shot – Have you ever come 1 on 1 against someone online and they’ve got an innate mastery of the ability to simultaneously drop to the ground while aiming and opening fire on you? A controller like this one is likely the reason. Your character will hit the deck as soon as you open fire.
- Quick Scope – This is sort of a reverse Akimbo. With quick scope you’ll begin emptying the clip as soon as you aim down the sight, particularly handy for those who fancies themselves as a virtual sniper.
While the above abilities are probably the main selling points for anyone looking to invest in a controller, they aren’t the only options. Other modifications such as Jump Shot, Fast Reload, Aim Lock, Auto Spotting (Battlefield), Perfect Active Reloads (Gears of War) and Auto Scope are also available.
The last of those options, Auto Scope, allows your character to automatically hold their breath when aiming down sights. This is particularly advantageous when combined with the Quick Scope modification.
That last statement leads us nicely into a more in depth view of one of the most impressive features of the Controller Modz custom item. The fact that the modificiations are not independent of each other, this can lead to some truly devastating combinations.
Take for example the possible combination of Rapid Fire, Akimbo, Drop Shot, Auto Aim and Fast Reload. All of a sudden your character is auto firing a single shot assault rifle at an insane rate whilst simultaneously hitting the deck and auto locking onto your adversary and then once the clip is empty your character jumps up, changes the magazine with lightning speed and repeats the whole cycle.
While the auto aim feature is, rightly so, disabled for online play that’s still a whole lot of advantages to be gained from a simple controller. With these modifiers being programmed into the controller it is entirely possible to adjust them on the fly during play which further exemplifies how worthwhile this style of controller can be.
At the same time as being a controller that’s full of a whole host of tricks and advantage granting modifications, it’s also one that looks the part and can be fully customised to your own personal tastes. The customisation ranges from the subtle to the utterly garish (the images throughout this review are the actual controller I received and I regret nothing).
What’s great about the Controller Modz site is that while you have the ability to change almost every aspect of your controller, meaning it’s unlikely to look like anyone else’s, it’s also extremely user friendly. The site is broken down into sub sections allowing you to choose a variety of options as you can see below.
Clicking any of these options will bring up a sub menu such as the below:
What’s great about these sub menus is not only will they keep track of all of your selections and provide you with a cumulative total but they also generate a digital preview of your controller at the same time.
Below is what our controller looked like at the end of the options selection process:
Less than a week after the order was placed, the controller had arrived (in much more of a protective packaging than shown below) with a comprehensive list of instructions and looking better than even the preview did, see for yourself:
One thing that’s noticeable about the options is they aren’t limited to simply colour or texture changes – they offer up different grips, a variety of styles when it comes the the ABXY buttons as well as a whole host of different shells ranging from two-tone, matte and clear all the way up to movie and cartoon characters.
Despite offering a great range of style of options to their customers it is perhaps the physical final product itself that let’s the Controller Modz experience down as a whole. That’s not to say it’s a bad product because it most certainly isn’t. All of their controllers are built using brand new official Microsoft pads and the LED, shells and grips are of great quality.
However, there are certain flaws. The A button for example on the product we received feels almost as though it sticks, leading to it being less responsive than it’s X, B and Y counter parts.
While it’s possible that this is from the process of removing the buttons for customization, the more likely explanation is that it was as a result of them using officially licensed Xbox Controllers which are not exactly held in high regard in terms of build quality, so it’s unfair to hold Controller Modz accountable for this.
There are other downsides to the physical manifestation of our finished product, although they are almost too minor to mention and are unlikely to be present on the company’s entire range of custom products. One of the flaws is the appearance of visible mould lines on the head of the thumbsticks.
The other minor let down is the use of stickers that will easily wear off over time for the controllers left and right tag options, although for zero extra cost this isn’t too much of a gripe but the option to pay a little more and have them screen printed on for example would’ve been a nice little extra.
While the custom controllers that Controller Modz have to offer are extremely well put together and take into consideration a huge amount of factors such as reload rates and adjustable fire rates they do seem heavily biased towards shooters which is almost a shame if you’re also into other genres such as racers and RPGs. That’s not to say you can’t use the controllers modifications in other titles because you can and anything is possible with a product like this if you’re imaginative enough.
Overall, Controller Modz offer up a great product, especially if you’re a big time shooting game enthusiast. If those titles are your bag than this controller is really geared towards giving you a huge advantage over your opponents, whether that advantage is morally reprehensible we’ll leave that up to you to decide.
However, that isn’t to say this controller can’t be used for other titles, at the end of the day it’s still a fully licensed Microsoft controller at it’s core, meaning it’s sure to become a treasured asset of your gaming peripheral collection.
At somewhere in the region of £115 (that’s with almost all options modified) the controller may seem pricey but when you take into consideration what it is capable of and how many customization options there are it’s definitely worth it. Oh and they do some rather slick protective cases too which we’d have plumped up the extra cash for if we’d spotted them before placing our order – why spend all that cash then not protect it right?
So in summary, the controllers from Controller Modz are built from the ground up with officially licensed Microsoft controllers, the customization options are pretty comprehensive and while the modifications themselves are varied and probably somewhat frowned upon by some in the gaming community, their ease of access and mid-game adaptability make this controller something that should not by any means be over looked.
Add to the above the fact that this controller is compatible with all other Microsoft peripherals such as head sets (admittedly it lacks the 3.5mm jack) and Play & Charge kits then what initially appears to be a very over priced gimmick controller quickly becomes a viable contender to be your new gaming best friend.
To learn more about Controller Modz and their product visit their official site here where you can check out their whole range of pre-built and build your own controllers, and if you end up buying one let us know your thoughts on it!
Controller Modz does its best to stand out from the crowd when producing good-quality hardware, with plenty of modifications and customisation options to choose from and prices that vary dependant on choices, it’s definitely value for money if you’re planning on using it for first and third person shooter titles. Other genres don’t benefit so much, which is one thing to consider, but all-in-all it’s of an excellent build quality and would recommend their services.