Review: PowerA Sparkle Advantage Xbox Controller

Posted on August 11, 2023 by Henry

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Review unit provided by PowerA

The number one reason that I’m deterred from buying an extra gaming controller is its price. Many of them can cost the same amount as a new triple A game, if not more if you’re looking at premium elite versions. Well PowerA says fear not, with their newest line of third party Xbox controllers, the Advantage series. The Advantage Xbox controller, coming in hot at a humble price of $37.99, is probably the best bang for your buck when it comes to performance and affordability, as it offers a unique blend of style and functionality. 

Sparkle is the newest colorway for this line of controllers, which is also the one I was sent for review. To be honest, I wasn’t too impressed with this design from looking at the pictures online alone, but it’s a whole different story in person. So the controller isn’t as bright and flashy as you might expect, but instead gives off a dark magenta intergalactic vibe to it. The color you perceive also changes depending on what angle you are viewing it at. The vibrant, glittery finish adds a touch of excitement and individuality to your gaming setup. I kind of wish the design wrapped around the whole controller, as the back of it is just your typical pure plastic-y black.

I had some worries with my hands getting sweaty during long play sessions that would result in the lack of a grip due to the glossy finish of the controller, but surprisingly I experienced none of that. The textured gripsack on the back ensures a secure hold during intense gaming sessions, reducing the likelihood of slipping during critical moments. The controller feels snug and comfortable when held and all the buttons feel responsive and great to press. That being said, you don’t get that luxury feel when using this controller, mostly due to the build quality and amount of plastic material used in the different components.

Unfortunately this is a wired only controller, but what did you expect considering it costs less than 40 bucks? You do get a sturdy 10 foot USB-C to USB cable that’s more than long enough for any of your gaming needs. The nice thing is that the wire is detachable and can be stored away or even used for other purposes, compared to wires for old school controllers, which are built in and have to be wrapped around the controller several times to put away. The Advantage controller works on Xbox One, Xbox Series consoles, in addition to PC, and comes with a 2 year warranty.

If you’re familiar with PowerA’s other line of Xbox controllers, then you probably already know what the customizable back buttons, three way trigger locks, and dual rumble motors are. As a brief refresher, the trigger locks allow you to toggle the travel distance of the triggers to pull off faster actions in shooting or racing games. The Advantage controller has 2 back buttons, instead of the 4 on the Fusion Pro controller, but it does feature the trigger locks and dual motors. If you think about it, considering its price, it’s quite impressive that this controller contains many of the flagship features of a pro controller.

As with all other standard Xbox controllers, this one comes with convenient capture buttons for photos and videos and a dedicated Xbox button in the middle of the controller. PowerA even developed a convenient Gamer HQ App that works on both PC and Xbox to calibrate and test your controller. Even without the app, the controller is plug and play friendly. Personally, I dig the Sparkle colorway, as it adds some spice in my collection of bland black and white controllers, but I get that the glittery finish might not be for everyone. But don’t worry because PowerA also has a variety of other colors too, including red, white, and blue!

I actually reviewed the Sparkle Advantage and the Fusion Pro 3 simultaneously, and I got to say that I honestly prefer the Advantage over the Fusion Pro 3 because I’m more of a simplistic gamer. I don’t need many of the extra features on the more luxurious controller, and when factoring cost into the equation, this one is an absolute steal.

The PowerA Advantage is an excellent choice for an extra controller when you’re on a budget, as it features plenty of Pro features such as the trigger locks and mappable back buttons. The fact that it’s wire-only might be its only downside, but with a low price of $37.99, you can’t really ask for more.

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