Moga Pro Bluetooth Android Controller – Kinda Cool, But…
If you’ve followed Android gaming news recently, the other big item discussed besides the rise and fall of the OUYA has been the new Android gaming controller, the Moga Pro. Moga controllers are not a new kid on the block either, previously releasing a rather blocky and cumbersome controller for Android devices. However, the recently released Moga Pro controller, which resembles a Mad Catz Xbox 360 controller, has been touted as the latest and greatest of Android gaming peripherals.
It does have a lot going for it as well. It’s sleek design fits comfortably into the player’s hands. Unlike most console controllers, the Moga Pro has rubber gripped handles on the sides for added comfort and so your sweaty palms won’t result in your controller flying off during a rousing game of Shadowgun. The controller itself is designed almost identical to that of a 360 controller, with the thumbsticks, D-pad, trigger buttons and action buttons located in the exact same spots as the Xbox controller. The only major differences between the two are the placements of an extra couple buttons, mostly utilized for connectivity to your Android device, as well as the start and select buttons. It also comes with an apparatus, like its predecessor, which allows you to put your phone on the controller, for added comfort, as well as a stand for tablets or larger phones.
Pairing the Moga Pro controller to your Android phone or tablet is a fairly painless and simple procedure. Linking the two devices is not unlike pairing any bluetooth enabled device to your Android phone or tablet, but does require a couple extra steps. Users will be required to download the official Moga Pivot app, which doesn’t take up a lot of room, but acts as a game portal and required to activate games through it in order to use the controller. I did notice games that are opened and played through the Moga Pivot portal have a tendency to start up a little sluggish, but generally perform pretty admirably.
As far as the controller’s response time to the game on your Android device, it appears any input you give the controller results in pretty flawless execution on the screen for the most part. I had a couple of lag issues with NOVA 3, but Grand Theft Auto 3 made me feel like I was back on my PS2 the day I bought it, just without the crappy little TV in my basement bedroom. GTA 3 with the Moga Pro controller works absolutely amazing. You do need to be careful about what other devices you have around while gaming however, as I did not some disconnect between the Android device and Moga Pro controller every now and then with keeping a steady signal when I had other wireless devices around.
However, once you get a chance to explore the games compatible with the Moga Pro in the Moga Pivot app area (which will actually tell you which games currently on your device are compatible), you notice its quite a limited selection. Keep in mind that the Moga Pro is the second controller that Moga has manufactured for Android devices and I believe any game that works for the original device works for the Pro edition as well. However, in their defense, Moga has announced more games are soon coming for this controller. So while early adapters may not have an extensive library to chose from, the controller manufacturer promises more games to be compatible with the device in the future.
Potential buyers also have to consider the price point of $50 for the Moga Pro. While the controller itself is sleek and nice, it’s still just a controller, and only works for a couple of games, totally optimized for even less. Admittedly, it’s a difficult argument to prop the Moga Pro against just plugging a Logitech or PS3 controller into your device via a USB port or OTG cable.
There are some games that are clearly optimized for the device verses games that have been made compatible for it as well. There are two ways to “turn the device on”. Some games require you to be in A mode, which is designated for the games the device is optimized for. A majority of the games will be in B mode, which are games that function just fine with the controller, but weren’t specifically centered around the Moga Pro. There isn’t generally an issue here, but does feel to be an unnecessary step, though I cannot speak for the internal mechanics of the controller with how it works with the games.
These complaints aren’t to say the Moga Pro is a total waste or a bad device either, but at a $50 price point along with all of the praise it has received from other sites, to me it seems over-hyped. There isn’t anything about it per se that sets it apart from any other controller I’ve used. It simply plays a small selection of games. It doesn’t light up, have hand fans or any other nuances I’ve seen in any other controllers over the years. Anyone who runs emulators or ROMs on their Android device will even be disheartened to learn that it will not work with those devices either. But, for the games it does pair with, it works really well. Consider this device like an obscure weird tasting wine; not everyone is going to enjoy it or understand it and it doesn’t really go with much. But those who do enjoy it and the items it does couple nicely with, it doesn’t absolutely fantastically so. If I am going to make a recommendation with the Moga Pro, I’d say to buy this device, but wait until it goes on sale, or you acquire a stock pile of Amazon gift cards.
More information and purchase site can be found here: http://www.mogaanywhere.com/about-moga/moga-pro-controller/
The device is also available through Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/POWER-Mobile-Gaming-Android-Smartphones/dp/B00BTDBSXU