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Star Wars: Rogue One – Wired Xbox One Controllers review

To celebrate the theatrical release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, PowerA has released a pair of themed wired controllers for Xbox One and Windows 10. Fans can pick the Light Side-themed Jyn Erso controller, or a Dark Side controller emblazoned with a Death Trooper. They look cool, but are they any good as controllers?

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Star Wars style

Star Wars: Rogue One – Wired Xbox One Controllers

PowerA's Rogue One Controllers share the same physical components; only their front shells differ. A drawing of the Death Star appears in the center of each controller, with the Xbox Home button centered perfectly in the crater-shaped Superlaser cannon well.

Both controllers have a different character from the movie on their front right handles. The Light Side's Jyn Erso is a great choice of character, seeing as how she's one of Rogue One's primary protagonists. The Dark Side Controller's Death Trooper is far less important to the overall film, but a striking character design nonetheless (and primary antagonist Director Krennic parades around in an all-white getup anyway).

On the front left handle of both controllers, you'll find some team-themed graphics. Jyn's has the large R1 surrounded by The Rebels on one side and The Empire on the other. The Death Trooper controller goes with a DT monogram and a single phrase split across both sides: Death Star Special Forces.

Comfort and performance

Star Wars: Rogue One – Wired Xbox One Controllers rear

The form factor of the Rogue One controllers closely matches that of PowerA's Fusion Controller, which is not too different in shape from a standard Xbox One controller. The back has a hexagonal texture that helps with grip. It doesn't feel as nice as an Elite controller's rubbery grips, but still offers better grip than a plain smooth surface.

The Rogue One Controllers' analog sticks are very high quality, especially for a third-party controller. They have a similar length, shape, and feel to official Microsoft sticks. Sticks and triggers have long been the greatest strengths of PowerA controllers.

Star Wars: Rogue One – Wired Xbox One Controllers Jyn Erso

The D-Pad is nice and clicky. Although it doesn't feel as perfect as that of the Hori Pad Pro, it's still a reasonably good directional pad. The Triggers have a great level of resistance too, making them a pleasure to use. One of the triggers on my Fusion Pro Controller eventually lost some of its responsiveness, but hopefully that won't happen here.

The bottom of the controller has a 3.5mm headset jack. As with all third-party controllers, there is no data port, so you can't use accessories like the Chatpad or SpeakerCom with this controller.

Overall Impression

Star Wars: Rogue One – Wired Xbox One Controllers Jyn Erso

The Star Wars Rogue One controllers retail for $49.99, although Amazon currently sells them for less. They fall into the same price range as PowerA's own Fusion Controller, which is an affordable alternative to the official Elite controller.

The Fusion Controller has the advantages of swappable analog sticks, two programmable buttons and Trigger Locks on its rear, and a braided USB cable. In comparison, the only advantage of the Rogue One Controllers is a much more pleasing aesthetic design. No goofy frontal handgrips, plenty of cool Star Wars imagery.

Star Wars: Rogue One – Wired Xbox One Controllers

Not everybody wants or needs the advanced features of the Fusion Controller, though. Simplicity is an advantage for some players. In fact, most kids (the primary audience of the Rogue One controllers) would probably be happier with a sweet Star Wars-looking controller.

The Rogue One controllers have a great visual design, and they're not bad controllers for the price, either. Pick one up for the Star Wars-loving Xbox gamer in your life who needs a spare pad, or just grab one to show some Star Wars love. An actual good Star Wars movie in theaters is worth celebrating!

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Paul Acevedo is the Games Editor at Windows Central. A lifelong gamer, he has written about videogames for over 15 years and reviewed over 350 games for our site. Follow him on Twitter @PaulRAcevedo. Don’t hate. Appreciate!

26 Comments
  • I'm sorry, but the best controller is a keyboard and mouse. Or, for certain games, a joystick/steering wheel.  Controllers are horrible, and no amount of "makeup" can fix that.
  • Okay, that's irrelevant, unless a keyboard and mouse fall under "controller." Also, I am a PC gamer and love using a keyboard and mouse but you kill it for us K&M users.   These controllers look nice, by the way.
  • And my experience tells me that keyboard and mouse is only good for MMORPG and MOBA. I try and play anything else and I find I crumble under keyboard and mouse. Now that may be due to aim assist (which I need due to disability), but trying to play sonic for example on anything but a controller is an exercise in futility for me.
  • Considering the movie sucked for the first 90 minutes, I wonder if the controller will mostly suck as well.
  • Your recent comments here are a lot worse.
  • I dunno, they gave Darth Vader a 80's action movie one liner zinger. Other than that, I have said Indiegogo are thieves is about as 'worse' as I could have gotten. What else could have you meant?
  • It was the best Star Wars to date. To bad the controllers look like pieces of crap. 
  • LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL good try. It was most assuredly *NOT* the best Star Wars to date. It has an edge over Phantom Menace and that's about it, and that's only if you remove Darth Maul
  • Lots of people are saying it's the best Star Wars yet. You can disagree but no point in arguing on my comment. It is the best Star Wars yet. Sooo good.
  • Lots of people say Justin Beiber is good. Doesn't mean we all have to accept that.
  • It also doesn't mean you have any real argument for or against his stance. It's an opinion, he has one and so do you. An opinion cannot be wrong.
  • the only one good thing about beiber is how much he pays canada in taxes. I love being Canadian!  
  • It ranks 4th for me behind Empire, Jedi and Hope.
  • I suppose they are fine, but I don't like the putting of people on the right grip, and hate gloss on things my hands will be on all the time. Lastly, pass on wired, I only do that for PC use (though I might just get the wireless receiver sometime). Too many recent sales on official, wireless controller in a wide array of colors to make these recommended.
  • I'm not too sure about these controllers. They kind of look cheap, as in the materials are very janky looking. Also, why can't anyone figure out how to get rid of the wire for the PC use case? I understand the wire on X1 due to Microsoft's licensing of their wireless tech but PC has so many options for wireless connectivity.
  • Yeah, but then you, what, make an XB1 controller with an extra wireless option (likely Bluetooth), raise the price for the XB1 buyers who can't use it, then let the PC users have this floppy mess on the ground when using it wirelessly? That, or they have to make a breakaway cable, like we had on the original Xbox, but full-length.
  • I like the dark side design more, sometimes its good to have a wired controller for sleep farming so that yr console stays active lol.
  • Don't like the design of these at all, by that I mean the physical design, not the decals. Reminds me of a playstation controller which I hate.
  • I get the preference for Xbox-style controllers over PlayStation ones. But here the shape is far closer to that of a regular Xbox One controller than a PlayStation controller. They're literally modelled after Xbox controllers.
  • I like the black controller
  • I wouldn't use a 3rd party controller. Ever since I tried a 3rd party n64 one. I felt it was of lesser quality. Looking at these photos I am reminded of my past. Im an official controller kind of guy.
  • -1 for haveing an opinion. will see it at -5 by tommorow :D
  • They look cool, to bad they aren't also wireless if there still around when I need a new controller I'll get the back one
  • INteresting product. Not for me though. 
  • If I could grab one for $25, I would give it a go.  It has to be a good deal because my mind is still stuck in the 90's with some awful third-party controllers.
  • If these didn't have the licensing fees, these would probably be closer to $30. I'm sorry, but a wired controller for $50 seems a bit much considering a wireless for $10 more. I'm sure there are folks who prefer wired for whatever reason, but this seems like a very niche market. Good review Paul, as always.