PRIMED AND READY TO GO
If you are an Xbox, or console fan like I am, you know the dream is to own an elite controller!! Just the thought of having an upper hand in games is exciting so by chance we came across a small company in Cape Town, No Cap Gaming, they specialize in modded controllers and even modding existing ones. They were gracious enough to send one of their PRIMED + controllers for us to review.
First of…. It’s beautiful!!! We received an all-black controller with red accents, it just oozes COOL and gives off serious Diablo vibes. I couldn’t wait to link it up and start playing. Let’s start off with the price… At just under R3900 is expensive, extravagant, and perhaps most useful for only a small niche of the Xbox community. But despite what the lavish, pro-only price suggests, the controller has a universal appeal that anyone – from the tier-one Call of Duty players to the casual Fortnite players – can enjoy.
The Primed + Wireless Controller is very comfortable, with rubberized grips and a cool-to-the-touch finish with a few components that can be swapped out to suit your needs. Flip it around and a slew of buttons located on the back of the controller that can be assigned the function of any face button and a set of hair triggers that only have a travel distance of 1.5mm!!! Giving this controller the makings of a great gamepad.
Best of all, it works on PCs I used it on my Laptop with Windows 11 Pro and found no issues with connectivity or gameplay. This made flying around on my broom in Hogwarts Legacy a dream!!
DESIGNED AND PRIMED
It’s hard for me to spot a serious design issue with the controller. For the first 2 days after receiving the controller, I actually had to force myself to put it down and look objectively at it and pored over every detail trying to find something that didn’t live up to the price tag. But after hours of looking, I found nothing on the controller that irritated me. Comparing it to other controllers with paddles, I have to say I love the buttons and the feel of reliability in them.
Once you hold it in your hands for a bit, you’ll instantly feel the difference over the standard Xbox One pad. It’s heavier but more comfortable, thanks to the rubberized grip and amazingly smooth matte finish.
Now unlike other gamepads that have magnetic interchangeable parts the Primed + has non, other than the interchangeable movement sticks. These sticks come in a variety of sizes and feel. The convex and concave sticks come with the controller and simply pop off and on depending on your preference. (The arcade-style convex sticks are excellent for fighting games, just FYI.)
Talking about the sticks is where I found my only negative, not with the controller or parts but with the packaging. The primed + controller comes in a protective shell to keep your investment safe but the holder inside the case for the stick does not seem to hold them in place while in transit.
BUT ON THE OTHER HAND, DARRYN!
Rotating the controller around is where things get more interesting. There you’ll find the four aforementioned buttons, named K1, K2, K3, and K4. In the beginning, my thought was that the buttons might interfere with my grip on the controller, and like most console gamers, I normally place pressure on the wings of the controller with my three fingers wrapping around the wings – and for the first few attempts at playing “Call of Duty:” that’s exactly what happened.
After a little bit of time and a few PEP talks to myself in the mirror, I got used to the buttons being where they were, and then I really started enjoying the extra feature and advantage it provided. The buttons are sturdy enough to resist accidental compression, meaning you feel the press… and it’s satisfying!!
The last 2 features worth noting are that it comes with a Type C charging point on the controller and the easiest (personal opinion) button mapping mode out there. It takes three steps to map a button and best of all no software or App is required, simply flip a small switch on the back of the controller, hold down the two buttons you would like to map together for three (3) seconds, and you’re done!! Then simply flip the mapping switch back to the off position.
Overall, the design is one that is incredibly well thought-out and this coming from third-party manufacturers gives me hope for the future of console controllers. There are plenty of options when placing your controller order, from colours to how you want the triggers to feel. Buy a new controller or give your existing one an upgrade, honestly, the possibilities feel endless.
DO OR DO NOT, THERE IS NOT TRY!!
Over the course of two weeks, I used the controller any chance I got!! Whether it was racing, fighting, shooting, or sports games in my Xbox collection. Some games proved to benefit immensely from the controller while others felt more comfortable to play than usual.
As you could imagine having the 1.5mm distance on the right and left trigger allowed me to shoot faster, crouching quicker, and after mapping the buttons my prone game become the stuff of legend!!! Likewise, racing games like Forza Horizon became more dynamic and interesting.
That being said, the controller is not particularly advantageous in every genre. Besides a longer left stick, fighting games are just that … fighting games! But if one could map a combo to the buttons, it would be amazing and a bit unfair!! LOL
OUR THUMBS UP
There is not much versatility in terms of parts that can be swapped out like in other controllers, but this can be a hidden strength. The controller is solid, with very little to lose if dropped, and provides peace of mind when it comes to choking hazards and chew toys. The triggers are set, to a comfortable travel distance and require very little effort to activate. It also helps that at its core the PRIMED + Wireless Controller is incredibly comfortable and stylish, thanks to the grips, jet-black colour scheme, and matte finish.
OUR THUMBS DOWN
That said, the cost of the controller will always raise an eyebrow, and at R3899 it is a hefty investment into gaming.
IN THE END
The PRIMED + wireless Controller is simply one of the most extraordinary controllers I have had the opportunity to test and beats a normal Xbox controller hand down. It’s smarter, sleeker, and more versatile than the standard gamepad, and will appeal to gamers of all skill levels.
Now, that said, no matter how great it is, if you think R3899 is too much for a controller, it won’t change your mind. But if you have the finances or extra money lying around, the PRIMED + Wireless Controller will help you find a new passion for console gaming.