This controller turns your Android phone into a portable Xbox

It appears unlikely that Microsoft will ever make a portable Xbox. Between Sony’s failure with the Vita, Nintendo’s dominance of the market with the Change, and Microsoft’s device-agnostic enterprise mannequin, there isn’t actually a lot want for such a product.

That doesn’t imply there’s no demand for portable Xbox video games, although. Microsoft has been pushing cloud gaming laborious with Xbox Recreation Cross, in addition to the flexibility to stream video games straight from your personal Xbox console to your phone. And although a shocking variety of gamers are doing this with touchscreen controls — I do know individuals who swear by the contact model of Hades, consider it or not — it’s not an excellent setup for many Xbox video games.

That’s why I used to be to attempt the RIG MG-X, a cellular controller from Nacon. It’s an formally licensed Xbox controller that works with nearly any Android phone, giving it all of the buttons you’d discover on a customary Xbox One pad. This ought to make it a good match for Recreation Cross video games on the go.

Verge Rating


6.5 out of 10

Good Stuff

  • Native Xbox buttons
  • Typically good controls and construct high quality
  • Bluetooth means it really works with phone circumstances

Dangerous Stuff

  • Horrible analog triggers
  • Bluetooth means it wants pairing
  • And charging

Cell controllers aren’t a new concept, and there are strong choices for Android on the market already just like the Razer Kishi — together with a not too long ago launched Xbox-specific model. The RIG MG-X, although, has an appealingly easy design for a product class that may be a little awkward, which makes for a sleeker method when coupled with the Xbox buttons. It’s good to not have to consider which icons map to which instructions; you’ll be able to simply naturally use the identical buttons you’d have on a typical Xbox setup.

The controller has a hole within the center that extends out to clamp round your phone, which connects over Bluetooth. Nacon says it ought to work with any phone operating Android 6 and above with a display as much as 6.7 inches; I largely used it with a Vivo X70 Professional Plus, which is a large phone with a 6.78-inch display, and it really works wonderful. (It doesn’t, nevertheless, work with iPhones in any respect.)

Bluetooth is a trade-off I’m okay with

This is kind of a chunky machine, and it’s wider than an Xbox controller even earlier than you lengthen it to insert your phone. That’s not essentially a unhealthy factor — it feels well-built and and I wouldn’t have a drawback tossing it into a bag when touring. Using Bluetooth as an alternative of a USB-C connector is a trade-off I’m okay with, as a result of it makes for a extra suitable design and ensures the controller can be utilized with the phone in a case. It does imply that it’s important to manually pair with the phone, although, and cost the controller itself over USB-C once in a while; Nacon quotes round 20 hours of battery life.

Total, the RIG MG-X’s controls are small however efficient. The analog sticks aren’t as huge as a full-size Xbox controller’s, however they’re larger than a Nintendo Change Pleasure-Con’s and really feel extra satisfying to make use of. The face buttons are additionally fairly small however tactile and clicky, whereas the D-pad is correct sufficient regardless of being a little mushier than I’d want. I’ve huge palms and I discovered the RIG MG-X to have moderately good ergonomics over time for many video games.

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The RIG MG-X’s triggers are its greatest flaw.

There’s one exception, although, in the case of the triggers. For some motive they’re unusually tough to press in all the best way, which is a huge drawback for video games like racers the place it’s essential to maintain them down a lot. A sport like Halo Infinite the place you’re usually making particular person squeezes to fireplace weapons is okay, however I used to be questioning why I used to be dropping so many races in Forza Horizon 5 earlier than determining that I didn’t have my foot pressed firmly sufficient on the fuel. You are able to do it, but it surely takes extra power than some other controller I’ve ever used, and it’s under no circumstances snug for prolonged play periods.

It’s unlucky that this isn’t a good Forza Horizon 5 controller — you’ll have heard that it’s a fairly good sport — but it surely does work nicely for many different genres. You should utilize it for non-Xbox video games, in fact, whether or not they’re from the Play Retailer or elsewhere — I performed a lot of Fortnite with it, and also you even get native Xbox button indicators within the menus.

The RIG MG-X is a respectable controller with a single huge flaw, so simply know what you’re getting into for those who’re a fan of racing video games. I occur to be one, in order that was disappointing for me, and I’d personally go along with the Xbox model of the Razer Kishi for that motive. However for many different Xbox video games, that is a strong resolution that will get you nearer to a portable Xbox than ever earlier than, and aside from the triggers I want its design to the Kishi. This month Nacon additionally introduced the MG-X Professional, which appears to be like rather more like a customary Xbox controller — hopefully the triggers are higher.

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