We’ve been fans of the controllers that PowerA put out for years. In fact, we’ve been hands-on with more than we care to remember, with our most recent outing being that of the Sonic Style Advantage Wired Controller. Yet back in 2021 it was the PowerA Spectra Infinity Enhanced Wired Controller for Xbox that blew our little mind, keeping the smile on our face via the inclusion of multiple coloured zones, lighting up our gaming sessions like never before.
Now PowerA are back, but this time they are going bigger, better, bolder and well, brighter – quite literally. For they are found taking their Advantage Wired range of controllers, and combining it with some newly enhanced Spectra ideas. The result is the PowerA Advantage Wired Controller with Lumectra. And this one does so much more than add some fancy colours to your Xbox controller.
We won’t go into too much depth in terms of what PowerA bring to the table with their Advantage Wired Controller. What we have here with the Lumectra tagged product is pretty much the same as that seen in the Sonic Style controller, removing the blue hues associated with the fastest hedgehog in the land and preferring to run an all-black skin.
That means you’ll find yourself with an Xbox controller in hand that is extremely familiar. Pretty much identical to an official Xbox controller – yet with a cable tying you into your console – it feels great in hand. Lighter than a wireless offering, thumbsticks are nicely concaved on the top with a massively grippy outer ring to ensure that your thumbs will never slip off whilst in the heat of the action. The d-pad is more than capable of providing what is required too, whilst the face buttons are easy to hit, clickable and nicely raised from the body of the controller. Throw in the Xbox Nexus button, the trio of Menu, View and Share buttons and dual rumble motors built in and you’ve got everything you would want from the face of an Xbox controller.
Also in place is a standard 3.5mm audio jack for plugging in your favourite wired headset, whilst bumpers are easy to press and the triggers click in like the best of them. Those triggers even have 3-way trigger locks on them, so if you’re one of those gamers looking to finesse their skills, PowerA have you covered.
A smooth front face plate is well complemented by a textured rear. Frankly, this is a controller that feels great in hand.
But it’s in the finer details where the PowerA Advantage Wired Controller with Lumectra ups the game. Look closely when the controller is off and you’ll see the all-black body is detailed with multiple light strips. There’s a large one that flows all around the outer body, more surrounding the d-pad, others that encircle the thumbsticks and more situated around each face button. It’s these elements that light up as soon as you plug the controller into your console – USB-C to USB-A – with the hues and modes shown all dictated by the player.
Around the back of the Advantage Wired Controller with Lumectra are those trigger locks as well as a couple of programmable rear-mounted buttons, situated right beneath the placement of your middle fingers as you hold the controller. A simple press and hold of a MAP button, followed by the buttons of your choice will allow you to set these additional buttons up as you desire. It’s a simple process, one that will be pretty familiar to anyone who has used any such controller type previously. We can’t say that we use them an awful lot, but that’s all very much a personal taste; others will lap up the opportunity to utilise back buttons.
But then, alongside that MAP button, around the rear are two more options – INT LED and EXT LED. Can you guess what those do?
We’ll start with the first of the two – INT LED – and this is used to control the lighting in place on the controller itself; the Internal LEDs, if you will. A combination of face buttons, triggers and d-pad allow you to assign a huge range of colours and mode types to the PowerA Advantage Wired Controller with Lumectra, mixing and matching as you see fit. We’ve personally found some preferences in having our controller kitted out in Xbox green, but also have a bit of a liking to an ever-scrolling, ever-changing colour palette. As we sit here now, the Advantage Wired Controller with Lumectra is happily switching things up, changing from purple to orange to yellow to green to blue. It looks brilliant.
However, initial set-up of a colour that is to your liking is a bit of a faff. There’s such a range of options available, alongside a myriad of button presses, that we found things a little overwhelming initially. But once set in place, and once you begin to understand the process you need to go through, things are absolutely fine and dandy.
So what of the EXT LED button? Well, as you may expect to hear, this allows you to change up some ‘external’ LEDs, with PowerA including a 1.20 metre (4ft) RGB LED Strip in the box with the controller. They are also selling much longer LED Strip options too, all of which can then be controlled by the PowerA Advantage Wired Controller with Lumectra.
Those LED strips are either powered by USB-A (plug it into a console or standard USB-A enabled plug), or come with a 3-pin UK plug as standard. Once connected up and stuck in place – for instance, to the back of your TV – as long as the controller can ‘see’ the IR transmitter attached to the LED strip, you can then change the colours and mode as you wish. It’s all very clever and – much like the colour changing of the controller itself – works an absolute treat once you get used to how each controller button amends the lighting.
With an in-line control attached to each LED strip too, if you prefer to use the PowerA RGB LED Strip as a standalone device, away from the controller, you can do so. It’s not quite as ‘magical’, but it all works fine. With thousands of colour combinations across the controller itself, and then more on the LED strips, there’s next to no chance that you’ll not be able to find some kind of gloriously glowing light set up to suit you and your gaming habits.
What all this means is that should you be looking to up your gaming style and fancy something that brings all the colour you could ever want, the PowerA Advantage Wired Controller With Lumectra should be the one to buy. The inclusion of a Lumectra LED strip in the box is a good move by PowerA, elevating this to a whole new level. It’s helped that the controller itself is elegant too – at least if you can look past the need to cable it into your console. Is it too much to ask for a wireless Lumectra controller? Maybe battery life issues would hold it back…
Huge thanks go out to PowerA for providing us with the PowerA Advantage Wired Controller with Lumectra for review, as well as the additional 5.5m (18ft) standalone Lumectra RGB LED Light Strip. You’ll find them available for around £54.99 and $19.99 respectively.