Ever since Xbox moved their brilliant Game Pass scheme onto the cloud, mobile gaming has exploded. Granted, many would have been more than content with utilising their mobile devices for quick, sharp gaming sessions for a few years, but with Game Pass titles available to play, full console experiences are finally possible on the small screen.
And since that push, a whole host of gaming’s greatest accessory manufacturers have jumped on the train. Razer were first in with their Kishi for Android, GameSir have provided a host of options to gamers, with the GameSir X3 their most recent, and PowerA have continued to fill out the market with a host of different controller styles. In our eyes, it’s the PowerA MOGA XP7-X Plus which is the finest mobile and cloud gaming controller yet, quite literally letting you power up your mobile gaming.
Yep, the MOGA XP7-X Plus is that good.
Part of the appeal is what is included in the package. What you’re getting here is a Designed for Xbox mobile controller, one that will let you play Game Pass titles – as well as most other mobile games – on your Android or Windows 10/11 device of choice. Whilst that may seem standard, it’s the sheer flexibility that puts this above most others currently available.
It looks about as close to an Xbox controller as you’re able to get; at least from something that mostly caters for a big old mobile device being slapped in the middle of it. Far removed from the quirkyness of the Razer Kishi, and the Nintendo Switch vibes that the GameSir products emit, for many with an untrained eye, this could easily pass as an Xbox controller.
It’s roughly the same size as a standard wireless Xbox offering, just about a third longer in width to cater for the fun that it brings. But in terms of buttonry, everything you could wish for – and a tad more – is here. The usual Xbox Nexus button is in house, as are the View and Menu buttons, a tactile d-pad and some of the best thumbsticks we’ve touched on a mobile controller. The device itself is black in colour, but the sticks are are detailed in Xbox green, concaved to ensure that your thumbs don’t ever slip when in the heat of the action. Highly clickable for the L3 and R3 buttons, with a slight ridge on top, we cannot get enough of how good these thumbsticks feel.
The usual Xbox-orientation of the face buttons is in place too, with the ABXY pushers feeling great to touch. They protrude nicely from the controller itself too, easy to hit whenever you need them. Further to that, the bumpers and triggers are also extremely good in feel and whilst there is no additional texture to them, the ergonomics ensure they are ripe for a press. We’ve been even more impressed by the slight travel and highly clickable nature of the bumpers in particular.
What’s more, the PowerA MOGA XP7-X Plus also comes with two rear-mounted Advanced Gaming buttons, programmable how you see fit. A simple press of a Program Button on the bottom of the unit, followed by a hit of the button of your choice followed by the Advanced Gaming Button means you can easily customise the controller as you wish – in mere seconds should the need arise for on the fly.
In all, we’ve got absolutely no complaints about how the MPGA XP7-X Plus is set out, or how it feels. Perhaps a little plasticky, it really could pass off as a standard Xbox controller.
Of course, for this controller to be of any use, you need to pair it up to a device of your choice. Our daily driver is a Google Pixel 6 Pro mobile phone, running on Android, but we’ve also tested with a Google Pixel 4a, Pixel 4XL and One Plus 8 Pro (albeit the latter in a caseless fashion). All fit this controller brilliantly, thanks to its pull-and-slide to fit capabilities – should you have a phone up to 181.1mm wide you should be good. In fact, we’ve found that thanks to a couple of little lips on the MOGA and some soft grippers inside, this controller has kept hold of our products better than any other mobile controller we’ve used previously. It’s like PowerA have actually considered what is required for the user to have the very finest gaming experience.
Connection via Bluetooth has been our choice, and lag between button press and on-screen action has been extremely minimal. We’ve spent a good few hours playing our Game Pass favourites – the likes of PowerWash Simulator and Forza Horizon 5 mostly – on our mobiles with this controller and whilst it can’t quite replicate exactly what is delivered via either our Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S consoles, the Game Pass cloud-play service works well. There’s also the chance to switch the controller from Bluetooth to USB, making the most of the included cables in the box, should you wish to tie it up to a Windows 10/11 PC. We’ve found this to be a little more temperamental – strangely. Although that may be due to our inner hatred of Windows more than anything else.
Working that Bluetooth route and throwing our Pixel into the MOGA has been a cinch; continuing to play without too much hassle has been easy. See, the MOGA XP7-X Plus has another trick up its sleeve in that the centerpiece of the controller, the plastic slab that sits right behind the mobile, helping hold it in place, also doubles up with wireless power bank capabilities – 2000mAh of power when fully charged. Now, this is only going to be of use if your mobile has wireless charging built-in, and then we’d guess that it will depend on where the wireless coil is placed in the device itself, but our Pixel 6 Pro has happily drawn on some charge as it’s delivered the gaming goodness that we desire. It’s a brilliant little addition to the XP7-X Plus that just helps sell it even more.
Think that’s enough? Well, think again because PowerA have also included a mobile stand with the XP7-X Plus, ensuring anyone who wishes to play via Tabletop mode can do so. Neatly fitting into the centre of the device when not in use, sliding out when the time comes, this small piece of plastic is capable of being turned into an adjustable phone or tablet holder, letting you stick your device up and away from you, whilst keeping the Bluetooth connection to allow for the gaming to flow. We’d guess that the vast majority of the time you’d want your mobile to be held tightly in the middle of the MOGA for the full cinematic experience, but for when the wireless power bank capabilities are of no use and you need to drop some power into your mobile, sticking it up on the stand is perfect.
And perfect is very nearly what PowerA have created with the MOGA XP7-X Plus. In fact, aside from a personal issue in regards the inclusion of a Micro-USB port on the device itself – hello, it’s 2022, we want USB-C everywhere – we’re struggling to find a single issue with the XP7-X Plus.
It’s a brilliantly well designed product, feeling great in hand and coming with some supremely tactile buttonry. When you consider it is right behind the Designed for Xbox mantra and you then add in the flexibility it brings – mobile in, mobile out, power bank charging, Bluetooth, USB, included stand – then there’s not much more we can ask for from a mobile and cloud gaming controller.
Bravo PowerA. Bravo.
Huge thanks go out to PowerA for providing us with the MOGA XP7-X Plus Controller for review. If you wish to grab a unit for yourself – and you will for it is brill – hit up PowerA direct. You’ll also find it on Amazon.