HyperX Clutch Gladiate Controller Review – Clutch performance that doesn’t break the bank

Your controller is the most important tool in your gaming arsenal if you’re a console gamer. I mean, obviously you can use controllers on PC as well, but for console gamers it’s especially important to make sure you’ve got the right controller in your hands. Having the right controller, and a good controller even, can mean the difference between whether or not you’re winning those one-on-one gunfights or how easy it is to react to a sudden surprise attack from a boss. However, you also don’t want to break the bank, and with the constantly rising cost of technology, sometimes the best option is the most economical one. I present to you the HyperX Clutch Gladiate wired controller for Xbox (and PC).

The HyperX Clutch Gladiate wired controller checks virtually all of those boxes, we’ll get into the specifics here in a minute for what I mean by ‘virtually’. The controller comes packed neatly in a signature-designed box with a simple instruction manual and almost 10ft long (2.95m) USB-A to USB-C cable. I do wonder why they don’t just make it the full 10ft (3m), but that’s mostly just me griping about rounding up to the next whole number. The packaging is well-designed to keep the controller safe from being crushed in transit while also being easy to access once you’ve managed to get it home.

The controller features a sleek design, all in black with a little red accent at the base of the thumbsticks. It weighs about 7g less than the wireless Xbox Series X controller (280g vs 287g), though the cable may make it seem a little heavier, especially if it’s dragging on something. It features the typical Xbox button configuration but instead of the Xbox logo button lighting up to let you know the controller is connected properly, there is a small LED light right below it. On the back of the controller you’ll find two back buttons (P2/3), a trigger lock switch for each trigger, and another button for reassigning the back buttons (P1).

Speaking of, the back buttons are easy to program. You simply hold P1 until the LED light on the front of the controller starts blinking. Then you press the face button that you would like to assign and then the back button you would like it to be assigned to. If you need to reassign your back buttons, you hold P1 for 5 seconds and then wait for the LED on the front to turn solid again before repeating the programming process.

The trigger locks only have two settings, one for a long pull of the triggers and one for a very short pull of the triggers. Each trigger lock has a slider on the back that you switch into the 1 position for a long trigger pull or into the 2 position for a shorter trigger pull. However, keep in mind that some games do not recognize short trigger pulls. Rainbow Six Siege picked it up just fine, but in my experience in the past, games like Battlefield might not. I definitely appreciated the trigger locks as sometimes gunfights can be determined by how fast the first round is fired. But it does make my wireless controller feel a little odd now.Now that we’ve gone through some of the technicals, how does this controller perform? For a controller that’s as cheap as it is, it is surprisingly amazing! First off, I love the thumbstick tension versus my wireless controller. I sometimes have the issue of not being able to control my aim, constantly flying back and forth over my target. While this doesn’t 100% cure that problem, it does help to reduce that, and just feels better overall as I’m also not smacking the thumbsticks during sudden changes.

The button presses also feel perfectly crisp and responsive. I never had any issues with anything not registering or being delayed. The only thing I had to get used to was that the bumpers are designed a little differently. They’re longer and flatter so I wondered at first if I was even touching them. However, after playing for a while, I got used to them and now they feel perfectly natural.

Button mapping isn’t something I use often, really only in Apex Legends, but for that I usually just use the in-game presets and don’t actually use the back buttons. Still, I’m sure some will appreciate having the option to have some controls moved around that maybe the presets in some games aren’t offering. Usually if I do any remapping, it’s to remove the melee attack from the right thumbstick as I have a tendency to get jumpscared and accidentally knife at people who are 15 feet away.

Surprisingly the whole being wired part didn’t bother me as much as I thought it would. One of my biggest concerns with wired controllers is that my cat likes to chew on cables sometimes, though thankfully she has not done that with this controller. The cable being nearly 10ft long meant that it was able to easily reach from the Xbox to my couch, though it did occasionally get caught on the sides of my coffee table. However, the primary use of this controller going forward will be with my PC so I don’t have to keep taking my wireless controller back and forth between the living room and the office. The cable is detachable so you can easily and safely stow it away where it won’t get damaged.

As always, with hardware comes the questions of warranty and pricing. As per the HyperX norm, this controller is backed by a 2-year warranty, for which the company has always done a great job. This is also among the most affordable controllers, being right in line with other wired Xbox controllers from companies like PowerA and PDP at only $34.99, also making it a great controller if you need a backup or a replacement for your main controller or for the younger ones who you’re maybe a little more hesitant to spend big on controllers for.

Cassie Peterson is an Editor for Gaming Trend but also a sporadic content creator and exceedingly average Rainbow Six Siege player. She goes by MzPanik on Twitter and Twitch and all of the gaming platforms.



HyperX Clutch Gladiate

Review Guidelines

The HyperX Clutch Gladiate controller is a perfect and economical controller option for Xbox One, Series X|S, and PC. It falls right in line with its peers and even the wireless Microsoft brand controllers. Being wired is really a non-issue given the length of the cable, and programming it to your liking is as easy as pressing a couple of buttons.

Cassie Peterson

Unless otherwise stated, the product in this article was provided for review purposes.

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