Android gaming is the next big thing and with the catalog of games become ever more impressive, you may find yourself needing a decent control pad to play the hottest titles. This is the entry level Android pad in the MOGA line up, at $29.99/£23.99 it is affordable to most avid gamers and boasts an impressive array of features for the price.
Aesthetics and Ergonomics
The Moga Pocket Controller has the same type of layout as an Xbox controller, which is not a bad thing considering the Xbox has probably the best pad on the market. It looks good and sleak but is slightly on the small side, you may wish to look elsewhere if you have Hulk-like hands but for the rest of us its perfect. It feels solid and sturdy and fits in the hands nicely despite its relatively unorthodox shape. It has a discreet bracket that snaps out and can fit phones and tablets with a width of up to 3.2″ which is plenty big enough for most. There is no slip when you grip the controller and it’s made of a good quality plastic and you’d be forgiven in thinking this was a pad made for a console. One noticeable feature is the lack of a D-Pad, I don’t feel this effects gameplay in anyway as navigation is unaffected and the analog sticks are impressive. The inclusion of shoulder triggers means this is the perfect pad for FPS games (it’s something I need when play shooting games) and it also fits well in a lot of other genres too.
It is powered by 2 AAA batteries which actually do the pad a favor in terms of weight and balance. When you first pick the pad up it can feel light but when set up it feels very balanced and a lot more sturdy. It connects via Bluetooth and works with Android 2.3 + which most phones run at these days. Initial setup can be a chore but following the instructions make the process very simple. You should install the Moga Pivot app once you’ve gone past the initial hardware setup, this is invaluable to show you the connectivity between your device and potential games you can play with the Moga Pocket.
Support and games
Ok, games are actually quite limited but the quality of the games is very impressive. However, this is not a pad you’ll want to pick up if you play Candy Crush Saga and the like. Touch screen FPS games are notoriously difficult to control and before I owned the Moga Pocket I found myself being frustrated and not finishing a game because of control issues. It works particularly well with Dead Trigger, control issues plagued this game beforehand but it really feels like I have bought a new gaming machine when it’s paired up with the Moga Pocket. It also comes with 2 free games in the form of Pac-Man and Sonic CD which further show off the potential for the device. As android gaming keeps improving then I suspect more titles will be added that will be compatible. If you find yourself short of titles to play then one of the better uses if for an emulator. You can use it on most emulators but I have found it really excels in N64 games. Its ease of use will make you feel like you’re back in the late 90s and it certainly adds to the experience.
Price and comparison
The model up from this one is the MOGA Pro Controller. This may be beneficial to you if you don’t like continuously replacing batteries. It also has a more traditional feel, with the pad looking almost identical to an Xbox 360 pad. It is almost double the price but value depends on how much you use the pad and whether you’re willing to pay extra for the features listed above. The Moga Pro is around £45 and the Pocket as I’ve stated is £23, they both represent great value and are head and shoulders above any Android Pad I have used before. Don’t be fooled by cheap imitations, Moga is the way to go for serious Android players.
I’d recommend this to anyone who is looking to expand the gaming capabilities of their Android phone. Sure, there are a few cons such as the lack of titles but the titles that are supported are quality games. This Moga Pocket controller will change the way you feel about Android gaming, it is now a serious contender in the gaming world. It’s small enough to carry around and perfect for train/bus journeys and for when your partner is hogging the TV. With the advances happening in mobile gaming this could be potentially a great investment.