PowerA MOGA XP5-X Plus – Design and Features
Since the PowerA MOGA XP5-X Plus is designed specifically for streaming Xbox games, it is almost identical in ergonomics to a standard Xbox controller, complete with offset analog sticks, triggers and bumpers, a D-pad, and all the standard face buttons including a dedicated Xbox button. The grips also feature a textured rubber to ensure your hands don’t slip while playing.
Some additions to the controller that set it apart are the two Advanced Gaming Buttons on the rear that can be mapped to any button on the controller without the use of additional software. This allows you to custom tailor the buttons to the game you are playing without having to configure anything in the menus, and also allows you to keep your fingers on the analog sticks for competitive gameplay.
I found the Advanced Gaming Buttons to be incredibly reliable and responsive during my testing. They are also placed near the top of each grip, making them feel like a natural addition to the controller and easy to access.
It also houses a massive 3000mAh built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery which allows for extended gameplay sessions over Bluetooth LE without needing to be charged very often. For comparison, this battery is roughly three times the size of PlayStation’s DualShock 4 or the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller. There is a dedicated battery button near the bottom of the controller’s face that, when pressed, illuminates up to four small circles to indicate the remaining battery life.
Another benefit is that the controller doubles as a battery pack for your Android phone meaning you can charge your phone from the controller while playing or top-up your phone in-between gaming sessions. This is especially useful if you’re travelling as you don’t need to bring a separate power bank for your phone, you can just use the controller. To use this feature you only need to toggle a small button near the bottom of the controller to switch it into power bank mode.
The MOGA XP5-X Plus offers both direct USB or Bluetooth wireless for connectivity. The latter is useful if you want to charge your phone and play at the same time, while the direct USB option is optimal for lower latency gaming. My only gripe is that I wish everything could be done using one port (ie: charging while taking advantage of direct USB gameplay), instead you have to choose one or the other. Thankfully, I played a handful of games including Halo: Master Chief Collection, Forza Horizon 4, Battletoads, and more, and didn’t see any latency issues when switching between direct USB and Bluetooth, so it comes down to personal preference.
There are two USB ports on the top of the controller: one standard-size USB port for charging the controller and internal power bank that also doubles as a charge-out for your phone and a micro-USB port that is used for a direct USB connection to your phone during gameplay. The controller comes with three USB cables in the box, as well, and is compatible with Android phones that use a USB-C or micro-USB connection.
Lastly, the phone grip included is similar to the universal grip that PowerA sells separately, although the MOGA XP5-X Plus has grooves that allow it to lock perfectly into place without any wiggle. While it does fit a standard Xbox controller, it’s not very secure and is only intended for use with this controller. It features two dual-locking joints and offers over 220° of articulation, allowing for many different viewing angles.
The locking mechanisms are easy to rotate and are incredibly sturdy. At no point during gameplay was I concerned about the phone moving or falling out of the grip — something very important if you’re gaming on the go. The grip is also weighted ergonomically to reduce fatigue during long sessions. Any time my hands started to get tired from the added weight of the phone I simply adjusted the grip to a different position in a matter of seconds and was able to continue gaming. While phone sizes and weights may vary, I found the grip to be extremely sturdy and reliable.
PowerA MOGA XP5-X Plus – Software
There is no software required to use the MOGA XP5-X Plus. It’s as simple as pairing it up to your Android phone or plugging in the included USB cable for a direct connection to either your phone or PC. It is not compatible with Xbox One, however, both wired and wireless.
The Advanced Gaming Buttons on the rear don’t require any software, either. Instead, you simply press and hold the program button until the indicator light begins to flash, press the desired button you’d like to map followed by either the AGL or AGR button on the rear to confirm the input. Nothing needs to be done in-game meaning these buttons are universally compatible with any game you play.
PowerA MOGA XP5-X Plus – Gaming
During my testing I played a variety of different genres including first-person shooters, platformers, beat-em-ups, racing games, and more. The MOGA XP5-X Plus performed well in each game, never giving me issues with input in both wired USB or Bluetooth modes.
One noticeable omission is any sort of rumble capability. This was especially noticeable when playing console-quality games as opposed to general mobile games as it’s something I’ve come to expect. The trade off is that the controller is noticeably lighter than a standard Xbox controller, which, given the fact that you’re adding the weight of a phone to the controller actually makes a difference in the long-run.
The analog sticks are made of a rigid plastic with concave grips and feel smooth and responsive. The face buttons are clicky and responsive and are a little higher profile than Xbox’s offerings and feel a bit lower-quality. The triggers on the rear don’t feel quite as smooth as Xbox’s official controller, but they worked well during my testing and I never experienced any issues with responsiveness.
My favorite feature while gaming is the built-in power bank, however. In the past I’d often limit my sessions to ensure I could get through the rest of the day without the fear of my phone dying. Knowing that I can play for long sessions without draining the battery took away much of the anxiety of playing games on a mobile device. In fact, the phone actually continued charging even during gameplay thanks to Bluetooth LE, which was a nice surprise.