PowerA has been creating fully-licensed Xbox controllers for many years, offering colorful designs, extra buttons, and generally more choice than the official controllers, while maintaining impressively low prices. As a case in point, this Spectra Infinity Xbox Series X controller has three RGB lighting zones, multi-level trigger locks, dual rumble motors, headset input with microphone mute and volume control, and extra rear buttons, yet it costs just $35.
Despite packing such a huge number of features into the package for such a low price, the Spectra Infinity doesn’t want for anything when it comes to build quality, at least in terms of heft. Despite being a wired-only controller, it weighs the same as a standard Xbox controller (with batteries) and it feels like it’s built like a tank, with buttons that have a precise, crisp feel to them too – they’re a far cry from the cheaper-feeling buttons of the Logitech F310 and Thrustmaster Dual Analog 4.
The thumbsticks feel good too, with a light yet smooth resistance. They’re just a touch lighter in use than those on a standard Xbox controller but they still feel relatively easy to use accurately. The analog triggers, on the other hand, do feel a bit too light. We find stiffer triggers make it easier to accurately dial in functions such as accelerator control, but you could get used to this lighter feel with practice.
Slide the trigger controls on the underside over one notch and the trigger travel distance moves from roughly 10mm to about 7mm, while sliding the control fully over results in the trigger travel dropping to about 5mm. The latter still isn’t quite what we’d called a truly hair-trigger feel like you get on the Microsoft Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2, but it tightens up the response a bit.
Also on the underside are the two extra buttons, which fall neatly under your middle fingers when using a conventional grip, but are difficult to reach if you’re using any alternative grip. They offer a well-balanced feel, though, with a small travel distance making for a quick response, but without the hair-trigger feel of the Xbox Elite Series 2 controller’s paddles.
Meanwhile, the inclusion of a headset socket is a really useful addition that elevates this controller far above most cheaper alternatives, while the volume/mute control on the front even adds features that you won’t find on a standard Xbox Wireless Controller.
Really, then, it’s only the fact that this is a wired controller (and a heavy one at that) that puts it at all behind official Xbox units. The micro-USB socket at the back is sunken so that the provided cable stays firm and secure, and the cable’s 3m length is ample for most applications. It would be preferable to have a USB Type-C socket instead of micro-USB, though.
This specific Spectra Infinity model includes RGB lighting that surrounds all the buttons and the edge of the controller. It’s a bit much for our liking when it’s in full flow, but there are masses of other designs of this controller available, including plain solid color models available in black, red, khaki green, and blue & white, to name just a few.
As for PC gaming, the PowerA Spectra, just like the official Xbox controllers, works flawlessly with Windows games and is in fact seen as an official Xbox controller, so there are no drivers to install on configuration worries.
PowerA Spectra Infinity Xbox Series X pros and cons
- Excellent build quality
- Useful extra features
- Fantastic value
- Wired only
- Micro-USB rather than USB Type-C
- Slightest loose-feeling triggers
PowerA Spectra Infinity Xbox Series X specs
The PowerA Spectra Infinity Xbox Series X specs list is:
|Connections||Wired-only with micro-USB socket, 3m cable included|
|Button layout||Xbox style|
|Extras||Three-zone RGB lighting, three-level trigger locks, two extra rear buttons|
PowerA Spectra Infinity Xbox Series X price
The PowerA Spectra Infinity Xbox Series X price is $35 (£35), making it a great value gamepad, though it lacks wireless.
Price: Expect to pay $35 (£35).
PowerA Spectra Infinity Xbox Series X review conclusion
Although we found the analog triggers of this controller a little lacking in resistance, and the extra RGB lighting wasn’t quite to our taste, there’s also a huge amount we did like about this controller, especially for the price. It’s packed with features, including extra rear buttons and headset volume controls, and it’s very well-built. It’s a touch heavy considering it lacks wireless, but it’s hard not to be bowled over the quality of this controller for this price.
For our pick of the best game controllers, check out our best PC controllers guide.
A stunningly low price for the quality and features on offer, even if it’s a touch heavy and lacks a wireless connection.