PowerA MOGA XP-Ultra Reviewby Peggy Doyle
Platform: Android Phones, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One
Brand: PowerA MOGA
Connectivity: Wireless (USB-C Port for Charging / Wired Connectivity)
Billed as the first licensed Xbox wireless controller from a third-party company, the MOGA XP-Ultra controller by PowerA is truly a Swiss Army style controller that tries to do it all. PowerA is well known for creating reasonable priced controllers and other peripherals for the Xbox and were one of the first to truly embrace the cloud gaming market when they introduced their MOGA clip for Xbox Cloud gaming back in 2021. This was a popular item and sold out frequently when I was working at the Microsoft retail store.
Pulling the MOGA XP-Ultra controller out of the box for the first time I was immediately impressed by the build quality. The weight distribution felt solid and well balanced, and the size and style were the familiar Xbox controller I know and love. Weighing in at 342g (comparable to the Xbox Elite Series 2 at 345g with paddles attached), it was obvious that this is a premium controller. It's slightly larger and heavier than the standard Series S|X controller. Inside the box you will find the controller, the mobile clip, a braided USB-C cable, a quick start guide and a one-month trial to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
While the traditional buttons on the face of the controller have been slightly rearranged to accommodate the mobile clip slot, the layout is distinctly Xbox. The programmable buttons on the back of the controller are similar to what you would expect from other premium controllers (like the Elite series 2 controller that I own) and are a bonus to many gamers. The biggest difference between the MOGA XP-Ultra and other Xbox controllers is the inclusion of the detachable mini controller in its design. Separating the mini controller from the grip still gives you all the same functionality of the full controller, minus the programmable back buttons. This gives the MOGA XP-Ultra it's 4 in one design. Full, full with mobile clip, mini and mini with mobile clip.
The MOGA XP-Ultra controller paired easily to by Series X using the traditional pairing method to Xbox consoles, mobile phone via Bluetooth and to my PC wired. The buttons and triggers are snappy and satisfying and I found no discernable lag with inputs. The only issue I had with the buttons were the positions of the Nexus, Share and Pause buttons. They are slightly lower and closer to the center than a standard Series X controller and I found it wasn't as instinctive for my thumb to locate when gaming and often had to look down to ensure I was hitting the right button.
The standard 3.5mm audio jack in the bottom of the controller was easily accessible and not in the way of the button you use to release the mini game pad from the grip. This button is in the lower center near the audio jack, tucked away as to not be accidentally hit while gaming, yet easily accessible of you want to switch from full to mini controller on the fly. You will need to unplug your headset if going from full sized to mini version, but the audio jack is available to use on either configuration should you choose to.
The programmable buttons on the back of the controller are easy to map to any of the A,B,X,Y buttons you choose, and this can be done in seconds. Simply press the program button on the controller, then the button you want to map, then the button to want to map it too. Easy. Directions are found on the enclosed start up card. I found the programmable buttons easy to use and, in my opinion, a better option than the paddles on the Elite Series 2. I'm not sure if it's my hand size or placement, but I can never seem to reach the Elite's paddles comfortably or I accidentally hit them when not intending to. I liked the buttons on the MOGA XP-Ultra better, even if there were only 2 of them.
Using the included mobile clip on both the full and its mini controller versions were simple, but both fell victim to the problem I have with other mobile clips I've purchased; the weight distribution just doesn't feel good to me. I have a Samsung Galaxy S22, an average sized phone in my opinion, and although easy to set up, I just can't imagine playing games very long in this configuration. Full disclosure, I have some mobility issues in my hands, so I am more prone to these problems to start with, but even just setting the controller down with the clip and phone attached showed that it just didn't balance very well, regardless of how you positioned the adjustable clip. The weight distribution issues were less noticeable with the grip attached for me, but this easily doubles the size of the controller, meaning it was not as easy to tuck into a smaller space when on the go. In its smaller format, it was easy to pop the controller into a bag or larger pocket. I did find that if I was sitting in a chair with arm rests or leaning forward with my arms resting on my knees, I felt more stable and comfortable holding the controller when the mobile clip was attached. The Bluetooth connection to my phone didn't cause me any concerns and I was able to play multiple Xbox Game Pass games via cloud gaming without issue.
One of the best features of the MOGA XP-Ultra is the battery life; it's outstanding. As someone who plays games pretty much all day, I am often swapping battery packs or plugging controllers in. The MOGA XP-Ultra boasts a battery life of up to 40 hours via Bluetooth and up to 60 hours when paired to an Xbox console. I didn't measure exact times, but I easily went a week before I got a low battery warning. One nice feature on the MOGA controller is the battery life indicator on the front of the game pad as well. It's easy to see when the battery is running low. No need to check your console for the battery life or wait for that dreaded notification to pop up to tell you the battery is running low. The built-in 2000 mAh battery charged via USB-C and you can play while it is plugged in. One feature I would have liked to see with its higher price tag, is fast charging though.
Speaking of the price, this is where it gets tricky. Retailing at $129 USD (or $179 CDN), it is a pricey, premium controller. Inline with the Elite Series 2 at $179USD ($229 CDN), which I can't help but compare it to. It's undeniable that the MOGA XP-Ultra is an excellent controller. Being able to pair to everything I own, excellent build quality, and outstanding battery life: I just wish it was priced a little lower. If I'm spending $180 on a controller, I am looking for a few extra features. The quick charging I mentioned earlier would be nice, also the ability to program multiple profiles would be fantastic. None of these features take away from how much I enjoyed using the MOGA XP-Ultra over the past two weeks, but that price tag nags at me. If you are an iOS user, it would be anther concern as it's not currently compatible.
I love that this is the first 3rd party licensed wireless controller, and it has a lot of great features. I think that maybe it just went for too many things all at once. It's covering a lot of markets though and looks like they are trying to appeal to a variety of gamers. For me, the exceptional battery life, and the sleek programmable back buttons are enough to keep me intrigued. I don't really connect my phone via a clip to game on the go, and the ability to make a smaller game pad isn't important to me. I can see the appeal of these featured to the right gamer though, as I have a lot of friends who game on the go. If it's in your budget and you're looking for a great all-purpose controller, I think the MOGA XP-Ultra is a fantastic option. I can't wait to see what they do with their next version.
Overall 8 /10