Imagine a gaming controller that perfectly fits your playing style. A controller where you could customize each element, from the button layout to the grip design, to match your gaming preferences. This isn’t just a gamer’s dream anymore; it’s a reality. Welcome to the world of customizable modular controllers with swappable elements.
Modular controllers are the next big thing in gaming. Unlike traditional controllers, where the design is fixed, modular controllers allow players to alter the layout based on their personal preferences or specific gaming needs. Essentially, they come with various elements that can be added, removed, or replaced at will.
These swappable elements can include analog sticks, d-pads, face buttons, trigger buttons, grips, and even entire modules containing a set of controls. You’re no longer constrained by a one-size-fits-all design. With modular controllers, your gaming experience can be tailored exactly to your needs.
Why Modular Controllers are worth your time
Flexibility is key in gaming. Each game has its own set of controls, and each player has their own style of play. What works well for a first-person shooter might not work as well for a racing game. Similarly, what one gamer finds comfortable might be uncomfortable for another.
Modular controllers offer an unprecedented level of flexibility. They enable gamers to create a controller layout that’s perfect for the game they’re playing and comfortable for them. No more awkward hand positions or struggling to reach buttons.
Additionally, modular controllers also have the potential to increase accessibility in gaming. For players with physical disabilities, a standard controller design might be unusable. However, a controller that could be adjusted and adapted could provide a way for everyone to enjoy gaming.
The Best Modular Controllers
Several companies have taken the lead in developing modular controllers. Here are a few that are worth noting:
THRUSTMASTER eSwap S
Starting strong, we have the THRUSTMASTER eSwap S, a gamepad tailor-made for the Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC. This little powerhouse is all about customization. The standout feature here is its ability to swap mini-stick modules on the fly without any tools. What’s more, it’s officially licensed, reducing any concerns of compatibility or performance issues.
Its wired USB connection is a double-edged sword: it assures a near-zero latency, ensuring that every move translates almost instantaneously in the game. Plus, the ThrustmapperX, integrated directly into the Xbox console’s menu, makes for a snappy, no-hassle user experience. A new ergonomic mechanical D-pad and two remappable rear buttons round off the eSwap S’s impressive feature list.
Thrustmaster ESWAP X PRO
The Thrustmaster ESWAP X PRO is a premium offering for Xbox Series X|S and PC. What catches the eye about this controller is the next-gen mini-sticks, designed to outlast and outperform their predecessors.
The controller comes with T-MOD technology and a hot-swap feature that allows module swapping at any point in the game. Couple this with extremely high-precision modules and action buttons, and you’ve got yourself a device that doesn’t just keep up with your commands – it anticipates them.
The Victrix Gambit is another interesting option. This controller claims to have up to 8x faster input responses than its competition, thanks to its Gambit Dual Core Technology. And it’s officially licensed by Xbox, extending its compatibility to Xbox One, One X, Series X, Series S, and PC (Windows 10/11).
Comfort is another area where the Victrix Gambit shines. Its swappable faceplates are designed for all-day gaming, and the Victrix Control Hub App lets you personalize your controller to an impressive degree. And with elite performance across popular titles like Halo Infinite, Fortnite, and Call of Duty, it’s clear this controller is made for gamers who don’t just play, but compete.
Victrix Pro BFG
Last but not least, we have the Victrix Pro BFG, a wireless gaming controller built for PlayStation 5 / PS5. This award-winning controller boasts full wireless and wired compatibility with high-quality audio. It supports PS5, PS4, and PC using X input. It comes in a really nice case as you can see above.
But the Pro BFG isn’t just a pretty controller. Its left module can flip 180°, enabling users to toggle between the standard PlayStation stick configuration and offset sticks. It even comes with a unique Fight Pad module, converting the Right Stick into six microswitch buttons. Paired with the Victrix Control Hub App for comprehensive customization, it’s no surprise this controller has been crowned a leader in the PlayStation esports controller space.
Here’s a comparison table for these four controllers:
|THRUSTMASTER eSwap S||Thrustmaster ESWAP X PRO||Victrix Gambit||Victrix Pro BFG|
|Platform||Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC||Xbox Series X|S, PC||Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Windows 10/11||PlayStation 5/PS5, PS4, PC|
|Latency||Near-zero latency||Minimal response times||Up to 8x faster input responses||High-quality audio with wired and wireless compatibility|
|Swappable Elements||Mini-stick modules||NXG mini-sticks, unlimited ecosystem of modules||Interchangeable D-Pads, Pro Thumbsticks||Left Module (standard PlayStation stick configuration and offset sticks), Right Stick (Fight Pad module with six microswitch buttons)|
|Extra Features||Officially licensed, mechanical D-pad, 2 additional remappable rear buttons||T-MOD technology and Hot Swap feature||Gambit Dual Core Technology, Victrix Control Hub App for customization||Victrix Control Hub App for customization, four mappable back buttons, multi-position clutch triggers|
Note: the main thing all these controllers are missing are thumbsticks with hall effect sensors. Personally, I think they’re a game-changer in terms of longevity of the controller as they don’t develop stick drift over time.