Since the release of the Switch back in 2017, one third-party manufacturer that has consistently released quality controller alternatives is PowerA. I found myself gravitating to many of their products, as they represent a cheaper alternative to Nintendo's own Pro Controllers and many of them are decorated colorful with the platform's iconic mascots. I of course jumped at the chance then to take a look at the manufacturer's premium offering for the console, the FUSION Pro Wireless Controller, that is currently retailing for roughly £80.
For its premium price tag then, what exactly comes in the box? The controller comes packaged with a hard-shell carrying case, a 9.8ft braided USB-C cable, two swappable faceplates and two additional analogue sticks. Additionally, there is also a swappable back plate included which you can use if you find the mappable rear buttons uncomfortable and a manual that covers all the details you need to know for mapping buttons and swapping parts.
Unlike some of PowerA's other wireless controllers the Fusion Pro doesn't use batteries and instead is dependent on being charged with a USB-C controller. With a full charge, the controller can deliver between 20 and 30 hours of battery life which is really impressive and should see you through several long gaming sessions. Even if your battery is close to depleting, the USB-C cable that you can plug into your Switch is very lengthy at 9.8ft and I was even able to sit comfortable on my sofa and carry on playing with it plugged in.
In terms of design, the Fusion Pro pretty much mirrors the look of a traditional Switch Pro Controller and with its Nintendo logo at the top, you could easily mistake the two of them. Something that I really love is that the swappable black and white faceplates are so easy to replace, as they're held in by magnets and can simply be pushed upwards with your thumb. The faceplates are great too as you can make your controller look distinctly different and not have to shell out some unnecessary cash to purchase a different colour variant.
Obviously one of the biggest draws of the controller is its mappable buttons, as this is something that the Nintendo's Pro controller doesn't offer. On the back of the controller there is a Pro Pack that contains four different paddles that can be allocated different commands and these are really handy to use in shooters, for example, where you want to maintain your focus and not have to move the position of your hand to crouch or reload. Map these buttons is really simplistic too, as you just need to hold a button on the back of the controller and then push the button you want to allocate followed by the paddle you want to assign.
I found the controller to be the comfiest alternative to the Pro Controller that I have used. The device is extremely light weight and it contains rubberised pads on its rear that makes it feel awfully comfortable within the palm of your hands. The metallic face plate also feels really smooth to touch and all of the buttons feel clicky and responsive. I found the two types of swappable analog sticks (convex & concave) to feel really durable and they felt especially great when drifting around tight corners when playing some Mario Kart.
Whilst I do have a lot of love for this controller, it does have a handful of drawbacks that might deter some. It doesn't feature Amiboo and rumble support - two features offered by Nintendo's Pro Controller which retails at the less expensive price of £49.99. Even if the Pro Controller's comparatively cheap price wasn't taken into account, this accessory would feel expensive. The Nintendo Switch Lite currently retails for £189, which is only double the cost of the controller to be able to get access to a brand-new console. In addition to this the controller cannot play sounds through the headphone jack unless you have it plugged in which is really strange considering that it has been marketed as being purely wireless.
The Fusion Pro Wireless Controller is a competent alternative to Nintendo's own Pro Controller that features many additional goodies like a sturdy carrying case, mappable controls, and two swappable faceplates. I found the controller to feel awfully comfortable to use and it includes a long battery life and a lengthy USB-C cable. It does, however, include several drawbacks that prevent it from surpassing the bar previously set by Nintendo. Its price tag is almost double that of the Pro Controller and its missing expected features such as Amiibo support, rumble support, and wireless audio.