Evil Shift Xbox Controller Review

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Evil Shift Xbox Controller Review

Evil Controllers™ created the custom controller industry ten years ago, as the first company to develop controller modifications for Xbox and PlayStation controllers. Last year at E3 2017, I was lucky enough to meet some of the key people in the company, and talk to them about their latest project. The goal for this newest controller was to fix the common problems both with scuff controllers and the Elite controller, and create a perfect scuff. Back then I was given an early version to test, and from that was able to get a few first impressions. You can read my original write up of my first impressions here. Throughout this article I shall compare my first impressions and the end result.

The Paddles

My first impressions of the paddles were positive. They were designed to be more like buttons, and less like paddles. This made the controller more comfortable to hold, while also giving the player better feedback during games. The controller I was given delivered on keeping this all true in the end result. The paddles work wonderfully and are a lot more convenient for holding the controller. As someone who uses an Elite controller a lot of the time, I am very happy that this improvement works so well.

Button Mapping (on paddles)

When originally testing the button mapping for the controller, the instructions seemed simple enough. You had to hold the menu button and press a paddle and the controller would vibrate, then simply choose what you want to be mapped to the paddle. This of course being such an important feature to the controller didn’t change at all in the final product, and still is incredibly easy to do. However there was one feature that sadly did not come with the instructions, and that I could not figure out.

Originally the idea was to have up to 15 profiles available to switch between, without using an app or outside program. I of course didn’t manage to do this, so I’d maybe suggest putting that on the instructions for future controllers. After using the controller numerous times however, I would say the 15 profiles isn’t really needed, as it is so easy to reset and change the assigned mapped paddles, that it’s much quicker just to reassign them.

The Triggers

The triggers were one thing I was very worried about originally. Other controllers such as the Elite usually have hair triggers with two options, so how was the Evil Shift going to combat this? Well the direction chosen was to remove the complicated settings completely, and make the triggers a lot more sensitive. While initially, in my original demo of the controller, having a super responsive trigger finger seemed to work well with these triggers, I’d sadly have to say this was not the case with the final product.

While on certain games they might work without issue, such as Call of Duty, in which the triggers are used to aim and shoot, in games like Halo 5 for example, in which my controller layout uses the left trigger to throw grenades, these super sensitive triggers cause an issue. I’m unsure if they are more sensitive than the original design I tried out at E3 2017, but they feel like it. Sadly the combination of competitive gameplay, twitch reactions and clutching the controller, the triggers are somewhat overly sensitive, and make Halo 5 at least for me unplayable with these triggers. Another issue I had from a few hours into using the controller was my left trigger would get stuck into the controller and would take some force to pop out again. It is a shame the triggers seemed to be so hit and miss, as I feel like with a bit of polish they could be as perfect as everything else.

The Thumbsticks 

One of the main issues I highlighted in my first impressions article regarding the Elite Controller was how easily the thumbsticks came off during gameplay. The Evil Shift had combated this by making the entire thumb sticks removable to stop this from happening, while also stopping wear and tear. The final version of the controller of course keeps this feature. The Evil Shift that I received came with three different thumbstick sizes, each of which can be shown in the picture below. These clip in and out just as easily as the prototype model I tried, and are just as responsive too.

One common issue with most controllers is that over time the thumbstick may lean one way or another too much by default, due to overuse. These thumbsticks are designed to go back to the very centre every time which is great for high sensitivity FPS gaming or racing games. I would love to see a range of thumbstick designs for a range of different player styles in the future for this controller.

The Buttons

The buttons are probably one of the most important and most overlooked feature in a controller. Not in the Evil Shift though.  The main XYBA buttons have, like in the prototype version, been changed and moulded for the perfect gaming experience. The buttons have been brought down so that there is half the normal travel time for input, and even have feedback so that the player knows each button press has actually happened.

Aside from that is a feature I don’t remember, but was welcome in the final version. The menu and option buttons in the centre of the controller are slightly raised. This I imagine is to avoid accidental button clicks on these two very important buttons. A small addition but a well thought about one.

Overall I’d say my impressions for the most part were the same as when I initially tested the product. Nearly all the elements make this controller better than anything else on the market. The key issue is sadly the triggers, but hopefully this can be seen to in the future. I’d also be cool to see somewhat of change with the D-pad. If you’d like to have a look for yourself and maybe buy one of these controllers, you can do so from here.

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The Good

  • Comfortable
  • Innovative
  • Easy to use
  • Good price

The Bad

  • Triggers caused issues

Written by: Jordan Wharton

An avid gamer and Halo fan. Been in the gaming scene my whole life. Known for being the first person in the world to cosplay as the Halo 5 Master Chief. Love visiting Japan and America. Creator of the Halo Community section.

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