PowerA Fusion Pro Wireless PS4 Controller Review

The PowerA Fusion Pro wireless controller is easily one of the best DualShock 4 alternatives we’ve laid our hands on. A chunky yet ergonomic design elevated by some clever advanced features, it packs in everything you’d want from a competitive grade gamepad. It’s just a shame that the Fusion Pro has arrived so late to the party with PlayStation gamers rapidly adopting the PS5.

Give this controller a quick glance and there’s one notable highlight you’ll see before getting down to the nitty gritty. It’s impossible to ignore the four rear-mounted back paddles, but there’s a few other layers to the Fusion Pro to appreciate.

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What’s in the box?

Unboxing this officially licenced PlayStation 4 pad, you’ll find the usual bonus accessories that come bundled in with a controller of this price. The sturdy quality packaging has an inside box adorned with graffiti-style artwork that contrasts the otherwise simple black and blue outer sleeve, and within that you’ll find the PowerA Fusion Pro and all its accessories bundled up inside a sturdy protective zip case to safely and stylishly transport your controller.

Open it up and you’ll find two replacement thumbsticks along with a pair of blue metal anti-friction rings, as well as a “Pro Pack” cover (we’ll get to that in a bit) and a 3 metre braided micro USB cable. The controller can be used wirelessly over Bluetooth, but shaving off every millisecond of latency possible will need you to plug in.

Pro trigger control

Even if you’re a serious competitive gamer, some PS4 pro gamepads can be a tad too technical, offering a suite of customisation options that can be refined to your exact preferences. However, it’s nice to have a controller you can adjust without needing to plug it into PC, downloading bespoke firmware, and fiddling with button/calibration profiles.

There are some easy ways of modifying the PowerA Fusion Pro and neither of them require head-scratching busywork. Next to the two triggers are switches used to adjust the them to one of three lock settings. In tactical shooters such as Rainbow Six Siege, dropping the trigger sensitivity will have you firing a weapon with more efficiency, whereas you might want a looser trigger for racing titles.

Backpaddling

There’s a few areas where you can swap out the physical parts of the controller, with the whole front plate easy to pry off from its magnets in order to swap out analogue sticks, or put on some differently coloured anti-friction rings to add a hint of extra flair to the controller.

Round the back you have the option of attaching some back paddles. There are so many third party pro controllers on the marking that have dabbled in back paddles, Sony having even launched their own back button attachment last year. Instead of being a permanent fixture, PowerA have created a “Pro Pack” attachment that slots into the back of their controller and can easily be removed. It has four metal arms that rest against your middle and ring fingers on either hand during play with the option to assign most button inputs to each paddle.

When playing with a controller that has such strange protrusions, there’s always the worry that you’ll somehow press a paddle accidentally, and during a crucial gameplay moment. The way the metal arms are designed prevents this and you can even remove them individually if you don’t want all four of them attached at once. I preferred having only the bottom two attached, opting for the slightly shorter paddles that tucked neatly into my oversized grip.

Configuring the paddle is exceptionally straightforward. You press a programming button, then tap the button you wish to mimic followed by the paddle you want to map that control do. Done. It’s pretty effortless.

Looking for a premium PS4 controller? Check out these alternatives

Next to the DualShock 4, the Fusion Pro is a meaty controller, but it’s fair to say it doesn’t have the same effortless style. There’s a plainness to its appearance – the flat, rubberized face, symmetrical analog sticks, and pointed triggers – though pro gamers will always rank functionality over appearance which is good news for PowerA. From the embedded touchpad button and speaker to the dongle-less Bluetooth capability, it acts much like Sony’s own controller while carrying some extra heft.

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Summary
Overall, the PowerA Fusion Pro is a dynamic, durable option for those scouting the market for a gamepad to replace their rickety DualShock. It’s not as refined or revolutionary as some top-tier options in this space though it provides an easily customisable controller that performs well in competitive play.
Good
  • Robust, comfortable design
  • No dongle required
  • Easily customisable
  • Intuitive Power Pack back paddle attachment
Bad
  • Average D-pad and shoulder buttons
  • Design lacks flare
  • Paddle buttons may prove divisive
8
Written by
Senior Editor bursting with lukewarm takes and useless gaming trivia. May as well surgically attach my DualShock at this point.

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