Product Review #020: PDP Faceoff Deluxe+ Audio Wired Controller (Nintendo Switch)
Updated: Sep 12, 2019
Reviewer: John B. Manufacturer: PDP Price (At Time of Review): $24.99
Buy PDP Faceoff Deluxe+ Audio Wired Controller from PDP here.
Pro Performance, Without the Price
Today we’re taking a look at the Faceoff Deluxe+ Audio Wired Controller for the Nintendo Switch from peripheral manufacturer PDP. It’s a more affordable option than the official, wireless Pro Controllers from Nintendo, but don’t let the big drop in price fool you; this is a damn fine controller. Probably the only real drawback for me is that the controller is wired. I generally prefer wireless when I have the option and I have too many wires and cords cluttering up my gaming space to begin with. The good news is that the wire is ten feet (three meters) long, so you’ve got plenty of cord to work with if that doesn’t bother you. Oh, I guess you could say it has a second drawback, but I’m not really sure how big a deal it is; it has to be plugged into one of the Switch dock’s USB ports, so you can only use it if you’re playing docked. I never use my Pro Controller when I’m playing undocked anyway, so it’s not really any sort of issue for me. It has to be one of the side USB ports, too; the cord blocks the space so you can’t have it plugged into the back of the dock if you have any other cables plugged in.
Putting the Fun in Functionality
The controller’s layout is basically the same as Nintendo’s Pro model, but the Faceoff Deluxe+ has a few advantages in terms of construction. Most importantly, the tumbsticks have a deeper cup on the thumbpads, which grip the thumbs more firmly. I tried it out with a lot of fighting games (Blazblue Centralfiction and Dragonball FighterZ), which use the thumbsticks for a lot of combos, and my thumbs weren’t slipping nearly as much as they were with a regular Pro. The next most notable change is that the Faceoff Deluxe+ switches the home button and capture button with the +/- buttons. If you take a lot of screenshots – for, say, reviews? – or use the home screen to pause, it takes a little while to get used to the change. It’s not a big deal, but I did miss some opportunities for cool screenies while I was acclimating.
Finally, on the back of the controller, the Faceoff Deluxe+ has two extra programmable buttons that you can program however you wish. It’s a pretty cool function, especially for action games that make you use your right thumb to operate both the camera and the ABXY buttons. You can just program a couple of things into the custom buttons and it’ll increase your flexibility a lot. I tried it with God Eater 3, putting the fast attack and dash buttons on the programmable paddles on the back, and it made using those skills while maintaining visibility with the camera a lot smoother. The rest of the controls still needed the right thumb, but those were the two most common actions so it made playing the game easier, and, like I said, smoother.
Audiophiles and Introverts, Rejoice!
The Faceoff Deluxe+ has a 3.5 mm headphone jack in the bottom for folks who prefer to play with a headset. The Pro Controller is somewhat lacking in that department, so that’s a plus for anyone who’s been looking for that feature. If you press the function button and up or down on the D-pad you can control the volume, which is pretty convenient. I don’t think I’ll get a lot of use out of this feature, as I don’t have to worry about how much noise I make when I’m playing, but anyone who lives with other people they’d rather not inconvenience should be pretty happy with the audio quality of the Faceoff Deluxe+.
Another really cool idea present in the controller is its removeable faceplate. The model I got has a black camo design, which is pretty cool, and it snaps right off pretty easily if I want to do that. In sort of a weird move, you can’t really buy separate faceplates to switch out on in the controller, which… yeah. Why have removeable faceplates if you can’t buy new ones? It’s not really customizeable if you can’t acutally… customize. You can buy a separate controller and exchange the plates, but again, what’s the difference between just buying two controllers with fixed faceplates? I see a lot of cool Nintendo licensed designs on the PDP website I would buy, or it could be pretty darn cool if they sold a blank faceplate that you can paint or decorate yourself (or, in my case, get someone with actual artistic talent to do it for me). Again, it’s a really cool idea, but the lack of follow-through makes the feature somewhat useless at the moment.
A Few Small Quirks
In the open I listed the controller as having two drawbacks for me, personally. It is missing a few other functions found in the official Pro controller that I could not care less about, personally, but maybe you will. It doesn’t have any of the Pro’s motion control functionality, nor does it have a rumble feature. I don’t really care for rumbling controllers or motion controls, so it did not bother me even a little that the Faceoff Deluxe+ nixed those features. That’s probably part of how they got the price down so far, which for me is a perfectly welcome tradeoff. Functions I seldom (if ever) use or want are missing but I save 35 bucks? Where do I sign? A slightly more major missing feature that, again, did not affect me personally, is that the Faceoff Deluxe+ can’t wake your Switch up if you press the home button. I always put the controller down next to the Switch and turn it on and off with the Switch’s power button, so, again, this made absolutely no difference to me, but it may affect you depending on your setup or habits.
Bang For Your Buck
I really like this controller. The buttons are as responsive as any controller I’ve tried for the Switch and the additional programmable buttons make gameplay a lot smoother. I really like the extra grip on the thumbsticks, and the button layout is similar enough to the Pro controller that it doesn’t take much getting used to – except for the screenshot and home buttons. Sure, it’s missing some features that could be considered standard by now like rumble and motion controls, but considering the low price point that’s a tradeoff I’d make every day of the week and twice on Sunday. If you’re looking for a Pro-style controller and don’t want to drop a ton of money, the PDP Faceoff Deluxe+ Audio Wired Controller should be your first stop.
Buy PDP Faceoff Deluxe+ Audio Wired Controller from PDP here.
*Review Product Provided by PDP