Ever since gaming got popular there have been a large number of companies trying to cash in. A lot of them by making off brand controllers. I had one for my SNES back in the day. It wasn’t licensed by Nintendo, but the bonuses it came with made it worth it. Brands like MadCatz became known as the “little brothers’ controller” companies. The companies who made off-band products that never truly matched the quality of the real thing. That being said, I was extremely surprised by the quality of the Turtle Beach Recon Wired Controller for Xbox.

Appearance & First Impressions

Fresh out of the box.

It is obvious that this controller was made for Xbox consoles right out of the box. It has the right color scheme and the Xbox button – it looks the part. It has rubber grips for your hands and a plethora of extra buttons on the top of it. It’s intimidating at first glance but it feels great in your hands. The textured triggers look and feel good. The black on white and gray does look somewhat cobbled together, but I dig it. It’s lighter than a regular controller, but this is mostly due to the lack of battery pack. The wire can be disconnected which is nice for both storage purposes and the occasional rage quit. You won’t have to worry about breaking the wire if you so happen to throw the controller across the room.

Performance

It looks nice but when you’re gaming you aren’t starting at your controller, you’re focused on the screen. Let me tell you this thing performs incredibly well. I have always been skeptical of off brand controllers, most people are, but I was pleasantly surprised by my entire experience with the Turtle Beach Recon. There is no noticeable input lag, the buttons are responsive, the triggers bounce back with little resistance and it just feels right to hold. It being lighter threw me off at first but once I got into the game, I barely noticed any difference at all. So yeah, it’s a controller and it’s cheaper than an official Xbox controller but why bother?
This thing is a beast when it comes to customization and it is intimidating. There are so many different settings on this thing. Volume and chat settings are built in, there’s an equalizer built in, you can change noise canceling settings, change button presets and even look sensitivity all on the fly on the controller. If that isn’t enough you can even set up to 4 different presents into the controller that you can change mid game. It is ALOT. When I first started messing with the settings, I thought there was no way the changes could be significant but I was quickly proven wrong. When changing the controller to the pro-aim focus mode I was able to snipe with pinpoint accuracy. It takes a bit to get used to and it takes time to switch over to but once you manage to get it just right getting that head shot, where before you would likely get a body shot, makes the difference between getting a kill or being killed. I didn’t use this feature much but when it worked it was very satisfying. To the average gamer the Turtle Beach Recon Wired Controller can be used as just a controller. Plug it in and go. However, if you want to take it to another level and really make this controller your own you can.

Super Human Senses

I won’t lie I didn’t mess with these extra settings too much but I did play matches of Halo Multiplayer with and without the “Super Human Hearing” feature and it made a world of difference. In an arena shooter like Halo sound is important but switching over to something like Rainbow 6 where tactical gun-play reigns supreme being able to hear through walls and around corners is an absolute game-changer. At one point I could literally count the footsteps of how many enemies were behind a door and could plan accordingly. This all came from the power of this controller. While matched with the Turtle Beach Recon 200 Gen 2 Headset it becomes an incredibly powerful combination.
Without a headset the sound differences aren’t as noticeable but still come through. It all depends on your sound system. I will say that being able to change volume and chat settings directly from the controller was extremely convenient even without a headset on.

Remap Your Game

Remappable back buttons.

Without a doubt my biggest selling point of this controller would be the two remappable quick-action buttons on the back of the controller. I am a big fan of changing certain button prompts when things don’t feel natural and an even bigger fan of being able to make quicker movements than my opponents. In Halo I remapped the melee and scan functions to these buttons and it definitely made a noticeable difference in my K/D ratio. Playing a racing game such as Forza Horizon 5 it’s a no-brainer to switch over to manual settings and mapping the gear shift to these back buttons. No, it isn’t as satisfying as using a full racing set-up but I’m a gamer on a budget and will take the wins where I can get them.

Verdict

The Recon Controller in all its glory.

Normally off brand controllers are cheaply made and do not hold up. The Turtle Beach Recon Wired Controller for Xbox completely blew my mind and changed my opinion. The only downsides to this controller would be the fact that: A) it’s wired so it isn’t as convenient as a wireless controller, of course, and B) all of the extra bells and whistles can easily be lost and overlooked by the average gamer. If you are looking for a cheaper extra controller that can help you get an edge look no further. Although you might want to think twice before handing this thing to your little brother as it might just backfire and give him the edge over you.