My Xbox 360 controller, which I’ve had for about 10 years, is dying a slow death. I can still use it, but intermittent connection issues to my PC have been more frequent. No matter what “magic” techniques I use, from putting hard straws on the cable, to outright bending it and keeping it bent, nothing can stop its demise.
I wanted to buy an new Xbox One or PS4 controller and go the wireless route, but with those being more premium in price and the extra expenses this month, I decided to hold off. With the goading of my son, I finally caved in and decided to spend the least I could on a controller. I found the Fantech GP11 Shooter on-line for PhP 597.00. I figured it should be better than buying a knockoff 360 controller right?
Fantech is a company from China. From what I could gather on the web, they make all-sorts of gaming peripherals. I’ve seen shops selling headphones, keyboards, mice, etc. They’re kinda like Razer, with much cheaper prices. They do sponsor esports in some countries and even have their own team. This gave me a little more confidence in purchasing the GP11. I figured they’re serious enough in gaming that their controller won’t konk out right away.
Build quality is pretty good for the price, but it’s still nothing like a Microsoft or Sony controller.
The GP11 is pretty much patterned after the Xbox 360 controller, with very slight differences. The size is a tad smaller and lighter. It’s less rounded, making the grip less comfortable than the 360’s, but not a deal breaker. The cable is also much shorter. The grip is textured with a faux leather/rubber that gives a softer feel and an elegant look to it. The buttons aren’t colored, but the letters on it are. There are also four LEDs that state what mode the controller is in, more on that later. Build quality is pretty good for the price, but it’s still nothing like a Microsoft or Sony controller.
When you plug the controller to a PC, it’s detected as an Xbox 360 controller. Pretty much plug and play with all the games recognizing it right away. The sticks are have a little more resistance than the 360, but they move smoothly and are responsive. They snap back to place right away and seem to be accurate. The D-pad and the buttons feel mushy, but they work just as they should. Vibration effects from games work well.
As mentioned earlier, there are several modes to the controller. There’s the default Xbox 360 mode, analog, and digital. Pressing the center button for eight seconds cycles the different modes and is indicated by the four LEDs above it. Analog mode is for games that require precise movements, like a driving game or a third person adventure. Digital does instant movements that would be good for a fighting game or a platformer. I use the default 360 mode, which is what most PC games recognize.
Overall I’m pretty happy with the GP11 Shooter. Though it still isn’t on par with Microsoft’s or Sony’s offerings, it does the job at a fraction of the price. Fantech built a good, affordable alternative. I hope it lasts long.