The PowerA Lumectra is a really solid wired controller with a slightly underwhelming app.
I like a wired controller for my PC gaming due to the reduction in faff when it comes to batteries and charging as well as eliminating input lag and potential connection problems. I was quite a fan of the PDP Afterglow Wave, and whilst the PowerA Lumectra doesn’t quite reach the same standards, it does come with some neat features that make it a solid alternative.
The first thing you notice when taking the controller out of the box is the weight of it. This feels like a really solid controller that could take some serious punishment when compared to other wired devices. I’m not sure what exactly has been done to achieve this, but it’s nice to be using something that feels so solid.
Then there are the lights, which are well positioned and have a huge array of colour options split across four zones on the controller, meaning that with enough tinkering you could probably create a unique look. Interestingly, this model also includes a four-foot LED light strip that you can attach to any surface with the adhesive back and power via a USB. The box suggests connecting it to the back of your TV to create a gaming space, but you could hook it up to anything if you have a nearby connection. There’s a handy set of buttons attached to control the lights, but you can also do so remotely using the controller itself.
In addition, you have a pair of buttons on the rear of the unit that can be bound to any of the other buttons on the controller, which is always useful for FPS games when you want a jump button that doesn’t require you to take your fingers off the right stick. It would be nice to be able to program them as macros, but with online gaming being the way it is these days, I can understand why this wouldn’t be fair.
Also on the back are three other buttons that are used for setting up the various features on the controller, such as the lights and the button bindings. These are nice to have, but you do really need to refer to the online manual to make sure you’re pressing the right button for the right feature as it isn’t entirely clear just by looking.
This is where the PowerA Lumectra controller falls down a little bit. The setup of the features is a bit of a faff as you need to use the various buttons on the controller itself to change the settings. There’s an app available, but unlike other controllers, you can’t do much with it other than test the buttons and rumble features. The fact that you can’t change the light settings or button bindings in it makes it something of a pointless app and makes setting up the controller the way you want harder than it needs to be.
That isn’t to say that this is a bad controller because it really isn’t. Buttons are responsive and the triggers feel suitably solid. I like the inclusion of trigger locks that allow you change the range of movement on them which might be useful when changing between FPS and racing games where range of movement can be a greater factor.
The PowerA Lumectra controller is a great option for a wired controller, made even better with the inclusion of a light strip if you’re looking to set up an RGB feature in your gaming space. You’d be hard-pushed to find a better controller and lighting solution at such a decent cost.
This, and other controllers from PowerA are available now.