So, after years of looking for a solid fightpad for the current generation of systems, it has finally happened. I love fighting games and beat-em-ups, as it hopefully it shows with the bunch that I reviewed here on RFMAG. However, I’ve never been big on arcade fight sticks unless I used them while standing and the controls were actually mounted onto a cabinet. That’s why, on the console, I fell in love with fightpads, where the MadCatz StreetFighter IV Fightpad held me down during the Xbox 360 days.
So, it was refreshing when PowerA, a solid player in the console peripheral front, came out with their own fightpad for each of the current gen consoles. Today, we’re looking into PowerA’s Fusion Wired Fightpad for Xbox One.
Build and Feel
Inspired by the Sega Saturn controller, the Fusion Wired Fightpad sports the same general silhouette with 6 ALPS action buttons on the face, 4 shoulder buttons on each corner, the Xbox button, menu button, start button, a floating D-Pad, and a 3.5mm jack on the bottom. It comes with 3 interchangeable face plates and a 9.8-foot (3-meter) braided cable.
The Fusion Wired Fightpad has a very sturdy and welcoming feel to it. It weighs in at a little over half a pound (267g – 0.59 lbs) and sports a sort of brushed plastic chassis that allows for a solid non-slip grip. This surface and feel follows through along the back of the fightpad, where there are ergonomically shaped grips close to the sides.
The 6 ALPS action buttons are large and have robust spring to them, making each button press satisfying. They reassure you that they are going to last for the long haul. This is the exact kind of resistance you want to feel in a fightpad button, which is bound to receive some punishment simply due to the general nature of gameplay in fighting games.
The floating D-pad is a treat and easy to handle. The space on the faceplate near the D-pad is hollowed out just right, giving you freedom of movement. You can also somewhat feel the soft yet non-resisting clicks as you move the D-pad in circular motions.
Right off the bat, the Fusion Wired Fightpad felt right at home in my hands, with no learning curve whatsoever. The 9.8-foot long cable is long enough to span across most living room couch-to-console distances. The threading on the cable helps to combat snagging and the head of the cable features a pinch-to-unlock head to ensure that it doesn’t pop out during sweaty matches.
The Fusion Wired Fightpad sports a solid and comfortable build, complete with buttons and a D-Pad that are satisfying to handle and use.
First, a function we’ve seen before on other fightpads makes its way here in the form of this “DP LS RS” switch on the center of the controller. This switch allows to you to toggle the Fusion Wired Fightpad’s D-Pad between emulating a D-Pad, a left thumbstick, and a right thumbstick. This is perfect for games, both fighting and non-fighting, where the D-Pad is simply not used for character movement, and where you also want that traditional 8-direction movement. Stepping away from this Xbox One model, the Nintendo Switch version of the Fusion Wired Fightpad also has this function. This is perfect for Super Smash Bros Ultimate players that never really enjoyed using a thumbstick for character movement, especially since that game does not offer you the option to swap to the D-Pad like this.
The Fusion Wired Fightpad also houses a newer function, where you can toggle and remap the left bumper and trigger to emulate the left and right analog stick buttons. Have a game where pressing in the left and right analog stick has some purpose, yet you still want to use a traditional D-Pad for movement? The Fusion Wired Fightpad has you covered.
The Fusion Wired Fightpad also gives you some style tweaks, straight out of the box. Instead of hoping that Amazon has the controller color you want in stock, you already get replacement faceplates with your Fusion Wired Fightpad. Just pop off the magnetic face plate and pop in the color you want.
There’s something to be said about not fixing what’s not broken. This controller shape, its button placements, and its feel are fairly traditional when it comes to retro controllers or fightpads. PowerA took that and expanded on it, ensuring that it the Fusion Wired Fightpad can handle current-gen needs. Handling games that assume that you have the analog thumbsticks at your disposal is a nice touch that enhances the Fusion Wired Fightpad’s usability.
On top of all that, the Fusion Wired Fightpad works on Windows 10 right off the bat, no software installs necessary. That means this controller gives you all of the functionality mentioned above on two separate gaming platforms, Xbox One and PC.
Performance and Final Thoughts
As mentioned before, there was simply no learning curve with handling the Fusion Wired Fightpad. Being a wired controller, input lag is just not part of the discussion. The D-pad was highly responsive during my runs through various fighting games. Half-circle, quarter-circle, and “dragon punch” motions pull off without a hitch. It simply felt as if I have been using this controller for years.
The fighting game I play the most nowadays is DragonBall FighterZ, where the Fusion Wired Fightpad handled that game easy. However, while DragonBall FighterZ is a fast-paced game where timing is everything, the D-Pad motions in that game aren’t really that complicated. So, to better vet the D-Pad’s accuracy, I hopped back a fighting game generation or two to try fighting games with more involved D-pad motions. For me, most of those games were available to me through Xbox’s Backwards Compatibility. There, I tried the fightpad with many King of Fighters games as well as Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition.
The D-Pad’s precision did not disappoint in any of those games, where inputting the combos I remembered flowed effortlessly. Here’s a gif of a somewhat simple Dudley combo in SSF4AE, chock full of D-Pad movements.
Input Sequence: Jumping HK, Standing HK, HCF+2P, Crouching HK, HCF+2K, QCFx2+3P
PowerA’s Fusion Wired Fightpad demonstrates a lot of care and consideration in its make. It is a solid fightpad solution for any current gen system. It sports a solid build, gives you what you need, and performs effectively and comfortably. If you’re into fighting games, or even retro games where analog sticks do nothing for you, check out PowerA’s Fusion Wired Fightpad for $59.99, with models for Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Playstation 4. You won’t be disappointed.
† As usual, there are no affiliate links contained within this post. We were provided a PowerA Fusion Wired Fightpad for review purposes and were not compensated for this review.