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 IPHONE, IPAD HARDWARE REVIEW
MadCatz C.T.R.L.i controller for iPhone and iPad
Roar
 
 Handset: Mad Catz C.T.R.L.i 
 Manufacturer: Mad Catz Interactive 
 Price: £69.99 
by Mark Brown
If you're a gamer, you're probably aware of MadCatz. It's the firm that puts out third-party controllers for PlayStation and the like, as a budget alternative to the real deal.

So with a few decades practice making joypads, it should be well placed to make a killer iOS gaming controller. Right?

The MadCatz C.T.R.L.i (henceforth referred to as the CTRLi to save my full stop key) looks almost exactly like an Xbox 360 controller, complete with those little bumpy knobs on the analogue stick and a battery compartment around back.

01

The build quality is quite impressive. It's reasonably heavy and made of good material but I can't say I'm crazy about the glossy plastic used on the front panels.

It has a nice adjustable clip that can spring open and then clamp tightly shut on your iPhone (anything up to a 6 Plus). It's super solid and grips like a vice so you don't need to worry about your phone going flying.

But it also only sits at one angle. And like the MOGA Rebel, it's not the optimum one.

Also, this clip is a separate piece of plastic that you'll need to remove (and potentially lose) if you want to transport it. In fact, it uses a screw system which is a little fiddly and gives you yet another thing to misplace.

I have to say I prefer the MOGA Rebel's solution, where the clip pops out from a compartment on the controller itself.

02

The controller is Bluetooth, of course, and come with a nice app that lets you test the buttons, find (some) compatible games, check the battery life, and update the firmware.

So, that's all well and good. But as an actual controller, the MadCatz pad suffers some annoying flaws.

It holds up well for 2D games like Traps n' Gemstones with responsive face buttons and a surprisingly nice d-pad.

But for 3D games like Neon Shadow, Dead Trigger, and BioShock, I found the analogue sticks were far from optimal.

It's hard to make fine and subtle camera movements, with your viewpoint jerking about at the finest tweak of the right analogue stick.

03

I switched between this MadCatz controller and the SteelSeries Stratus XL while playing Dead Trigger and it was like night and day. On the Stratus, I could quickly aim at zombies, while on the MadCatz CTRLi I regularly overshot and missed.

All this makes the MadCatz CTRLi tough to recommend, especially as it has so many rivals. The SteelSeries Stratus wins out on build quality and performance, and if you need a clip for your iPhone then the MOGA Rebel does a better job.

You can read our review of the MadCatz CRTLi Micro, this controller's little sibling, by clicking right here.
 

Reviewer photo
Mark Brown 10 December 2014
The MadCatz controller is nicely made, but it's let down by a fiddly clip system and imprecise analogue sticks
  MADCATZ C.T.R.L.I CONTROLLER FOR IPHONE AND IPAD
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 [READERS' RATING] N/A 
Specs  
Controls/buttonsTwo analogue sticks, d-pad, four face buttons, four shoulder buttons, on/off switch, Bluetooth sync button
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