Review | Afterglow Wave Wired Controller (Xbox & PC) – In general, pro controllers are quite expensive devices. For example, we have Scufs, Nacons and also the DualSense Edge from Sony as options to purchase. In addition, Microsoft offers its own Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 for a hefty price tag and all for a few extra buttons (and functions). However, do you just want those few extra buttons on the back of your controller? Then we have a cheaper alternative for you: the PDP Afterglow Wave Wired Controller for the Xbox & PC. In this review, we’ll explore whether this budget pro controller is a relevant choice if you need a little more grip while gaming.
A very eye-catching design
There’s no denying that the Afterglow Wave Wired Controller (hereafter Afterglow) is nice and eye-catching when it comes to its design. The Afterglow is available in red, blue, black and purple. In our case, we received the purple variant, which looks nice and extreme.The main feature of the Afterglow is of course that the sides of the controller are equipped with LED lights in the form of waves.A real Afterglow effect so to speak. The levers are also equipped with LED lighting, so that the picture is complete.
However, the Afterglow offers a few nice extras unlike the normal Xbox Series controller. Of course, the lighting elements, but you have two extra shortcut buttons on the back. You can use the D-pad as a shortcut to control the volume, and you can configure everything via the PDP app on the Xbox. The Xbox-Home button in this case doesn’t have LED lighting, but that’s compensated for in terms of indicator with a mini-LED light above it. As a final feature, you have a shift button at the top right of the mini-jack connection, with which you can use the secondary functions of the D-pad. Although the prominent LED waves of this controller are an acquired taste, the controller does have a lot to offer in terms of functions.
A fun package!
As the name suggests, the Afterglow Wave Wired Controller is wired. For example, it comes with a sturdy 2.5-meter USB-C cable, so you can use it in most setups. Although this is the only thing you get, most of it happens in the software field. Since the controller is officially licensed by Xbox, you can download a PDP app to configure everything from the Afterglow (both Xbox, but also on PC). This includes setting the shortcut buttons, the deadzones of the triggers, adjusting the LED lighting in terms of effects and color, and of course you can also remap all the buttons. It’s a shame that you can’t save multiple profiles for different games, so you’ll always need to edit your current profile for each game you play.
What is most extensive are the functionalities around regulating the sound. With the aforementioned shift button, the D-pad allows you to adjust your voice/game chat on the fly by pressing left or right. To adjust the normal volume, this can be done by clicking up or down on the D-pad. To get straight to the audio aspect of the controller: in terms of sound chip, there is no difference with a normal Xbox Series controller, so we have little to say about this except that the sound via the mini-jack connection is just fine. The Afterglow has everything nicely sorted out in terms of software and functionalities.
Being able to play pro on a budget
The ergonomics are also just good as far as the Afterglow is concerned. Partly because it’s a normal Xbox Series controller at its core, it just feels familiar. However, we do notice a few small differences. The sticks have a little less resistance than the regular controllers, so they move a bit smoother. Also, the bumper buttons stick out a little bit more. In terms of comfort, there is nothing to complain about, so you hardly notice these tweaks in practice.The shortcut buttons are also very nice to use: they are large pads that you can easily press, which also have nice feedback in terms of click. Because it’s a wired controller, you also miss the extra weight of a battery.
By now, you’re probably wondering: what does this ‘pro’ controller from PDP cost? You can get one for about € 45. So if you’re looking for a controller with shortcut buttons, but you don’t want to have to sell your kidney for it, we can wholeheartedly recommend the Afterglow. The only thing that would have completed the overall picture of this budget miracle would have been trigger stops.I have not been able to do so. Although you can adjust the deadzone via software, a physical limitation is always preferred. At the same time, we certainly can’t complain about what you get for the current price tag, so this Afterglow controller is fine.
The Afterglow for the Xbox has a few particularities, while broadly speaking it feels exactly like a normal Xbox Series controller. Due to the lack of, among other things, a battery for wireless use, the Afterglow costs about € 45: a very nice price if you ask us, especially if you are looking for a pro controller to get into. The only thing that made the controller complete are trigger stops, but admittedly: for this price you can’t ask everything from a controller. The software offers everything you need, so this is also a great component that is included in the mentioned price. In terms of looks, it might not be mother’s prettiest due to the exaggerated waves, but given its convincing features, we’ll leave that for what it is. A controller that offers a lot for relatively little money: we are fans of this!
- Volume control
- Shortcut Buttons
- Unable to save profiles
- Design is mwah