In recent years, accessories like the Xbox Elite Series 2 Wireless Controller and the Scuf Prestige Wireless Controller have offered major enhancements to the conventional joypad experience with additions like customizable rear paddles and textured grips. Unfortunately for our wallets, these premium features typically come at a premium price point.
However, I recently went hands-on with a product that manages to incorporate some of these qualities for a fraction of the price. Here are my thoughts on the EasySMX SL-9111 Wired Gaming Controller.
EasySMX SL-9111 Wired Gaming Controller: Price and availability
As price is easily one of the most impressive features of the EasySMX SL-9111 Wired Gaming Controller, it's important to stress the value of this product. For just $26 you get some of my favorite features from controllers like the Xbox Elite Series 2, which is normally $180. You can currently purchase this wired gaming controller from Amazon for $28 or directly from EasySMX for $26.
EasySMX SL-9111 Wired Gaming Controller: What you'll like
What's immediately apparent upon holding the EasySMX SL-9111 Wired Gaming Controller for the first time is just how much inspiration the design team pulled from the latest Xbox Wireless Controller. The rounded, ergonomic shape and textured grips are very reminscent of Microsoft's latest efforts, which adds a great deal of comfort to the overall feel. As someone who primarily plays with Xbox controllers, I felt right at home using the EasySMX SL-9111 Wired Gaming Controller.
Another element I greatly appreciated was the customizable buttons on the back side of the controller. I've been spoiled by the paddles on the Xbox Elite Series 2, especially when it comes to first-person shooters where I never want to take my thumb off the right stick or games like Monster Hunter: World that require a fair bit of d-pad based inventory management. There are four buttons to customize on the rear of the EasySMX SL-9111 Wired Gaming Controller and two of them funtion quite well. I programmed mine for jumping and dodging in games like Overwatch and Dark Souls 3.
For players looking to add a little extra flair, you can also toggle on or off a series of LED lights around the face buttons and right joystick. This doesn't necessarily add anything impactful to playing games, but it's a neat option for those who just want to make their controller pop.
EasySMX SL-9111 Wired Gaming Controller: Competition
There isn't a great deal of direct competition in the sub-$30 price range that offer the same set of features as the EasySMX SL-9111 Wired Gaming Controller, but if you can do without the customizable rear buttons, the Amazon Basics Xbox One Wired Controller still gives you textured grips, an Xbox-centric button, and joystick layouts. We even awarded it our best budget pick in our best controllers for PC gaming list.
The EasySMX SL-9111 Wired Gaming Controller is a prime example of cost vs. caveats. It undoubtedly packs an impressive amount of features and functionality into an incredibly budget-friendly package. If you're looking for an Xbox style controller for PC and want to stay under $30, this will certainly get the job done.