Steelseries Stratus XL
We have begun to bring you console controllers and what you may be wondering is where you can get yourself a control that is designed more specifically for gaming on your PC. Well, we are ready to pull you into a line up for those as well. With game download sites galore, you may find yourself getting quite a few games that were once console-only that are now based on your PC or Android. This is especially true if the game was released long enough back that the console can only be found used. You are not likely to enjoy it quite as much if forced to play on keyboard and mouse as you would if you could just plug and play with a controller. Along with the quickly growing market of esports games, the need has spawned for quite a few companies that focus on making sure you can have a reliable controller outside of your consoles.
Beyond just old video games, many of the newer PC adventure, RPG and simulator games, as well as FPS games are made to be used with either a controller or keyboard and mouse. That being said, the Steelseries controller types are starting to become one of the pro gamers first places to look for their equipment. Are they good? Do they make it easier, or do they make you want to bounce the thing off your desk from lack of response times? As usual, we are going to dive into the nitty-gritty of their design and let you know what those who use them have to say about it. We don’t want you to go in ready to buy and come out unsatisfied. Our goal is to leave you informed and let you decide if the device you are looking at is worth your attention. So, let’s check out this company, starting with the Stratus XL.
- Console Gamer friendly layout
- Comes with batteries
- Bluetooth connection
- No lag time
- Works with Windows, Android, and Apple devices equally
- No auto-sleep mode
We are not sure that the design is popular in appearance, but it seems to sit fairly well in every other way. It does not weigh too much, and it does not take up more space. If you want something easy to understand and will not take you more than a few minutes to get the hang of in-game, this is likely going to be a great option for you. Given that it can connect to Windows and Android as a plug and play, and Apple iOS with only a minor update to the driver, it is gaining attention from the online stores as well. Apple even offers it on their site at the going price, though you can almost always find better deals elsewhere.
The downside is the same with this as with many Microsoft based controllers, however, it does not come with a rechargeable battery pack, instead, it runs in double A batteries, so be prepared to spend a little extra for rechargeable batteries or having to go out and buy new batteries every week or two. While the Xbox controllers offer a USB plugin for their controllers where you can play even while the batteries are not available, unfortunately, that is not the case here. If your batteries die, you have to replace them or wait until you can in order to keep going.
What makes it worth it, really is the fact that it works with Android and with most Steam-based games. It will not work with any of your consoles, however, just computer-based machines or tablets. In truth, the biggest reason those with the already PC/Mac ready Microsoft Xbox controllers have gotten this one is that it works better on their Androids. There is less lag and does not have the same connection issues on the Android as the Microsoft controller does. Though the other controllers with wireless support are said to be able to perform well with Androids or tablets, often they do not really work as well as promised, this one does.
The biggest downside to its performance is that you do have to remember to turn your controller off when you are done playing. If you make the mistake of leaving it on expecting it to turn off like a console controller you may come back to find your batteries dead. It simply does not have a ‘sleep’ mode and will remain on at full use until you manually turn it off. So, if you decide to buy it, don’t forget to turn it off.
With consoles, a wireless device is less expected to lag, but be expected to play on any sort of computer with one and find out it is proudly ‘Bluetooth only’, it might make you cringe. No matter how the gamepad feels in your hands, or how easy the buttons and analog sticks move, the lag is expected- if not outright drops of the signal between computer and controller. So, when you get this one out and sync it you may find yourself more than a little pleasantly surprised when you do not have those issues. This controller shows next to no lag at all between the press of a button or witch of a joystick and the reaction in game. This makes FPS games so much easier to enjoy. It also has a decent battery life, and when you are playing it will not leave you stressing over if you can aim fast enough.
Its biggest selling point, however, is that its connection to the Android is just as smooth as with any computer. This is a major plus since other controllers do not do so well with the hand-held devices.
Beyond even their equipment, they began sponsoring esports games and players into the professional levels. So, are they a reliable brand? Well, they are definitely used worldwide, and they offer sponsored players financing if they will play using nothing but Steelseries gear. We found very few complaints in the end on what matters. The controllers perform just as good as the brands who have had more time on the market and better in some ways. If appearance and a little stiffness are the only things this brand has for nitpicking, then honestly, they rank right beside Microsoft and any other computer made controllers.
-Responsive (no lag)
-Easy to use set up
-Works on computers and Android/tablets