PowerA MOGA XP-ULTRA review: All-in on cloud gaming

PowerA MOGA XP-ULTRA review: All-in on cloud gaming

Cons

  • Feels bulky

  • Tiring to hold

  • No iOS support

I found the PowerA MOGA XP-ULTRA tiring after just a half-hour of gameplay.

About the PowerA MOGA XP-ULTRA

The PowerA MOGA XP-Ultra controller in the color black, with a Smart phone mounted to the controller.

Credit:
Reviewed / Matthew S. Smith

The PowerA MOGA XP-ULTRA controller features a detachable phone clip that has an easy-to-adjust clamp with dual articulation points.

  • Price: $130
  • Connectivity: Xbox Wireless, Bluetooth, detachable USB-C to USB-A
  • Dimensions: 6.5 inches x 4 inches x 2.5 inches
  • Weight: 6.02 ounces (170.66 grams) to 12.31 ounces (348.98 grams)
  • Colors: Black
  • Device compatibility: Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Windows, Android
  • Material: Plastic
  • Special features: Built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery, included modular grip, included smartphone clip

The PowerA MOGA XP-Ultra’s specifications are typical for a wireless game controller at this price. It offers multiple connection options including Xbox Wireless support, Bluetooth, and USB-C to USB-A connectivity via a detachable cord.

It can be used alongside an Xbox Series X|S or Xbox One console, Windows PC, or an Android smartphone. Apple fans are left out, however, as MacOS and iOS aren’t supported.

The PowerA MOGA XP-ULTRA controller in black.

Credit:
Reviewed / Matthew S. Smith

This versatile controller allows wireless gaming on Windows 10/11, Android, and compatible Smart TVs.

The PowerA MOGA XP-ULTRA faces a competitive field of cloud gaming controllers, which includes the RiotPWR Cloud Gaming Controller, HyperX Clutch, and Razer Kishi.

It’s a tough crowd, but PowerA stands out with a maximalist approach. The MOGA XP-ULTRA is a chunky controller with two detachable accessories. The pitch is: instead of having a cloud gaming controller, why not buy one controller that’s great no matter how you play?

At the controller’s core is the “Mini-Pad,” which packs all the buttons and features of a typical Xbox controller but ditches the palm grips to provide a smaller, more compact footprint that’s easy to fit in a backpack, messenger bag, or purse.

I found the Mini-Pad uncomfortable to use for long sessions by itself, as there’s no easy way to grip the controller while using the triggers and shoulder buttons. I think it’s an acceptable trade-off for improved portability as portable play sessions tend to be short.

At home, however, you can slap on a grip. It snaps into place with a reassuring click to recreate the look and feel of an Xbox Wireless Controller. The thumbsticks, D-Pad, and face buttons all mimic the layout of Microsoft’s gamepad.

The PowerA MOGA XP-Ultra controller detached into two pieces.

Credit:
Reviewed / Matthew S. Smith

The PowerA MOGA XP-ULTRA controller includes a detachable full-sized grip and mobile gaming clip, so you can choose how you want to play at home or on the go.

But a flaw creeps in, and it’s bulk. With the grip attached, the MOGA XP-ULTRA weighs roughly an ounce more than an Xbox Wireless Controller and adds a few millimeters in every direction. It’s a noticeable difference and one that makes the MOGA XP-ULTRA uncomfortable for gamers with smaller hands.

The second detachable accessory, a smartphone clip, uses an elaborate double-hinged design. It’s superior to competitors that use a single hinge and allows for a wider range of viewing angles.

Unfortunately, it adds even more weight. The MOGA XP-Ultra tips the scales at 12 ounces with the clip attached, and that’s without a smartphone. My Google Pixel 3a, a phone I use specifically for cloud gaming, brought the package to roughly 17.5 ounces. That’s an ounce heavier than an iPad Air and several ounces more than the Nintendo Switch OLED.

My Pixel isn’t heavy, either. Attach a large phone, like a Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, and you could be holding 20 ounces or more.

I found the PowerA MOGA XP-ULTRA tiring after just a half-hour of gameplay. It was even worse in positions where I had less leverage—I nearly dropped the controller on my face while lying on a couch.

This isn’t entirely PowerA’s fault. Adding a smartphone clip to a game controller seems like a sure-fire win, but I’ve yet to test a controller that nails the idea. Still, the MOGA XP-ULTRA’s weight makes for an uncomfortable experience.

Should you buy the PowerA MOGA XP-ULTRA?

No, it’s too heavy and expensive

Three different PowerA MOGA XP-Ultra controllers' side-by-side, with a Smart phone mounted to one controller.

Credit:
Reviewed / Matthew S. Smith

The PowerA MOGA XP-ULTRA controller gets up to 60 hours of play on a single charge.

The PowerA MOGA XP-ULTRA’s weight problems are exacerbated by the hefty $130 MSRP. That puts it in league with premium controllers like the Microsoft Xbox Elite Wireless Series 2 Core and Thrustmaster eSwap S Pro. PowerA’s material quality is impressive, and the weight adds to its premium feel, but the controller lacks features common at this price point like trigger locks, swappable thumbsticks, and mechanical face button switches.

That makes the PowerA MOGA XP-ULTRA difficult to recommend. Alternatives like the HyperX Clutch and Razer Kishi deliver a decent cloud gaming experience at a third of the price, leaving buyers enough left over to also pick up an Xbox Wireless Controller. The MOGA is a valiant attempt to deliver a high-end, do-it-all controller for both portable and at-home play, but it fails to hit the mark.

Product image of PowerA MOGA XP-Ultra controller

PowerA MOGA XP-Ultra controller

The PowerA MOGA XP-Ultra controller has a sturdy build, has a versatile design, and supports Xbox, PC, and Android.

$130 at Amazon

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

Meet the tester

Matthew S. Smith

Matthew S. Smith

Contributor


@Matt_on_tech

Matthew S. Smith is a veteran tech journalist and general-purpose PC hardware nerd. Formerly the Lead Editor of Reviews at Digital Trends, he has over a decade of experience covering PC hardware. Matt often flies the virtual skies in Microsoft Flight Simulator and is on a quest to grow the perfect heirloom tomato.

See all of Matthew S. Smith’s reviews

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