RiotPWR’s Xbox Cloud Gaming Controller is good for iPhone gamers, but you can do better – CNN Underscored

The enormous popularity of cloud-based gaming has spawned an entire market of peripherals and accessories designed to make our smartphones perform more like dedicated gaming consoles. RiotPWR is no stranger to this increasingly competitive landscape, as it has spent the last several years churning out console-quality controllers specifically made for iOS and Android devices.

Its latest offering — the RiotPWR Xbox Cloud Gaming Controller for iOS (Xbox Edition) — doubles down on this specificity, as it’s laser-focused on attracting Apple device owners with an affinity for Xbox gaming and hardware. The result is a third-party gamepad that attaches to your iPhone and looks — and plays — a lot like an Xbox Series X or S controller, complete with a dedicated Xbox button sitting at its center. While RiotPWR’s latest generally delivers on its intended purpose, it also suffers from a limited scope as well as an overall design that can’t quite keep up with competitors like Backbone and Razer.

A good iPhone gaming controller

RiotPWR’s Xbox Cloud Gaming Controller is perfect for iPhone gamers who want to play mobile and cloud games using a console-quality peripheral. That said, it still feels like an imperfect solution with a limited scope, especially when compared to competing options from Backbone and Razer.

Matt Cabral/CNN

The mobile gaming market is flooded with controllers that connect to smartphones as well as clips designed to attach our existing console accessories to our iOS and Android devices. Unfortunately, many of these options are cheaply made and poorly designed, resulting in on-the-go gaming sessions that just can’t match the console experience. RiotPWR’s Xbox edition controller rises above this sea of wannabe solutions, utilizing a solid, sturdy, adjustable clip that firmly roots your device into the controller.

More than just not feeling flimsy or unstable, though, the clip sports some additional perks. For starters, it’s removable, so whether you’re taking a quick subway commute or traveling across the country, packing up the device is a breeze. The clip can also be used as a smartphone stand when unattached from the controller, offering a second setup option for mobile gaming sessions. In fact, while I clipped the controller to my phone when gaming on the couch or in bed, I actually preferred the secondary method when space permitted.

Finally, regardless of how you’re using the clip, it has enough play to fit most iPhone cases. It’s a simple, no-frills feature but a welcome convenience I especially appreciated after testing the Backbone, which couldn’t accommodate my device when it was armored up in its chunky OtterBox case.

Matt Cabral/CNN

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