HyperX Clutch Gladiate Wired Controller review: Budget barnstormer you've waited for

HyperX Clutch Gladiate Wired Controller review: Budget barnstormer you've waited for
Images: HyperX

Written by 

Joseph Kime

Published 

11th May 2023 13:54

The pro controller market is absurdly busy, and intense, too.

There's something intimidating about the market of gaming peripherals, with each new product insisting upon itself and trying to convince you how its brand new features (that weren't important enough to have been created already) are essential to taking the competitive edge in your favourite games.

It seems that Xbox has taken the lead on this front, with PlayStation's DualSense presumably being locked behind inaccessible patents, so the market for controllers has become hyperspecific beyond measure. It's a black hole of marketing jargon that feasts on a player's desire to be the very best.

But, thankfully, there are third-party controllers willing to not only offer more than first-parties can offer, and equally strip away the absurd pile-on that marketing for pro controllers has become. This middle ground is home to HyperX's latest offering, and it's an absolute treat that won't break the bank.

GGRecon Verdict

Providing that the wired element of the controller doesn’t put you off, and you don’t intend to be carrying it around in an official carrying case, then you can’t do much better than the Clutch Gladiate for less than £35. Reinventing the wheel never seemed to be this controller’s intention, but damn, is it a good all-rounder.

Dubs straight out of the box

HyperX Clutch Gladite Wired Controller review - the budget barnstormer you've waited for
Click to enlarge

When it comes to gaming peripherals, many smaller companies tend to do it better than the big dogs that coast on branding along, and it appears HyperX may just be one of those underdogs. Their latest addition to the controller market, the Clutch Gladiate wired controller, would be easy to sniff at - yet another controller of a meagre price point that assures you that you can be better with it - but HyperX appears to have backed that fact up.

Coming in at only £34.99 RRP, you’d expect something that feels cheap, but it proves otherwise with a build quality that rivals the most expensive alternatives on the market, made of plastic with such integrity that it’s comfortable in the hands regardless of the intensity of your gamer squeeze.

Locked & Loaded

HyperX Clutch Gladite Wired Controller review - the budget barnstormer you've waited for
Click to enlarge

This pairs nicely with the two buttons that have found their home on the back of the peripheral, one of its biggest draws. They’re used to re-map buttons from the front of the controller to set two of your most important inputs to a more comfortable position that doesn’t require the player to move from the right-hand stick to press them.

It’s an incredibly simple process to get them working, and it’s simpler to actually reach the buttons, which is a drastic oversight the controller’s more expensive counterparts tend to make.

The controller also boasts triggers that lock, allowing for the aiming and firing of weapons to be processed split seconds earlier than on triggers that demand to be held down all the way. Though the difference in gameplay is minimal, it’s far more satisfying to feel the immediate reaction in your hand, and it’s a small part of a larger experience that places the Gladiate controller among the best in the budget pro controller space.

HyperX is truly plugged in

There are no real qualms to be had with the Clutch Gladiate, and for its price, it stands as perhaps one of the best third-party wired controllers on the market. Controllers of a much higher price point and from much more intensely “gamer” companies have failed to grasp the simplicity that some players want in their peripherals, and HyperX has found a middle-ground that feels as though it’s giving players an edge that doesn’t break the bank.

The Verdict

Providing that the wired element of the controller doesn’t put you off, and you don’t intend to be carrying it around in an official carrying case, then you can’t do much better than the Clutch Gladiate for less than £35. Reinventing the wheel never seemed to be this controller’s intention, but damn, is it a good all-rounder.

4/5

Review unit provided by the manufacturer

Joseph Kime
About the author
Joseph Kime
Joseph Kime is the Senior Trending News Journalist for GGRecon from Devon, UK. Before graduating from MarJon University with a degree in Journalism, he started writing music reviews for his own website before writing for the likes of FANDOM, Zavvi and The Digital Fix. He is host of the Big Screen Book Club podcast, and author of Building A Universe, a book that chronicles the history of superhero movies. His favourite games include DOOM (2016), Celeste and Pokemon Emerald.
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