Hori Pad FPS Plus Review
|Product Name:||Horipad FPS Plus|
|Features:||Precision Sensitive Asymmetrical Thumbstick Placement. Rear Target Button with 3 Levels of Sensitivity. Turbo Feature for Face/D-pad/Trigger Buttons.|
When it comes to supplying high-quality products in different gaming genres, Hori seems to always be right up there in the list of go-to brands, especially with the Sony brand. They already have a product licensed by the entertainment giant in the form of the TAC Pro, but for those who have been following their forays in the FPS genre you may recall that they had a formidable gamepad for FPS-gaming in the form of the Hori Pad FPS Plus.
Let’s have a look at the distinct features of this product.
Features Hori Pad FPS Plus
Asymmetrical Thumbstick Placement
The first thing that you will notice with the FPS Plus is the positioning of the analog sticks; unlike the DualShock 4 where they are closer together near the bottom-center of the controller, this product has the left analog switching places with the directional pad, just like you would see on the Xbox 360 or Xbox One’s controller. This allows a larger range of motion for the left stick to move around without worry of overlapping onto the right stick.
As much as I’ve grown to love the DualShock’s analog stick placement over the years, I will admit that I am a huge fan with how comfortable with the asymmetrical placement feels like. I have a wide palm span from pinky to thumb, making me more susceptible to overlapping thumbs on analog sticks which usually messes up my movement and aim.
The space provided by asymmetrical thumbsticks not only gives less constraint for thumbsticks to move, but also eases up on the grip of the controller, thereby allowing the index and middle fingers more distance to cover over the shoulders and triggers.
Speaking of the shoulders and triggers..
Button-like Shoulders and Triggers
While not as prominent a change for the shoulder buttons, the triggers (L2/R2) on the FPS Plus are designed to look more like buttons you push down instead of triggers that you pull back. That’s right, the contouring that can be seen on the DualShock 4 are now large, rectangular buttons for your middle fingers to push.
This is a significant difference as they reduce the amount of travel time required to be recognized as a button press in-game. They do not have a slight squeaky feel, and do not require a hard press down to register within the game. A quick tap on the trigger buttons activate pretty quick, so you can quick-scope and shoot if you need to. Nifty!
Now this is not a new or unique feature if compared to other third party controllers out in the market, but the FPS Plus also includes a remap button located below the touch pad to the right of the turbo button (which pretty much does what it says, which is makes one press of any button equate to 10-50 times more presses in-game). This handy feature allows you to assign any button to match another on your controller.
This is a common scenario if you are the type of player who uses a particular button command a lot and need to get to it quickly – for instance, if you set your melee attack to one of your face buttons (like Square) and you need to get to that input immediately after, you can assign that same input to another one of the face buttons. That’s two quick inputs for you!
I personally have never remapped my controller inputs, but I can see how you would save a lot of time with this feature – no need to wait for a button’s return travel back to unpressed if you have another button with the same command ready to press!
Rear “Target” Button
Perhaps the most underrated yet extremely useful piece on the FPS Plus is the “target” button situated behind the controller on the left side. This little trigger, by default, instantly lowers the sensitivity of your analog sticks to allow more precise control as you move or aim.
How does that help, you ask?
FPS-gaming on the console requires both extreme sensitivity levels in-game – you need to have high sensitivity to move and look freely and quickly to better assess your situation in the game. But when time comes to aim down your gun’s sight, precision in the form of lower sensitivities is every bit as crucial. And instead of needing to find the analog sticks’ sensitivity level in the options menu, you can press on this target button to lower it for you. With this button, you can go from active movement to an accurate shot in no time!
How much sensitive do you need, though? Well because this varies per person, the FPS Plus provides three levels of sensitivity via a switch at the bottom of the product so you can fine tune the level of control that you need.
Oh, and this button is remappable, too!
Other Features With Their Pros and Cons
Now while these are the uniquely-advertised features on the FPS Plus, there are some other ones that you will probably notice in either a good or a bad way, such as:
- It’s wired. For some gamers this may be a bit of an inconvenience as they prefer the wireless Bluetooth protocol that comes with the Dual Shock 4. Thankfully the cable is about 10 feet long, so you’ll be able to keep a considerable distance from your TV when you play. Also since it’s wired, there is a smaller input delay – something extremely critical in a high reflex and response genre like the FPS.
- The lack of battery pack makes the controller feel more lighter compared to the DS4. It does give off a sense of being flimsy compared to an OEM product, but at least you won’t feel too much of a strain in holding it.
- No mic input. This might be a deal-breaker for some, especially if you are accustomed to wiring up a headset into the DS4’s jack. So if you’re looking to use the FPS Plus and communicate with your teammates in-game, you may have to invest in a USB headset.
- The lighter controller means there is no vibration function, too. Again, another deal-breaker for gamers who like the caustic feedback from vibration from things that happen in-game, as it lessens the experience and the potential warnings it provides.
- Finally, if you also like the kind of quick, visual feedback that you get from the DS4’s lightbar.. you’re not going to see it in the FPS Plus. That’s right, there is no lightbar on this product, so those flashing reds as a warning sign for you is out of the picture.. but if you don’t look at that as a cue, you’re probably already dialed in to the game.
Final Thoughts: Is It Worth Buying?
The Hori Pad FPS Plus was released at a time where the newer line of elite, pro-gaming controllers (save for the Xbox One Elite) were still on the way. And when you look at what is out there, there is that feeling that the features on this product are a little dated. Newer FPS or pro controllers have additional triggers at the back of their products in the form of paddles, and the thumbstick and D-pads are interchangeable with each other or with other similar directional input designs, so there is definitely more bang for the buck with what else is out there.
I do think, however, that there is still a place for the FPS Plus in the market today – at the bare minimum, this is a very solid product with just the right amount of features needed to dominate in the console-FPS games. They say sometimes less is more, and with the amount of subtle and effective features in the Hori Pad FPS Plus, it is a perfect product for those gamers who just want those slight touches to round out their fragging dominance.Click here for the latest deals on the Hori Pad FPS Plus and read great customer reviews!