The Xbox One’s controller may have received quite the design overhaul but that hasn’t stopped a variety of companies springing up on the internet to offer customization services – one company is UK-based Controller Modz who not only offer an aesthetic customization service but can also add an additional set of buttons underneath the controller – you need never take your fingers off the left and right sticks again!
Established in 2010, Controller Modz began life as a small ebay store offering rapid-fire controllers but soon moved on to customising the aesthetic of controllers rather than providing mod chips. Looking to capitalise on a growing market, Controller Modz grabbed the bull by the horns and launched one of the UK’s first websites offering a custom controller service. Three years later a “build-your-own controller” was launched that proved most popular among the many customers that Controller Modz had received – to date they have built around 23,000 controllers!
As the market continues to demand more from customisation, Controller Modz launched a new initiative, the Domin8or buttons – small round buttons that are located underneath the controller and can be mapped to any two-existing buttons. Controller artwork can be chosen from a selection of options and you can also opt to replace any of the buttons or sticks with coloured alternatives. There’s also a range of house designs, with new ones being added all the time – the only thing missing is an option to add user-created custom designs but these guys are a friendly bunch and if you have a great idea for a design I’m sure they would only be too happy to fabricate for you… for a small price of course!
I was lucky enough to receive a batch one domin8or controller, which I have been using now for a month and while I feel a bit like a guinea pig, the build quality is so high that the batch one controller feels far from a prototype.
The artwork, the Green Hades design, isn’t something I would have picked out for myself but the quality is great, although it’s worth noting that any design with a pattern warps slightly over curved areas – this is down to the hydro dipping process and while it doesn’t spoil the look of the controller you might notice it if you’re a fussy bugger like me!
The finish of the artwork feels really smooth, you will be excused if you are caught gently caressing your new best friend – seriously, it feels that good to hold. The buttons and sticks are painted to a high quality and you may even believe that this was an official controller. Other than the image warp, I can’t fault the craftsmanship of the artwork, the finish doesn’t scratch or tarnish even when I purposely tried to do some damage by scratching the paintwork with my nail and my wedding ring, but it’s not all about looks when it comes to this controller, it’s about what’s under the hood or in this case under the controller… A pair of domin8or buttons.
I opted to map the X and B buttons – reload and crouch/prone although I wish I had gone with Controller Modz’ advice and stuck with fan favourite A and B – oh well, just means I will have to grab myself another controller. The buttons are quite high and you will need to press them down firmly, a light tap will result in nothing happening so if you need to hit the dirt quick in COD, just make sure you give that button a firm press or you’ll be left to receive a barrage of bullets. I also felt that the buttons were slightly too large, smaller ones could mean that there would be enough space to mount four buttons underneath the controller – two each side. It would certainly solve my problem of not being able to decide between having the X or A button mapped.
The buttons are perfectly positioned and sat naturally under my fingers as I held the controller normally, some other companies that offer a custom button setup have their buttons set so that you have to alter the way you hold the controller but the domin8ors are positioned perfectly so that you don’t need to adjust your grip, you just need to remember that they are there.
The custom face buttons look great, I’ve gamed long enough to know which button is the A,X,Y and B so the black look really finished off the overall feel of the design – I did find that the X button wasn’t quite as responsive as the stock buttons, firm presses always got a response but if you don’t press the X button all the way down you will get no response from it.
Overall I’m really impressed with the craftsmanship of Controller Modz. The artwork is well finished and the domin8or buttons are superbly fabricated onto the controller – I’m already eyeing up my next Controller Modz purchase, green metallic gloss with black thumbsticks and buttons with the A and B buttons as the domin8or setup.