Every new console generation comes with lots of new accessories, the controller being perhaps the most important. We’ve covered the pros and cons of buying aftermarket controllers before, and even reviewed a custom controller for the Xbox One. Microsoft is even getting into the modded controller world with the announcement of its Elite model.
If you’ve never dived into the world of customizing your game hardware, it can seem overwhelming. For those ready to go beyond what’s in the box, here are some websites where you can make a special controller just how you like it.
Evil Controllers, probably one of the most well-known in the modding world, is a great first stop when shopping for your special controller. Your first option is to start with a stock controller for the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, or PS4, and then customize it to your heart’s desire. Colors, splattered paint, and graphics/text can be added on the outside, and if you don’t like the face buttons or control sticks as they come, you can overhaul those, too.
When I was all done creating a controller as I would have liked it, the price was $212 (without a warranty or any extras), which might be too expensive for some tastes. Obviously, the more options you add, the more pricey the customization. If you’d rather forgo the design phase and just grab a pre-made model, Evil has those on offer, too.
Evil’s Master Mod is compatible with most popular shooters and gives you advantages like Rapid Fire, Fast Reload, and Auto Run. Of course, using these features is pretty much breaking the rules, so it’s up to you whether you want to cheat and risk getting an offense on your account. Overall, Evil has tons of options, but be prepared to pay a high price. A PS4 controller with a custom shell and the Master Mod was $160 at the time of writing, almost three times the retail price for a standard controller. Whether the price is worth the tactical advantage is up to you.
Next up is Controller Chaos, which offers more variety than Evil. Controllers for the big four systems are available, as well as Wii U Pro controllers, a perfect gift for the Wii U owner in your life!
Interestingly, you can also purchase a custom NES controller from this site. You could always use emulation to experience the NES classics, but if you’re still rocking an actual system – perhaps to play insane homebrew cartridges – this could be just the thing to spice up your Nintendo.
Just like Evil, you can choose from pre-made custom controllers. Many of them are themed, such as the Superman PS4 controller ($90). The DIY crowd will find more here to love; you can add a custom color for your PS4 touchpad, LED light, or the start/select buttons on your Xbox One controller. Those who go back and forth between mods frequently will appreciate being able to add on a dedicated button for mods, and you can choose which mods to include or just add them all for a lump sum.
On this site, a few color and button customizations along with all the mods and a dedicated button came to $200; a bit cheaper than Evil but still not exactly budget-friendly. If you’re trying to keep costs down, it’s probably a good idea to load up on either cosmetic additions or mods, but not both.
Overall, Controller Chaos is perfect for those who want more control than Evil offers, and should be a stop on your journey for the perfect controller.
The previous two vendors offer a lot of customization and useful mods, but don’t stray much from the original controller models. SCUF goes beyond that and is perfect for players who aren’t satisfied with the way their current controller feels.
The core part of what makes SCUF controllers more advanced are the two paddles on the backside, arguably where Microsoft received its inspiration for its own Elite controller. They act as additional buttons, and each can be set to perform the same action as one of the face buttons. As your hands are always wrapped around the back of the controller, this allows you to perform actions in-game with increased reaction time and less strain on your hands.
You can imagine the benefits: when you’re playing Halo or Call of Duty, setting a back paddle to the melee button means you can knife your enemy in the blink of an eye, instead of having to take your thumb off the stick and hit the right button.
The paddles aren’t the only benefits of SCUF controllers; they use higher-grade thumbsticks that can be swapped out for different games, as well as more comfortable grips to keep your controller from slipping around during play. Trigger extenders allow those with bigger hands to reach up comfortably, and if you like fighting games, you can place a rubber disc over the D-pad for more surface area.
When I completed my example controller from SCUF, the price was about $152, much more reasonable than either of the previous two sites, and with arguably more features. This included the two paddles, grips at no charge, and custom thumbsticks, plus an electric blue look.
Overall, SCUF seems to be the best option for serious gamers who want a controller that’s tailored to their style of play. It’s a much better value to pay $10 for trigger extenders than $10 or $20 for a paint splatter on your controller. SCUF doesn’t have mods per se, but advanced players likely won’t be looking to cheat with rapid fire and other exploits like that.
Get a Grip
There’s no right or wrong choice here; a custom controller by definition should be exactly what you want, and if you’re going to spend a considerable amount of money your new toy should be just right. Those looking for mods should stick with Evil or Controller Chaos, and if you want the most cosmetic customization, Controller Chaos is probably the best route. However, I can’t help but reason that SCUF is easily the best value for the money from this list, especially for those looking to improve their game.
What’s your favorite site for modded controllers? Do you use a modded controller, or will you consider it after reading this article? Let us know what you’re thinking in the comments!