At Apple, both publishers and you, the readers, have often complained that games adapted for touch screens don’t have the same gameplay because they don’t have physical controllers. Maybe with the Steelseries Free wireless game controller, compatible with iOS and MacWindows (and Android) all this will change. Plus, there’s a built-in carrying pouch and a USB-to-micro-USB cable for recharging, as well as a rechargeable battery.
Steelseries Free, the good perfume is sold in small bottles
If you think it’s similar in size to traditional console controllers, you’re in for a surprise with the following photos I’m showing you. It’s really small, smaller than a mobile phone . In spite of its size (small but bully), we find two triggers, a crosshead on the left side, two selection buttons, four buttons on the right side and two symmetrical analogical controls.
On its front it has a micro-USB connector for recharging, and by doing so we will obtain between 10 and 20 hours of battery life set . On its lower part it has some non-slip rubber pads and, despite being all plastic, the truth is that it has a fairly pleasant feel and good construction.
The control connects via Bluetooth to the devices on which it will be used, with the particularity that saves two different configurations, one for computers and another for mobile devices . When saving two configurations, we can switch between them by pressing the two buttons “A” and “B” at the same time when it is off. Or turn it on by pressing the “A” button. Pairing is quite simple, and on both the iPad and the Mac I didn’t need to enter any keys to Bluetooth link the controller.
User comfort and games of the Steelseries Free
It has been curious to see the reaction of several people who have seen it and tried it. The first is to think that it is small, too small to be a video game controller. The second is to ask if it will be comfortable. Both for my hands and for smaller hands, I have to say that is very comfortable . The trick is to wrap it with our index fingers, which leaves them perfectly aligned with the huge (compared to the rest of the buttons) triggers on the front, ready to use. It also has minimal anatomical recesses next to the analog controls, which make it easy to grip and quite comfortable.
As for its playability, I can tell you that it achieves a very good grade. It is f easy to use, has a pretty good response , the analog controls work very well and offers all the tactile response needed to enjoy the games.
As a command for iOS to tell you that it makes all the sense in the world . It’s lightweight, small and portable, has a fairly good battery life and is compatible with the iCade-ready game catalog, which has become the de facto standard for iOS controllers. However, the ability to map the buttons in the chosen game is missed, which I don’t think is as much the fault of the controller as it is of the games themselves.
Steelseries Free compatible games
As I said before, we have the list of supported games for iOS on the Steelseries page. You’ll find a good list of titles, although there are probably more programs that are compatible. After all, it’s iCade compatible. If it were possible to assign the buttons to the different games, it would be a great product.
The Steelseries Free surprised me a lot. Firstly because of its small size, and also because it is so comfortable and works really well. We won’t mind taking it with us and enjoying games that are compatible with it on the iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. And we can also use it on OS X or Windows, or on an Android device. The price of the Steelseries Free is 72 euros , which is a bit high for a games controller but as it has a rechargeable battery and is compatible with iOS, Android, Windows and OS X it may be worth the financial effort. However, there is no way to assign the buttons to the different games. If you have a jailbreak, you can always pull Blutrol to assign keys to the screen of your device, which will make any game compatible with the Steelseries Free.
We thank 4frags for lending us a Steelseries Free for review at Apple.