RiotPWR Xbox Edition review: A dated Game Pass companion

a riotpwr xbox edition controller plays forza horizon 5 via a phone.

RiotPWR Xbox Edition

MSRP $69.99

“RiorPWR Xbox Edition is a well-made cloud gaming controller, but one that’s outclassed by the competition.”

Pros

  • Great Game Pass companion

  • Solid build quality

  • Flexible mount

  • Handy share button

Cons

  • Dated design

  • Awkward menu buttons

  • Strange cable dynamic

The RiotPWR Xbox Edition controller is a great cloud gaming solution that you probably shouldn’t buy. On paper, it’s a perfect companion for Xbox Game Pass subscribers who want to turn their phones into a portable cloud console. It’s an all-around strong mobile gaming device anchored by a sturdy, aesthetically pleasing controller. If it were still 2020, it would be the best cloud gaming device on the market.

However, it’s 2022 and that market has changed rapidly in just two years. After a few years of companies experimenting with flimsy controller clips and overly complicated phone contraptions, attachable gamepads like the Backbone and Razer Kishi have found the perfect formula for turning your phone into a handheld console. It’s hard to go back to the old ways, even if RiotPWR makes an incredibly strong case for its admittedly dated approach.

If you want to use a familiar controller for your cloud gaming experience, the RiotPWR Xbox Edition is a well-thought-out option that perfectly pairs with the Xbox Game Pass app. Its design quirks and price tag make it a tough sell, though, considering how stiff the competition currently is.

Game Pass ready

Rather than creating phone clips or controller attachments, RiotPWR creates all-in-one products that turn a phone into a portable console. Their products come with a custom controller and a built-in clip that different devices — from phones to tablets (sort of) — can easily snap into. The Xbox Edition is the most appealing product in the line yet though, as it duplicates the design of a traditional Xbox Wireless Controller.

It’s hard to shake the feeling that the company’s core design philosophy is a little dated by today’s standards.

In a vacuum, it’s a slam dunk. If you use the Game Pass mobile app for cloud streaming, it’s about the best piece of portable tech you could hope for. The dedicated Xbox button layout means that you can easily play games from the platform without having to remap a more generic gamepad layout. Something as simple as having an Xbox-branded home button negates the “workaround” feel of a lot of cloud gaming devices, including some of RiotPWR’s own controllers (the tradeoff is that you might end up feeling a little confused if you try to use it with, say, PSPlus).

As part of my testing, I went back and forth with playing some games on my Xbox Series X and then switching to portable play with the RiotPWR. The transition was seamless. I was able to load up my save files and adapt to on-the-go play with no friction since I was using virtually the same layout. I’d just have to account for the extra weight that a device like this brings when it’s weighed down by a phone, but that’s expected.

a riotpwr xbox edition controller plays powerwash simulator via a phone.

The value of the device gets cloudier the more you put it in context. At $70, the RiotPWR is pricier than a regular Xbox controller. If you already own an Xbox, you could just as easily buy a $20 or $30 clip (like the Xbox-ready one Otterbox offers) and build the same product for less money. It’s more of a value if you don’t own an Xbox controller at all, but not by much.

The biggest challenge, however, is that the RiotPWR is competing against the Backbone and Razer Kishi V2. Both attachments are positively graceful, turning your phone into a