Remember the original Nintendo (NES) controllers? They were simple and basked in the spotlight in all their 2-button glory. I recall playing Rygar, Zelda, Tecmo Bowl, Ninja Turtles, Battletoads, and Track and Field for hours with those two buttons. My thumbs were red, sore, and to the point of blistering. Those were the glory days.
Controllers have come a long way since the 80’s. The newest (not to mention most expensive) have buttons everywhere and great ergonomic fit. When a device misses on the ergonomic design, it tends to fall by the wayside. The old NES pads literally made my hands hurt given enough use due to their rectangular design. Now, companies have this all figured out. HexGaming included. Their latest Xbox Series X (or PC) controllers are a fierce competitor with the Elite Series 2 by Microsoft.
Unboxing the Hexgaming Ultra X (with adjustable triggers and rubberized grip faceplate) isn’t anything exciting. The box is fairly plain and the internal placement within the box is simple and straightforward. I’m not greeted with a sophisticated internal boxed plan. It’s just there and – well – boring. This doesn’t necessarily bother me as I’m not one to be overly excited about unboxing.
That being said, this is an expensive product, and I feel more could go into getting users excited about what they are about to put their hands on. Extra thumb sticks are tucked in a simple plastic container, and if it weren’t for going back to check where they were, I nearly throw them away. Thankfully, Hex nails the things that matter in its customization options and gameplay.
Okay the packaging kind of sucks. Who cares? The hardware itself is legit. I place batteries in it and immediately test the variety of thumb stick options through swapping. It is so easy to pop off a thumb stick and switch to one that suits my style of play in a specific game.
I end up preferring Concave Long thumbsticks for my Rocket League domination (or attempted domination). The Ultra X comes with 8 different thumbstick options (2 Concave Regular, 2 Concave Widened Long, 2 Domed Long, 1 Concave Widened Regular, and 1 Domed regular). I don’t change them much, but I find it wonderfully refreshing to have options. I initially don’t think I’ll care, but I find the more I use a variety, the more it matters in gameplay for my style and game choice. This is only the beginning of the customization HexGaming includes with the Ultra X.
My favorite option for is hands down the option to remap paddles in 6 different profiles. Yes, like the Elite Series, the Ultra X has paddles (4 buttons on the back). The difference though is the Ultra X paddles are part of the device itself. I can, however, remap buttons right on the device – no software needed. Instructions on how to do this are included, and I use them once or twice before I have the process memorized. This means I can reprogram each paddle button to a different action in 6 different profiles.
Each profile is indicated by a different color LED on the back so I easily know which profile I am using. A quick double click on the indicator light button instantly switches to a new profile. Competitive gamers will love this amazing feature.
I also love the option to change my trigger button to a “mouse-click”. It has switches next to each trigger that allow me to lock the trigger into place. This turns either trigger into an effective button as opposed to a touch sensitive press. This is great for shooters as it shoots faster and takes less effort. Gameplay has never been easier with this option at my fingertips.
Games are a blast with all of these features. I have so many options at my disposal in games like Apex. I’m still researching the best paddle configuration for building in Fortnite. The moment the Ultra X connects to my Xbox (or PC) I feel in full control. Response times are dead on, and frankly I often prefer it to Microsoft’s defaults. The rubber grip addition prevents my hands from slipping and it feels like it is made just for my hands.
PC gaming feels no different – all of the customization options work wonderfully, and I highly recommend HexGaming for device replacements in the future – particularly for the awesome design options they have. The gameplay is equally responsive, and games are a true delight with the addition of paddles.
Remember the rectangular NES controller? Recall my sore thumbs? The way I tend to hold the HexGaming Ultra X, I end up with indentations on my hands where the trigger adjustable trigger mechanism (or switch) sets. My fingers tend to rest on top of them and my hand becomes raw on the inside of my middle fingers.
I can’t stand it. It bothers me to the point where I think I may need to adjust how I hold this otherwise fantastic piece of hardware. This does not happen to my kids though. My 14-year-old son takes the Hex Ultra X every time we game – no issues with pain or ergonomics for him. The feature is awesome, I just hope they move the switches on future iterations (or at least round off the housing).
The HexGaming Ultra X is a fantastic option for Esports gamers and casual gamers who want more customization options. Honestly, it’s a bit pricey for what I get, and I would only purchase for my kids. The pain it causes on my hands (and wallet) is just too great. The Ultra X will set you back about $249. I’m just not that hardcore anymore. PS5 fans also have multiple options to choose from.
There are some awesome designs to be seen and purchased. If you have the money to spend, I’d at least consider this one before handing your cash to Microsoft for the Elite Series 2. The Microsoft Elite Series 2 Core may save you some money though. If you are okay with a wired option, the Turtle Beach Recon offers up some great features as well (See my review of it here).
Note: Our reviews are always 100% independent, but Gearadical receives a small affiliate amount if you purchase the product on Amazon.