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New HyperX Clutch Gladiate controller feels stuck in the past

Crystal clear controllers can still look great, but the HyperX Clutch Gladiate feels lost in time compared to some modern alternatives.

HyperX Clutch Gladiate

If you need a new PC controller, the HyperX Clutch Gladiate is a great cheap option that also happens to be licensed for use on Xbox consoles. However, between the crystal clear casing, RGB lighting, and lack of Hall Effect thumbsticks, we can’t help but feel it’s arrived a few years too late and will struggle to make an impact in the current market.

Some of the best PC controllers are ones that get the simple features right. We don’t doubt that the HyperX Clutch Gladiate will function and have longevity, but its $44.99 price point leaves it open to comparisons to more feature-complete competitors who only charge a fraction more, or in some cases, less.

A substantial sticking point for the HyperX Clutch Gladiate is the lack of Hall Effect joysticks. This new technology is fast becoming the new standard, as it uses magnets and electrical conductors to measure each joystick’s position, rather than the electrical resistance used by all other controllers. The huge benefit to Hall Effect joysticks is that it all but eliminates the risk of stick drift, a common issue for controllers on all platforms.

Beyond this, the general suite of features is, questionable. Rumble motors, trigger locks, a 3.5mm jack, and a share button are all staples of most Xbox licensed controllers, and it’s wired, so what exactly makes the HyperX Clutch Gladius worth buying compared to its Hall Effect brethren?

Well, if you really enjoy transparent shells and seeing the insides of your controller and how they work, the Clutch Gladius is right for you. RGB lighting in a clear controller tends to lose its touch quite early on, feeling a bit redundant and sometimes weak when compared to more subtle lighting on a controller with just a few focal points.

Regardless, the HyperX Clutch Gladius feels like a controller that’s late to the market. It probably has a target customer and will sell well as a holiday gift, but we would perhaps suggest looking elsewhere if you’re after something to tackle the best PC games in 2023.

If you’re in the market for a new controller and are awaiting the holiday sales, check out our Black Friday PC gaming hub to stay up to date with the latest deals.