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PowerA Advantage wired controller with Lumectra review

PowerA and licenced game controllers go hand-in-hand, but frustrating RGB controls prevent the Advantage from being a perfect peripheral.

Photo of the PowerA Advantage wired controller with Lumectra.

Our Verdict

The PowerA Advantage wired controller with Lumectra takes inspiration from the official Xbox Series S/X controllers, to create a great feeling wired experience. Its textured grip, and familiar design, could make it one of the better budget controllers out there for the price. Yet its prospects of being one of the best budget controllers are overshadowed by its frustrating, and difficult-to-customize RGB lighting zones.

The PowerA Advantage wired controller with Lumectra is a stark reminder of how far we’ve come since the days of cheap-feeling, third-party licensed game controllers. While the flimsy pieces of plastic, riddled with more turbo controls than you could shake a stick at were a great budget alternative to the official controllers of consoles and PCs of the past, the PowerA Advantage wired controller takes things up a notch. It’s a flashy alternative for those looking to add a bit more illumination to their PC gaming setup.

You will always be at the mercy of a wire, as the PowerA Advantage isn’t available in a wireless model. However, if you’re okay with a 10ft type-C cable slithering around your desk, and can see past the initially confusing-to-customize RGBs, you’re unlikely to find a similar quality controller to the PowerA Advantage in its price range. That’s enough to make this at least a contender for our best PC controller guide.

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  • Comfortable to hold
  • Customizable back buttons
  • Adaptable triggers
  • RGB lighting


  • RGB difficult to customize
  • Wired only
  • Heavy
  • Limited colorways

PowerA Advantage wired controller with Lumectra Specs

Connection Wired, 10ft USB Type-C cable, 3.5mm headphone jack
Platform Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Windows 10/11
Lighting Multi-zone RGB customizable lighting with 4 lighting zones and 3 lighting modes
Weight 365.14 Grams
Dimensions 15.6 x 10.7 x 6.5 cm

PowerA Advantage wired controller with Lumectra Design

Photo of the PowerA Advantage wired controller with Lumectra.

The PowerA Advantage wired controller with Lumectra uses that now iconic Xbox design and layout. With its comfortable and ergonomic shape, there’s no wonder why, after multiple generations of Microsoft hardware have passed, the design of the Xbox controller hasn’t changed much at all. It’s also why licensed controllers like the PowerA Advantage don’t bother to veer too far off the beaten path when it comes to their designs.

Like its Xbox X/S controller brethren, the usual suspects found on a typical modern Xbox controller are all present – the D-pad, action buttons, joysticks, and triggers are all accounted for, including the clickable Xbox logo, and three social Xbox buttons that surround it. Where the PowerA Advantage differs is through its additional three-way trigger buttons, two mappable back buttons, and its vivid RGB lighting zones.

The edge of the front of the controller and around the action buttons, two joysticks, and the d-pad, are all illuminated by RGB lighting. This lighting is separated into zones, all of which can be customized through the use of accompanying software or via the three buttons on the back of the controller.

This controller uses a USB Type-C port on its top edge that should allow you to use most alternative USB-C cables, although the socket is quite deep (to protect the end of the cable itself) so some cables with thicker plugs might not fit. Regardless, it ships with a cable that should be long enough for most users. There’s also a 3.5mm jack output on the bottom edge for plugging in your wired headset.

PowerA Advantage wired controller with Lumectra Features

Photo of the PowerA Advantage wired controller with Lumectra.

Typically, PowerA reserves the back of its licensed controllers for programmable buttons, and while there are two mappable back buttons, three buttons marked with ‘MAP AGB’, ‘INT LED’, and ‘EXT LED’ take center stage on the rear. These three buttons allow customization of the RGB lighting across the various lighting zones detailed earlier.

By default, the RGB lighting glows green, matching the iconic branding of the Xbox line of consoles, and its vivid and bright aura is enough to light up even the dimmest of PC gaming setups. Holding the center button, and the ‘RB’ trigger, will allow you to cycle through static colours, but more impressively, this lighting is broken up into zones, which allow you to more closely customize the effect of these intense RGBs.

Photo of the PowerA Advantage wired controller with Lumectra.

This controller can be bought with a PowerA branded RGB LED strip. This RGB strip, which can also be bought separately, can be customized with the controller’s built-in IR transmitter to match the chosen lighting of your controller and create a more immersive experience. Or match the aesthetics of your PC gaming setup (where mine is concerned, the more pink and cozy the aesthetic, the better).

Found on the back are also the 3-way trigger locks, which are little sliders on either side of the RGB buttons. These allow the trigger buttons to sit in three varying positions for a shorter or longer trigger pull. The shorter options are handy for first-person shooters like Counter-Strike 2 or as extra buttons for fighting games, for instance. If you need even more immersion in your gameplay experiences, the PowerA Advantage also makes use of a dual rumble motor. Whether you’re blasting through zombies in a nostalgic Left 4 Dead session on Steam, or crawling up the CS2 leaderboard, the rumble churns out tactical feedback to make every action feel just as significant as it looks and sounds.

PowerA Advantage wired controller with Lumectra Performance and Software

Screenshot of the PowerA Gamer HQ software.

The PowerA Advantage wired controller should be an easy PC controller to love, as it sticks to that typical Xbox X/S Series controller design. It’s comfortable to hold, especially due to its textured grip found all over the all-black design, and every button is easily accessible, from the left joystick to the action buttons.

I have fairly long fingers, which came in handy for years of playing the violin but can sometimes feel awkward when getting used to different game controllers. However, using the PowerA Advantage felt instantly familiar. My go-to PC controller before trying out this one to review was the PowerA – Star Wars: The Force Awakens X-Wing wired controller. With that in mind, I already assumed that my fingers wouldn’t feel stiffened by the shape or layout of the Advantage, but where I was right about how comfortable it was to hold, I was surprised at how awkward and frustrating customizing the main gimmick of the Advantage controller was: the lighting.

When you’re using the controller in actual games – and not just to make your gaming space look like a 90s school disco – it’s fine. But, using the controller to customize its own RGB lighting, is so frustrating that it overshadows a lot of the generally great features about the controller.

The lighting is impressive with its vividity and changing the static color of the controller is fairly simple, but beyond that it’s a struggle. For the former, you hold the middle RGB button on the back, and press the RG right trigger, with each press changing the color at a time. For changing the zones, though, it’s far more complicated. You have to hold down the same button, select each zone with the d-pad, and then use the action buttons to pick a color. Regularly, I found myself at odds with the controller, feeling like I had to re-read the manual extensively to figure out how to get the most out of the RGB zone feature.

Photo of the PowerA Advantage wired controller with Lumectra.

Thankfully, the buttons feel satisfying to click, just as on any Xbox Series S/X controller, and the three-way trigger locks were a nice touch too. Although these days I feel spoiled with the haptic feedback and adaptive triggers of the PlayStation 5 DualSense, the locks, and the dual-motor rumble, give the controller enough variety to set it above cheaper, budget controllers.

What’s more, the accompanying software, ‘PowerA Gamer HQ’, received an update throughout the process of writing this review, which rectified the initially frustrating customizing experience. Before the update, all the software would let me do was test out the rumble, and audio through the headphone port, and calibrate the buttons. Now I have access to customize the RGB zones through Gamer HQ. It’s just a shame the software is also rather slow to load.

While PowerA did rectify the main issue of this controller, having one of the main features be such a middling experience was a shame. I have such a surplus of PowerA controllers, that I even have some of their licenced ones on display, presented alongside merch from the media the IP design is from. The PowerA Advantage wired controller with Lumectra won’t be joining them any time soon unless I’m ever in the mindset to create a shrine dedicated to some of the most frustrating peripheral experiences I’ve had to date.

Should you buy the PowerA Advantage wired controller with Lumectra?

The PowerA Advantage wired controller with Lumectra is available for $44.99/£34.99, and comes in both black and white models, directly from the PowerA website. You can also purchase a bundle for $54.99, which comes with the RGB lighting strip if you’re looking to light up your PC gaming setup even further.

If you aren’t bothered by the lack of a wireless model, the PowerA Advantage wired controller with Lumectra is a solid budget way to introduce even more RGB into your gaming setup. Yet, while the Advantage controller has all the quality you can rely on when it comes to Xbox controllers, its incredibly frustrating and awkward method of customization, means you’ll need to rely on the accompanying software to fully enjoy its illuminating endeavors.

PowerA Advantage wired controller with Lumectra Alternatives

If you’ve got enough flashy peripherals on your desk that you could host your own light show, the Fusion Pro 3 Wired controller for Xbox is also PC compatible. The fellow PowerA controller is also officially licensed and swaps the fantastical lighting for interchangeable thumbsticks.

Being at the mercy of a wire isn’t always fun, so you can’t go wrong with the Xbox wireless controller. It’s as officially licensed as they come, and being from Microsoft it’s natively compatible with Windows 11, although you will have to give up the RGB lighting for a more plain design.