By Jim Jones
* At GTT, we only enter affiliate partnerships with brands that have earned #1 spots in our articles fair and square. AimControllers graciously sent us a controller to review after months of our staff being big fans of their other controllers. We are proud to be sharing our affiliate code with you soon!
10. Pro – Design Options
Aside from the build quality, the other major upside to going with an AimController is the number of possible design options. The shell designs and patterns are crisp and gorgeous, and the colors are crazy vibrant. You can customize the look of just about any part of the controller that you can see, and even a few you can’t!
There are the aesthetic and then there are the control design options as well. You can change the color, material, and even the brand style. You can pick smart bumpers and smart triggers that enable much quicker action execution, and you can even add 4 more buttons controlled by intuitive paddles on the back. There are even options to have a text of your choosing printed across the grip or lightbar.
9. Con – Mismatched Colors
This is a con, but it really isn’t a huge end of the world issue. When we built our controller, we opted for the blue analog sticks and blue share & options buttons as well. The problem is, when we received our controller, the sticks were a deeper blue than the share & options buttons, which were a noticeably lighter blue.
We made sure that the shade we selected was the same for each item on the website, and there is only one non-metallic shade of blue to pick. The upside to this is that it looks like it wasn’t a mistake they made with our build, just a natural variance in how the plastic button material looks in that color compared to the more rubbery-feeling analog sticks.
This was worth mentioning because if you aren’t aware of the color variance, it has the potential to be an incredibly disappointing discovery.
8. Pro – Paddles
These paddles are one of our absolute favorite features, to be honest. They are plastic paddles that attach to the back of the controller and activate 4 additional buttons. These buttons are the four action buttons by default, but if you choose the remappable option (which we cannot overhype or recommend highly enough) you can map those paddles to any button on the controller.
This is perfect for not only speed since sometimes the controls are just not convenient no matter how hard the developers try. Plus, it comes with 4 paddles by default. The buttons themselves are just about perfect. They are solid and activate positively, with an audible click.
7. Pro – Remappable Paddles Ease of Use
The ability to remap the paddles takes your control dexterity to an entirely new level. In many games, there are different control profiles that you can choose from, but sometimes that isn’t enough. Maybe you need easier or quicker access to buttons, or maybe you just like the added functionality. This function can be life-changing if you have dexterity issues in one or both hands since it can minimize movement. Any way you slice it, these paddles are ridiculously useful.
To remap any of the four paddle buttons:
- – First, make sure your controller is plugged into your PS4/5 or your PC.
- – Now, press and hold the touchpad for 5 seconds to enable the remapping mode, you’ll know it’s active by the slow LED pulse, release the touchpad.
- – Then, press the button that you would like to remap, and the LED will blink, and click the paddle that you would like to operate that button.
- – If you want to remap more, you can choose another button and paddle.
- – When you’re finished, hit the touchpad and you’re good to go.
Once you go through it a time or two, you’ll be able to do it on the fly without looking. Any of the controller buttons can be remapped, except analog stick movement, share & option buttons, and the touchpad.
6. Pro – Thumbsticks
The thumbsticks on your AimController are made to be perfectly customizable to your needs. Not only can you get either Sony or Microsoft style thumbsticks regardless of the controller you have, but they are available in different heights, and are quickly swappable. This is a dream come true if you have ever felt like just a little difference in the height of your analog sticks was needed.
Depending on what game you are playing, you may find yourself wanting a lower stick that you can keep more easily controlled, or you may want a taller stick with a lot more movement in it. Sometimes, you may even have the need for two different heights. With the swappable thumbsticks on AimControllers, you can swap both thumbsticks out for different ones in a few seconds. This gives you unbeatable adaptability.
5. Pro – Smart Bumpers/Triggers
For anyone serious about leading the pack in first-person shooter games, or FPS, you cannot ignore the benefits of the Smart Bumpers and Smart Triggers on your custom AimController. They solve a major issue with timing when compared to original controllers. The Smart Bumpers and Smart Triggers replace the original bumper buttons and shoulder trigger buttons and replace them with buttons that reduce the travel of the button down to just 1mm.
The large amount of movement in the original buttons needs crucial time to get through before the button activates. By reducing this travel to such a tiny motion, you can activate the Smart Bumpers and Smart Triggers almost the instant you touch them. This time savings can be the difference between being the one to shoot, and the one being shot.
4. Pro – Build/Shipping Time
AimControllers is definitely getting better and more streamlined in their build and ship process. While previous iterations of their custom controllers could take about a month to be completed and shipped out. We received our controller in a really impressive two weeks. This is a solid improvement over their historical 3-4 week arrival time, and over competitors who are still running just under a month from click to door.
All things considered, we are extremely happy with the build and shipping time. They use official controllers, building and modding them solidly enough that they can offer a lifetime warranty, so in our opinion, taking about two weeks is an extraordinary turnaround. You can only appreciate the build quality to its full extent when you hold one and put it through its paces.
These controllers are built solidly, every button, every drop of paint, and every detail. When you first pick up the controller, you know it’s good. It feels like a real controller, not a cheap knockoff, which is immediately comforting knowing their cost. That feeling only gets better when you use it.
The tension in the analog sticks is perfect, there is no slop. The buttons are robust, they feel like normal buttons and always activate solidly. The paddles on the back are low profile and offer a positive haptic click on the easily triggered buttons. You can feel just how well the controller is going to perform, and the lifetime warranty only backs that performance up.
3. Con – Cost
You had to know we would get here eventually. The cost. We are going to come right out and say it, this baby is not cheap. But the other side of that coin is that not only is it not nearly the most expensive custom controller out there, it absolutely is one of the more solidly built ones.
The cost of our build with pretty much everything was just shy of $250. There is no way around it, this is pretty expensive. However, this custom controller is less expensive than the competition, and it is orders of magnitude more robust. If you need to shave off a few bucks, you are not alone. There are a few ways to do that.
Primarily, you can carve out a large chunk of that price by sending in your own controller to be customized. While this does save you $70-$80 right off the top, they do stipulate that you can only send in an original Sony or Microsoft controller. They will not mod cheap Amazon or Walmart controllers.
Another option for the budget-conscious is to trim out the eye-candy and focus on function over form. Skip the aesthetics, fancy paint, and crazy colors, and get what we consider the essential game-changing features. Start with the minimum of remappable paddles, Smart Bumpers, and Smart Triggers, and see where your budget lets you wander from there. Those are not only the best operational features that AimControllers has available, but they are also all covered by the lifetime warranty.
2. Pro- Lifetime Warranty
This is probably one of the biggest positive points of the custom offerings from AimControllers. Most other controllers, custom or otherwise, max out their warranties at about 6 months. AimControllers offers a lifetime warranty for all of its custom builds. This covers nearly everything you might need to worry about with your new controller.
The lifetime warranty is fairly comprehensive, but the buyer must activate it within the first 90 days. The warranty covers all of the buttons, paint, Smart Bumpers, Smart Triggers, and paddles. When you contact them to arrange for warranty repair, you will need to pay the shipping to them, but they will ship it back to you on their dime, and reimburse the original repair shipping if it was indeed a covered repair.
1. Pro – Overall Functionality
So, this is what it all boils down to, really. How does it actually perform in a gamer’s hands, over time? Well, we actually couldn’t be happier, to tell the truth. From the moment we got it, we were incredibly impressed at the overall quality and functionality. It feels solid in your hands, it feels solid when you start playing with it, and it still feels solid after a month of playing hard.
The paint still looks great, there’s no fading, chipping, cracking, peeling. Nothing like that. All of the directional buttons still have a great feel to them, as do the action buttons. Before finalizing our build, we were initially worried about how the “non-original” buttons would feel, but honestly, they feel exquisite.
The analog sticks were another thing that was either going to be a big win or a painful loss, and they are a home run. They have what in our opinion is even better tension and control than original equipment, and they are just buttery smooth in-game. The ability to change them quickly is unique, and handy. The Smart Bumpers and Smart Triggers are still working perfectly, as are the paddles. The buttons just as responsive as when we first received it.
All things considered; this is hands-down one of the best companies for custom controller builds. Even with the cons that we found, and we had to think hard about those, they still weren’t anywhere near being deal-breakers. Given the build time, the resulting quality, and the robust performance, we feel the price is more than fair, particularly when stacked against some of the competition. In fact, with the lifetime warranty taken into consideration, your custom build from AimControllers might just be your new favorite.