I've reviewed a few premium controllers over the last several months, like the Razer Raiju Ultimate and SCUF Vantage, and I even reviewed a budget-friendly option perfect for children, so I like to think I have my bases covered when it comes to what to look for in a controller. When I first saw the Game:Pad 4S, I was skeptical because of its angular grips and what I felt was an odd design, but I decided to wait until I gave it a try for myself before I fully judged it. As it turns out, my initial skepticism was warranted.
Don't buy this controller.
- A few colors to choose from
- Angular grips
- Plastic feels chintzy
- Doesn't offer anything a DualShock doesn't
- Home button light is weirdly bright
Game:Pad 4S What I like
There's not a lot good I can say about the Game:Pad. It's a functional controller, and it's inexpensive compared to most other controllers. That's the bare minimum you can ask, and it hits that bar. It's also wireless, which is a plus. The previous Game:Pad model was wired-only, so this is at least a step in the right direction.
Game:Pad 4S What I don't like
I can respect companies making peripherals to fill a gap in the market or rectify a problem found in first-party hardware, but I don't know who the Game:Pad 4S is for. It offers nothing that a normal DualShock 4 doesn't. Even if it was just trying to change up the form factor for people who aren't keen on the DualShock, it failed. The Game:Pad 4S feels worse to hold due to the most bizarre design decision to make the grips angular on the front.
While the cheaper price may be a selling point initially, it's actually not that much less than what you can get a regular DualShock 4 for. DualShock 4's are regularly discounted for $30 to $50 on Amazon depending on which color you get. It's well worth the extra money to pick up a DualShock instead of a Game:Pad 4S, which sports a worse design and doesn't even have the light bar.
Speaking of light, the home button lights up in a way that is irritatingly blinding when held at the right (wrong?) angle. I'm someone who's always moving my controller when I play games. I can't just keep it perfectly still, and because of this, I'd get a quick flash in my eye every now and then that was distracting.
This is mostly superficial and nothing to get worked up about, but the face buttons also have the shapes spelled out on them. Instead of a triangle symbol, the button literally says "Triangle." It's just weird. And there's nothing special about the buttons' responsiveness, pressure feedback, or materials.
Should you buy the Game:Pad 4S? No
It's a fine controller if you're looking for something cheap that a little sibling or children can use so you aren't worried about them breaking your DualShock 4. But that's probably the best I can say. There's no other reason to get this over a DualShock 4 unless you truly can't part with the extra $10 or so.
2 out of 5
This is something that's just going to end up collecting dust in one of my drawers. I really do appreciate companies thinking outside of the box and trying to offer alternatives to first-party accessories. The Game:Pad 4S just isn't a good, or even necessary, alternative.
Skip out on this one.
You're better off getting a DualShock 4 controller. The Game:Pad 4S works in a pinch if you need an extra controller, but there's no reason to get it over another brand.
Jennifer Locke has been playing video games nearly her entire life. You can find her posting pictures of her dog and obsessing over PlayStation and Xbox, Star Wars, and other geeky things.