RiotPWR ESL offers iPhone gamers stable gallop-free performance

Exterior game controllers hang had a considerably storied historical previous in mobile gaming, and over the final few years, we’ve seen a wealth of latest alternatives as Apple has within the spoil chosen to seize gaming device more severely.

While the iPhone had continually been as worthy about gaming as anything else, within the early days, Apple took the considerably opinionated stance that the touchscreen needs to be more than ample for mobile gaming. It took four years before the principle Apple-authorized game controller seemed in 2012. Silent, even then, toughen for it changed into minimal and inconsistent, as developers needed to compose in that toughen for themselves, without a lend a hand from Apple.

About a Apple-certified game controllers followed within the years after that, however the belief that never truly took off due to the bigger stamp tags demanded by Apple’s Made-for-iPhone program. Happily, loads has changed within the previous few years. In 2019, Apple afraid the gaming industry with the announcement of native toughen for Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox controllers in iOS 13, and it’s been constructing on that momentum ever since.

Even if wi-fi game controllers are the most traditional decision at this time time, many serious gamers restful seize the easier reliability and lower latency offered by a wired connection. Right here is the save the RiotPWR ESL controller comes in.

Lightning-basically basically based gaming

Carrying a invent that will most likely be acquainted to any Xbox gamer, the RiotPWR ESL comes in each and every iPhone and Android configurations. I tested the iPhone version. It relies on a constructed-in Lightning cable to hyperlink up alongside with your iPhone. This lets you retain remote from the long-established Bluetooth pairing direction of — it’s prepared to transfer as rapidly as you coast it into your iPhone — and likewise you additionally obtained’t favor to fear about interference inflicting dropped connections or gallop. After all, there’s nothing worse in competitive gaming than having your controller conclude responding perfect as you’re about to procure that severe abolish shot.

Cherish many third-social gathering Lightning instruments, when you coast the RiotPWR ESL into your iPhone, you’ll be resulted in to debate with the App Retailer to set up a partner app. Nonetheless, on this case, you’ll be taken to a internet page that offers a decision of controller-pleasant video games, ranging from EA’s True Racing 3 to Sega’s Sonic The Hedgehog. It’s removed from a total checklist of video games with toughen for third-social gathering controllers, but it surely’s now not a wrong manner to procure started.

The invent

RiotPWR partnered with ESL (previously is referred to as Electronic Sports League) to invent this controller, and it reveals. As well to the eminent ESL trace on the iPhone mount, it’s embellished with the ESL’s signature inexperienced, yellow, and white coloration plot.

The RiotPWR ESL Game Controller with coiled Lightning cable and iPhone mount on a table.
Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

These colors obtained’t be each person’s cup of tea, but RiotPWR did a shiny component by inserting them basically out of watch so they obtained’t be a distraction during long-established gameplay. The tip of the controller is predominantly white, with murky for the buttons and the halt of the analog sticks. The eight-manner D-pad, the four triggers on the front, and the conceal for the iPhone mount gap are yellow, which additionally accents the shocking of the analog sticks. Inexperienced is reserved for the bottom.

The RiotPWR ESL entails a detachable iPhone mount, which suits into a slot perfect above the three menu buttons. This could well also be tilted from a pair of 30-stage, front-going by device of orientation your total manner spherical to the save the halt touches the rear of the controller. A yellow rubber flap keeps the slot closed when you seize to exercise the controller with out the iPhone mount.

Yellow-accented rubber grips abet an uncased iPhone securely with out fear of scratches or scuffs, and the spring-loaded bracket expands ample to tackle even the bulkiest iPhone cases. The RiotPWR ESL had no convey handling an Otterbox Defender or even Catalyst’s Waterproof Case in my testing. The more fundamental mission is that the Lightning connector could even merely be a tight slot in some cases, because it has a rather wider shocking than Apple’s celebrated Lightning cable.

The serve of the RiotPWR ESL parts a nondetachable two-foot Lightning cable, with a constructed-in hook-and-closure strap for coiling up the extra dimension — which you’ll practically surely favor to construct when the usage of it with the iPhone mount.

The cable dimension is a puny bit awkward. Even if the RiotPWR ESL could even merely even be broken-down with an iPad — as prolonged because it has a Lightning port — it’s a puny bit too quick for the usage of very with out problems. Nonetheless, it’s additionally for loads longer than it needs to be to be used with a controller-mounted iPhone. It’s easy ample to coil up the extra cable at the serve, but it surely feels a puny bit inelegant.

A close-up of the ports on front of The RiotPWR ESL game controller.
Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

There are additionally two ports on the front of the controller: Aa celebrated Lightning port for passthrough charging, plus a 3.5mm audio output for connecting a pickle of wired headphones — an awfully good contact for competitive gamers who need zero-latency audio.

Gameplay skills

What the RiotPWR ESL lacks in about a of its invent selections, it more than makes up for in total gameplay.

The tactile truly feel and heft of the RiotPWR ESL is incredibly resembling an in model Xbox One controller. Even when you’ll naturally favor to tackle a puny little bit of extra weight when you’re mounting an iPhone on high of it, the location of the stand makes it truly feel remarkably balanced and delighted to exercise, even during prolonged gameplay sessions.

A close-up of RiotPWR ESL iPhone game controller with the iPhone mount inserted.
Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

I set up aside the RiotPWR ESL by device of its paces in an assortment of video games all the device in which by device of a bunch of genres. These integrated Leo’s Fortune, Ms. Pac-Man, Sonic: The Hedgehog, Star Wars: Kotor, True Racing 3, Asphalt 9: Legends, PUBG Cellular, and Genshin Affect.

In all cases, the RiotPWR ESL met or exceeded my expectations. The ergonomics and the truly feel of the buttons had been highly responsive and relaxing. The steadiness of the controller additionally supposed that it will most likely even be very with out problems broken-down with accelerometer-basically basically based controls, equivalent to tilt-to-steer in True Racing 3, while restful the usage of the triggers for issues fancy acceleration and braking.

The few concerns I encountered had been more the fault of either iOS 15 or the video games I changed into the usage of, because the RiotPWR ESL wasn’t the handiest controller to be impacted by them. For instance, it took me a puny little bit of effort to procure some video games to gaze the controller, but I had the same difficulties with a SteelSeries Nimbus+ and Sony Dualshock 4.

Beyond the long-established game controls, the RiotPWR ESL has one other good trick that’s worth bringing up: A “portion” button to the left of the D-pad that lets you quick and with out convey seize a screenshot or cloak recording of your gameplay. By default, a single-press takes a screenshot while pressing and preserving it down begins or stops a cloak recording.

As with most game controllers, these could even merely even be customized or disabled below General > Sport controller to your iPhone’s Settings app. You perchance can additionally program the button to seize a video of the final 15 seconds of gameplay as an various.


While the RiotPWR ESL offers a spacious gameplay skills, it additionally feels a puny bit niche. Since Apple unfolded the doorways to Xbox and PlayStation controllers three years within the past, there’s a lawful chance that most mobile gamers already hang a compatible controller at hand, and adding an iPhone mount will handiest pickle you serve spherical $10.

On the varied hand, the zero-latency gaming offered by the Lightning connection has a obvious allure to the followers of competitive gaming, the save every millisecond counts. If that’s you, and likewise you can even procure previous the coloration plot, the RiotPWR offers a spacious iPhone gaming skills that obtained’t disappoint.

Pricing and availability

The RiotPWR ESL Gaming Controller for iOS is on the market from most predominant retail outlets, at the side of Amazon, Easiest Make a choice, and Aim, to boot to the RiotPWR internet residing, for $70. It requires an iPhone, iPod Contact, or iPad with a Lightning port running iOS 7 or later.

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