GAMEPAD GRIFTA Mor­ph­ing Solo Gamepad/£ 34.99 inc VAT

Custom PC - - REVIEWS -

The bat­tle be­tween the gamepad and the mouse and key­board combo has raged en­tirely point­lessly in gam­ing cir­cles for years. The ar­gu­ment can be sim­ply sum­marised by saying that gamepads are bet­ter for move­ment, by virtue of hav­ing ana­logue sticks in­stead of keys, and that mice are bet­ter for look­ing around and aim­ing be­cause of the speed, free­dom of move­ment and ac­cu­racy. With this in mind, the GRIFTA Mor­ph­ing Solo should of­fer the best of both worlds, be­ing a gamepad you use in your left hand so that your right hand can use a mouse.

In the­ory, this setup pro­vides you with the ana­logue move­ment con­trols of a pad, but you still have the abil­ity to aim with a mouse. By mar­ry­ing the ad­van­tages of the two in­ter­faces, you might think you’d have a per­fect con­trol sys­tem in your hands, but the re­al­ity is a lit­tle more com­pli­cated.

The Mor­ph­ing Solo is a rea­son­ably com­fort­able pad to use, but it takes some time to ac­cli­ma­tise to it. De­spite both pads and mice be­ing fa­mil­iar con­trol de­vices, us­ing the two of them to­gether can feel jar­ring at first. On the Mor­ph­ing Solo, you have a thumb stick, D-pad, ana­logue trig­ger and five other but­tons in play in var­i­ous places, with three con­fig­u­ra­tion but­tons on top. This ar­ray gives you a de­cent amount of pos­si­ble con­trols com­pared with a gamepad, but far less than you might want from a key­board. The pad has three modes you can use, and you can switch be­tween them at any time. It can be used as a nor­mal gamepad, as a move­ment-sen­si­tive con­troller suit­able for VR or as a key­board sub­sti­tute. This lat­ter mode for­goes the ad­van­tages of ana­logue move­ment and serves sim­ply to repli­cate key­strokes, which is fine if you just want to use a dif­fer­ent de­vice in­stead of a key­board, but you lose the ben­e­fit of hav­ing an ana­logue stick for move­ment. The pad it­self is ro­bust, in­tu­itive and com­fort­able to use. How­ever, its prob­lems stem from its unique sell­ing point, the key word be­ing unique – it isn’t a de­sign for which games de­sign­ers have nec­es­sar­ily planned. As a re­sult, the Mor­ph­ing Solo isn’t a gamepad with which you can just plug in and play – get­ting it work­ing well in games is more of a project. Ba­si­cally, you need to ex­pect to have to tin­ker with ob­sti­nate games to get your con­trols to work prop­erly. You’ll need to re­bind con­trols or find work­arounds where re­bind­ing isn’t an op­tion, and you’ll also need to in­vest a chunk of your time in re­learn­ing how to play with your new con­trol sys­tem, in or­der to see if there’s been any im­prove­ment over how you were do­ing with tra­di­tional con­trol de­vices. In the right hands, and with the right games, the GRIFTA Mor­ph­ing Solo works great, giv­ing you the ben­e­fits of both a pad and a mouse at once, but the amount of work re­quired to get it work­ing well means it won’t be suit­able for ev­ery­one.

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