MSI Force GC30
Versatility is the key to a good controller
NOW, WE’RE NOT USUALLY a magazine to focus on gaming, because we happily leave that to our sister title PCGamer, but there’s no arguing about the fact that the majority of the team here certainly does. It’s a great way to while away a few hours at the end of the working day, either relaxing with our buddies, or even (oddly, in our modern age) bonding with family. Over the last 10 years, PCs have arguably cemented themselves at the center of the gaming world. Say what you like about consoles, but you just can’t argue with the versatility that a Windows system provides when it comes to that favored technological pastime. Whether it’s first-person shooters, racing sims, real-time strats, or just goofy indie platformers, the PC can and does do it all, with an insurmountable armada of exclusives, to boot.
The thing is, there are games out there that don’t fit so well with the PC staple of a mouse and keyboard environment. Sure, a good tab-targeting MMO can take advantage of all those extra buttons, but if you’re on a budget, and can’t afford that full-sized racing cockpit, trying to get your brain around using digital key switches to pilot your decidedly non-digital motorized vehicle of choice is enough to drive any normal human being insane. And that’s a principle that can be applied to a whole plethora of genres. Localized co-op games, party games, fighting games, even some RPGs benefit from getting a grip on a decent handheld device.
But who do you go for? After all, by default, surely Microsoft is the safest candidate? You can pick up an old-school Xbox 360 USB controller for a little under $ 30, although it’s certainly outdated by this point, and definitely not wireless. Then there’s SteelSeries, Razer, and Logitech, all of which offer their own expensive variants. You can even buy bespoke one-off controllers (although these typically skyrocket into the hundreds of dollars, and you do have to question what you’re doing with your life at that point).
No, for us, gaming is just part of the reason why we love our rigs, and why we build them. And because of that, we need a controller that’s versatile, one that will connect to any and all devices we might have, and do it on a budget. That’s where MSI’s Force GC30 comes into play. Yep, MSI. Typically associated with mobos and GPUs, MSI’s first foray into peripherals hasn’t been a bad run at all.
GOOD CONNECTIONS So, what’s so special about the Force GC30? Well, it’s the abundance of connectivity that really caught our attention. By default, it comes with a six-foot long cable to connect it to your rig via USB, for those lowpowered moments, and a 12-inch microUSB cable for your mobile devices. Then there’s the 2.4GHz wireless dongle, which means you can also connect wirelessly to your PC or any PS3.
On top of that, it’s also got a built-in battery, dual vibration motors for haptic feedback, and the usual Xbox controller layout. It even has replaceable D-pad covers if you’re not quite happy with the overall feel of the standard cross style.
As for downsides, the overall material used could be a little more premium, and it is a touch small, but apart from that, there’s little to complain about. All in all, it’s comfortable, has a whole plethora of connectivity, brings a chunky battery to the game, and comes in at a fairly aggressive price, too. Which brings us on to our last point: Annoyingly, it’s sold out across most of the United States, with only limited stock seemingly being moved across the Pacific. At the time of writing, it’s currently sold out on Amazon, although you can buy an import from eBay for around $58, but until MSI actually puts down some hard stock in the States, we’re going to have to knock off a point.