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.

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