MSI Force GC30 Wireless Gaming Controller Review
Peter Donnell / 6 months ago
A Closer Look and Performance
First impressions are really promising for the Force GC30. It keeps the shape and form factor many of you will be familiar with from the Xbox One controller. Of course, MSI has made a few tweaks and improvements, putting their own spin on the design to make it more unique.
Along the bottom edge of the controller, there is a stylish MSI logo. Around the edge of the controller, a little bit of red trip, as well as matching red highlights on the control surfaces too. Black and red, a bit of a trope for “gaming” hardware, but it still looks great regardless.
Get a Grip
Down the side, there are some pretty tough rubber grips. These really let you get a firm grasp on the controller, but also break up the plastics a bit. If you suffer from sweaty hands while gaming, you’ll know it can get a bit slippy on the side of the controller, so this really helps negate that issue. They’ve done the same with the triggers too, cutting some deep grooves into them that makes them easier to use and less slippy.
Around the back, things maintain that design we’re all familiar with. There are two shoulder buttons and two smooth linear triggers, making compatability with most games pretty easy.
Two D-Pads Are Greater Than One
There’s a dual-stick layout, again just like the Xbox One controller. Heck, even the buttons are the same. That being said, I like a controller to feel natural and familiar, and that’s exactly what you’ve got here. The two main differences are found in the D-PAD design. Short of using a Xbox Pro controller, you’re stuck with a bloody lousy D-PAD more often than not. If you’re into your retro and twitchy fighting games, a proper + D-Pad is what you want. Of course, that’s a bit subjective, and the fact MSI gives you both is awesome. Don’t worry about swapping them either, it’s mounted with a strong magnet, allowing easy changes between the two.
The triggers feet light, tight, and responsive. They have a slightly shorter travel that Xbox triggers, so they’re a little faster to actuate and that means smaller response times. The shoulder buttons have a good mechanical clicky feel to them. Overall, the triggers avoid being muddy like many “unofficial” controllers, and they have a fast return too, making them a joy to use.
The sticks are spot on too, with a deep ridge on the edge that allows you to take light control with the edge of your thumb. The devil is in the details with that, and the concave design really helps too. Blasting through some Forza 7 with these proved no issue, even with the dead zone set to zero, they felt smooth as silk. This bodes well for any type of gameplay, of course. Also, the sticks are clickable, but with a firm resistance, that’s really clicky and responsive that I like. Furthermore, both sticks are still clickable from any angle, not just top dead centre.
The D-Pad is great fun to use, the sticks feel fast and light, with great accuracy, and the face buttons feel spot on too. I really can’t fault the performance in any regard. The dual force motors on the interior work great too, and while you don’t get the trigger haptics of the Xbox controller, they still provide good feedback for minor and major effects.