Mobile gaming controllers can be hit or miss, and often that comes down to the feel and comfort of holding it, a problem which the Elo Vagabond controller is hoping to fix. Dubbed the controller that’s “built for winners,” The Elo Vagabond is setting out to be the perfect mobile gaming controller. One that more comfortably fits into your hands and delivers precision controls for your favorite games.
In terms of design, it looks a lot like what you get from the Razer Kishi V2 Pro and the Backbone One. Your phone has a direct connection to the controller and is nestled in between the right and left sides of it. But the Elo Vagabond is also different from those two in a number of ways.
For instance it’s been designed to feel more like a full-size controller. Elo says this aims to get rid of or prevent hand cramping. Already a good start for the Vagabond. Although compact, many mobile controllers can definitely feel cramped after using them for more than a couple of hours. That shouldn’t be a problem with the Vagabond.
The Elo Vagabond controller uses hall sensor joysticks to prevent drift
A common complaint with controllers these days is joystick drift. Controllers that use hall sensor joysticks basically eliminate that issue. And the Vagabond is equipped with them to address that pain point. As a gamer, it can sting to spend $50-$60 or more on a controller and have the drift set in less than a year later. Ok, so the Vagabond has hall sensor joysticks. Another positive feature. It gets better though.
Elo is also using silent microswitch ABXY buttons (Razer uses these on the Kishi V2 and Kishi V2 Pro) for a more tactile feel. And there’s a mechanical d-pad too. Plus, there’s a headphone port on top so you can plug in wired headphones or earbuds. These are all excellent features. And if it performs as well as it sounds on paper, it might just be the best mobile game controller out there.
Powerful companion software lets you map keys, even for unsupported games
Even if all mobile game controllers were good, there’s still the issue of a game not supporting controllers. And many of them don’t. Even ones that probably feel like they should. Elo is addressing this problem too with a powerful companion app that will allow you to map controls for any game to the buttons on the controller.
If this sounds familiar, it’s another feature you can now find on the Kishi V2 and Kishi V2 Pro after the recent Razer Nexus app update. And for added bonus, the Vagabond boasts some grippy material on the hand grips to prevent slippage. There’s RGB lighting too because, why not?
Here’s the downside. The controller is going to retail for $149.99. By comparison, the Razer Kishi V2 Pro is $129.99. Still expensive but it is less money. And it comes from a more established brand. Or you could go for the $99 Kishi V2 which drops the haptics and headphone port. The high price buy-in of the Vagabond might make it tough for Elo to grab potential customers. But time will tell. The controller is also only a kickstarter project at the moment so you can’t actually buy one. It is however fully funded already and still has about a week left. Which means Elo has surpassed the goal needed for production.
While a bit spendy for a mobile controller, the Elo Vagabond definitely sounds enticing. It’s promising a lot that you won’t get from other mobile controllers. And if it pulls things off successfully, it could turn out be a new favorite for mobile gamers. If you’d like to back it yourself, you can do so by heading to the project’s Kickstarter page.