PowerA Fusion Pro 3 wired controller review: great features, lacking design

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PowerA Fusion Pro 3
(Image: © Future)

TechRadar Verdict

The PowerA Fusion Pro 3 wired controller puts its ancillary features forward first. Four programmable back buttons, swappable sticks, and hair trigger locks all function excellently and are very welcome additions. Expect a lightweight and cheaper overall feel than the official Xbox Wireless Controller, though. A shame, given its higher price tag.


  • +

    Smart, Xbox-like design

  • +

    Four mappable back buttons

  • +

    Mic volume switch is a nice touch

  • +

    Trigger locks work well


  • -

    Slightly pricey

  • -

    Cheap and lightweight build

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The PowerA Fusion Pro 3 is a solid option if you’re looking for a wired alternative to the official Xbox Wireless Controller. Manufactured under the Designed for Xbox seal of quality, you can expect a competent – if somewhat unremarkable – controller from PowerA here.

Where the Fusion Pro 3 shines is with its extra features that you won’t find on Microsoft’s Xbox Series X|S pack-in pad. Four fully programmable rear buttons are an excellent addition to the controller, and can be mapped easily using the Program button located on the back.The 3-way trigger locks, mic volume switch, swappable thumbsticks and faceplate all also work as intended and are extremely welcome additions.

What lets the PowerA Fusion Pro 3 down, relative to the best Xbox controllers in its price range, is overall build quality and feel. For all its pro-adjacent features, the gamepad has cut some corners in terms of design. That’s especially apparent with the cheap-feeling triggers and shoulder buttons. Overall, the Fusion Pro 3 is still worth looking at if you’re after a mid-range wired controller with some awesome trimmings.

PowerA Fusion Pro 3: price and availability

The PowerA Fusion Pro 3 is available to buy now for $79.99 / £79.99. In the US, you can buy directly from PowerA’s official store page, or from Amazon. In the UK, it’s stocked by retailers including Game, Argos and Sports Direct. No Australian pricing or release date has been offered at this time, but it’s sure to follow in the coming weeks. 

PowerA Fusion Pro 3: design

PowerA Fusion Pro 3

(Image credit: Future)

The PowerA Fusion Pro 3 sets a good impression out of the box. It comes nestled in its own carrying case; which is always a fantastic extra when it comes to pads on the pricier side. Pop open the case and find the controller itself, its 10ft braided cable, and two swappable thumbsticks. One tall concave and the other a tall convex stick. It would’ve been nice to have two of each, but that likely would’ve jacked the controller’s price up even more.

Overall build quality is a slight cut above cheaper pads from the same manufacturer, but doesn’t quite have the solid feel of the Xbox Wireless Controller; a shame given the Fusion Pro 3 is pricier than Microsoft’s pad. 

There’s a cheap, lightweight feel to the Fusion Pro 3 that can be hard to ignore if you’re used to some of the best Xbox controllers. That extends to the rather flimsy feeling of the triggers and shoulder buttons, too. Thankfully, those hair trigger locks help to give your fingers some extra purchase, so I’d recommend switching them to the halfway setting. By default, the triggers do feel slightly loose.

But that’s where the bad news ends when it comes to design. PowerA has done a great job with the sticks and face buttons, both feeling responsive and tactile. The same can be said of the D-pad; it’s not the best in the world, but I appreciate the raised ends of each direction that allows your thumb to rest easily in the center.

Another nice touch is the removable face plate. If you find the default plain black to be a bit bland, you’re easily able to click it out of place and put in another PowerA branded plate, many of which boast officially licensed designs.

PowerA Fusion Pro 3: performance

PowerA Fusion Pro 3

(Image credit: Future)

Where the PowerA Fusion Pro 3 really shines is with its ancillary features. Its four mappable rear buttons work incredibly well and have a nice tactile feel. You can assign inputs to them easily by just holding the Program button on the rear of the pad. Sadly, though, you won’t be able to set multiple profiles, so expect to do a lot of button swapping if you’re hopping between games.

Hair trigger locks can be a mixed bag when it comes to third-party controllers, as we saw with the HyperX Clutch Gladiate where they were often unresponsive. However, they work excellently on the Fusion Pro 3 regardless of platform, be it Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One or PC. Though as mentioned earlier, I liked keeping the trigger locks on the middle setting to apply a bit more sturdiness to them. However, the tightest setting is great for quick trigger fingers in games like Halo Infinite and Fortnite.

Another nice touch is the mic volume switch, found between the D-pad and right analog stick. Flicking this in either direction will raise or lower the mic volume if you have a headset connected. Pressing it down in the center will also mute the mic. It’s a great on-board feature that I wish more controllers had, skirting the need to open your Xbox’s settings separately.

As for overall performance, the PowerA Fusion Pro 3 provides an adequate experience when its extra features aren’t taken into account. It’s a very solid – if somewhat basic – controller that’s a respectable choice if you’re looking for a spare pad or a strictly wired alternative.

Should I buy the PowerA Fusion Pro 3?

PowerA Fusion Pro 3

(Image credit: Future)

Buy it if...

You like Pro-adjacent features
The PowerA Fusion Pro 3 has you covered with mappable rear buttons, swappable sticks, dedicated mic volume switch and more.

You like customization
The swappable faceplate on the Fusion Pro 3 is a great extra touch, perfect for those who like to trick out their pads on a budget.

You play shooters online
The Fusion Pro 3’s trigger locks are excellent for first and third-person shooters.

Don't buy it if...

You’re on a tight budget
The Fusion Pro 3 is a touch on the expensive side, bordering on a mid-range price.

You’re after a wireless controller
The Fusion Pro 3 is strictly wired, though the cable is long enough to support rooms and setups of most sizes.

You want a premium feel
The controller feels a little cheap and flimsy for its price range, though the buttons, sticks and D-pad do improve things here.

Rhys Wood
Hardware Editor

Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.