Review: FFXIV Snakebyte Controller

When Final Fantasy XIV launched back in September, so did the Final Fantasy XIV branded Snakebyte controller.

I’ve been playing Final Fantasy XI with a controller for the last six years so it’s safe to say that I’m no stranger when it comes to using a controller for my MMOs. I”ve been playing Final Fantasy XIV mostly with keyboard and mouse. However, with the November update, using a controller has become even easier with the updated user interface, making some people (myself included) re-consider using a game pad. What better to use than the officially licensed Final Fantasy XIV controller?

Let’s take a look and see what this controller has to offer!

The Controller

The design of the controller will be familiar to any gamers out there. It’s almost a direct copy of the PlayStation Dualshock controller. There are a couple of things that mix it up however. The most noticeable difference is the longer grips on the sides. This is on of the first things I’ve seen people comment on. It actually feels OK to hold. It gives more real estate for your hand to wrap around than a normal Dualshock controller does. It does take a bit of getting used to, especially if you’re a frequent Dualshock user.

The second difference is in the trigger buttons. The trigger buttons on a Dualshock are level. With the Snakebyte controller, the L1/R1 buttons are raised a bit, making the L2/R2 buttons on a lower level.

A nice feature that’s included on the controller is a button to toggle the vibration on and off. Many times I have gone AFK from playing FFXI or FFXIV and I come back to find that the vibrations have caused the controller to fall from my desk and land in such a position that I’m guided directly into a pack of savage monsters! With this button, I can turn the vibration off and set it on my desk, knowing that my character won’t gain a mind of his own while I go to grab a soda.

Function Button

One of the special features of this controller is the “Function” button. Pressing this button, along with buttons 1-12 on the controller is the equivalent to pressing the F keys. Currently, they’re used for selecting characters. With the function key being in the position its in, it feels quite awkward having to hold that down along with another button to do something as simple as targeting yourself. I find hitting “up” or “down” on the D-pad to be faster, and easier. I also find that targeting left and right more convenient to F11 or F12 using the controller. However, now that you are able to re-assign keys, this opens up infinite possibilities for the commands you can do with the controller.

Make sure that if playing in windowed mode that the game is selected, otherwise you could be in for a few surprises when playing with the function button on the controller as I experienced. Another way to avoid this is to uncheck the setting in the controller config that allows the controller to be used while the game is in the background.

Overall

The Final Fantasy XIV Snakebyte controller is nice. And now at it’s reduced price of $24.99 (down from $39.99) it’s definitely worth purchasing if you want a USB game pad. It’s got some great features that make it one of the best controller selections for the PC. You won’t find a better controller at this price range.


The Final Fantasy XIV Snakebyte controller can be purchased from Snakebyte USA.