The Mad Catz C.T.R.L.R is a Bluetooth controller that allows you t
o have a more console-like gaming experience with your smartphone or tablet. Modelled on an Xbox 360 controller, the C.T.R.L.R will feel familiar to most console gamers, but there are some unique differences with the Mad Catz controller.

Mad Catz C.T.R.L.R review


Although it’s not officially stated by the company, there’s no denying that the Mad Catz C.T.R.L.R is modelled on the extremely successful Xbox 360 controller. You can see it in the asymmetrical joysticks, conveniently located D-pad and the right-hand button diamond.

There’s even the Mad Catz logo in the centre that functions as the power button when held down for a few seconds, just as the Xbox version functions. When you first power up the C.T.R.L.R, that button will flash red and blue, letting you know it’s in pairing mode.

Sadly, the C.T.R.L.R is incapable of being paired to two devices at once. So if you want to use it with your phone and your tablet, you’ll need to make sure it’s only paired with one at a time. There’s no manual way to start up the pairing process either, meaning you must make sure it’s not connected to anything else if you want to pair the C.T.R.L.R to a different device.


Because the C.T.R.L.R apes the 360’s design, you’ll find it feels incredibly comfortable to hold when gaming. The matte back provides a little extra grip, while the design contours to your palms. It’s even nearly exactly the same size as the Xbox 360 controller, meaning you can easily reach the shoulder buttons without it feeling like a stretch or cramped for larger hands.

But there are a few features on the Mad Catz controller that you won’t find on the Xbox 360 pad. For a start, there’s a row of media control buttons along the top between the shoulder buttons, which enable you to skip, pause or play media, or adjust the in-game music, without having to touch your connected phone or tablet.

The biggest difference is the fact that there’s a screw hole at the top of the C.T.R.L.R, to which you can attach the included phone clamp. This rubber grip stretches out to accommodate smartphones up to 6.5cm wide and 8.7cm tall. That’s plenty of room for an average-size smartphone, but you’ll struggle to squeeze a phablet in that clamp, let alone a tablet.

Due to the size of the controller itself, even with a larger handset clamped on top, the C.T.R.L.R rarely feels top-heavy. You can detach the phone clamp to simply use it as a separate Bluetooth controller for tablets.


There are some downsides to the size of the C.T.R.L.R, though, because it’s far from portable. You’ll be able to chuck it in a bag you’re taking with you, but it won’t fit in your pocket unless you’ve been gifted with larger than average coat pockets.

However, Mad Catz has made some strange design choices with the C.T.R.L.R. For one, there’s no sort of carry case supplied, which means you’ll have to put it in your bag without any protection.

The front of the C.T.R.L.R has been made out of gloss black plastic, which not only makes the controller feel cheap, but also means it marks quickly and can be scratched very easily.

But it’s important to remember that the C.T.R.L R is only £39.99, so you’d expect it to have a few slightly more budget aspects.

Another of the bizarre choices that Mad Catz has made is to make the C.T.R.L R run on AAA batteries. The company claims you only get 40 minutes continuous play on a single pair, meaning the C.T.R.L.R will struggle to finish a commute, never mind a whole day.


One of the things we do like about the C.T.R.L.R is the switch at the bottom between the handgrips. This switch gives you three options for using the Mad Catz controller. The far left position is your Android compatibility mode for tablets and smartphones, but move the switch to the centre and you’ll be able to pair it with your PC.

The third and final mode transforms the C.T.R.L.R into a mouse input for your Android device. Flick the switch when paired via Bluetooth and you’ll see a cursor appear on your screen that can be controlled using the left stick, with clicks made using the A button.