Mortal Kombat X Fight Pad Controller Review: Fear Me

With the release of Mortal Kombat X taking place in just a few days, we take a look at the first fightpad controller made for current-gen consoles, the PDP Mortal Kombat X Fight Pad Controller.

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We’re now over a year into the current generation of video game consoles, but we have yet to see any fightsticks or fightpads compatible with either the Xbox One or PlayStation 4. That’s why last week’s release of the Mortal Kombat X Fight Pad by PDP was such a big deal as not only was it created to help celebrate the game’s official release next week , but it’s one of the first fightpads that’s available for current-gen consoles. The Mortal Kombat X Fight Pad also has the ability to be used on last-gen consoles with the flip of a switch, making it quite the adaptable controller.

The fightpad features a precision D-Pad, 6 Micro-switch face buttons, and was designed with fighting games in mind. But if I learned anything from my time with PDP’s fightpad, it’s that just because something is the first, doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be the best.

Get Over Here

One of the first things I noticed about the MKX Wired Fight Pad was the fact how light it was, which I’m sure is a result of not including any kind of rumble inside of its plastic shell. The controller seems to melt in my hands when I played with it, which stems both from its weight and form. The palms of my hands rest easily on the bottom handles of the controller, while my middle, ring, and pinky wrap around its matte material. My index fingers would complete the hold by sitting comfortably on the fightpad’s shoulder buttons.

The handles of the fightpad are misshapen in order to give more support to the left hand as it darts around the directional pad. As a result, the right handle is shorter than the left, which allows my thumb to rest easily on the top line of face buttons, although getting to the bottom line required me to bend my thumb to access them. The first two buttons of the bottom line didn’t require much effort, but the third button required me to bend my thumb and bring it close to my palm in an unnatural way. This lead me to either rely on that button much less, or to reposition the palm of my right hand off of the handle so I could access all face buttons more comfortably, leaving my palm just sitting in the breeze.

Show Me Your Moves

The precision D-Pad doesn’t feel that precise compared to either the DualShock 4 or Xbox One D-Pads. The pad doesn’t give much feedback when pressed as I don’t sense any sort of clicking when I apply pressure to it. Instead, it feels spongy. It didn’t cause me to miss any of the inputs I was attempting as this is more of a personal taste.

The face buttons and shoulder buttons, on the other hand, felt completely different from one another. All six face buttons feature microswitches that require very little pressure in order to activate. While that means you’ll be able to pull of your moves in a quicker fashion, it also means the chances of accidentally pressing another button increases. I came across a few instances where my thumb would accidentally hit another button during a heated battle, but I think it had more to do with having to get used to a new gamepad than any fault with the fightpad. Still, players better get practicing if they want to consider using it during tournaments.

While the face buttons have microswitches, the shoulder buttons do not. In fact, they feel extremely hollow and plasticy when compared to the face buttons. The buttons are pretty large as well, allowing index fingers of all sizes to find a comfortable spot. I just wish they didn’t feel so hollow.

Between the shoulder buttons is where PDP decided to put the Options & Share or View & Menu buttons, which, of course, depends on which version of the fightpad you picked up. The placement of these buttons feels extremely out of the way as I had to extend my right index finger over in order to attempt to access them. Considering how much real estate PDP had on the top of the face of the controller, I have no idea why they decided to stick them at the top of the controller.

Where There Is Smoke, There Is Fire

PDP’s Mortal Kombat X Fight Pad is a decent first try at bringing fight pads to current-gen consoles. It has a nice feel to it, although I would have preferred it if the right handle was longer so I could rest my palm on it more comfortably. The microswitch buttons felt light and quick, but the hollow should buttons nor the placement of the “hidden” Options & Share or View & Menu felt right. If you're considering picking up PDP's Fight Pad, I recommend you just stick with either the Xbox One or DualShock 4 controllers.

Senior Editor
From The Chatty
  • reply
    April 9, 2015 11:10 AM

    Daniel Perez posted a new article, Mortal Kombat X Fight Pad Controller Review: Fear Me

    • reply
      April 9, 2015 11:49 AM

      Man that is a sexy bean controller I love bean controllers even over the arcade sticks while nice the accuracy is always > on a bean controller.

      Hmm I may have to get this it looks so damn nice and 6 btn configs on a pad are ace I see the right side like you mentioned is smaller but I have a similar bean controller like that and it is fine with my hands(works).

      Thanks for the heads up and write up.

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        April 9, 2015 12:14 PM

        Haha! I didn't realize this kind of controller had a name. If you're familiar with this style of controller and you've enjoyed how they feel, then you'll most likely enjoy PDP's MKX controller. I just have no idea why they stuck the menu buttons on the top of the controller.

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      April 9, 2015 12:19 PM

      Is it safe to assume you reviewed the PS4 model based on the photos?

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        April 9, 2015 1:01 PM

        Yes, but there is no physical difference between the PS4 and Xbox One models.

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      April 9, 2015 12:23 PM

      Nice controller. Hopefully it will be easy to put it into a joystick :)

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        April 9, 2015 12:25 PM

        People in SRK forum are already pulling them apart. Sounds likely.

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      April 9, 2015 12:26 PM

      I think we need to know Daniel's favorite all time controller is for a far comparison. How were half-circle > forward motions with this pad? They goddamn suck on the DS4.

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        April 9, 2015 1:27 PM

        We actually spoke about this on the Chattycast a few episodes ago. My favorite controller was the Dreamcast's controller, even though it pales in comparison to today's gamepads.

        The half-circle motions were pretty smooth as there's a small grove surrounding the D-Pad, which helps in guiding your thumb around much better. I know what you mean about the DS4. It just kind of sticks out there without anything to guide your thumb when making half-circle motions.

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      April 10, 2015 5:40 AM

      Thanks for sharing this review. I already have two pads pre-ordered, one for each console family. Just for your information though, there IS an official Fightstick available for the Xbox One, the Killer Instinct-branded one that goes for around $200. A PS4 Fightstick continues to be woefully lacking, unless you import a solution from Japan. For many reasons however (including the preservation of my marriage), I prefer fightpads.