Turtle Beach Recon Controller Review

The Turtle Beach Recon Controller is an oddly unique one that combines some of Turtle Beach's best headset functions with a controller. Our review

Published: October 15, 2021 11:00 AM /

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Turtle Beach Recon Controller

Turtle Beach have carved out a name for themselves in the headset market, but oftentimes, diversifying your portfolio can leave you spread a little thin. The Turtle Beach Recon Controller is a bold move, not only trying to provide a controller experience but half of a headset experience too. Unfortunately, it can be hard to know if that will always work. 

For me, someone who likes to fiddle with settings and mess around with buttons, I found an odd joy in what this controller offers but that willingness to alienate will likely be the biggest sticking point for the average user. You may just need to give it a go for yourself. 

How does The Turtle Beach Recon Controller look? 

The Turtle Beach Recon controller looks a little like those cursed mockups you always find before a console's official release. Seen beside the "Xbox 720," you find a mysterious-looking controller with tons of little buttons and sharp curves. This controller is certainly not afraid to stand out.  

Turtle Beach Recon Controller

It's a controller loaded with little lines and buttons, but unlike those mockups, these actually serve a purpose. The handles have rubberized grips that extend up the side of the controller, paddles on the back can be reprogrammed to fit new controls, buttons on the top can be used to fiddle with your EQ or change the mode your controller is in. It can legitimately feel a little overwhelming as you first pick it up and explore all those design decisions. This being said, if you can get used to it, this controller delivers an experience worth trying. 

How does The Turtle Beach Recon Controller work? 

This is a hard question to answer. As a controller, it certainly functions fine but the level to which it works is up to you. If you don't bother with any of those other functions, it has enough quality features to find it worthwhile. Unlike other third-party controllers, the D-Pad feels full and multidirectional, the handles are rubberized allowing for a better grip and the triggers are textured for a better feel and more intuitive shot. 

This then moves us onto the elephant in the room - all those buttons at the top. They seem primarily built for those who like competitive shooters. You can toggle the sound in your headset on the fly, but more importantly, you can operate key Turtle Beach features like superhuman hearing - the ability to more clearly hear footsteps. This can essentially turn your cheap headset into one capable of Turtle Beach functions - a surprisingly smart system. With the Turtle Beach Recon controller, you get something that fits in the line between a controller and a headset, and it does it with a level of ease if you're willing to learn. 

If you aren't interested in the sound settings, the mode functions allow you to change the controller itself, reprogramming buttons and changing stick sensitivity. Think of it like a DPI switch in a mouse. All of this might be for nothing if the buttons didn't feel and look nice, but they do. It doesn't feel that different from a traditional Xbox controller, and I mean that in the best way possible. Buttons are sturdy and intuitive, the controller feels nice to hold, and all those extra functions give it a distinct selling point. 

This being said, the controller's functions aren't all intuitive immediately, and you may need to keep the instructions on you to get the most out of it. Additionally, the controller is fairly light and can only be used while plugged in. The lack of a breakaway cable makes its limited physical use a little more noticeable too. I felt like I was losing some functions changing it out from my previous controller, but it never felt like a bad trade. It's not a perfect controller, but it's certainly worth its price. 

Turtle Beach Recon Controller

Turtle Beach Recon Controller Review | Verdict

The Turtle Beach Recon Controller is a very solid addition to the Xbox controller lineup, providing a unique selling point alongside a sturdy build. Though there are certainly things that may put people off, it gets enough right to stand out on its own. Turtle Beach have used their years as a premium headset company to make a controller that is intelligent, comfortable, and totally unique. 

The Turtle Beach Recon Controller was provided by Audeze and can be purchased on their site now or via Amazon

Review Summary

With the Recon controller, Turtle Beach have used their years as a premium headset company to make a controller that is intelligent, comfortable and totally unique (Review Policy)

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| Former Staff Writer

James Bentley is a freelance writer / editor / musician who has had a deep love of games ever since his childhood. This love had led him to chase a career… More about James