Looking for a custom controller? Maybe you want one to match your color scheme? Something with a cool pattern? Or perhaps you want some of the ‘Pro’ features while retaining the benefits of an official controller. If so, Defy Gaming is worth a look.
What is Defy Gaming?
Defy Gaming takes official controllers, modifies them to the customer’s exact specifications, and then sends them out. They’re a UK-based company, but ship internationally. The modifications they do are mostly cosmetic; Casing in different colors or patterns, different buttons, triggers, analog sticks or even adding text in some cases. These can be created through a design tool or you can choose from pre-designed ones. Defy Gaming kindly let us create a few and sent them out, which we’ll be showing you throughout this post.
While the PlayStation 4, XBox, and Nintendo Switch modifications are purely cosmetic, they offer a PS5 Defy Pro controller with extra options such as trigger stop, instant click buttons, remappable paddles on the back, and more. Please check out our review of that (when complete) for more information.
For controllers, Defy Gaming also runs an upgrade service. As well as this, they can create completely unique custom designs. PR companies have previously commissioned Defy Gaming to make unique controllers for them.
Keyboards are a recent addition to their lineup. Defy Gaming sells 60% size RGB wireless keyboards, with a few choices on the types of switches used. The colors can be customized in sets, which makes it easy to theme your keyboard. As an example, if you click here and then click ‘Customize’, you’ll be able to see and adapt a ‘Gundam-inspired’ one I made.
While they do have a wide selection of very nice-looking pre-designed controllers (my favorite is the White Dragon), customizing your own controller is the most interesting part. It lets you do this through a design tool that it calls a builder.
The design tool lets you choose almost every part individually. This can be used to create some amazing designs that suit your taste well. It could even be something that matches your brand if you’re a content creator. I used it to create the purple PlayStation 4 controller shown above, by using a soft purple case, a matte white to contrast against it, and a metallic touchpad and triggers as highlights. It looks amazing in my opinion and works well as a design. You can click here to see this particular design on the website.
Just to illustrate just how much designs can vary and all the parts that can be selected, I’ve created a much less consistent design to show you below. You can see this one on the website by clicking here.
For the PlayStation 5 controller, this is also where you can choose which pro options are included. Paddles and a textured grip are paired, but triggers and buttons can be selected separately.
The customization options here are extremely extensive. While it can’t have every shade of every color, there is an extremely wide selection of colors and patterns to choose from. The only weakness I’ve found and this is one that seems to be shared by all similar companies; all alternate buttons are plain without symbols or letters. I’m aware there are legal issues around this in some cases, but as someone who mixes up where the X button is when changing between platforms, it’s a pity. That said, using the official buttons is still an option.
All The Controllers
Defy Gaming sent us the following to check out:
- PS5 Defy Pro Create Your Own Controller
- PS4 Create Your Own Controller
- Xbox Elite Series 2 Create Your Own Controller
- Nintendo Switch Pro Create Your Own Controller
- Nintendo Switch Pre Designed Joy Cons
I chose a variety of different types of parts when designing the controllers. The samples include plain colors, patterns, metallic parts, and pro options. While most were built using the ‘Create Your Own Controller’ path, I instead chose a pre-built design for the Joy Cons.
Aside from the Xbox Elite Series 2, they all came in Defy Gaming branded boxes. All of the controllers come with everything the official versions would. As a bonus, some Defy Gaming stickers came with the set too.
The XBox Elite Series 2 is of note here, as it includes interchangeable parts, metal paddles, a case that doubles as a charging station, and a braided charging cable. This is not the cheaper ‘core’ version but comes with everything.
The Nintendo Switch Pro controller comes with a USB charging cable and the Joycons come with attachments to clip onto the side.
You can find an unboxing video below to get a closer look at what’s in the box.
I was impressed by the quality in all areas. One I had particular concerns about was the casing since this often feels lower quality on certain unofficial controllers, but it feels just like the official versions, despite being a modified one. The metallic parts are extremely reflective and don’t feel cheap. Custom buttons are properly clicky. The custom analog sticks have extra grip nodes on them. In the case of the XBox Elite Series 2 controller we received, the detail of the pattern is extremely clear. There are no issues with the share or options buttons on the PlayStation 5 controller either, unlike an alternate we previously reviewed.
While impressions have been positive, a full review of the PS5 Defy Pro controller is due to follow.
🎮Looking for a custom controller? To match your color scheme? Maybe with some Pro features?
💜We checked out @DefyGamingUK and their modified official controllers and were very impressed
🎨Want to learn more about designing your own controller?⬇️
— NookGaming.com | JRPGs, Visual Novels and More💕 (@NookSite) October 20, 2022
Defy Gaming has certainly impressed me. The design tool is easy to use and has plenty of options, the quality is high and it’s all presented nicely. Pricing varies based on which options you choose and is certainly more expensive than a standard controller, but it’s in-line or cheaper than some other services.
Looking for a Pro Controller for XBox and PC instead? Take a look at the Nacon Revolution X Pro.
Many thanks go to Defy Gaming for providing several units for this feature.
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A gamer since the days of Amstrad and DOS and someone who has dabbled in a variety of professions. He enjoys a wide variety of genres, but has been focusing on visual novels and virtual reality in recent years. Head Editor of NookGaming. Follow him and the website on @NookSite.