MOGA ACE POWER game controller review: Button mashing comes to iPhone!

The MOGA ACE POWER is one of the first MFi (Made for iPhone) game controllers to hit the market. This new generation of Apple-supported, Lightning adapter powered controllers promise even better compatibility and performance, but are they really ready for primetime? Do they make that much of a difference? And can they be used over AirPlay to make a virtual console?

Unlike games designed for the multitouch era of the iPhone - Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja, Infinity Blade, etc. - when traditional games are ported over and given virtual d-pads, joysticks, and other on-screen controls, your fingers end up blocking up to a third of the screen. That's the problem MOGA ACE POWER is trying to solve by getting the virtual controls off your screen and back onto hardware sticks and buttons where they belong.

The MOGA ACE POWER sports dual analog sticks, shoulder buttons, triggers, a D-pad, and four action buttons. Because, when your iPhone is securely placed inside, it covers the sleep/wake button, it also has a button to push that press through anyway, right on the front. It also includes a battery charger, so you don't have to worry about exhausting your iPhone thanks to your newfound gaming powers.

Not all games support the MOGA ACE POWER yet, so you'll have to go to MOGA's website and check out their list. Bottom line, if you like casual, made-for-multitouch games, there's nothing to see here. If you've always longed for GameBoy or PSP-style physical gaming on your iPhone or iPod touch, there's a lot to like about the MOGA.

Now watch the video and see how it performs on racing, fighting, and classic arcade games, as well as my attempt to use it like a Wii U and AirPlay my gaming via Apple TV to a Big Screen TV. Make sure you subscribe to iMore's YouTube channel and if you have any questions about the MOGA ACE POWER, fire away!

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Anthony is an IT administrator, retro gamer, and accessory reviewer for iMore.

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Reader comments

MOGA ACE POWER game controller review: Button mashing comes to iPhone!


Thank you very much for the review!
Question. What do you think of the build quality of the controller? Most of the early reviews/comments I've read about the Moga controller was that the build quality feels kinda cheap.

I've got one, so I'll chime in. When the phone / touch ISN'T docked, it feel shoddy. But when the device is inside, it feels rock sold. Overall, the housing feels a hair thin, but the buttons feel solid.

Thanks. And for the battery life of the controller, how many hours do you think it will last before you need to charge it again?

Hi, i have a MOGA so was also curious on bat life.
i done a quick test.
- MOGA Ace @ 100% "4 LEDS"
- iPhone 5S @ 100% bat.

Played "Bastion" (great game) for 2 hours breaks.
MOGA with boost switch ON after 2 hours of rollin n' button mashin' :-
- iPhone 5s @ 100%
- Ace Power @ around = 75% (3 LEDS)
MOGA with boost switch OFF after 2 hours:-
- iPhone 5s @ 39%
- Ace Power @ 100% (4 LEDS)

Basically it allowed me to play for 2 hours solid and not lose any iPhone juice,
I'm sure it would have done 4hours easily, but i was 'Bastioned out"..and needed to do "life" things. ;)
Hope this helps.

BTW : Anthony!, nice vid but your desk needs a coat of varnish!
Also on most MOGA video review i always see the reviewer put the lightning end in first.. It is way much easier and quicker the other way round.. give it a try.!

Mikelite is spot on. By itself the plastic feels a bit cheap. Perhaps they wanted to minimize the added weight to the iDevice. Once plugged in it does feel fairly sturdy especially when the lock is set. In terms of battery life, I got around a 50% charge from the fully charged moga.

Thank for the review. This is the best controller out IMHO. Dual sticks make it a step up!!

The charge evaluation was done while game correct? I believe my Mophie has the same size battery and I get an 80% charge. I hope they have a sell soon.

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