Gaming goodness done on the cheap: the HyperX Clutch Gladiate

July 4, 2023
2 mins read


HyperX Clutch Gladiate Game Controller REVIEW

PAT PILCHER plays around with a nifty game controller that does one heck of a lot for a very smart price indeed.


Game peripheral gurus HyperX have launched a new wired game controller, the Clutch Gladiate, for the Xbox X/S and PC. There are several metric shit tonnes of controllers already out there, so the immediate question on this reviewer’s mind is: does the Clutch Gladiate have what it takes to carve out its own niche?

From a design standpoint, the Gladiate looks like a fairly standard black Xbox-style controller – at least until you pick it up and take a closer look. This reveals a bunch of ‘Pro’ features, such as back paddle buttons and hair trigger locks that you’d never normally see at this price point. In the hands, the Gladiate is also surprisingly well crafted and features textured grips. At the same time, its many buttons and both sticks provide plenty of tactile feedback. Not bad considering its affordable sub- $70 sticker price.

But it isn’t perfect. I found the controller’s D-pad lacked texture, so I constantly looked to see where it was in the middle of game-play. As nifty as hair trigger locks sound in theory, I also found that trigger presses sometimes didn’t register unless I really gave them some welly, which was super frustrating. That said, you can turn the hair trigger locks off.

While the Gladiate doesn’t quite pack the same heft as the Xbox Wireless Controller, it doesn’t feel cheap. It might cost just $69, but the folk at HyperX have crafted a controller that feels well built. Textured grips are added to its ergonomic chops, making it feel secure to hold. Sweaty-handed in-game slips are much less likely to be a thing with the Gladiate. The attention paid to its ergonomics shone through and made for a comfortable extended gaming experience.


Would you like to support our mission to bring intelligence, insight and great writing to entertainment journalism? Help to pay for the coffee that keeps our brains working and fingers typing just for you. Witchdoctor, entertainment for grownups. Riveting writing on music, tech, hi-fi, music, film, TV and other cool stuff. Your one-off (or monthly) $5 or $10 donation will support and help us keep producing quality content. It’s really easy to donate, just click the ‘Become a supporter’ button below.


While the feel of a controller’s buttons and sticks is subjective, I liked the buttons, sticks, and triggers on the Gladiate. Its buttons are solid plastic, and in use, they provided good tactile feedback and a little bounce, which made for quick presses when needed. The concave design of the sticks also meant I could drive myself around with surprisingly decent accuracy. Unfortunately, the shoulder and Dpad buttons felt too mushy for my tastes.

While the Gladiate is a wired controller, HyperX has bundled a 2.95m USB-C cable. Even though I wish it were longer, it was a pleasant surprise. HyperX also baked in a headphone socket.

One feature I really liked was the addition of rear buttons. These are remappable, which can really help in some games. Remapping is also a complete doddle. As handy as this is, macros (assigning multiple button press combinations) isn’t supported. That’s a real shame, as it would add hugely to functionality.

A standout feature that didn’t quite work is the hair-trigger lock. It consists of switches on the back of the controller which register a trigger press in half the travel distance, allowing for more rapid trigger presses, which in shooters like Halo should be worth its weight in gold. Sadly, with it plugged into my PC, I had to squeeze the triggers hard for them to work when the hair trigger locks were activated, which sort of defeats the whole point of trigger locks. The hair trigger locks on my Xbox worked fine with Halo Infinite, which I put down to the addition of trigger sensitivity settings in the game.

If you’re looking for a decent yet affordable wired PC or Xbox gaming controller The Gladiate is a good choice. Given its price, it should be on your shortlist. Sure, it isn’t perfect, but it isn’t half bad either, offering oodles of bang per buck value for money that you’d only normally find in controllers costing much, much more.


Pat has been talking about tech on TV, radio and print for over 20 years, having served time as a TV tech guy and currently penning reviews for Witchdoctor. He loves nothing more than rolling his sleeves up and playing with shiny gadgets.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Give a little to support Witchdoctor's quest to save high quality independent journalism. It's easy and painless! Just donate $5 or $10 to our PressPatron account by clicking on the button below.

Witchdoctor straight to your inbox every 2nd week


Advance Paris - Designed with French flair. Amplifiers, Streamers, CD players and more
Previous Story

What the heck has happened to Wellington’s Courtenay Place?

Next Story

Ring Battery Doorbell Plus: a simple smart solution for a super smart home

Latest from Gaming

Go toTop