6 may 2021


Let's take a deep look at this wireless PC controller sent by the guys from DarkWalker.

Haz click aquí si quieres ver la review en español.

DarkWalker is a new brand that was created by a young team in 2019, aiming to satisfy the gamer's needs providing accesories (mostly controllers) for mobiles, PC, Nintendo Switch, Xbox and PlayStation. I am honored and humbled to have been given the opportunity to test and review some of their products. Expect more reviews in the coming days!

Today's review is for the wireless PC Controller pad F0218. The controller is packed in a box with a beautiful minimalistic design and includes, as you can see in the picture, the controller itself, the USB receptor for the wireless connection, the USB type C cable, a warranty card and instructions in different languages with information about special commands, charging indicators and such.

Now, let's start with the basics. The FO218 uses a 2.4Ghz wireless connection that offers a great and easy to use experience from the very beginning. I've suffered no disconnections or any other problem in any moment since I started testing it. The plug and play technology makes it easy to connect, and even though the controller is designed for PC (allowing X-Input connection and D-Input) it is compatible with many other systems including PlayStation consoles, Android TV or even Android phones (OS 4.0 and above) as long as you have an On The Go cable, which is actually not included with the product (I have never seen an OTG cable included in any product, but it might be a good idea to start including it). If for some reason you don't want to use the wireless connection, or you run out of battery, you can use the USB type C cable included with the product to connect it to your PC and keep playing with it.

Related to that, we have a large capacity rechargable battery with 600mAh that promises around 12 hours of gameplay after full charge. Here is the first thing that surprised me: my gamepad was running for 15 hours instead of the 10-12 specified in the details. We all know that batteries start losing charge after multiple charges in the long run, and this 12 hours thing may take that into account. As I'm writing this review, I've charged the battery twice and both times the controller stayed alive for way more than those 12 hours. I cannot tell you about when will the battery start losing its power since it may take even years, but if I notice anything weird about it be sure I will update this review and leave it in the comments. Anyway, so far so good!

Time for the big thing: the design and gaming feel. I've tested multiple generic controllers for PC and I'm totally sure this one is the best I've ever tested. I won't lie to you, this is not as good as Microsoft's Xbox One controller, but it stays pretty close to the feel I have with the PlayStation gamepads. It includes so many features in its design that gives it a professional look that this is far from being just a generic controller. So, let's go with it, step by step.

First things first. DarkWalker's FO218 looks like a mixture of Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox gamepads. It takes the standard PlayStation's ergonomic as a base for the design, which is actually bad news for me. I'm talking about the left stick being under the digital D-pad instead of the opposite. However, PlayStation used to players will be happy and will feel this more familiar. About its size, it is smaller than Xbox's controller but it feels extremly comfortable taking as an adventage the best of both worlds. The body looks like a small Xbox controller while the layout is closer to PlayStation's. The controller includes antiskid textured TPU grips for a better feeling and a way more professional look, and also a dual vibration with separate feedback enhancing the gaming experience.

I'm very happy and surprised with all the buttons and how they feel when you press them. To do so, I've played a long range of videogames featuring classic games to use and abuse the D-pad and modern games to have a good feeling of the sticks and triggers. I've also tested it in different situations and never got any problem of compatibility: Steam, Xbox Game Pass, xCloud via browser and so on. Multiplayer games to test if there is any kind of problem with having another gamepad plugged in at the same time, single player games, plenty of genres... No problems at all! The list of games I've tested the gamepad with is the following: Cyber Shadow, Morkredd, Call of Duty Warzone, Forza Horizon 4, A Way Out, Streets of Rage 4, Microsoft Flight Simulator, Halo 5 Guardians (via xCloud browser) and Rocket League.

Let's take a deeper look at the layout.

The sticks are very good. Good adjustment of the sensibility/dead zones and no signs of drifting. The D-pad is closer to Sony PlayStation controllers but it actually feels way better. As you can see in the review, multiple games that are better played with the D-pad have been tested and never had a bad response of it. It is also particularly quiet in comparation with Xbox controllers. The main buttons are not that quiet, but have also a great feeling. Nothing special about them, actually, compared to the good feeling you have with the rest of the buttons. Talking about that, the triggers are specially good. The feeling of the bumpers is awesome and the analogic triggers work flawlessly under any situation. The combination of triggers/bumpers is actually my favorite thing about DarkWalker's FO218. To end up, there are no missing buttons (L3/R3 and Start and Select buttons are included).

Unfortunately, even close to perfection specially considering its price, this controller has some minor problems. The layout has what I consider an important issue that is not that important if you are a regular gamer. The product uses the standard Xbox mapping for the main controls, that is, the X-Y-A-B buttons, but takes the nomenclature of the PlayStation controllers for the triggers and bumpers, that is, the L1-L2-R1-R3 buttons instead of the B/T used by Xbox. In practice, there is no problem with that, but the games on PC take the interface of an Xbox controller, which means that they will show the X-Y-A-B buttons on DarkWalker's controller, but will also take the LB-LT-RB-RT in the interface which in DarkWalker's controller are named L1-L2-R1-RT. Again, this has no effect on gameplay, but if for some reason this is the first controller of someone, playing a game for the first time, it might be unnecesarily confusing.

About the extra buttons that takes the experience even farther, the controller comes with a turbo button  that can be adjusted to set the speed, which is pretty useful for some games (yes, it feels like cheating, but it will save the life of your buttons in the long run) and a LED button just in case you want to turn off the beautiful blue panel that lights up while you are playing. It also features a Home button that, among other things, will let you change between X-Input and D-Input.

To wrap things up, this controller is brilliant. The few complaints I may have are not important, and in some aspects it feels even better than the standard PlayStation/Xbox controllers which have issues too. Kudos to that battery that has surprised me so much, and for the ergonomic design with such small size, even though the left stick is not where I'd love it to be. The product is $39'99 USD but you can find it even cheaper if you get it on sale in well known shopping sites like Amazon. You can find further details of the controller at DarkWalker's official page following this link:

This product has been sent by DarkWalker for reviewing purposes. In no way this fact has influenced any opinions included in this text.

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