Mad Catz C.A.T. 9 Wireless Gaming Controller Review

The Mad Catz C.A.T. 9 wireless gaming controller is a reasonably priced and multi-platform compatible device that offers a unique aesthetic with its transparent crystal-shell design and RGB lighting. Its customization features, including extra programmable buttons and customizable lighting effects, enhance the user experience. Although the controller's performance and build quality have room for improvement—particularly the stick drift issue that arises after a month of use and the separate button design of the D-pad—it provides an immersive gaming experience with its dual vibration system and 6-axis motion sensors. While the build quality might seem a bit lacking to some users, its features and price point make it a solid choice for many gamers.
  • Multi-platform compatibility: The controller is compatible with Android, iOS, Windows PC, and the Nintendo Switch, providing a great deal of flexibility to gamers.
  • Bluetooth 5.0 and USB-C connectivity: These features ensure seamless connection with different devices and uninterrupted gameplay.
  • Programmable buttons: The extra programmable buttons offer a layer of customization and control that can enhance the gaming experience.
  • Unique Aesthetic: The transparent crystal-shell design combined with RGB lighting offers a distinctive look.
  • Price: The controller is priced reasonably for the features it provides.
  • Build quality: Some gamers might find the controller's weight and feel somewhat lacking, giving it a slightly cheap feel.
  • D-Pad Design: The D-pad is designed as separate buttons rather than a traditional rounded pad, which could hinder gameplay in certain games, particularly those requiring smooth, rounded input.
  • Stick drift issue: After a extended of usage, the controller started showing signs of stick drift, which could significantly impact gameplay, particularly in FPS games.
  • Limitations of the extra buttons: While they do offer extra customization, the extra buttons can only be mapped to existing buttons, which could limit their usefulness in certain games.
Quality - 7
Performance - 7.5
Customization - 8
Design - 7.5
Price - 8

The Mad Catz C.A.T. 9 wireless gaming controller is an exciting entrant in the gaming accessories market, building upon the foundations laid by its predecessor, the C.A.T. 7. This review will delve into the multifaceted features, aesthetics, and performance of this controller, providing an in-depth analysis for gaming enthusiasts.

Design and Aesthetics

The design of the C.A.T. 9 is striking, boasting a cool crystal shell construction. This transparent casing offers a unique glimpse into the internal mechanics of the device, a feature that is sure to impress gamers who appreciate the intricacies of their hardware. This design is complemented by an onboard RGB lighting system that cycles through eight unique colors, creating a visually appealing gaming accessory. However, it’s worth noting that while the lighting is engaging, the range of the RGB is somewhat limited.

Weight and Feel

Weighing in on the lighter side, the controller’s weight could be perceived as both a strength and a weakness. The lighter construction contributes to a comfortable gaming experience over extended periods, preventing fatigue. On the downside, the lack of heft might lend the controller a slightly cheap feel, potentially deterring gamers who prefer a more substantial, robust feel in their hands.

Button Placement and Function

The C.A.T. 9 has additional buttons conveniently located on the back handle. These buttons can prove handy in the heat of battle, providing easy access to crucial commands. However, they are not without limitations. The extra buttons can only mimic existing commands, rather than offering new, unique functions.

Compatibility and Connectivity

One of the standout features of the C.A.T. 9 is its broad compatibility. Equipped with Bluetooth 5.0 technology, this controller can connect with a diverse range of platforms, including Android, iOS, Windows PC, and Switch. This multi-platform compatibility provides gamers with the flexibility to switch between devices seamlessly. Furthermore, a USB-C wired connection is also an option, ensuring uninterrupted gameplay even when the built-in battery runs out.

Immersive Gaming Experience

The C.A.T. 9 seeks to enhance the gaming experience with several immersive features. A dual vibration system, combined with 6-axis motion sensors, ensures a responsive and engaging gaming experience. The lighting effects can also synchronize with the vibration system, adding an additional sensory dimension to gameplay.

Points for Improvement

Despite its appealing features, the C.A.T. 9 has some areas needing improvement. The controller’s D-pad design is a point of contention. Designed as separate buttons rather than a more effective rounded pad, this feature may hinder gameplay in certain games, particularly those requiring smooth, rounded input.

While the C.A.T. 9 does employ a USB-C connection, which is positive, it does have other elements that could be considered less than optimal. The controller’s weight, for instance, might be off-putting to some users, as it can make the device feel less substantial and slightly cheap.

Value for Money

Priced at $59.99, the C.A.T. 9 aligns with other controllers in the same range in terms of performance and build quality. While it has its drawbacks, the extra buttons, macro capabilities, and multi-platform compatibility add a considerable amount of value.

Final Thoughts

The Mad Catz C.A.T. 9 wireless gaming controller is a solid choice for gamers seeking a budget-friendly, multi-platform compatible controller with a unique aesthetic. It does have room for improvement, particularly in its build quality and D-pad design. However, its array of features and capabilities largely offset these drawbacks.

The controller’s transparent crystal-shell design combined with the RGB lighting offers a distinctive look that sets it apart from many of its competitors. Its lightweight construction can be a boon for lengthy gaming sessions, although it may not appeal to those who prefer a more substantial feel.

Its compatibility across various platforms, courtesy of Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, is one of its strongest selling points. Being able to switch between Android, iOS, Windows PC, and Switch seamlessly allows gamers a great deal of flexibility. The fact that it can also be used wired with USB-C ensures uninterrupted gameplay, even when the battery runs out.

The extra programmable buttons, despite their limitations, offer a layer of customization and control that can enhance the gameplay experience. Additionally, the dual vibration system and 6-axis motion sensors offer a more immersive experience, further heightened by the synchronization of lighting effects with the vibration system.

In terms of long-term performance, the issue of stick drift after is a concern and might deter serious gamers, particularly those fond of FPS games. Despite this, it’s important to remember that the C.A.T. 9 is not priced as a premium controller, and for its price range, it offers great performance.

The Mad Catz C.A.T. 9 wireless gaming controller provides a good balance of price, performance, and aesthetics. It might not be the top choice for more demanding or professional gamers, but for those seeking a versatile, visually engaging controller that won’t break the bank, the C.A.T. 9 is a worthy consideration.

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Gaming since Nintendo! Entrepreneur, gamer, wine lover, America! Come join the fun on the GL Discord!

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