hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

SteelSeries Stratus
 BLOG ABOUT THIS

Review: SteelSeries Stratus iOS controller

2:00 PM on 01.06.2014 // Chris Carter
  @DtoidChris

Wireless support allows for iPhone and iPad play

MFi controllers really have the ability to be a game changer for iOS devices. But they're in their infancy, and not only are a select amount of games supported, but they also have some limitations. So far, I've reviewed the Logitech Powershell and MOGA Ace Power -- two controllers that are wired, and only work for specific iPhone flavored devices.

Out of nowhere comes a new challenger -- the SteelSeries Stratus line for iOS, which allows for the same four trigger, dual analog control system of the Ace Power, but this time, with wireless support.

If only it were priced a tad cheaper.

Product: SteelSeries Stratus
Manufacturer: SteelSeries
Supported devices: iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, iPod touch (5th gen)
MSRP: $99.99

The controller has an extremely simplistic look and feel that should be familiar to anyone who has touched a Dualshock controller before. It has all of the essentials, including a d-pad, two analog sticks, a pause button, four triggers and four face buttons. Since it's Bluetooth based it has a convenient on and off switch on the side, and comes with a charging cable (sadly, it can't be used while charging, which is a bummer). In terms of battery life the Stratus lasted me quite a while (hours upon hours), and the simplistic LED lights on the face show you how much juice it has left. 

You should note, though, that this controller is tiny. Take a look at the comparison pictures and see just how tiny it is, as it may result in hand cramping after prolonged use. The face buttons feel perfect, and are just sensitive enough to ease into without accidentally triggering them. The same goes for the pause button, which is far enough away where you won't hit it automatically.

The d-pad is pretty much on-point and precise, and doesn't have a "sticky" feeling to it -- although I wouldn't put it on the same level as a Dualshock pad. While the L1 and R1 buttons work perfectly, the L2 and R2 are strangely shaped, and are actually pretty small -- they don't work nearly as well as full-on triggers. Everything else works great though, and even though my thumbs were pretty close together with the two analog sticks I still didn't have too much trouble.

My tests with nearly every game I tried it with came out positive, mostly because of the addition of the two analog sticks. If a game didn't support either option, much like the MOGA Ace Power I could easily just switch between the directional inputs, and the face buttons work like a charm. I have no real complaints with the d-pad or sticks throughout my sessions, and the only minor problem I ran into was constantly "finding" R2 to accelerate in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. It's far from unplayable, though.

So what really sets the Stratus apart from its competitors? Wireless support. Simply put, the ability to go wireless and play via Bluetooth allows for the use of the Stratus on older model iPhones, iPods, and of course, iPads -- which the other controllers can't fit into. Bluetooth syncing could be better though, since the only indicator you have of a successful sync process are the cheap LED lights, and sometimes it can get pretty ambiguous. I've also had the signal drop a few times (this isn't normal though), and had to re-sync.

But the minor inconvenience of sync ambiguity is far outweighed by the ability to play on any device, and it also frees up the lightning port for the Lighting Digital AV Adapter for HDMI based Airplay on your TV, or any other accessory you might plug in there. As an added bonus, multiple controllers inherently support multiplayer sessions like any ol' console would. Sure, it isn't going to function as a backup battery for your phone like the Powershell or Ace Power, but since most people are probably going to buy a controller to control things, I don't see that being a problem.

SteelSeries really knocked it out of the park with this one with a solid controller that opens up more play control options. There's just one elephant in the room -- the $99 pricepoint. I'm sure SteelSeries was just running with the pack and not overextending on this one, pricing themselves against the other two competitors, but with the limited library on iOS, it's still a tough sell. Having said that, iOS controller support is getting stronger every day, and eventually, you may want a wireless option -- the Stratus would be a good bet whenever that day comes.



Chris Carter, Reviews Director
 Follow Blog + disclosure DtoidChris Tips
Chris (Magnalon) has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff! -----------... more   |   staff directory



 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

MeeGhoulz avatarMeeGhoulz
Playing UNTIL DAWN 1st time:I'm alright with QTE,but an option to use direction as choices instead of buttons poppin' on screen would be welcome!Also:NO SHINY ITENS TO INDICATE CLUES!LET ME DISCOVER THEM!All in all,it's fun enough...
IDrawOnTape avatarIDrawOnTape
If I was to play through the NES library, besides being madness, what order do I do it? Alphabetically or Release date-wise? Whats the Dtoid universe think?
Gundy avatarGundy
Maybe someday I'll finish Natural Doctrine AKA Natty Doc...
Niero Desu avatarNiero Desu
You've got guts, a powerful soul You've got guts, sweet and sour You've got guts, do the guts A man sweats, he really does, go!
Flegma avatarFlegma
Finished Xenoblade Chronicles for the first time in about 107 hours. Got tired of attempting to clear as many sidequests as there were left available. Maybe in NG+...
techsupport avatartechsupport
Woah. I consider myself a nerd and all, but the trophy hunting community is next level. Is there a biopic about the people at the top of these leaderboards? I'd find that very interesting.
Paul S avatarPaul S
GeoHolmes [img]https://www.filepicker.io/api/file/ntf3p5PqS2GteYfXUH33[/img]
Mr Knives avatarMr Knives
I have no idea what this game is about but if this isn't the best goddamn cover art ever, I don't know what is. [url=http://imgur.com/3yw3G8S][img]http://i.imgur.com/3yw3G8S.jpg[/img][/url]
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
#thanksnintendo.
Shinta avatarShinta
Xenoblade X limited edition on Amaxon now. Will probably sell out very fast like usual. http://m.neogaf.com/showthread.php?t=1103729&page=1
BaronVonSnakPak avatarBaronVonSnakPak
Just got a Vita with a 16GB card for super cheap. What games should I be looking out for?
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
So the XCX Special Edition was marked as in stock for 20 seconds and I got a copy! I am disproportionately excited considering what it comes with. Hopefully the art book and packaging are high quality. WOOOOOOOOO!!!!!
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Surprise, Xenoblade Chronicles X Special Edition has already sold out on Amazon.
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
Just a heads up, the Xenoblade Chronicles X Special Edition is up for preorder on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Xenoblade-Chronicles-Special-Edition-Wii-U/dp/B014LNTVGK I think it'll be available elsewhere but you know. Nintendo. Love em but hard to find.
Clicks Clacks avatarClicks Clacks
Picked up Valkyria Chronicles for $5 in the Humble Store, figure I'd advertise that for anyone that doesn't have it yet. Sale ends in less than 42 hours after this post yo. https://www.humblebundle.com/store/p/valkyriachronicles_storefront
gajknight avatargajknight
My copy of National Geographic came today. Best subscription I've paid for, worth it for the lovely pictures alone. This one has a story about elephant poachers and ivory tusks with spy chips in 'em. James Bond shit man.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
If someone used the blog reply feature to just divide a somewhat long blog into easier-to-digest chapters that could be consumed at the leisure of readers, would that be kosher?
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
[youtube]https://youtu.be/7bzKWOeSVn4[/youtube]
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
@Barry Kelly It looks like it will get pretty difficult later on. It even has instafail stealth sections according to @Chris Carter #neededanexcuse to #tryouttheatfeature
Barry Kelly avatarBarry Kelly
I hope MGS V manages to have some sort of challenge to it. I just replayed MGS 4 for the first time since release and wow that game just practically plays itself. And that's outside of the long sections it is playing itself!
more quickposts


Contest!


destructoid's previous coverage:
SteelSeries Stratus


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!



Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -