Rotor Riot Mobile Gaming and Drone Controller Review

The Rotor Riot tries, but the lack of compatible games make this controller a pass.

I'm sure we can all agree that a touch screen is not the most ideal way to play most games, including a large portion of mobile games. However, even though an increasing amount of mobile games are controller compatible, there aren't a lot of controllers that work with mobile devices. 

Of the ones that do, which one should you choose? 

To help answer that question, I took a look at the wired Rotor Riot, a controller boasting compatibility with Android devices and drones. I don't dabble in drones, so I purely tested the controller with games on my phone just as you would probably do. 

To put things lightly, the results were a mixed bag.

The Rotor Riot connects to Android devices via USB-C, and it comes already attached to a mount for your phone. The mount is sturdy, much like the rest of the controller.

Once you get the controller in your hands, it's got the sort of weight and plasticy quality you'd expect from an Xbox One or PlayStation 4 controller, so you won't have to spend much time getting used to it.

Another plus is that the buttons aren't loose a woefully common issue with lower-quality controllers. The L2/LT and R2/RT triggers are tight and responsive, too. In other words, when you pick this thing up, it feels "right."

Unfortunately, the controller isn't compatible with a large number of games.

The Rotor Riot recommends downloading compatible games from the Ludu Mapp app, which attempts to compile a large portion of the controller-compatible games on Google Play into one place. Regrettably, it doesn't do it well  not all of the games on Ludu Mapp are compatible with the controller, which is head-scratching at best.

I downloaded games from both Ludu Mapp and Google Play itself to put the Rotor Riot through its paces, but came out disappointed in most tests. Either the controller didn't work at all, one stick would work, or only the face buttons would function.

A real frustration.

I tested a number of games with the controller, including PUBG Mobile, Fortnite, five of the Sega Classics titles, and some random downloads that stated they were compatible with controllers.

The only game in which I got the Rotor Riot to work close to perfectly was with Sonic the Hedgehog Classic, and I was disappointed to find that the right direction on the D-pad was broken. The other directions work fine, but I can't hold right on the D-pad to move it registers as a single press and nothing more.

This is very likely a manufacturing defect in this individual controller, but it was disheartening after struggling to find a game I could actually play in the first place.

Interestingly, this compatibility didn't carry over to some other Sega Classics titles despite them all running on a Sega Genesis emulator. For instance, Phantasy Star wouldn't accept any directional inputs.

The Rotor Riot impresses with its presentation but unfortunately, it can't stand the actual gameplay test due to so many games just not being compatible with it. If you could do more with it, I'd be much more positive. But as it is, the Rotor Riot isn't worth the price for playing games on your phone or tablet.

Perhaps this is better left as a drone controller.

Pros
  • Feels sturdy
  • Buttons don't feel loose or too firm
  • Mount is easy to use
Cons
  • Very few fully compatible games even on the controller's companion app, rendering it almost useless
  • D-pad feels very stiff, and the right direction on D-pad was broken on review unit

The Rotor Riot can be purchased on Amazon for $49.99.

Our Rating
4
The Rotor Riot tries, but the lack of compatible games make this controller a pass.

Associate Editor

Ashley spends all her time playing games, cooking, and studying languages. It's a miracle she's not burned out on the whole thing after being a game addict since '89 (I'm old, deal with it). Classic annoying Sega kid, still hasn't let go of Sonic and prefers arcade-style games. Final Fantasy and SaGa rock whatever it is you like, chump.

Platforms Peripherals
Published Jan. 23rd 2019

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