Moga Rebel Review
Moga is one of the bigger names in the mobile gaming space that’s been quite busy establishing itself with its line of Bluetooth enabled gamepads, which help to bridge the gap between the experience we get from traditional home consoles and mobile devices. After gaining attention with its portfolio of Android compatible gamepads, they finally went forward and delivered its first model for iOS – the Moga Ace Power. Unfortunately, the Ace Power felt too clunky and toyish in design to make it a versatile option for serious gamers. Well, it seems they’re making right with its latest offering in the Moga Rebel.
- microUSB cable
- Quick start guide
A considerable step up over the Moga Ace Power, the Moga Rebel sports the design and layout to make it a useable controller.
Seriously, it’s like night and day between the Moga Ace Power and the Rebel, thanks largely in part to the Rebel’s more ideal design and logical layout. In all fairness, the Rebel looks very much like the solidly constructed gaming controllers we’ve seen them make for Android – where it mimics the styling, comfort, and feel we get from traditional home console controllers.
Just like its other models, the Moga Rebel is completely constructed out of plastic, which gives it a slick feel in the hand, but it’s deceptively lightweight. It’s extremely lightweight to the point that it feels hollow, but we’re not complaining too much about it, just because it makes it easy for travel. At the same time, it’s super comfortable to hold with our hands, as it features a very ergonomic design that naturally allows us to grip its sides properly.
Unlike the Ace Power, the Rebel offers real dual-analog controllers for precision – whereas before with the Ace Power, they were more like short nubs that lacked fine control. In addition, it features the wealth of buttons and triggers we’d want to find in a handy controller, like a d-pad, four action buttons, shoulder buttons, and analog triggers. Interestingly, everything is pressure sensitive, so it’s able to distinguish presses that are light, firm, and everything in between. We have few complaints about its offering, but we really wished that its dual-analog sticks could be pressed down as well – to follow the operation we get in console grade controllers.
There’s a microUSB port towards the top section of the Rebel that’s used to charge its internal 680 mAh battery, while along the bottom area, there’s a simple on/off switch. A staple in Moga’s collection, the Rebel offers the convenience of holding an iPhone or iPod touch with the help from its S.M.R.T. Lock Arm, which can even accommodate the hefty sized iPhone 6 Plus. Of course, this method is ideal when playing games on-the-go, but the Rebel can still be used independently.
Pairing the Moga Rebel to an iOS device is pretty simple, seeing all that’s required is to switch it into the on position and download the MogaWorld app from the App Store. With its Bluetooth connection, we’re able to generally maintain a connection for up to 20 feet before it becomes finicky and unstable. To be fair, though, it’s meant to be used primarily in close proximity to an iOS device.
Not all iOS devices are supported by the Moga Rebel. Specifically, the listing of supported devices includes the iPad (4th Generation & above) and iPhone/iPod Touch (5th Generation and above). Therefore, if you own anything before the iPhone 5, you’re out of luck. As for the app itself, it’s necessary to download initially to set up and get the Moga Rebel connected to your device.
Honestly, though, that’s the extent of its usefulness, seeing that it’s not needed for anything else once the controller is initially paired. However, it’s the hub that showcases all of the current gaming titles that support the controller – plus, there’s this neat demo that shows off the pressure sensitivity of the gamepad.
The Moga Rebel is the best way to experience all of those top-notch console games we’ve come to enjoy through the years, it’s just the only way to go.
Mobile gaming is primarily categorized into two specific areas: games that are initially developed for touch in mind (aka touch games) and those that are simply ported from consoles. With the former, the Moga Rebel doesn’t make any impact because it’s not meant to try and compete against games that play mainly with touch interaction – it just doesn’t make sense to use the Rebel for them. On the other hand, however, the Rebel is the ideal thing that takes away the hassle and frustration of dealing with on-screen touch controls.
As it currently stands, there are over 100+ games in the App Store that are compatible to work with the Moga Rebel – with notable titles such as Star Wars: Knights of the old Republic, Tomb Raider, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Dead Trigger 2, Worms 3, Final Fantasy IV, and much more. Any hardcore gamer will be already familiar with those titles, since they’re basically ports – so their control schemes center around using a gamepad, as opposed to touch. Without question, the Moga Rebel is the best way to play those games, mainly because the majority of our device’s screen is masked by on-screen controls.
Using the Moga Rebel, naturally, frees things up considerably – giving us more room to view the game in action through the screen. From first person shooters, to others that go with a third-person perspective, the Moga Rebel proves to be an invaluable thing in making these kind of games oh-so enjoyable. For fighting games, though, the d-pad is sufficient enough to use, but it’s still not quite as tight with its operation than something like the Sony Dualshock 4 controller.
Very recently, Moga’s line of gamepads offered owners the ability to charge their devices on the go – like the Moga Ace Power. Sadly, though, that feature has been omitted with the Moga Rebel. We’re not terribly sad about this, but it still would’ve been nice to see that extended into this model.
Despite that, the Rebel’s rechargeable 680 mAh battery is long lasting enough to get you playing for several hours straight. In our experience, playing a game for 2 straight hours didn’t budge the Rebel’s battery life one bit, as it still displayed a healthy 4 out of 4 bars of battery life. Specifically, there’s a button on the unit that lights up 4 LEDs on the controller to indicate its battery status.
Gaming is taken to a whole new level with the Moga Rebel! Quite frankly, it’s the companion you want when playing games that require more than just some simple touch interactions. From driving games, first person shooters, and even some beat ‘em up games, the Rebel’s precision and logical layout makes it so enjoyable playing these games for long periods of time. No longer must our view of the games be cluttered with our fingers hovering over several on-screen controls!
Now, it’s pretty hard to imagine that the Moga Rebel is priced identically to Ace Power, since it’s a newer product and all, but it is. Nevertheless, its $79.99 cost is something we feel to be justified – more so when controllers for the XBOX One and PlayStation 4 retail for easily $60. Indeed, the Rebel is a smidgen more expensive, but factoring the few gamepad options available for Apple’s mobile platform, we’ll gladly fork over the cash to enhance the gaming experience.