QRD Spark N5 Controller Review – An Affordable Solid Choice

Veloz Lamma

QRD Spark N5 Controller Review – An Affordable Solid Choice

While first-party controllers like the PlayStation 4 and DualSense are solid controllers, their well-known drifting issues severely limit their lifespans, especially for those unwilling to open the controllers up to clean them. The solution to these issues is Hall Effect sticks, which use magnets and electrical conductors instead of mechanical parts. While there are a few controllers with this type of stick on the market, many of them are premium controllers with a hefty price tag, which considerably limits their popularity. It’s mainly for this reason the QRD Spark N5 controller could be a good choice for those who are tired of drifting issues but don’t want to shell out too much for a feature that really should become the standard.

At a glance, the QRD Spark N5 controller looks like any other third-party controller. Featuring the typical shape of the Xbox controller but with symmetrical sticks, the build quality doesn’t exactly scream high quality, as the slick black plastic used for the controller feels a little cheap. However, for its price, one shouldn’t have expected much in this regard. Weighing at only 221g, the controller is lighter than others, which is great for preventing fatigue from long gaming sessions. The lightweight is extremely impressive, considering the QRD Spark N5 also features rumble, whose intensity can be regulated on the fly by holding the Turbo button on the front and moving the controller up or down, cleverly taking advantage of its gyroscopic capabilities. Its size, although on the smaller side, is also acceptable, making it a good controller for hands of every size.

The QRD Spark N5’s battery capacity of 1200mAh guarantees, on paper, around 8 hours of gameplay with a full charge retained for 30 days. Having purposedly tested the controller in games with many rumble effects, the estimate provided by the manufacturer is more or less correct. The controller’s wireless range of 8 meters is also standard fare for wireless controllers and should be more than enough for most players. As such, the QRD Spark N5 definitely covers the basics rather nicely.

A few features set the QRD Spark N5 apart from other third-party controllers and make it a decent choice for those looking for something that is usually found on more expensive controllers. The aforementioned Hall Effect sticks are an excellent addition, as not only do they feel extremely accurate, but they also prevent the annoying drifting issues that seem to plague most controllers using traditional sticks nowadays. The buttons, on the other hand, are nothing special. Both face buttons and triggers feel a little mushy, but they have no issue whatsoever, and they started feeling more comfortable over time, although the Xbox-styled triggers required a little more time to do so for me, as I have been using primarily PlayStation controllers for years. Still, after a few hours, I had no trouble playing action-intense games like Hi-Fi Rush and Granblue Fantasy Relink.

Unfortunately, the QRD Spark N5’s directional pad is not as good as the Hall Effect sticks. Having tested it extensively in 2D fighting games such as Street Fighter 6 and Guilty Gear Strive, I did not find it very comfortable, despite being accurate enough and undoubtedly slightly better than the d-pad of other third-party controllers. Some players could definitely make it work with enough time and patience, but it did not feel comfortable enough for me to keep trying. At the end of the day, it is only a minor gripe, as the vast majority of players use sticks, and in this regard, the controller definitely delivers.

Rounding up the unique features of the QRD Spark N5 are two back puddle buttons, which can be programmed with macros quite easily, turbo functionality, eight single LED colors for the face buttons and sticks, and a holder that can be attached on top of the controller to hold a mobile phone. Pairing the controller with my Android phone was quick and painless, almost as simple as using the included USB Type-C cable to use the controller with my PC and PlayStation 5. Hence, the controller is a great choice for playing mobile games, considering how it doesn’t weigh too much even with a smartphone on top of it.

While it’s most definitely not a premium controller, the QRD Spark N5 controller comes with some great features that make it an excellent choice for pretty much every player except those looking for the best d-pad around. The Hall Effect sticks, in particular, set it apart from most controllers in the $50 range, potentially granting it a longer life than other products using traditional sticks prone to drifting issues.

Review unit provided by the manufacturer.

Products mentioned in this post

8.0

Wccftech Rating

Featuring Hall Effect sticks, back paddles and a few additional features not found in first-party controllers, the QRD Spark N5 controller is an excellent choice for those looking for some premium features without having to spend hundreds of dollars for them. While the build quality and the d-pad are average, the controller is among the best in the $50 price range.

Pros
  • Hall Effect sticks
  • Back paddles
  • Light weight
  • Hassle-free pairing with different gaming devices
  • Excellent price for what the controller offers
Cons
  • Buttons are a little mushy
  • Build quality and d-pad are not the best

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