PB Tails CHOC 2 Switch Gaming Controller, a new wave of ultra-compact and stylish gaming controllers. PB Tails were nice enough to send their updated CHOC 2 controller my way so let’s check it out!
CHOC 2 Goes METAL
The PB TAILS CHOC 2 Bluetooth wireless controller is a fashionable gaming companion featuring a full-metal shell. The angular design makes a return this time with a more Mecha Sci-fi concept from the future. The face of the controller deviates from the minimalist look of the previous range and now flaunts a loud and garish design that screams cyber and Mecha themes. They call it the Knight Warrior!
CHOC 2 – Knight Warrior Unboxed
Packaging is straight to the point and houses the controller, multi-lingual instruction manual and a USB-C charging cable. The USB cable has data transfer capability and you can link the controller to a Nintendo Switch Console/Steam Deck in wired mode too.
CHOC 2 Controller Overview
My V1 Urban Steel CHOC controller was retro inspired and personalised with custom engraving, I still use it from time to time. CHOC 2 weighs considerably more than its predecessor due to its full-metal body, this isn’t a bad thing. It feels compact and sturdy in my hands. Perhaps it’s best not to hand this one over to anyone who might fling the controller when raging!
The layout of the buttons are very much the same and they feel almost identical with clicky shoulder buttons. Button are a matte plastic finish and are responsive to use. The Knight warrior feels like Joy-Cons in a mini Pro controller form factor with a premium metal finish.
The D-PAD has also been updated this time and uses directional buttons instead in similar fashion to Joy-Cons. This is a major change for me in fighting games and the experience is considerably different. The directional buttons are very responsive and I’m able to execute moves with some consistency but I still prefer a D-PAD. Joy-Cons benefit from directional buttons as you can detach them from the console and share with a friend by rotating them. This isn’t the case with the dedicated CHOC 2 controller, perhaps a further iteration might bring it closer to the PS-Vita style D-PAD we see featured on the GPD Win-Max 2.
The analog sticks on the PB Tails Metal controller are identical this time round, similar to that seen on Joy-Cons. During my tests using https://gamepad-tester.com/ I found the sticks were snapping in 8 directions, meaning no precising aiming and movement in certain games like FPS. Fine for playing retro games but not ideal for games requiring more precise movement.
PBTails issued a firmware update (. Flashing the update is straightforward, plug in the controller while holding L3 (clicking in left analog stick) and hit update. The sticks now have full range of motion. Ability to support updates are important to fix bugs that might arise from console updates.
Gaming All Round
The CHOC 2 Knight Warrior controller can connect to most devices, allowing wired and wireless connection to PC in X-input mode and also mobile devices via Bluetooth. Switch game-play is very close to the original CHOC controller.
CHOC 2 works just fine with the Steam Deck too. It will show up as either a Pro Controller or Xbox 360 controller in X-input mode. Just hold sync and find the device in Bluetooth devices within SteamOS.
CHOC 2 Overall
PB Tails continue to offer a unique spin on gaming accessories and the CHOC 2 Knight Warrior controller is a great gift for gamers and collectors. I can’t help but feel it would be awesome if they were able to source Hall effect sensors to eliminate stick drift entirely. Perhaps on the next iteration.
The Knight Warrior all-metal controller is a solid update that expands the stylish and nostalgic concept to a more futuristic tone. It’s easy to throw into a backpack and compliments both mobile and Nintendo Switch Gaming. This may also pique the interest of Indie and retro gamers owning a Steam Deck for a more compact gaming setup.
With many retro and indie titles on the switch, I like playing my retro games with the PB Tails Knight Warrior. For those that have subscribed to Nintendo Switch Online or want to retro game on EmuDeck, this slim Bluetooth controller is worth a look.
PB Tails offer something unique and visually appealing. The build quality and features packed into this mini controller ticks many boxes. The smaller form-factor might be an issue for some people, a personal preference to consider. The quality on the Knight Warrior CHOC controller is solid, making it something I can recommend to people looking for a multi-platform mini gaming controller with identity.