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Saturday | December 10, 2016
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SteelSeries Stratus Review

SteelSeries Stratus Review

Back in 2012 SteelSeries released a multi-platform, compact, wireless controller which was primarily aimed at mobile gamers. It was called the Free and received a reasonable review from us. Today in our SteelSeries Stratus review we take a look at a very similar product which is essentially an evolution of the Free.

SteelSeries Stratus Review – Packaging and Bundle

steelseries-stratus-review-boxВ steelseries-stratus-review-bundle

The Stratus arrives in a compact box which gives us a nice clear view of the controller inside. There is decent information on the box itself and inside is a USB cable (primarily for charging) as well as some product documentation. Also present is a plastic cover. On the Free SteelSeries bundled a travel pouch but here they go with this cover which protects the front when in transit, and then clips on to the back while playing.

SteelSeries Stratus Review – The Controller

steelseries-stratus-review-top

Looking at the controller itself we have a compact product which measures 110x60x33mm with a weight of 75g. SteelSeries offer white and black versions of the Stratus and both have the same overall design. This includes front side dpad, two thumb sticks and four buttons. Also visible in the image above is the bottom based USB port and then on the right edge of the controller we find an on/off button.

steelseries-stratus-review-back

Flipping the Stratus over we see that the screw holes feature rubber covers, that there is a sync button on the back and that there are four additional buttons on the top edge which we can action with our first fingers on each hand.

SteelSeries Stratus Review – User Experience and Conclusion

So overall the Stratus is a fairly standard controller, plenty of buttons, USB to charge and built in Bluetooth 2.1 with 10 hours of battery life the advertised spec. Support of iDevices is as follows:

iOS 7 or Later Plus
-iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5s,В iPhone 5c, iPhone 5
-iPad mini, iPad Air, iPad 4th Gen
-iPod touch (5th Generation)

stratusup

Before we connect to our iDevice the first thing that is worth doing is to connect the unit to our PC/system, charge it and also check for the latest firmware which should guarantee compatibility and issue free use. The firmware update process is easy, just plug in via USB, run the application which is available on the SteelSeries website and thats it.

As far as connecting our device to our tablet, phone or iPod goes, that too is simple. We just enable bluetooth on both, hold the pair button and pair the controller as we would any other Bluetooth peripheral, such as a headset. 4 controllers can be connected at the same time for multiplayer titles. Once that pairing process is done we launch our game and set the control mode. Speaking of games, other than a price which some may find a little steep (€79.99/£79.99) there is a limited list of games which are supported here on the SteelSeries website and while it isnt a massive list there are plenty of key titles from significant publishers.

As far as gameplay went, we had no issues with the Stratus. It connected quickly and the battery lasted longer than our iPad charge when gaming. The charge time of just over an hour was decent and the controller, despite being small is comfortable to hold. Some games remain better with touch however there are some which really benefit from the Stratus, such as FIFA, GTA and Asphalt 8. They are infinitely more fun with a decent controller, rather than the touch screen.

Summary: Compact, feels sturdy and easy to set up. Given the right games the SteelSeries Stratus should be on the shopping list of any serious mobile (iOS) gamer.

Recommended Award

Available from SteelSeries.

About Author

Stuart Davidson

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