Overwhelmed by the options available at custom controller shop Mega Modz, I turned to nine-year-old Seamus Fahey for design advice. What at first seemed like a completely arbitrary selection of colors and buttons coalesced into this purple, green, red, and orange homage to Metroid, a series that will never be officially playable on an Xbox.
After customizing a damn fine DualSense controller at my go-to controller customizer, I decided to go with a different shop to see what I could make of the new Xbox Series X/S controller. Unlike the DualSense, which has a segmented shell that lends itself well to complimentary colors, the Series X/S controller is pretty much just the Xbox One controller with a different directional pad and a share button. We’ve got the same basic parts—shell, sticks, buttons, bumpers, triggers, and grips. It’s just a matter of combining Mega Modz options for the best results.
I say that like it’s an easy thing. Though Mega Modz’ customization engine is simple to use, there are a ton of options. We start with the body, which can be plain black or white, chrome, custom colors, special designs, or even hydro-dipped with special patterns. At first I settled on wood grain, hoping to maybe go with a steampunk sort of vibe. Then I pondered a chameleon color that shifted hues when viewed from different angles. Then I decided to go for a transparent shell, because I love see-through plastic. A half-hour had passed at this point. Knowing I was in trouble, I called out the big guns.
My son Seamus is no stranger to controller customization, having done up a very nice PS4 controller for me when he was four. Now nine, he’s even more decisive than ever, mainly because he wants to get back to his computer and stop me from bothering him. Harnessing the power of an inpatient child, we knocked out our custom design in about five minutes. He may have been choosing random options just to humor me, but I’d like to imagine he had some sort of agenda.
What we wound up with is this odd hodgepodge of a controller that’s been growing on me since I received it a couple days after placing the order. Mega Modz has parts ready to assemble, so the turnaround is ridiculously fast. At first I called it the Xbox Controller of Zur-En-Arrh, a reference to the purple-and-red alien Batman from DC Comics. Then someone on Twitter pointed out the Metroid color scheme to me, and now that’s all I can see. Specifically, the gravity suit from Metroid Prime, with its purple arms and green gun.
See those shiny green analog sticks? They’re made of aluminum. They’re my favorite. More sensitive thumbs might have problems with the cold metal ridges of the pads, but my old, calloused digits handle them just fine. The orange circular d-pad ensures I won’t accidentally get shot while playing Xbox or PC games in the woods during hunting season. The purple buttons look delicious, and I want to eat them.
Think the design is ugly? You’ve not even seen the back yet.
Light blue splotchy rubber textured grips, baby! Combined with the silver and blue metallic triggers and bumpers, there’s a party going on back there. It’s the mullet of custom game controllers.
I think the design rocks, but mainly because my child distractedly infused the controller with everlasting father-son memories. I will never forget the adorable way he wanted absolutely nothing to do with the process and wished he could leave. Or the way I showed the finished product to him when it arrived and he barely looked, said “neat,” and went straight back to his bedroom.
Thanks for the memories, Mega Modz.