HyperX Clutch Tanto Mini Wired Controller Review

amazon, android, hyperx clutch tanto mini wired controller review

HyperX Clutch Tanto Mini Wired Controller Review

  • HyperX expands product line with affordable mini controller, the Clutch Tanto Mini, ideal for small hands and retro gaming enthusiasts.
  • Despite lightweight build, uncomfortable cord and lack of wireless feature may limit its usability for certain games on PC, Xbox, and Android devices.
  • Clutch Tanto Mini may not be the best choice for most players, with other more ergonomic and affordable wired controllers available in the market.

HyperX is best known for its headsets, though they have been expanding their product line quite a bit in recent years, adding gaming mice, high-quality microphones, and controllers to their site. So far, they seem to be content with their Clutch controllers being entry-level offerings, though they have only released three so far: the Clutch Gladiate, the Clutch RGB, and now the Clutch Tanto Mini. This compact gamepad represents yet another affordable option from the HyperX brand.

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Players who enjoy lightweight, compact gaming are likely drawn to this new controller thanks to its tiny design. Game Rant tested the gamepad across several games on Xbox Series X, PC, and Android. Is the HyperX Clutch Tanto Mini wired controller worthwhile, or is its unique form factor just an eye-catching gimmick?

Whats in the Box?

  • HyperX Clutch Tanto Mini Gaming Controller
  • 9.76-foot USB-C to USB-A cable
  • USB-A to USB-C adapter

HyperX is not known for giving out lots of little extras, though their packaging isn’t the worst. For the Clutch Tanto Mini wired controller, including a USB-C to USB-A adapter is a nice touch that some gamers will appreciate.

Design & Comfort

Fans of retro Sega games will instantly feel comfortable with the Tanto Mini’s overall shape, which is very similar to the Genesis controller. It's even more compact, offering its bulbous sides and stocky, almost rectangular build. Going along with the retro theme is the semi-transparent, black plastic face cover, though admittedly, none of the interior electronics can be seen.

However, the matte finish feels smooth without being slick, and the back of the controller has a grid-patterned texture across everything but the brand’s sticker. The triggers come with a different matte finish, while the D-pad is made with a glossy finish and the joysticks have a ring of texture around them, making it very easy to operate all of the functions. The front handles, though short and curved, have a unique, flat design on top, creating comfortable spots to rest part of your palm against the controller while playing. The shapely gamepad is perfect for users with small hands or those who prefer mini controllers, but there are some serious caveats to this point.

First and foremost, if you do not have small hands, this controller is going to hurt you after a short while, especially if you aren’t particularly a fan of mini controllers. Even after 20 minutes, it’s likely that your hands will be cramped. Secondly, despite the super lightweight build of HyperX’s gamepad, this mini controller isn’t as convenient as you’d hope because of its unwieldy cord.

The nearly 10-foot cord is like any other HyperX controller cord: stiff yet malleable and made with rubber rather than braided fabric. Despite being meant for portability, the cord doesn’t come with any kind of velcro strap to reduce the length when gaming on a phone or in close proximity to a PC or Xbox. Not only is the cord too long to be considered portable, but it’s also so heavy that it adds significant weight to the gamepad, eliminating any convenience gained by its small size.

Although its $40 price tag could be considered budget in some circles, it is closer to the price range of wireless controllers than wired ones. Truthfully, it would have made much more sense if the Clutch Tanto Mini gamepad was wireless, as being wired with such a heavy cord negates any benefit it gains from its compact size, especially when considering the types of games the controller is best paired with.

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Performance

The Tanto Mini’s two joysticks may make the gamepad seem as though it could tackle anything, but its small size ultimately limits its usability. When playing Fortnite, not even an entire match passed before the controller was too uncomfortable to use without frequent pauses to readjust the grip. This gamepad is clearly not meant for FPS gaming, and it’s hard to imagine even players with small hands enjoying the Clutch Tanto in fast-paced titles.

That being said, the gamepad performed excellently when used with more arcade-style titles. When playing some classic Sonic the Hedgehog, the Tanto really shined, proving its compatibility with retro gaming. Likewise, playing Another Crab’s Treasure with the Tanto Mini was much more manageable and comfortable, thanks to that game’s focus on ABXY inputs, rather than joystick maneuvers.

There was no major difference between gaming on PC or Xbox, though again the cord presented a problem with the more close-quarters gaming PC setup. The latency is extremely low with this gamepad, though that’s to be expected of wired controllers. Along with this, the buttons and joysticks are snappy and offer tactile feedback. There are even two small rumble packs in the gamepad, providing some muted vibration from various titles.

The Clutch Tanto Mini is also compatible with Android devices, but here the controller almost entirely misses the mark. The gamepad is connected to phones and tablets using a USB-A to USB-C adapter, with the adapter end needing to connect to the desired device rather than the controller. This presents a problem because the adapter is too bulky to fit into phones very well, particularly if the phone has a cover on it.

While it is possible to get it to stay plugged in, the metal USB-C plug on the adapter is fairly long and won’t be fully covered even when plugged in all the way. The adapter often slips out if you move, a problem that the heavy cord makes even worse. It’s usually best to game with any covers removed, but that is simply a big pain without much reward.

Additionally, the cord is extremely long for playing on a phone or tablet. While it can be folded up somewhat, there’s no way to avoid gaming with a mass of cords on your lap. Plus, for some reason, you must flip the switch on the back from Xbox to mobile mode before your device will recognize the controller.

While it’s certainly a good option for retro gamers and fans of arcade games who also have small hands, the HyperX Clutch Tanto Mini offers decent performance across a very limited spectrum of gaming.

Overall Impression

One question that kept popping up was, “Who is this controller for?” The answer is unclear. Typically, mini controllers are best for children and other users with small hands or gamers who want portability, but given the inconvenient cord that makes the controller uncomfortable and unwieldy, it’s tough to recommend HyperX’s Clutch Tanto mini.

What is supposed to be a lightweight, compact, and convenient gamepad is not much more than an enthusiast controller, ideal for far too few gamers. The cord is really damning with this controller, as it manages to wick away any convenience you’d expect from the small form factor. That size is ideal for young gamers and those with small hands, but the benefits are limited even in those cases.

Retro and arcade PC gamers who want a small controller would be better off picking a wireless one, as would mobile gamers. The shape of the gamepad, as well as the responsiveness of the buttons, makes it so that even modern titles are fun to play, but only when you avoid joystick-heavy games, such as shooters. Those on Xbox will have a much better time with the controller while playing on the couch, where the cord can be kept detangled and well out of the way. With Game Pass in particular, there are plenty of titles that will capitalize on this unique controller design.

If HyperX made a wireless version of the Tanto mini, it would likely impress most players with even a passing interest in mini controllers. However, as it stands, the HyperX Clutch Tanto Mini is a somewhat overpriced, if unique, wired gamepad offering.

HyperX Clutch Tanto Mini Wired Controller

Perfect for young Xbox players as well as gamers who simply prefer smaller, more portable controllers, the HyperX Clutch Tanto makes for a great addition to gaming setups. The HyperX Clutch Tanto Mini Gaming Controller is a compact, officially licensed wired Xbox controller offering all the standard buttons and controls. The super lightweight build means the controller is only 5.8 ounces (165g), easily fitting in backpacks or pockets for some gaming on the go. The nearly 10-foot long cord comes with a USB-C to USB-A adaptor, making it easy to connect to Xbox consoles, PC, and Android devices. It also features a 3.5mm stereo jack, so you can easily connect your favorite HyperX wired headset and seamlessly add the Tanto Mini to your gaming accessory collection.

Wireless? NoCompatible Systems Xbox Series S|X, PC, AndroidBrand HyperXConnectivity USB-CHeadset Support 3.5mmProgrammable Buttons NoWeight 5.8 oz Pros

  • Compact build
  • Compatible with PC, mobile, and Xbox

Cons

  • Cord is too heavy

$40 at HyperX$40 at Amazon

Perfect for young Xbox players as well as gamers who simply prefer smaller, more portable controllers, the HyperX Clutch Tanto makes for a great addition to gaming setups. The HyperX Clutch Tanto Mini Gaming Controller is a compact, officially licensed wired Xbox controller offering all the standard buttons and controls. The super lightweight build means the controller is only 5.8 ounces (165g), easily fitting in backpacks or pockets for some gaming on the go. The nearly 10-foot-long cord comes with a USB-C to USB-A adapter, making it easy to connect to Xbox consoles, PC, and Android devices. It also features a 3.5mm stereo jack, so you can easily connect your favorite HyperX wired headset and seamlessly add the Tanto Mini to your gaming accessory collection.

Alternative Products

While the Clutch Tanto Mini isn’t ideal for many players, these controllers offer features that will more closely meet their needs.

Alternate Feature

Product

Price

More Ergonomic

8bitdo Pro 2 Wired Controller for Xbox

$42

More Affordable

PowerA Wired Controller For Xbox

$25

Wireless

PowerA Moga XP Ultra

$100

8BitDo is known for having incredibly low latency, and their Pro 2 wired controller offers a lightweight build and thinner handles that make it easy to grip. The overall design lends itself well to retro gaming too, and it is compatible with both Xbox and PC.

In the same vein, PowerA’s standard wired Xbox controller is a staple within the community. PowerA also has excellent connectivity, and their wired controller is typically available for less than $30, making it an easily justified investment.

At the end of the day though, most players who want an ultra-portable controller should choose a wireless one. PowerA’s Moga XP Ultra was recently reviewed by Game Rant and offers wide compatibility. The controller can be standard-sized, or the center can be removed to give players a mini controller that is ideal for gaming on the go.

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FAQ

Q: Do they make smaller controllers for kids?

Yes, mini controllers are designed for smaller hands and are perfect for kids.

Q: What are the benefits of a mini controller?

A mini controller can be more comfortable for users with small hands and also allow some players to have greater control over their lightning-fast inputs, especially for fighting games and other arcade-style games.

Q: What is the difference between a gamepad and a controller?

A controller is any device that controls another device. A gamepad is the specific type of controller most commonly used in gaming, featuring joysticks, a D-pad, face buttons, and triggers.

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