The Turtle Beach Recon Cloud is an all-in-one controller that allows you to play games on multiple platforms. This controller is similar to Turtle Beach's existing Recon, but with the addition of a wireless connection, it can be used with phones, tablets, and PCs.
A mobile phone clip in the box, which screws into the gamepad's top for a very sturdy mount, is one of the key components of the Recon's "cloud" designation. The $99.99 price point is a little high if you are not frequently using all the functions it has to offer.
The features in that controller are still here since this is a Recon. Pro-Aim, two rear buttons, and a vast array of audio controls are included in that. Turtle Beach's Superhuman Hearing mode draws out the sounds of enemy footsteps and gunfire in order to give you a leg up during play. Though these audio tricks got me liking the original Recon enough to earn it a prominent spot in our Xbox controller buying guide, none of them work when using the Recon Cloud viaBluetooth
Why spend twice the price of the non-cloud Recon if you can't use all of the features? The phone mount is the main star of this show. Turtle Beach has a clip-on mount for this controller. The Recon Cloud has a phone clip that securely threads into the top of the gamepad, and it has three surrounding prongs to keep it from twisting or turning. The phone clip and mounting plate can be disconnected so you can prop up your phone.
The audio tricks of the Recon are not compatible with this controller.
I mounted my phones to the Recon Cloud, each with their cases left on, and they felt great. The 229-gram iPhone was a good test of the clip's might, since the Recon Cloud doesn't supportios. I tested it lying down on my couch, with a mounted phone hanging upside down above my face, and I didn't have a fear that a large phone would fall on me.
The phone mount is so strong because of the multi-prong attachment.
Access to the port is possible with the mount. The screws are made of plastic and feel good.
The Recon Cloud's mobile phone mount is solid, but it's a little limited on viewing/mounting angles for your phone. I have owned a PowerA MOGA gaming clip for a long time, and while it feels very flimsy by comparison, it has an extra point of articulation that allows a phone to sit above the controller. The setup of the Recon Cloud wants to awkwardly tip under the weight of my phone each time I put it down, even though I can accept the limited articulation of the Recon Cloud. It's a little annoying that this controller turtles when you put it down.
The Recon Cloud is one of the phone controllers with a sturdy mounting system. The Backbone One is a dedicated mobile solution. A more portable experience that travels better, feels more cohesive, and looks much sleeker is offered by the expandable controllers that center-mount your phone within them. Their buttons and sticks are smaller for the sake of size, but they are still a better experience than any controller clip system. The only downside of these controllers is that they force you to remove your phone from its case.
There is a lack of support for Apple's mobile device operating system and for the PSone remote play.
The biggest omission for the Recon Cloud is a lack of support for Apple's mobile device operating system. The controller is great for playing games wired on PC or an XBOX console just like the regular Recon, but I can't use the Recon Cloud to remote play off my PS5
For a controller that seems built on flexibility it is a limitation not easily overlooked. My Backbone One controller is perfect for all of those solutions, and I can just use other controllers when I want to sit in front of my computer.
You can use the phone mount as a kickstand for your phone.
It feels precarious at first, but it balances well and is better than the standard Nintendo kickstand.
If you are certain to take advantage of all of the Recon Cloud has to offer, it only makes sense to choose it over a Backbone One. The world of game streaming may be taking a hit with the sunsetting of Stadia, but there is still no doubt that the industry is moving in this direction.
The Recon Cloud is a great starter pack if you are just curious about game streaming but want a controller that is familiar. If you're planning on streaming off a PS3 in your home, a Backbone One is still a better option.
Antonio G. Di Benedetto took the photographs.