PDP Afterglow Wave Controller Review – Lights, Controller, Action!

The PDP Afterglow Wave brings the color on its controller.

Image Via. PDP

There are many controller options available for Windows and Xbox users, offering several features that aren’t part of the standard Xbox Series X/S controllers. The PDP Afterglow Wave controller is a budget item with impressive visuals and many customization options to tailor your experience should you need something to help guide your hands through Baldur’s Gate 3 or Starfield. 

The PDP Afterglow Wave wired controller is an officially licensed Xbox product, which means it has the general layout and button scheme of the Xbox Series X/S controllers. It comes with two back buttons, a headphone jack, and a Function button that combines with the D-pad to perform different tasks, such as lowering the volume. 

Key Details

  • Developer – PDP
  • Accessory – Controller
  • Bluetooth – No
  • Audio: 3.5mm Stereo Headset Jack
  • Price: $44.99


The PDP Afterglow Wave controller works with Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S, as well as Windows 10 and Windows 11 PCs. As it’s an officially licensed Xbox product, it doesn’t work with any other consoles.

The Good – Glorious Visuals & Customization Options

Image Via. PDP

The PDP Afterglow Wave controller has RGB lights across its surface, with a display similar to the ones used in many keyboards. Once plugged in, you’ll be treated to a rainbow of colors flowing across the controller’s surface. If you press the Function and shoulder buttons, you can switch between different color schemes and movements. In terms of visuals, the PDP Afterglow Wave is one of the most impressive I’ve seen, and it’s ideal if you play games in a dark room.

But, the visuals are meaningless if the controls themselves don’t work. Thankfully, the PDP Afterglow Wave is a high-quality controller with a very comfortable set of super-responsive sticks. The Function button is also useful, as it can raise and lower the audio via the D-Pad or adjust the game chat and audio balance. It can also be used to program the back buttons for your needs easily. 

If you want to customize the controller further, you can download the free PDP Control Hub app, available on both Windows PCs and Xbox systems. This app lets you easily reconfigure the button layout and the RGB mixture of the lighting. The PDP Control Hub can also be used to test for any issues with the sticks, in case you need to recalibrate them as accurately as possible. 

The Bad – All Wires & Burning Colors

Image Via. PDP

As is often the case with budget controllers, the PDP Afterglow Wave only comes in wired form. The controller works with any USB-C wire, and the box features an 8ft long cable, but whether this works for you will depend on your setup. The more space you have, the more likely the wire will be an issue. 

The back buttons on the controller are situated where they should be, but they’re ever so slightly too light to the touch. Usually, you want back buttons to be a little harder to press than the face buttons in order to prevent you from accidentally pushing them when moving your hands as part of the game. With the PDP Afterglow, I found myself accidentally hitting the back buttons more than I have with similar controllers in the past.

While the light show is impressive, it can also be distracting if you game for long hours and the lighting situation changes. This is a minor gripe, but having the multicolor mode switched on can become distracting, and you might not notice it until you’re mid-game, and you won’t want to take your hands off the main buttons to switch lighting with the Function method.  

The Verdict

Image Via. PDP

The PDP Afterglow Wave is a fantastic controller, and while I had some minor issues, it served me well while playing various fighting games, shooters, and RPGs, with no control problems, and it looked fantastic the entire time. This is a great choice for a new primary controller, especially if you want something to show off when playing couch co-op.

Final Score:

9 / 10

+ Looks amazing and is perfect for nighttime play
+ Easy to reprogram the buttons
+ PDP Control Hub makes it easy to configure on both PC/Xbox
A little too easy to hit the back buttons
No wireless functionality
– Glowing can get distracting and might need to be managed in certain lighting