Turtle Beach’s cloud-first controller is wired for your Xbox, wireless for your phone and PC

Turtle Beach has a new Xbox controller coming out next month, and it’s adding wireless functionality — though not in the way you might expect. The Recon Cloud is a new version of the Turtle Beach Recon wired USB-C controller, and in addition to a new “blue magma” colorway, it has Bluetooth connectivity for use with Android devices and Windows PCs.

The unusual aspect — especially for a controller that costs $99.99 — is that tying it to an Xbox console still requires plugging in a USB-C cable. It’s expected to ship on October 16th, and preorders can already be placed now on Turtle Beach’s site. That’s a much steeper cost than the standard $59.95 Recon, which frequently falls to around $45 when on sale.

The Recon Cloud has a built-in rechargeable battery rated for 30 hours of game time via Bluetooth, which is capable of quick charging to get back about 8.5 hours of battery in around 15 minutes. It also includes one month of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and an adjustable mobile phone clip — which attaches to a mounting port on the rear of the controller.

The Recon Cloud also carries forward all the audio and FPS-friendly features of the standard Recon, like Superhuman Hearing mode, four built-in audio EQ presets, mic monitoring, adjustable game chat audio mix, Pro-Aim Focus mode, and two programmable rear buttons. Those fancy audio features require you to plug into USB-C on an Xbox or PC, which is maybe forgivable since game streaming isn’t really ideal for online shooters where they’re most helpful anyway.

The standard Recon controller is ranked in our Xbox controller buying guide as a great option for anyone who plays a lot of competitive shooters and doesn’t have the budget for something premium, like the Xbox Elite or Scuf controllers. I’m not sure spending $100 on nearly the same Recon controller with added Bluetooth makes quite as much sense, but perhaps once tested, the versatility of some wireless connectivity may prove handy.

However, the Recon Cloud makes no mention of connectivity with iPhones or iPads, which is odd as those Apple devices usually play nice with wireless controller support. Turtle Beach’s CEO, Juergen Stark, does tease in the company’s press release that there’s more to come: “The Recon Cloud is the first of our expanded lineup of mobile controllers launching this year, with additional new products designed for iOS and other consoles coming soon.” Perhaps iOS users will have to wait for their own cloud controller, and maybe Turtle Beach’s controller audio tricks might find a new home on the PlayStation 5 or Nintendo Switch.