Review: Warhorse Zm390 PS3 Controller (Hardware)

Reviewed by GamerzHell9137, posted Jul 12, 2015
Jul 12, 2015
Is the Warhorse controller a good substitute for the official PS3 controller? I'll try to illustrate in this review how I feel about the Warhorse PS3 controller.
The controller comes in a pretty robust packaging that's sealed in place by a plastic covering. When you open the package you’re going to see a really small USB cable, which is used for charging the battery. While we’re on the subject of the battery, its capacity is 800mAh 3.7V, and it’s actually a Nokia BL-5C battery, which is kinda weird. The controller looks pretty generic, with almost no detail. On the side of the grips, it has an alligator-like pattern and the whole controller has a matte finish. It is a bit small for people who have big hands, but it does fit the hands pretty nicely. It is one of the most comfortable controllers I've ever used, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good controller.

[​IMG] [​IMG]

Aesthetically, it looks sleek, but the analogs, D-Pad, and the shoulder buttons have issues. The issue with the analogs are… the analogs themselves. In game, characters can’t rotate in a full 360 degrees and can only move in 8 directions, so using the controller to play FPS games isn’t ideal at all. If you press any of the D-Pad buttons hard enough or sometimes with a simple press, it will register it both as the pressed button and the button that’s on the side of the pressed button. For example, if you press the Up button’s right side, it will register it as up and right, if you press the Right button’s upper side, it will register it as right and up, so any game that asks for precise D-Pad input, aka rhythm games like "Project Diva", will be unplayable. The shoulder buttons have so-called "analog triggers" functions but they are less analog and more digital. You’re supposed to press the bumpers all the way down so that the game you’re playing registers it.

So, is there any other thing wrong with the controller? Well, yes; the input delays. It tends to delay when you use the controller wirelessly. Because of the lag, I’ve tested some games and made a benchmarking list on how good the controller picks up the input in games.


In some games like "Project Diva", it doesn’t pick all of the input because the game asks for fast feedback. On the other hand, SRPG games like Disgaea D2 work perfectly fine. I've tested 2 games of the same genre and "Sengoku Basara" and "Dragon Quest Heroes" reacted differently. "Sengoku Basara" has no input delay in gameplay nor in the menus, however, "Dragon Quest Heroes" shows delay in both situations. Some games have more lag, and some less, so you basically don’t know how the controller is going to work with your games because it’s random. The gameplay speed doesn’t judge how bad the lag is going to be or not, but it’s some unexplained reason. Positive thing is, you can use the super short USB cable and plug it in the PS3 and play wired. It will kill the input lag and it will work like a normal controller, minus the issues it has with analogs, D-Pad and triggers.

The controller supports DualShock 3 and SixAxis which I tested with “Wipeout HD Fury”. SixAxis felt smooth and I had control of my ship in game. The quality of SixAxis was almost like the official DS3 controller, which actually surprised me.


OK looks, but not OK issues. Playing wirelessly gives you input lag, D-Pad registers more than 1 button if you don’t press it right, and shoulder buttons are less analog and more digital. The controller can be used as a spare controller when someone comes to your house and for casual playing, but playing competitive online is a no-go (wirelessly). If you wish for a controller that’s cheap and that looks like a Xbox 360 and DS3 controller had a baby, then do get it, just be sure that in most cases you’re going to be forced to play wired and that there will be issues with the analogs and the D-Pad.

The review unit was bought from DealExtreme.
+ Feels good in hands
+ Has a neat PS3 and Xbox 360 hybrid design
- Has input lag wirelessly
- Skimpy bumper buttons
- The analogs move game characters in 8 directions
- Dpad sometimes registers 2 buttons when 1 is pressed
out of 10
I don't recommend it for online play. It's not suitable for FPS games or games that ask for fast feedback, but it does do the job right with RPG games.

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