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Rock out in style with Activision's Guitar Hero Live controller

Rock out in style with Activision's Guitar Hero Live controller

December 16, 2015

When Activision released Guitar Hero Live to iOS, it was met with a great amount of enthusiasm. The game plays well on the iPhone or iPad, but an even better experience is to be had when you play it with a guitar controller. Luckily, Activision has released a wireless guitar controller for Guitar Hero Live, and allows you to play the hit title more realistically on your iOS device while also opening the game up to play on the Apple TV.

The Facts

The Basics

If you remember the old-style guitar controller from the game’s early days, you’ll be surprised by the new layout. Activision has redesigned the controller to have a new layout making it easier to play with only three buttons while mirroring what it’s like to play chord shapes with all six buttons.

In addition to the new button layout, the Guitar Hero Live Guitar Controller sees the return of the whammy bar to help you show off your flair. The classic strum bar is untouched, and works just as beautifully as it always has. When you equip Hero Powers in the game, you can activate them using the easily-accessible Hero Power button. Finally a dedicated GHTV button allows you to jump straight into the additional content available through that game feature.


Integration With iOS Devices

This game accessory connects to your iOS device or Apple TV via Bluetooth, and it pairs quickly and easily. The controllers buttons allow you rudimentary navigation through Guitar Hero Live’s menus, especially in the Apple TV version of the game.

Use and Feel

Playing Guitar Hero Live on the new controller is much more akin to the classic days of air guitar. Your finger movements, especially on Normal or Veteran mode, are much more realistic compared with playing a real guitar. The weight and shape of the controller is as close to perfect as you can get without spending hundreds of dollars on an actual guitar. The neck strap, however, could stand to have a bit more comfort and length to it; as it is now, it’s almost designed for children.

What’s Hot

  • New button layout is easy to use, but difficult to master
  • Whammy bar allows you to pump up your flair
  • Bluetooth connectivity makes it easy to pair with your iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV

What’s Not

  • Currently no option to purchase the controller without also paying for the game
  • Neck strap doesn’t have enough comfort or length
  • Price difference between Apple and Amazon is astounding

How Does It Stack Up?

Since it’s currently the only guitar controller that will function with the iOS and tvOS version of Guitar Hero Live, there’s no “stacking up,” per se. However, the controller is very nicely made and functions beautifully. Third-party manufacturers will find it challenging to one-up Activision when it comes to this controller.

Where Can You Get It, and How Much Does It Cost?

You can purchase the Guitar Hero Live Guitar Controller from Apple, T-Mobile, or Amazon. Apple and T-Mobile charge $99.95 for the accessory, while Amazon currently has it listed at $59.99.

Our Advice

If you want to really ramp up your Guitar Hero Live action, or play the game at all on the Apple TV, this controller is a must-have.

The Activeon CX’s Overall Scores:

  • Aesthetic Appeal: ★★★★★
  • Wow Factor: ★★★★☆
  • Controller quality: ★★★★☆
  • Value: ★★★★☆

Mentioned apps

Guitar Hero® Live
Guitar Hero® Live
Activision Publishing, Inc.

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