Great accessory for gaming on ROG phones

There are many great games on Android, and with our smartphones nowadays being powerful computing centers, you will never get stuck choosing what to play. From games on the Play Store to emulators like AetherSX2, you can play both new and classic games. However, the touch controls make it not necessarily your phone to be the most relaxing to play games. There are controllers you can get for phones although this makes it a bit easier and the Asus Kunai 3 Gamepad is one of them.

The white Asus Kunai 3 Gamepad was launched alongside the Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro, although the console itself has been out for a long time now. If you have an ROG phone, you can buy it with a casing that allows you to open your phone between the two ends of the console, somewhat like a Nintendo Switch. If you don’t, the console can still be used that is completely separate from the phone and works via Bluetooth. While I’ve seen some say it works with my PC, I couldn’t get it to work.

To make a long story short, the Asus Kunai 3 Gamepad works great when you have an Asus ROG Phone to use it with. When you can use the wired controller by attaching it to the phone cover, it’s the best case. Otherwise, there are other consoles you can get that might be better if you have another phone, although the Kunai 3 is pretty good. Using it wirelessly isn’t the same, and you’ll need to back up your phone for something, too.

    Asus Kunai 3 Gamepad

    The Asus Kunai 3 Gamepad is a great console if you have an ROG phone, but make sure you get it for the right model.

Asus Kunai 3 Gamepad

Asus Kunai 3 Gamepad: Specifications

Customize Asus Kunai 3 Gamepad
Dimensions and weight
  • 154.8 x 110.3 x 66.8 mm
  • 198.8 grams
  • Two clickable button analog thumb sticks (L3/R3)
  • 1 mechanical D-pad
  • ABXY face buttons
  • Operators (L2/R2)
  • Two bumpers (L1/R1)
  • M1 and M2 macro keys
  • Menu and Option buttons (called Start and Select in some games)
  • USB-C plug for Asus phone connections
  • USB-C on the go
  • Via Bluetooth v4.2 with most Android phones (six hours battery)
  • USB-C Connectivity to Asus ROG Phones

About this review: I received the Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro from Asus on June 17, 2022 along with the Asus Kunai 3 Gamepad. My colleague Aamir Siddiqui also received the device from Asus, but he did not receive the Kunai 3 Gamepad. While the company provided us with review units, it had no input into the contents of this review.

Asus Kunai 3 Gamepad: Look and Feel

The Asus Kunai 3 Gamepad is very lightweight, and it is made of plastic. It looks a little cheap (especially when you’re in “navigation mode” – the way you see above), but that’s not always a bad thing. It doesn’t add much weight to your phone (and the Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro is kind of a huge beast anyway), and if you’re worried, it comes with a carrying case that you can bring with you.

Asus Kunai 3 Gamepad is comfortable to use for long periods of time

The controller itself will be familiar to anyone who’s used a Nintendo Switch, and the buttons are easy to touch. It’s comfortable to use for long periods of time, and the Asus Kunai 3 Gamepad has accompanied me on a few trips at this point for a few hours at a time. It works in the likes of AetherSX2, so I’ve been playing games like The Simpsons: Hit and Run On the go, thanks to this console. My unit doesn’t have any dead zones or drift either.

Asus Kondae 3 Gamepad Test Application

I tested the joystick sensitivity using the Gamepad Tester app. (Note: I did not draw the full circles of the X and Y axes).

ASUS ROG Phone 6 Pro in a Kunai 3 gamepad

There’s not much else to the console, really. If you’re using it installed on your Asus ROG Phone, keep in mind that it will cover the headphone jack so you can’t use wired audio while gaming. You are Can Charging when gaming thanks to the side USB-C port, it’s also possible to connect the Asus AeroActive Cooler 6 at the same time as well.

Basically, the best experience I’ve had with this console is using the speakers through my phone, because it’s the only way I can play without getting frustrated with the audio latency. The Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro has front-facing speakers so it’s not an issue in that regard. Plus, it’s not unusual for me to be able to play loud in my apartment, but if it works for you, it might not be worth it.

Asus Kunai 3 Gamepad: The Gaming Experience

The integration of Kunai 3 with Asus phones is incredible

Your gaming experience on the Asus Kunai 3 Gamepad will vary greatly depending on the device you are using it with. If you use it with your Asus ROG Phone, it’s going to be one of the best mobile gaming experiences you’ve ever had. If you are not, you are likely to be somewhat substandard. Its integration with Asus phones is incredible, and the ability to turn your phone into a Nintendo Switch and how awesome this is is cannot be understated. If you have to use the console in its own navigation mode, it’s probably not worth it.

Here’s the thing, controllers that are complete controllers and are used externally to a device (i.e. controllers that don’t connect to a phone) often have some kind of attachment that will at least hold up your phone. Since this is clearly a product designed for the company’s own phones first, and other devices are an afterthought, that’s not the case here. You’ll need to prop your phone up against something to look at while playing, which means it’s not particularly portable for most people.

Also, keep in mind that on the most popular Android titles such as Call of Duty: Mobile and PUBG Mobile, you will not be able to use this console. This is because both of these games have disabled console inputs as the developers feel that they are making the game unfair to users who do not have additional peripherals. Your best bet is to set the console’s inputs for on-screen touches, but that’s a lot more trouble than it’s worth and close to impossible unless you’re using an Asus phone with this controller.

You will have a great time with Emulators

This is another thing too. There is no dedicated app for this controller on other phones, and even the Bluetooth pairing process is a bit annoying. You will need to slide the slider to the Bluetooth mode (which, by the way, is truly It’s hard to tell if it’s inside or not), click the home button once, then hold it for 3-5 seconds and let go. Then it enters pairing mode. Pairing it with my phone this way took a few tries but it eventually worked, although there is no way to set up any custom links or inputs. Even using the Armory Crate app on the Play Store did nothing.

On the bright side, anything that supports standard console inputs will support the Kunai 3 buttons, since it only sends standard key events that can be read by any application. You will have a great time with emulators, AetherSX2 works too, although you need to go to the console settings, “Port 1”, and select “Automatic mapping”. If you have an ROG phone, this is all moot, as you can tweak all applicable settings right from your phone.

All of this means that if you have a phone that isn’t an Asus ROG phone, you should look for alternatives, like the Razer Kishi v2 instead. Not only will this work with an app on any of your Android devices, but it can also link it to practically any Android phone and wrap it in a similar way to what Asus does here.

Should you buy the Asus Kunai 3 Gamepad?

Asus Konai 3 gamepad

The problem with the Asus Kunai 3 Gamepad is that it is a very good console, but it is only good when used with one specific phone. If you use it with other hardware, it immediately loses a lot of its appeal, and I really don’t think there’s any reason to get it on something like the Razer Kishi v2. However, if you have an Asus ROG phone, then I think this is probably the best controller available for you on the market. It integrates seamlessly with Asus software, and not only that, it Building For ROG phones. I’d like to see it even be used with a computer, but from what I can see, it doesn’t. I plug it in, my computer identifies it as a Kunai 2 (for some reason?), then it doesn’t work.

In short, if you have an Asus ROG phone of some kind, this console is a must if you’re into gaming. I still carry the active cooler first (Only because that also has control buttons), but that’s a close second. When emulating games and playing other titles, it’s a great addition to my gaming settings, and has served me well on my travels when I just want to relax a bit. The lack of wired audio sucks, but that’s the biggest criticism I can make when using it with an ROG Phone. Everything else is pretty much perfect.

Purchasing this terminal will set you back quite a bit, as it will cost around $200. It’s a hefty price to pay, but it’s also an excellent product for ROG phones. If you have another device from another manufacturer, I will think carefully about why you would like this is A microcontroller, rather than picking up any of the others on the market doing the same for much less – much less.

    Asus Kunai 3 Gamepad

    The Asus Kunai 3 Gamepad is a great console if you have an ROG phone, but make sure you get it for the right model.

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