U.S Army Elite Force Assault Rifle Controller Review

This is the first thread I ever started so here goes. I wrote a review of this gun a few weeks back and for those who are searching for a gun controller like I was, I hope you find this review helpful.

Was looking for a replacement of my PS Sharpshooter for my future VR setup and this is a huge upgrade. For now, I'm only testing this gun on PC so I can't speak to using it with PS3 games and how well it performs.

Pros:
- Appearance: Not to be shallow but this gun just looks awesome-it's modeled after the m4a1 rifle used by the military. Camo theme is cool but some might prefer black.
-Easy-setup: Just plugged the USB dongle in PC and, using controller mapping software, the gun was up and running.
-Move compatibility: Could be used on my PS3 with Move if I desired.
-Fore-grip and stock: First time I've seen a fore-grip on a peripheral gun and it does ease prolonged handling when compared to the Sharpshooter and how its significantly more front heavy.
-Buttons: Has all the buttons on a PS3 controller and an additional thumb-stick compared to the Sharpshooter.
-Lightweight: Weighted both guns and the Force Elite is much lighter than the Sharpshooter (fully loaded).
-Rumble: Gun mimics rumble of PS3 controller (albeit, kinda weak).
-Handling: It's comfortable to hold and handle.
-Army licensed: Can't remember Army ever doing this but it's cool that their involved.
-Scope: Not at all useful for my VR setup but cool looking nonetheless.

Cons:
-Thumbstick: It's smooth compared to the rough surface of its controller counterpart.
-Button placement: Alot has been commented about this but my hands adapted pretty fast to tight placement of the buttons. The only other issue is the thumbstick on the handle and how my thumb would constantly bump on the area right above the thumbstick. I adapted by using only the tip of my thumb.
-Trigger: There's a little too much friction when pulling; Sharpshooter is smoother by comparison.
-Price: at over $50, it's more expense than most of its competitors but, in my opinion, all of its features justify the price premium.
-Iron Sight: This is Nitpicky, but CTA should have chosen the classic M4 ironsight (surprise Army didn't insist); it's removable so it's not a big problem.

Conclusion:
I was seriously considering this or the Top Shot Elite and I couldn't be more happy with my choice. It looks and handles wonderfully and I would recommend it to others who are in the same VR preparation as I am.
August 10, 2015

Comments

  • StigzyStigzy Posts: 25
    I have been looking very carefully for a gun to my OMNI and Oculus Rift. Did see the Top Shot Elite and the Delta SIX gun controller. The delta six controller is cool and got good functions and looks nice, but been reading som bad things about the company. Also it cost 550USD! Thats the same as the OMNI!!! So the price is defenitley stoping me from getting that gun. So its now between top shot elite and U.S army elite force, and leaning towards U.S army elite force atm. Will see more reviews and usage with Omni/oculus rift first :) Maby something new comes out before Omni comes?!
  • Sponge101Sponge101 Posts: 428
    @Stigzy Taking a wait-and-see approach is definitely a good idea. I just didn't have the patience to wait any longer and wanted to test out the gun since it's going to be an important accessory for VR.

    Update Pros List:

    -Battery: Forgot to mention that the gun runs on two AA batteries. This is good because when it dies in the middle of a VR session, you can just pop in new batteries. I would recommend getting rechargeable like Eneloop.
  • Sponge101Sponge101 Posts: 428
    Update: Trigger is Pro

    I originally stated that "There's a little too much friction when pulling; Sharpshooter is smoother by comparison," and listing this as a Con. I've come to change this critique from a Con to a Pro. The reason being that the friction I felt allows me to perform what is know as a "tap" on the trigger and experiencing a click feeling. If I were to keep pressing the trigger harder, it would pull all the way back; imagine going full auto. This, I realized, is more akin to how a real weapon would be used: precision shooting and careful trigger pull. The Sharpshooter is smoother, yes, but there's no "tap" and after realizing this feature, it's hard to give it up for another gun. As I stated earlier, the trigger is now a Pro. Hope that helps.
  • I wonder if there will be a way to attach a Vive controller or Oculus touch to this when we get decoupled FPS shooter style gaming. I want to be able to run one way, and look and shoot a different way. I take it these gun controllers wont be natively tracked or anything?
  • Sponge101Sponge101 Posts: 428
    @TonySpaniels. None of the guns Virtuix has used during demos are positionly tracked--they are basically just a trigger to fire the in-game gun and perhaps some other keystrokes are also used for in-game action. However, holding a physical gun IRL do add to the sense of immersion greatly; or so I heard. Jerry-rigging a Touch onto the gun seems problematic to say the least; I see the STEAM as being more applicable.
  • giroudfgiroudf Posts: 127
    edited October 2015
    we discussed that in other thread. You definitely need a way to aim with the gun, but there at least one issue that must be solved first.
    the game must support a way to aim separately vs looking at vs moving.
    once you are sure you can do it, you can put a sensor into a cheap cabela topshot gun.
    this gun is nice because it provides a lot of button, and wirelessly for cheap, while still looking like a gun.
    for the sensor a recommend the wireless version of the ED tracker.
    https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php?t=51551
    if you don't mind for cable, the original ED tracker would also fit.
    https://edtracker.org.uk/

    ideally, the best hack would be to modify one of the joystick of the cabela, to input the sensor data, so there would be only one receiver to configure.
    if the joystick uses 256 values mapped to a full 360 deg , it is a resolution of about 1.5 deg, that is more than enough.
    the heart of those devices is the MPU-9150 , that output the data to an I2C bus, so a basic arduino board should be able to read the data
    and convert them into a "fake" joystick values.
    you can find lots of info about that because a lot of people are using it to build drones or other VR purposes
    http://www.himix.lt/arduino/arduino-pro-micro-and-mpu-9250/
    http://playground.arduino.cc/Main/MPU-9150
    http://www.instructables.com/id/Arduino-and-Virtual-Room-using-MPU-9150-MARG/

    with only one sensor, you will ge mapping of the nose of the gun onto a sphere. That means you can aim in any direction, but the
    gun position will be not know (if for example, you keep you gun with both hand over your head).
    to track gun position, you will need to trackers.
    You would need this feature only if you need to reflect the gun position into the game.

  • Thank you for all that feedback mate!
  • xxann5xxann5 Posts: 593
    I don't think we will need to do anything that complicated. Alan Yates has said that you can attach a tracking "puck" (as he called it) to just about anything. So sticking it on a AUS army elite force gun should be trivial. then just use the button and joysticks like your normally would, well accept for the movement.

    He has also said that tracking pucks are made from inexpensive readily available parts, as well as the designs and specs being completely open without having to pay any kind of royalty to Valve! So if you wanted to make a tracked object without having an awkward tracking puck sticking out of the top you could. I like playing with that kind of stuff so I will probably will.

    I will post the Youtube video this is all in tonight when I can actually get to Youtube (at work ATM)
  • Had a bit of a scare tonight guys: was playing with the gun with PS Move on my PS3 and it just suddenly stopped working. No matter what I tried (including trying new batteries) it wouldn't turn back on so I took the batteries out and was considering either returning the gun or getting the Top Shot Elite as a replacement. I decided to give the gun another chance and reinstalled the batteries and vola, it started working again. I don't know what caused it but if anyone runs into the same problem I did you might want to take the AA out and wait awhile. Hope that helps.
  • Yesterday scared me, so I decided to get the Top Shot Elite as a backup gun controller. Really looking forward to testing it.
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