When you’re shopping for an Xbox controller, you want to know that what you’re buying is the best you’re going to get for your budget. While you might think that pretty much always means buying official, that’s just not the case. There are many unofficial or officially-licensed third-party options for controllers and other devices on the market, no matter which gaming platform you prefer. Of course, that goes for Xbox, too, and one of the most celebrated peripheral manufacturers for Xbox devices is Nacon.
Of course, high-end Xbox controllers are a pretty crowded field in and of themselves, so Nacon has its work cut out for it with the Revolution X, which it’s positioning alongside controllers like the more expensive Xbox Elite option as something to buy if money is no object. For your £100 (for that’s what it costs), you’re getting Dolby Atmos sound support, as well as a wide range of customisation tweaks and, of course, a well-constructed gamepad as well.
First and foremost, it’s important to say that the Nacon Revolution X Pro controller just feels good to use. This is the aspect you absolutely have to nail if you’re going to make a pro Xbox controller; it’s got to feel good across lengthy, protracted gaming sessions. The Revolution X is pleasingly weighty and ergonomic without ever feeling too heavy. Its clear, bold grips and sleek form factor made it a joy to use over several hours, so we can’t see there being any complaints in this department.
Your mileage will vary on whether you like the actual shape of the controller itself, of course. We did; it’s got an angular, sharp visual style that makes it look distinctive. Honestly, we’re a little tired of the minimalist aesthetic that’s been taking over the world of tech recently, so the Nacon Revolution X controller’s big, bold visual style made it more appealing to us. If you like a more unobtrusive controller, though, this might be a slightly tougher sell for you. There’s also an RGB strip around the right analogue stick that could prove controversial.
Whether you like the look of the Revolution X or not, there’s no denying it has plenty of options for customisation when it comes to the functionality. You can swap out the thumbsticks, add weight to the grips if you want, and change the movement of the sticks using a series of included shafts. If you’re a pro gamer – or you just game enough that you want extensive control over exactly how your controller feels – these options will come in handy, and they’re also a great addition for accessibility’s sake.
The Revolution X also features Dolby Atmos sound via the included 3.5mm jack (yep, sorry, you’re not going to be getting any wireless audio features here). You won’t need to worry about whether your headphones are compatible with Atmos, either; it’s all done on the software side, so the answer is yes, your headphones will work. The soundscape was expansive and compelling when we tried it out, and it enhanced our gaming experience significantly, although there aren’t too many options for tweaking the sound if it’s not entirely to your liking.
Speaking of everything being done on the software side, there’s also a companion app for the Revolution X. You can download it on your PC or Xbox (in this case, the Revolution X is made mainly for the Series range, so you may not be able to get it on an Xbox One) and it will help you tweak profiles and settings for your controller. In practical terms, however, we didn’t really find this option particularly useful, as each setting didn’t seem to change much. We’d recommend getting the companion software anyway, but don’t expect it to change the world (or to cause a “revolution”, hem hem).
Happily, you shouldn’t need to change too much to get a great experience out of the box here. All of the buttons are tactile, smooth, and responsive, and its sticks feel great. We tested this controller out with shooters, sports games, and plenty more besides, and it always felt like we were getting the best experience possible out of our hardware. Even turning off aim assist didn’t seem to affect our performance much; we’re now convinced that the Revolution X actually made us better gamers. The Revolution X also doesn’t have the “Nacon problem” of a weak D-pad; while the D-pad isn’t the star of the show here, it’s certainly better than other recent Nacon offerings have been.
There is one major problem with the Revolution X, although you may not actually see it as a problem depending on your setup: it’s wired. There’s absolutely no option to remove the wire here, so if your Xbox is far away from where you sit, then you’re going to have some problems. However, it’s worth saying that you are getting a 3m cable here, and we haven’t experienced many setups where the Xbox is more than 3 metres away from the couch or wherever else you sit to enjoy your gaming.
All in all, it’s hard to find much fault with the Nacon Revolution X Pro. It’s a wonderfully tactile and chunky controller that feels great to play with, and the variety of different weights and swappable elements mean you’re bound to find a configuration that works for you eventually. The software could use some work, and we do wish there was a way to go wireless, but those aren’t deal-breakers by any means. If you want a professional-feeling controller but you don’t want to shell out for the official Xbox option, your saviour has arrived.
Official: Nacon Gaming
Review sample was kindly provided by: Virtual Comms.