Mobile gaming may have undergone something of a sea change since its inception, but it’s still around and still going strong. Whether it’s the record $10 billion raked in by Tencent’s Honor of Kings worldwide or the presence of Xbox Game Pass on mobile devices, many people are still playing and enjoying games on their smartphones or tablets.
If you are one of the 25 million Xbox Game Pass subscribers out there and you’re looking for a way to play Game Pass games on your smartphone – assuming you’re subscribed to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, of course – then Nacon has the controller solution for you. The MG-X is an Android smartphone controller designed to be played with a Game Pass sub, and it’s a hefty bit of kit to boot. Let’s take a look at it!
On the official Nacon website, you can get the MG-X controller for around 90 euro, which works out at about £78 or so. That might seem like a hefty price, but the construction of the MG-X is rock-solid, so you’re paying for a high-quality piece of kit. Of course, if you shop around, you’ll probably be able to find it for less; on Amazon at time of writing, for instance, the controller was available for £66, which is a great price. Make sure you’re always shopping around for your deals, as you’ll almost certainly pick up a more favourable price.
The Nacon MG-X is built for Android devices, so you should probably look for a different option if you’re an iPhone user, especially given that Xbox Game Pass’ cloud gaming functionality works much better with Android phones. The controller fits phones up to 6.7 inches in screen size, though, so it should be compatible with pretty much every major device on the market right now.
The MG-X connects via Bluetooth, and it uses Bluetooth 4.2, which virtually every Android phone out there supports. Unless you’re using an extremely old device (in which case you should probably consider upgrading), you’ll almost certainly find that the MG-X works with your phone.
Since the MG-X is officially partnered with Microsoft, it’s got exactly the kind of solid, robust build quality you’d expect from an official peripheral. It’s also got dedicated Xbox and Menu buttons, just like you’d find on an Xbox One or Xbox Series X|S controller. It does not, however, have the Share button you’d find on the current-gen Xbox controller; it’s designed for Android, after all, so the Share button’s functionality would be redundant anyway.
If you’re going to be playing a lot of Xbox Game Pass games on your phone, you’ll be pleased to know that the MG-X boasts a high degree of comfort and has an ergonomic design that means using it for long periods of time is immensely satisfying. It’s a lightweight controller, too, so it’s actually easier to use than, say, a Nintendo Switch or a Steam Deck.
Nacon promises that you can get up to 20 hours of battery life out of the MG-X, although the company does stress that you’ll probably see varying results based on which games you’re playing, which device you’re using, and what conditions you’re using the controller in. These things are all par for the course for any smartphone controller, though, so the 20-hour figure should be accurate; at the very least, you should expect around 15 hours of uninterrupted play before you have to charge the MG-X.
Luckily, the MG-X comes equipped with a USB-C port, which most modern smartphones also have. This means you can use your phone charger to charge the MG-X. Unfortunately, Nacon’s controller doesn’t have pass-through charging, but that makes sense; it’s not physically connected to the phone in any way, so it wouldn’t have a method for passing charge along anyway. The controller comes with an 80cm USB-C cable, although it doesn’t include any kind of plug, so you’d need to charge it via a powered USB port.
Non-Xbox Game Pass games
Since this is a universal Android controller, you can pretty much use it with whatever game you want to. Many Android phones, for example, are great with emulated games, and you can use the Nacon MG-X to play those (as long as you’re playing them legally, of course). You can also use it with any Android game that has controller compatibility, so if you’re struggling to play Genshin Impact on your phone and you’re looking for a better way to control it, the MG-X might be your solution.
What do you need to enjoy the MG-X?
Here’s a list of everything you’re going to need to get the most out of Nacon’s MG-X.
- An Android phone, and a reasonably powerful one. As we said, you won’t get too far if you’re using this controller with an iPhone. You might be able to get some functionality to work, but it’s built for Android. In addition, although any device running Android 6 or above will work with the MG-X, you should probably make sure you’ve got a decently powerful phone to run non-Xbox Game Pass games if you intend to play them.
- An Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription. The standard Xbox Game Pass subscription doesn’t come with cloud gaming included, so you’ll need to sign up to Ultimate if you intend to take advantage of cloud gaming.
- A decent internet connection. Cloud gaming doesn’t work particularly well if you don’t have a good internet connection. Experts recommend speeds of around 10 Mbps for Xbox Cloud Gaming, so if you’ve got at least that speed, you’re golden. You can check your internet speed using a service like Ookla.
- A powered USB port for charging. Pretty much any device with a powered USB port can be used to charge the MG-X; you could use your laptop, for example, or even a console like the Xbox Series X|S!