Windows Central Verdict
This wired controller will provide extra functionality over a standard Xbox joypad, but the subpar triggers and analog sticks offset supposed improvements provided by the customizable parts. Nacon's presentation in hardware and software is fantastic, but neither stands up to extended use, failing to justify the $100 asking price and holding the Revolution X Pro back as a mediocre replacement.
Extra buttons provide a competitive edge
Shallow triggers feel cheap
Loose and uneven analog sticks
Software needs significant updates
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Nacon manufactures a range of console and PC gaming accessories, with the Revolution X Pro controller set to join the rest of its joypads. It's designed for competitive play, with customizable components and an ergonomic design. Dolby Atmos enhances audio for connected headsets during tournament play, with 3D audio playback and equalizer settings, rounding off the esports theme.
As with most third-party Xbox controllers, the Revolution X Pro is a wired joypad, using a lengthy 3m USB-C cable to connect to your console. Saving on internal batteries will help the controller stay lightweight, but Nacon still includes a choice of interchangeable weights if you prefer something heavier. Whether or not it can stand up to the competition remains to be seen, so I spent the weekend putting it through its paces for our Nacon Revolution X Pro review.
Nacon Revolution X Pro: Price and availability
Nacon sells the Revolution X Pro controller through major third-party retailers, including Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart, for a $100 MSRP. Packaged with a detachable USB-C cable, interchangeable weights, and a choice of thumbstick caps, everything is contained within a nylon carry case packaged in the box.
Nacon Revolution X Pro: What's good
My first impressions of the Revolution X Pro were excellent, given the beautiful presentation. Everything is contained in a sturdy nylon case straight out of the box. The extra controller weights and thumbstick caps are then stored inside an even smaller carrying case like a set of nesting dolls, neatly separated and clearly labeled for easy access.
Nacon put a lot of care into the design of this controller, with a mesh section of the case storing the detachable USB-C cable, easy to transport to tournaments and events. A tiny cleaning cloth decorated with the Revolution X logo completes the package, though the plastic joypad finish doesn't attract too many fingerprints.
Playing a few games on basic settings without changing parts or customizing the software felt comfortable enough for a while. However, the thumbstick caps installed by default are still my favorite over the alternatives. The included 3-meter USB-C cable is detachable, but only for storage since this controller is strictly wired. Still, it's long enough to sit far back from screens without issue and is heavily braided to avoid damage even with extended use.
Diving next into the customization aspect and the individually labeled weights helped remedy the hollow feel, now balanced and sturdy. Sticking with 10g weights feels perfect for me, but you can go heavier with 14g or 16g, even asymmetrically, if you really want to. Nacon is aiming at the competitive scene, so if someone wants more weight around the right stick with a custom thumbstick cap, they'll be happy with the choices.
An RGB ring surrounds the right stick, separated into quarters that can each display a unique color and animation, which certainly fits the gamer aesthetic. Towards the rear are several extra buttons and switches with decent tactile feedback, including four paddles and profile selectors. Additional paddles are relatively standard with third-party controllers, and two comfortably sat flush around my middle fingers.
The most interesting inclusion is two discrete buttons inside the handles, resting just around my ring fingers. I found them a little tricky to get used to, but using both with my right hand proved helpful after binding them to frequent functions in shooters that usually require me to take my thumbs off the sticks.
If you make any personalized changes in the included software, a four-stage profile selector can quickly switch between them, each designed for a different game style or whatever you choose. You can set a unique RGB color for each, so you'll notice if you hit the rear-facing profile button by accident mid-game.
It's comfortable to hold, mainly owing to the standard Xbox design sensibilities, and even the extra buttons don't feel like they're in the way. You might need a little time to get the hang of the Revolution X Pro, and some ambidextrous shortcuts saved me precious time while playing shooters with this versatile but ultimately flawed joypad.
Nacon Revolution X Pro: What's not so good
Settling in for a whole evening of gaming with the Revolution Pro X, I noticed too many annoyances that leave it feeling like more of a budget pad pretending to be premium-level hardware. The face buttons and D-pad feel exactly as they should, with a standard tactile response, but the triggers feel shallow and cheap. Strangely, it's as though they don't travel downwards far enough, floating too far from a fully flush press.
Other controllers feature customizable triggers that allow you to adjust the maximum depth, and this Nacon pad feels like you're permanently stuck on a half-stop setting. You can use its included software to adjust the trigger sensitivity, with shallow triggers usually designed for competitive FPS games, but they feel obstructive and unfinished when pushed completely.
A bit more travel distance would have improved these disappointing triggers by a considerable amount since the internal springs provide decent resistance. The same can't be said about the analog sticks, which feel unusually loose and uneven. Considering the extra paddles in the rear are designed to help you keep fingers on the triggers and sticks at all times, it's a shame that these crucial components feel so cheap.
One of the more frustrating issues with this controller completely counteracts some of its unique features: the selection of ring-shaped analog stick strut attachments used to reduce the range of motion. The problem is that the software doesn't help configure them effectively. Unless you want to spend time making minor adjustments and heading into games to test, you can't properly take advantage of these parts.
There's a distinct lack of live information in the Nacon software when a simple visualization showing how much movement the stick detects would make it much easier to adjust to the different parts. Some default profiles can alleviate these problems, such as the immediate setting designed for fighting games, but the subtle gradient disappears completely and makes movement tricky for some games.
The software seems to carry the same visual flair as the hardware but doesn't back it up with enough substance, especially when the menu for upgrading the controller's firmware currently doesn't work on PC. Instructions are lacking, too, with a note in the box directing you to the Nacon support section, where you still won't find any explanations for how to use the extra controller parts.
Only looking at the back of the retail box will indicate how to remove the cover plates, insert weights, and attach thumbstick caps. For a novice or younger user, this controller will lose most of its appeal with subpar software and lacking instructions, with the intended competitive gaming crowd managing without help.
Dolby Atmos barely makes a difference with the included equalizer settings, and some multi-colored RGB won't make up for the fact that the primary components feel flimsy, making this $100 controller overpriced and underwhelming.
Nacon Revolution X Pro: The competition
Better joypads are available for the $100 mark, including the fantastic Victrix Gambit Xbox / PC controller with even more customization options. Closer resembling the official Xbox Elite pad, the Gambit allows you to swap out entire sticks, replace the D-pad, and have a choice of skins. It includes a similarly heavy-duty braided cable and adjustable trigger depth which feels excellent to use for hours on end.
If the Revolution X Pro appeals to you primarily with its RGB ring, dig deeper into your budget and pick up the Razer Wolverine V2 Chroma instead. You'll still enjoy extra buttons and a premium build featuring rubberized grips but with even more flashy LED lighting.
Nacon Revolution X Pro: Should you buy?
You should buy this if ...
- You're a traveling competitive gamer
- You want a personalized joypad for Xbox / PC
You shouldn't buy this if ...
- You need high-quality triggers and analog sticks
- You're not experienced with customizable pads
Nacon came close to a winner with the Revolution X Pro, with a beautiful presentation and decent construction. It lets itself down with subpar analog sticks and triggers plus lacking instructions for the customizable parts, which are supposed to be the primary feature. If you don't know how to personalize Xbox controllers, you'll likely never use the majority of the interchangeable parts on offer here.
It's a functional portable controller ideal for tournaments, but at the $100 price point, it's not something I can recommend, given the better alternatives. Some simple software updates would go a long way to its usability, and it's evident that the developers have made efforts in some places, but they need to push a little further. Check out our collection of the best Xbox Series X and Series S controllers for joypads with better value.
Interchangeable controller weights, thumbstick caps, and customizable analog sticks are all on offer with the Revolution X Pro, but this $100 controller struggles against the competition.
Ben is the channel editor for all things tech-related at Windows Central. That includes PCs, the components inside, and any accessory you can connect to a Windows desktop or Xbox console. Not restricted to one platform, he also has a keen interest in Valve's Steam Deck handheld and the Linux-based operating system inside. Fueling this career with coffee since 2021, you can usually find him behind one screen or another. Find him on Mastodon @email@example.com to ask questions or share opinions.
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