Nacon Revolution X Pro controller review: A sticky situation

Sayem Ahmed
Nacom Revolution Pro X controller review
Dexerto

The Nacon Revolution X Pro is a “Tournament-grade” controller with features that promise fantastic performance, but there’s more going on under the hood than meets the eye.

The Nacon Revolution X Pro controller is a wired gaming controller that manages to cram a whole host of features in, including a customizable LED ring, and a strong software offering. Nacon aims for this controller to pinpoint gamers by offering a good, wired alternative to Microsoft’s own Elite Controller Series 2, with “Tournament-grade” performance.

Key Specs

  • Weight: 230g (Stock)
  • Connectivity: USB-C
  • Compatibility: Xbox, PC
  • Price: £99.99 / €99.99
  • Features: Four remappable buttons, additional weights, carrying case, adjustable profiles, interchangeable thumbsticks.
  • Where to buy: Amazon US

Included in the box: Nacon Revolution X Pro controller, Carrying case, weights, replaceable thumb caps, cleaning cloth.

Design

Nacon Revolution Pro X case
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Upon unboxing the Nacon Revolution Pro X, you are greeted with a small carrying case, which houses the USB-C cable for connectivity, a plastic case that houses the adjustable weights, and thumb caps, in addition to a cleaning cloth. This is all extremely well-presented, and everything tidies away nicely.

The controller itself is presented in a roughly textured matte black plastic, which doesn’t look super pleasing to the eye. However, the grips have a dividing faux-panel line that is textured with a triangular shape. This wraps all the way to the bottom of the controller, too.

On the right stick, you will find a Nacon Logo, with an illuminated LED ring. The face buttons are all plush and have a really, really large legend. The left stick is also similarly textured, with a honeycomb design.

You have your standard options, Xbox, and share buttons centered nicely. But, around the back, there is a little bit more going on. There are four buttons around the back, a larger one near the top of each “handle” and a thinner one that runs down the side. In addition to this, is a profile button, switch, and a 3.5mm Atmos-compatible headphone jack at the bottom.

The controller looks decent enough, however, we really dislike how hollow and light this controller feels. Everything from pressing down on the bumpers is clicky and tactile but has very little cushioning or heft to it. The same goes for the triggers. Only if you press them at a certain angle do you get a dampened noise, rather than the harsh clack of plastic-on-silicon.

There are also silver trimmings on the bumpers around the back, and on the analog stick. however, the paint used here looks cheap, and we would have preferred a slightly more premium silver finish, similar to what Gulikit uses on its King Kong Pro 2 controller.

The customizable weights slot into the bottom of the controller’s handles via a detachable panel, which is a nice touch, and is certainly more elegant than baking in weights to the controller itself, like we saw on the PowerA Fusion Pro 2 a little while ago.

Revolution X detachable panel
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The optional extras are nice if you want to take off the thumbstick caps, and replace them to be slightly wider, or switch over to a convex stick, it makes a good value add-on for the controller.

However, the paddle-style buttons around the back felt extremely cheap and hollow, much like the triggers and bumpers. We’re putting this down to the relatively lax plastic quality on the controller itself.

In short, the controller doesn’t exactly look or feel great, despite some premium features that we definitely appreciated.

Features

Nacon Revolution Pro X
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This controller has a healthy serving of premium features that work straight out of the box. firstly, the controller is really light, so if you wanted to have a bit more heft to the controller, you can pop in little weights around the back from the plastic container of doodads that are sat in the controller’s case. This is really welcome, especially since everyone is going to have a different preference for how heavy they want their controller to be.

We personally prefer it to be slightly heavier, so we popped in the heaviest possible combination of two 16g weights to add slightly more heft.

Replacing the thumb caps and stick was surprisingly easy, and just require a confident tug to pull out and replace. From here, you can widen the thumbstick just by dropping in one of two options, which shortens the amount of time to get around the edges, but you do lose out on a touch of accuracy while doing so.

By downloading the Revolution-X App on the Windows store, you can configure just about everything on the controller itself. This includes button remapping, tuning the response curves of the sticks, trigger actuation point, vibrations, and much more. This really is a very powerful piece of software.

Nacon Revolution Pro X Software
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Here, you can assign profiles to the controller, and also assign buttons to the paddles. Our only real complaint with this is that it only runs in fullscreen mode, and you have to interact with the Windows store.

We ran the controller through our usual gamepad tester, where the controller reported an error rate of 0%. This is physically impossible, due to the pad not using a hall sensor, and instead relying on the same error-prone sticks confirmed to be manufactured by ALPS.

Nacon Revolution Pro X error rate
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We quizzed Nacon on what exactly was going on here since it is physically impossible to poll such a result out of a controller.

They state that a Joystick algorithm runs between the input and treats it, as a patented solution. Unfortunately, the algorithm is not a suitable replacement for a hardware issue. So, you might find that this controller does not drift quite as quickly as other competitors, but you will also not really know when it actually does begin to report more errors.

This is a dangerous and disappointing precedent. While the solution might look to correct error rates, you don’t actually get the controller or the stick’s “true” rating. Instead of spending time making a custom joystick algorithm that essentially masks the true results, just use a hall sensing stick, it’s not really a difficult equation.

Gaming performance

The controller worked wonderfully in the games that we tested it in. In Elden Ring, we customized the paddles to allow us to run, move the camera, and attack at the same time without making our hands resemble a claw. The software was quick and easy to use, and we even added a little yellow LED ring to the profile to assign to it while in-game. We just wish that the controller felt better to use since there is a distinctly cheap feeling to the paddle-like buttons.

The paddles themselves are placed perfectly and felt natural to use. However, the tactile click of the microswitch is loud and causes the plastic housing to echo out in a fairly hollow manner.

The D-pad feels exceptional. We used it to play a few runs of Dead Cells, and we were really impressed at how it felt, and how accurate the D-pad felt in general. you can customize it to be either four or eight way in the software.

In Halo: Infinite, the controller performed well, and the thumb caps worked excellently during a couple of Slayer rounds where things got a little too hairy for our liking, with no slipping or sliding whatsoever.

We once again came up against the controller’s cheaper feeling when using the triggers. Upon closer inspection after taking the controller apart, there is a 0.5mm foam pad that bottoms out softly, and if the trigger bottoms out even slightly out of place, then you’ll get a harsher sound when bottoming out. This can be prevented just by using slightly more foam.

It worked extremely well across devices, and the included USB-C connector is recessed deeply enough that you’re not going to have any accidents while in use. Nacon claims that the controller also meets the officially licensed requirement of Microsoft, which currently stands at 4ms.

Should you buy it?

At £99.99 / €99.99, the Nacon Revolution X Pro certainly boasts enough features to warrant the price point and feels okay to game on. However, we were not fans of the product design, where it felt like Nacon cut certain corners that leave some buttons and triggers feeling hollow and empty.

Combined with the controller algorithm that claims to correct your inputs after they’ve been read, it’s an interesting solution to the problem of analog sticks wearing out over time. However, a software solution for a hardware problem is probably one of the biggest misfires that a company can make when creating a quality controller.

5/10

You certainly get a lot of value out of the Nacon Revolution X Pro, however, it just has too many shortcomings for us to fully recommend. The impressive software suite is certainly one of the better applications that we’ve used, but the controller could stand to be slightly better with regard to build quality.

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