Thrustmaster Eswap X Pro Controller review: Magnets, how do they work?

Thrustmaster Eswap X Pro HeaderDexerto

For those looking to step up their game, the Thrustmaster Eswap X Pro Controller promises customization from almost every aspect. But, is the controller worth its steep asking price?

The trend of high-end, “Pro” controllers continues to rise, with both Microsoft and Sony offering their own options. But, third-party manufacturers also continue to eke their way into the market. Thrustmaster’s highest-end offering, the Eswap X allows users to shift the layout to their liking. But, is it worth the steep asking price, especially for a wired controller?

Key specs

  • Weight: 320g
  • Connectivity: Micro-USB
  • Compatibility: Xbox, PC
  • Features: Interchangeable buttons/layout, 4x extra remappable buttons, magnetic hall-sensing sticks, microswitch-style buttons
  • Price: $159.99
  • Where to buy: Best Buy

Included in the box: Thrustmaster Eswap X Pro Controller, 2x convex thumb-caps, 1x Micro-USB to USB-A cable, Phillips head screwdriver

Article continues after ad


Thrustmaster Eswap X Pro designDexerto

Immediately after you are greeted with the Thrustmaster Eswap X, you can feel the sheer heft as soon as you pick it up. Adorned on the front are its microswitch-style buttons, a dual-stick setup, and a D-pad. You’re easily able to pick up and swap around the position of the sticks and the D-pad with ease. If you were truly depraved, you could even plop two analog sticks on the left, and a D-pad on the right.

This is a nice little touch, and you can replace any part easily, should they stop working. The modules themselves are magnetic and snap confidently into place with zero issues. The matte black construction of the controller feels great to handle, and it comes in slightly larger than a standard Xbox Series pad.

Article continues after ad

Magnetic sticks fail to impress

Eswap X Pro SticksDexerto

It should be noted that when we asked, a Thrustmaster representative confirmed that the so-called “NXG” analog sticks are using a magnetic setup, rather than a potentiometer-based one. To confirm this, we put the controller through a simple stick circularity test.

Unfortunately for Thrustmaster, their magnetic sticks simply are not as accurate as others on the market. We found that there was an 8.5% error rate on each stick, in intercardinal directions. This is still an improvement over our Xbox pad, which reported a 19% error rate.

However, when you compare this to a true hall-sensing analog stick, such as the Gulikit King Kong Pro 2. The Gulikit controller reports just a 0.6% error rate. Comparatively, there is a gulf of quality between them.

Article continues after ad

Microswitch buttons

Back on the controller itself, the D-pad is microswitch-activated, allowing for tactile feedback. The face buttons are similarly equipped, with a mouse-like microswitch for more immediate feedback as you press them. The bumper buttons are slightly recessed along the top, and the triggers stop harshly, with two different trigger-stop distances to choose from. We would have liked to have seen a cushioned trigger, rather than the plastic-on-plastic crunch that we get from the Eswap X Pro.

Finally, around the back, there are four remappable buttons. These can easily be reached regardless of your hand size, and do not get in the way nearly as much as paddles do. On the bottom, there is a bevy of audio options in addition to a 3.5mm jack for communications.

Article continues after ad

Micro-USB in 2022? Really?

eswap microusbDexerto

However, rather puzzlingly. In 2022, this “Pro” controller sports a recessed Micro-USB jack. We couldn’t quite believe our eyes. Luckily, it comes with a Micro-USB to USB-A cable. However, this is reporting itself to be a tournament-grade controller, but not allowing for a USB-C connection, and instead relying on Micro-USB is just not good enough. Micro-USB is prone to failure over time, and this is a huge misfire on Thrustmaster’s part.


The Thrustmaster Eswap X Pro controller is littered with features, it’s titular swappable capabilities impressed us with how robust they were to swap in and out. They appear to sell additional color variants of the sticks, which is a nice touch. We found that the stems of the sticks on the controller are a bit too long for our liking. Unfortunately, the convex caps have the same stem length, so you are stuck with a stick with a longer throw.

Article continues after ad

This may prove beneficial for those looking to compete in games like Warzone, but for us, we thought it’d be nice to have a more standard option in the box, too.

The trigger-stop functions can be configured around the back, and the short throw has a very rough feeling to it, which does not inspire too much confidence. Just a small bit of foam to pad the impact makes a controller go a long way when it comes to feeling premium. Equally, the same could be said of the longer-throw configuration. They are handy to have, but we expected a little bit more when it comes to making them feel good to press.

Article continues after ad
EswapX ButtonsDexerto

The buttons around the back can be configured using the functions at the bottom of the controller. Using the profile and mapping buttons, you get a quick confirmation on the button you want to modify, followed by the button it is mapped to with a confirmation vibration. It was absolutely painless to use without having to dig into any software whatsoever.

However, if you did want to go into a full controller remap, you will easily be able to do so using ThrustmapperX, which is available on the Windows Store.

Gaming performance

In Elden Ring, we made quick use of the remappable paddles on the back for easy access to a dodge button without having to use a claw-like grip. While in Apex Legends, we equipped our face-button functions over to the buttons on the back, so we could stay engaged in the fight without stopping our movement.

Article continues after ad
EswapX SizeDexerto
The controller is a fair bit larger than the standard Xbox Series pad.

We were extremely impressed by how the Thrustmaster Eswap Pro X performed in games, it’s just a shame that the experience is marred somewhat by the hollow-feeling triggers. Equally, the D-pad will be just fine for most gamers, however, in fighting games, we found the shape of the D-pad to be slightly prohibitive towards long sessions due to its awkward shape, which leads to some soreness after some rounds of Street Fighter V.

Should you buy it?

The Thrustmaster Eswap Pro X is not without its issues, the sticks are magnetic, but their error rates are not quite as impressive as others. However, this is one of the best “Pro” style controllers that we’ve ever used. The heft of the device gives it a premium feel, though it would have been nice to have a few more extra bells and whistles, in addition to a Type-C port update, at the very least.

Article continues after ad


The Thrustmaster Eswap X Pro controller is a formidable competitor in the realm of third-party controllers, and it felt great to use all the way, though we do take issues with its archaic Micro-USB connector, in addition to the quality of its sticks.

If you click on a product link on this page we may earn a small affiliate commission.