The controller scene is getting very competitive indeed. There’s no denying that ergonomics have come a long way over the last generations of gaming, with many regarding the Xbox’s pad – especially the Elite – as the best gaming has to offer. There’s no doubt that the Elite and even the standard Series pad set very high bars in terms of comfort and usability, which means when third party releases come around they have a hell of a mountain to climb. In years past it would be a no-contest, but more and more we’re seeing excellent alternate options from the likes of Turtle Beach or Nacon. It’s the latter we’re here to discuss today, and their new Revolution X Pro Controller. It is, quite simply, utterly excellent, and has even found its way to supplant my day to day use of the Series pad.
The first thing that I noticed when taking it out of the box was the premium look and feel to the carry case. Much like the Elite, it has a sturdy feel and build to it that’ll protect the pad nicely. The green felt inside is a nice aesthetic touch, as is the cleaning cloth, while the little box of extras nestled underneath includes parts to customise the feel and experience to our liking (more on that in a bit).
Then we get to the controller. This wired pad looks the part nestled in the case, but picking it up and holding it was something else entirely. I’m not sure a third party controller has ever felt so right in my hands. That might sound a bit strange, but the way the plastic curves, the mildly textured handles, and general feel and button placement just felt great from the off. By default it’s a pretty light controller too, though I did end up adding the 16 gram weights in as I personally prefer a heavier feel (there are also 10g and 14g options).
The face buttons are slightly over-sized, but not to a distracting degree. If anything, they were slightly better feeling to use for me, though it’s not a game-changing amount. The sticks are nice and responsive as well, feeling very similar to Microsoft’s efforts. Again, that little box of tricks can be used here to customise the experience; be it swapping out the concave sticks to convex (which are a little too slippery in my eyes), or adding rings to the base of the stick to reduce the aperture of movement, from the standard down to 30 or 45 degrees. Swapping all these in and out is easy enough, just pop the thumb grip off, but it’s not so quick that we’ll be doing it in the middle of a game. Again, these elements are aimed are more pro gamer sorts, who’ll no doubt be glad to hear of their inclusion.
In that vein, the entire controller can also be customised with the Revolution X app on the console. Here we get to adjust things like stick sensitivity, inversions, button mapping and more. It’s a sleek and quick app to use, and for those looking to get truely into the nitty gritty there is a lot to play around with. We can also customise the look of the right ring light here. Broken down into four quadrents, we’re able to have each one a different colour out of a decent, if not expansive, colour set, as well as set the animated pattern and brightness. As someone who relished the recent update to turn off all lights on the console and controller I wasn’t sure I’d make much use of this. However, it does look pretty neat, and once I got a colour layout I liked I just dropped the brightness a bit which made it more bearable to use in a darkened room.
Finally, there’s those almost hidden back buttons. If you’ve used a controller with them on before you’ll know how much of a game changer they can be. Once I got to grips with the Elite pads flappy paddles it was hard to go back. The Revolution X Pro Controller‘s effort is slightly different than that pad though. Rather than being removeable paddles, here they are built in buttons on the handles of the controller. Initial impressions were a bit mixed; I almost felt like I had to stretch my hands a little more than I was used to to hit them. Also, as they are buttons and not paddles they were a little more difficult to hit as opposed to flicking the paddles. However, after a short while I got used to them, and now I’m finding it hard to go back to the standard pad!
The lower buttons kind of blend into the handle which is great, while still giving a satisfying click when pressed. The upper ones rest much more naturally under the finger, also clicking nicely and feeling good to use. These can be assigned to any of the other buttons on the pad as you’d expect, with up to five profiles saved to the presets; one default one and four custom ones toggled between with a button on the underside of the controller. Each profile has its own audio and ring light settings too, making it easier to identify which we have selected in addition to the small LED lights on the lower part of the controller.
The 3M braided cable is of high quality, nestling into the top of the controller nicely to prevent accidental snapping or unplugs. Personally 3M is slightly short for my main set-up (though perfect for my weekly travel with the Series S), but any longer USB-C cable should work as well for those that need it.
Included in the package is a lifetime membership to Dolby Atmos, the excellent audio solution that no player should be without. You’ll need to remember to download the app from the store first but once the controller is plugged in it automatically switches to this premium set up. I’ve been using Dolby Atmos for some time now and it’s hard to oversell just how great it is; that it’s included with this already excellent pad is icing on the cake!
In fact, there’s very little to complain about when it comes to the Revolution X Pro Controller. The D-Pad is fairly good, as are the triggers, though here I felt the haptic trigger rumble wasn’t quite as strong as the official offering in the titles I tried. Otherwise, this is a fantastic bit of kit that is comfortable, easy to use, offers loads of customisation options, and comes with premium features found in far more expensive releases.
The Revolution X Pro Controller is a fantastic controller for all players regardless of if you’re looking at playing in competitive scenes, or just looking for a solid new option for day to day use. Some small initial niggles soon give way to show off just how well crafted and premium this pad is. Considering all that is included here, the £99.99 price tag is an absolute steal.Become a Patron!
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