A controller can make or break an experience. Since any game requires one, it is worth the investment in a quality controller with options. Forking up hundreds of dollars for a controller is daunting, as what could it really offer over a standard controller shipped with your PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X|S? Sony and Microsoft have their own ‘elite’ offerings, but it’s not every day you see a well-built elite controller come out of a third-party company. Introduce Nacon and the Revolution 5 Pro, an ‘elite’ offering in the controller market.
The Revolution 5 Pro is playable across PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC. That covers hundreds of millions of users who likely have one or the other. When testing this product, my approach was to compare it to the controllers I use daily – the PlayStation DualSense and the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller. I’m happy to say that I came away extremely impressed with the offerings and promises of the Revolution 5 Pro.
From the get-go, you’ll notice that this controller is supporting an asymmetrical design. This is similar to what you’ll find on the Xbox Series X|S or Nintendo Switch controllers. Some prefer this, while others prefer the symmetrical design of the PlayStation controllers. I don’t mind either, but it was an interesting choice for a targeted PlayStation controller.
In the box is the Nacon Revolution 5 Pro, a storage case, an accessory storage box, a cleaning cloth, stickers, charging cables, and a quick start guide. The storage case is hard-shell and felt very durable. I wouldn’t be worried if I threw it into a suitcase or duffel bag for a trip. Additionally, the included cable is very heavy-duty. It’s braided and feels like something that will last a long time. Overall, I was satisfied and impressed with the offerings in the box, as expected, with a $199 controller.
The R5 Pro is comparable in size to other standard controllers. You shouldn’t run into any issues with it being too big or small. The controller itself has two different textures on it. The first is a smooth matte finish that feels good to hold. It’s worth noting that there is a slight issue with this matte surface showing fingerprints. It’s far from bad but noticeable when picking up the controller. A rubberized grip alongside the sides and bottom of the controller accompanies this. Together, the controller has an excellent grip and feels high quality. It doesn’t feel like Nacon used any cheap materials at all. The same can be said for the rest of the controller. Buttons have a very nice weight to them. Bumpers are tactile and clicky, with fast response time. In addition, the triggers feel sturdy and well-supported.
The Revolution 5 Pro is much heftier than Sony’s DualSense. Picking up the two, it surprised me to see how light the DualSense was. It’s the controller I’ve played with for three years now, but I tend to prefer heavier controllers. The great offering of the Revolution 5 Pro is the adjustable weight system, which allows you to slot different weights into the controller for a heavier or lighter feel.
One slight design flaw I ran into was with the standard D-Pad. When slotted in, it is super challenging to take this attachment off. If you only plan on using this version of the D-Pad, you’ll be fine, but I had a hard time taking it off to replace it for the Circle D-Pad, which does not have the same issue of removal. Since the standard D-Pad naturally slots in, you have to slot something underneath the crack to pry it out. With the Circle D-Pad, you have leverage with the edges of the D-Pad.
Customization is truly where the Revolution 5 Pro shines. Between the included accessory box and the customization software, you have the ability to control dozens and dozens of attributes with this piece of equipment.
There are a total of four customizable shortcut buttons on the back of the controller. They are near the bottom, making them easy to reach. Pairing and mapping these buttons is quite easy, and they did make a difference in gameplay. Some might find them close together, but the beauty is that you can choose buttons to map. So you don’t have to ever use them all at once. Triggers are equipped with Trigger Blockers, which allow you to shorten the length that the trigger needs to go to complete an action. For third-person shooters, this made shooting simple as I ran around in Fortnite OG.
A total of six different joystick heads are included in the box. These differ in grip, size, and depth, which makes for an all-around solution to whatever title you are playing. You might prefer different combinations whether you’re playing an FPS or RPG, and this controller allows you to accommodate that with its customization offerings. With the joysticks in mind, one of the greatest offerings of the R5 Pro is the inclusion of Hall Effect Technology. This is a tech that introduces magnetic sensors alongside magnets to combat stick drift and any wear on components. It’s fascinating and is something I look forward to watching develop over the next few years.
The controller is preloaded with different profiles you can switch through depending on the game. This modifies the joystick curve for precision depending on the genre of the game. Where this really takes flight, though, is with the software you can download. The software allows you to reassign any function to any button, modify the dead zones of joysticks, modify vibration intensity for PS4 titles, and more. If you purchase a Revolution 5 Pro, I highly recommend checking this out to get the most out of the controller.
A Few Shortcomings
The few things holding me back from transitioning to the Revolution 5 Pro include PlayStation 5 DualSense features like Haptic Feedback and Adaptive Triggers. It’s wild to consider how these two features have shaped gameplay experiences on PlayStation 5. From the Haptic Feedback in Final Fantasy XVI to the swinging sensation from Adaptive Triggers in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, features like this elevate the gaming experience. It’s completely understandable why Nacon didn’t include these in this edition of the Revolution line, however, I hope to see them implemented in the future. I’m not sure any other third-party controllers have yet to get their hands on this technology, but it is worth mentioning. There is no vibration present at all on PlayStation 5 due to the lack of Haptic Feedback. This package is top-notch with its offerings, but adding PS5 features would make this controller a must-buy.
Additionally, the use of a USB dongle for wireless functionality can be disappointing. Similar to other controllers of this nature, this means that the PlayStation 5 does not recognize the controller until the system is turned on. It’s a minor inconvenience that is a little frustrating when booting things up.
A Quality Controller Worth the Price
Overall, the Revolution 5 Pro is a fantastic controller that offers loads of different customization options for any game. Whether you’re playing an FPS competitively or the latest strategy title, you can tweak the controller to fit your playstyle. All of the buttons, bumpers, and triggers offer tactile responses you won’t find on standard controllers. Although it disappoints with the lack of Haptic Feedback and Adaptive Triggers, the R5 Pro offers a great package that sits at the top of the third-party market. If you’re looking for a quality controller with impressive build quality & features to fit your needs, look no further than the Revolution 5 Pro.
Disclaimer: Nacon provided Final Weapon with a Revolution 5 Pro unit for review purposes.