Nacon has made quite a name for itself in the world of “pro” controllers. We loved the Nacon Revolution Unlimited Pro back in the heyday of PS4, and the more recent Nacon Revolution X Pro is a solid choice for Xbox players. Despite being on the market for three years now, however, Nacon has yet to release a PS5 controller. Until now: enter the Nacon Revolution 5 Pro, an elite-type controller that can be used on PS4, PS5 and PC.
There’s no denying this is a very nice controller indeed. Cementing its high-end position in the market is its packaging and presentation: open up the sturdy cardboard box and you’ll find a high quality case for your controller. Inside there, you’ll find the controller itself, along with a box filled with accessories, a cleaning cloth and a braided USB-C cable. If you’ve had a Revolution controller from Nacon previously, it’ll all look rather familiar.
The Revolution 5 Pro doesn’t reinvent the wheel: it looks and feels very familiar to the Revolution Unlimited – at least to the untrained eye. But Nacon has had to take this controller all the way back to the drawing board, with the company working on it and refining it over the last two years. It’s taken time to consult with esports players, too, with pro gamers being its target market. There are new ways to connect the Revolution 5 Pro to your consoles and new ways to customise it. Its features have been enhanced and refined, making this not only the most environmentally conscious controller in the range, but the most pleasant to use.
That’s not all just PR fluff, either: it really does feel wonderful to hold in the hands. This is a solid controller which is ergonomically shaped to be held for long periods of play. Interchangeable buttons and analogue sticks allow you to tinker it to your preferences: maybe you’d prefer a simple d-pad, or maybe an omni-directional circular input is more appropriate. Whether you prefer high or low, concave or convex thumbsticks, too, you’ll find yourself well catered for.
In terms of connectivity, you can connect wirelessly to your console or PC by using the included dongle, or you can connect it via the included USB cable. There’s also Bluetooth connectivity built into the controller, allowing you to connect your headsets wirelessly. Nacon promises a battery life of around 12 hours – though if you don’t use Bluetooth, you’ll get even longer.
There are the typical pro features you’d expect here: four programmable buttons on the back, profiles that you can easily switch between, and triggers that can be locked for short presses – something invaluable for FPS players. You can even download an official app, allowing you to tinker with all kinds of advanced settings, set your own profiles, and even customise RGB lighting. It’s all the bells and whistles you’d expect, then, and if you’re playing on PS4 or PC, you’ll get the benefit of features such as rumble thanks to the controller’s two vibrating motors. But – and here’s a big but – that’s not a feature you’ll get to experience when playing PS5 games.
It’s important to note that this isn’t a downfall of the controller; rather, it’s down to Sony making certain features of its DualSense controller proprietary. There’s no haptic feedback and no adaptive triggers. You also can’t turn your console on using the Nacon Revolution 5 Pro – again, something that Sony doesn’t allow for. And so these missing features can’t be held against Nacon. The fact is that pro players – the core audience of the Revolution 5 Pro – likely won’t miss the absence of haptics as the extra precision and customisation brought to the table is a worthy trade-off.
However, we’re not sure that more casual PS5 players will feel the same way. The haptic functions of Sony’s DualSense controller have been a big draw for players since day one, and when they’re implemented correctly they can add a lot of enjoyment to a game. Take them away, and you’re losing a layer of immersion. In all honesty, the DualSense controller is hard to contend with, and Sony clearly knows that by locking down its proprietary technologies. There’s also the fact that the DualSense has an excellent build quality, head and shoulders about the PS4’s DualShock 4, making seeking out a ‘pro’ controller alternative unnecessary for most average players.
That leaves the core audience for the Revolution 5 Pro as pro gamers and those who appreciate the highest possible level of precision while gaming. The sticks and triggers here make use of Hall effect technology, making the chance of stick drift negligible, and everything has been built with a long-lasting lifespan in mind. This isn’t a controller you’re going to have to replace annually: it’s been designed to last. Of course, we have to take Nacon’s word for that for now, since it’s brand new. But the feel of the controller and its quality certainly attests to that fact.
Can we recommend the Nacon Revolution 5 Pro Controller? Absolutely – but not for every gamer. The fact is, for your ‘average’ PS5 user, the DualSense is more than adequate, and losing the immersion brought about by haptic feedback is a trade-off not worth taking. But for pro gamers and esports players, there’s a great amount of customisation here that’s going to set the controller apart – even from the DualSense Edge. Packing in excellent build quality and a focus on precision and customisation, it’s hard to imagine any pro player could be disappointed with what’s on offer here.
Nacon Revolution 5 Pro is available in black or white and can be ordered directly from Nacon’s website, costing €230 or your local equivalent.