LifeisXbox’s Nacon Pro Compact controller review | My hands have been working overtime lately, in a short time I had the pleasure of reviewing a selection of Xbox controllers, the latest one is also the smallest. Which makes sense with a pro compact name. Technically this means that the controller is 15% smaller without negatively impacting ergonomic properties. Well, according to the site from Nacon. Personally, I have another opinion about that, which you’ll read in our ergonimics section. One thing worth mentioning before continuing with our full review is the excellent price point of €50, especially with an included Dolby Atmos sound experience.
Works on Xbox One consoles, Xbox Series X|S and pc
3.5mm audio jack | wired only | Weight: / | Price: €50
We tested the Nacon Pro Compact Controller for 40 hours before writing this review.
The first out-of-the-box experience
A few things caught my eye almost immediately, the weird placement of the share button was my first. This works in practice so it was (luckily) only a visual thing. Secondly was the brilliant idea to place a Nacon logo on the grip of the analog stick. Small attention to detail, something you rarely see with cheaper controllers. No doubt, this is an attractive-looking piece! Being a wired-only controller I was glad to see a long enough cord (3 meters) and a connection breaker so the dog or my own clumsy legs don’t pull the Xbox Series X console with the USB-wire. (We’ve all experienced this once, no?) It was a positive first impression and I was excited to test some games with it!
My main Xbox Series X controller is the Razer Wolverine V2 not for bells and whistles but for the incredible comfortable ergonomics. Here is where the Nacon Pro Compact controller fails a bit for me, I’m simply not the targeted audience. My hands are honestly too big, to give perspective my feet are size 48 and I’m 1m90. In my 40-hour usage, I never found a sweet spot holding the controller without forcing or stressing my hands. Compared to other controllers the width is the same but the grips are shorter and much more rounded making it a bit unusual for the first hours. It was never comfortable for me, that said I can imagine that gamers with smaller hands won’t have this issue. For people like my girlfriend who have tiny gnome hands (I’m sorry for this terrible humor) this might even be beneficial.
How are the buttons, triggers, and analog sticks?
I was surprised to see an almost identical quality as the original Xbox Series X|S controller, except for the somewhat unresponsive Dpad. Buttons are quiet and fun to press and familiarly placed. The only difference is the view, menu, and share button, they all work well but I did have some slight issues with the menu button as this was very close to the left analog stick. 94% of the games don’t use this button often but for the other 6%, it might be an inconvenience. Another slight issue for me was playing WRC 9 or Forza Horizon with the Nacon Pro Compact controller it was significantly harder to get control over speed as the triggers feel completely different. This wasn’t an issue in other genres, it was actually a positive difference as the triggers are more sensitive when you compare it with the standard controller for Xbox. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the D-Pad, felt a bit unresponsive but that might be because I’m used to a Mecha-Tactile D-Pad.
Lots of software options
Nacon’s new controller lacks some options for pro-gamers, as it doesn’t have additional buttons or back-paddles but it features some excellent options in the app that you can download from the Xbox Store. An important one, changing dead zones is very easy. (great to fix inevitable drift stick) There are a lot more though, button assignments, preset response curves for triggers and the analog sticks, vibration settings, and more. This software adjusting is remarkable for a controller that’s on the market for only €50
Is this Dolby Atmos thing worth it?
Short answer, ab-so-lutely! The difference is quite something, you just need to be sure that your headset supports it. (Don’t forget to activate it in settings too!) Normally a sub is €15, when you connect the controller to the Xbox it will automatically recognize it. This unique partnership gives extra value for an already price-friendly controller.
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