Controllers, like the games we have loved, continue to grow and evolve. While many games required just a D-Pad, the competitive scene continues to grow, no matter if you’re hoping to run and gun or perform flashy moves to showcase your fighting supremacy. Nacon has been producing the Revolution Pro Controllers for various consoles for quite some time. Still, their first foray into the current generation is an exciting, if slightly flawed, competitor to the budding Pro Controller market.
Customization That Goes Above and Beyond
I’ve tested a variety of different Pro controllers for the PlayStation 5, with every option including offset sticks, my personal preference. While Sony’s own Dualsense Edge controller sticks to the more traditional symmetrical layout players have known since the introduction of the Dualshock for PlayStation 1, the Nacon Revolution 5 Pro places its sticks more in line with the rival console. For this, I am thankful, as I have never been a fan of the symmetrical sticks and have been using my PlayStation 5 since swapping out the DualSense for these types of controllers.
The Nacon Revolution 5 offers an impressive amount of customization. Out of the box, I found that I could swap the joystick tops and the D-Pad, but it goes deeper than that, both literally and figuratively. When I first removed the Revolution 5 Pro from its box, it was packaged away inside a protective casing, and it felt cumbersome. That’s because, alongside plenty of swappable parts, weights are included that allow me to customize the exact weight I would like the controller to be.
This is something that plenty of gaming mice have been doing for quite some time, so seeing this type of feature makes its way to a controller sooner rather than later was expected, but I never realized how much I would love it. Having the controller weigh as much as I would like is a surprisingly nice feature and something I’ve already noticed that I miss when swapping between other controllers that I currently have in my home. With three different pairs of included weights, I could either go with no weights at all, mix and match to find the perfect set, or go all in with one particular size.
Alongside the concave sticks that come pre-installed on the joysticks, two additional pairs of convex caps lay waiting within a plastic treasure chest, alongside rings that I can slot around the current thumbstick ring to reduce the amount of travel the joystick has. If you’ve ever used a Microsoft Elite controller, it’s a similar feature, minus the physical action of tightening the sticks. Reduced travel means I can make more precise movements with less overall effort, making sniper shots easier for me to land. There’s even an included pluggable microphone that I could slap into the bottom to make this the ultimate multiplayer controller; no headset required.
Pulling this package together, there are a few other features that help it stick out from the crowd. Shortstop triggers that reduce travel are included, as expected with this type of controller, alongside back buttons placed in rather unique locations. With the way I hold a controller, I can access these paddles with my middle fingers, and the second set is activatable with either my ring finger or pinkies. While comfortable to hold, I activated these bottom buttons at slightly inopportune times, especially during the heat of the moment. There is no need to have them mapped to anything, which at the time, I did not, otherwise, I would have been activating a specific button fairly often.
The face buttons are also quite large, even making the standard Xbox buttons look small by comparison. Switching back and forth between my normal go-to controller, the PDP Victrix BFG Pro, and the Nacon Revolution 5 Pro, I personally much preferred the overall size of the face buttons on this particular controller. It took a while for me to get used to it, but I’ll likely find it hard to go back to anything else if I have to pick up a standard DualSense anytime in the future.
To change the overall function of the back triggers and buttons, I needed to download a piece of software on my PC to swap out the function. While I wish that something like this was possible natively on the PlayStation 5 itself, the software worked for what I needed it to, even if it felt slightly cumbersome to swap between the PC and PlayStation 5 for something as simple as a button swap. Thankfully, the included onboard memory allowed me to save multiple profiles to avoid this step in the future.
Overall, the build quality of the Nacon Revolution 5 Pro is rather impressive, feeling both premium and capable of standing up to anything. It feels just as premium as any first-party offering I’ve used in the past, which is an impressive feat for a third-party controller.
Bye Bye Haptics (Depending On Your Platform)
Vibration is a significant factor in many different peripherals, from Rumble Packs in the Nintendo 64 to every first-party controller on the market, including some variation of it with their plastic shells. However, Haptic Feedback has been non-existent with any third-party PlayStation 5 controller I’ve tested. This is something that, regrettably, doesn’t make its way into the Revolution 5 Pro, either. However, I was shocked when I booted up a PlayStation 4 game.
During any PlayStation 5 game that I played, the lack of haptics was apparent. While I hardly used my DualSense and was happy to swap to something different, the Haptic Feedback within the controller was particularly impressive. Playing through games like Ratchet and Clank: A Rift Apart or Returnal allowed me to feel what was happening in the game. While the DualSense may have been one of my least favorite controllers due in part to its dramatic battery life, among other issues, the vibration engine is easily the most impressive of this current generation of consoles.
When using the Revolution 5 Pro, or any third-party controller for that matter, vibration, and Haptic Feedback of any sort is not there. I’m unsure if it’s something to do with Sony not allowing other manufacturers access to the particular technology they use or if it would drive the price of these already pricey controllers even higher. Still, you will not feel the action when playing any PlayStation 5 game.
However, if you use this particular controller on a PC or even on your PlayStation 5 to play PlayStation 4 games, you may be just as surprised as I was to find vibration motors within this controller. I had just been accustomed to not feeling the vibration that I almost dropped the controller when I first booted into Red Dead Redemption 2 and felt the controller shake with my actions. And unlike most third-party controllers, this does not feel overly violent in your hands, but rather, it’s a respectable amount of bump to correlate to the action unfolding on the screen.
Price Versus Performance
Pro Controllers are expensive, so you’ll want to know every small detail about them before jumping onto the ship. While the Sony DualSense Edge is the only first-party option available on the market, third-party companies are offering presentable alternatives that offer a variety of reasons that you should pick them up instead.
However, coming in at $199.99, is the Nacon Revolution 5 Pro the controller for you? Due to the overall build quality, the inclusion of Hall Effect Joysticks, and the overwhelming amount of customization options, it’s an easy front-runner for my favorite Pro Controller that I’ve used to date.
While the lack of vibration in PlayStation 5 games is a bummer, another feature puts a slight damper on an otherwise excellent piece of technology. There is no wake-up function built into this controller, meaning you’ll either need to use a Sony-branded controller to wake up the system or press the physical power button on the console to start it up. Again, this seems to be a decision on the Sony side of things because neither the Razer or PDP branded Pro Controllers had this function either.
The Nacon Revolution 5 Pro Controller is stellar and easily my new go-to for playing on the PlayStation 5. While the lack of Haptic Feedback may be a downside for some gamers, it’s something that I mostly forgot about, even while zipping through the streets of New York City in Spider-Man 2. No matter if you’re primarily jumping on the shooter train or you’re someone who loves playing through story-driven games, the extreme customization that this controller brings to the forefront helps it stand above the rest.
Nacon Revolution 5 Pro
The Nacon Revolution 5 Pro Controller is stellar, and easily my new go-to when it comes to playing on the PlayStation 5. While the lack of Haptic Feedback may be a downside for some gamers, it's something that I mostly forgot about, even while zipping through the streets of New York City in Spider-Man 2.
- Stellar customization
- Build quality is great
- Swapable weights make it a joy to hold
- No vibration in PlayStation 5 games
- No wakeup function for PS5 Console
- Bottom triggers can easily be activated when not wanted
This controller was provided by Nacon for review. Reviewed on PlayStation 5 and PC.