It’s getting harder and harder to innovate in the gaming controller market and the Nacon Revolution 5 Pro does a great job of assembling some of the most sought-after features – and an entirely new one in Hall Effect triggers – but slaps on a premium price tag that doesn’t quite match the initial value.
Taking price out of the equation, the Nacon Revolution 5 Pro has a suite of features that should have it mixing among the best PC controllers on the market, but in overestimating just how game-changing the gamepad is, Nacon is potentially leaving customers with a hard decision to make. Take the features, performance, and longevity of the Revolution 5 Pro, or save on the initial cost but make a shorter-term choice.
- Great customization options
- Low latency response times when wired
- Hall Effect joysticks and triggers
- Price doesn’t line up with the quality
- Battery life could be better
Nacon Revolution 5 Pro features
The major headline feature for the Revolution 5 Pro is the Hall Effect triggers, the first controller to take this technology and apply it somewhere other than the joysticks. Saying that, Hall Effect sticks are also present and are a welcome addition.
Like other Nacon controllers, the Revolution 5 Pro is highly customizable both physically and through the companion app on Windows. You can change the thumbsticks, weight, and trigger distances while the software allows you to customize all available buttons and LED lighting. On top of this, you can store up to four profiles per platform, meaning four PC, four PS5, and four PS4 platforms stored natively on the controller and all customizable via the app.
There is LED lighting situated around the right thumbstick, and tracking lights around the touchpad for charging, player status, and volume. You can change the volume of your headset from the controller thanks to smart controls placed on the rear of the Revolution 5 Pro.
On connectivity, it works both via wired and wireless connections. There is a slight drop in response time for the wireless connectivity as expected when connecting to an adaptor. For wired use or playing while charging, the included cable is braided to ensure you’re not dealing with tangled and worn plastic that rarely survives a year or two of use.
You can also connect an audio device to the controller via Bluetooth and switch to it at a moment’s notice but a standard 3.5mm jack port is also featured on the bottom of the pad. Should your wireless audio device not have a built-in microphone, a 3.5mm option is included with the controller. The battery life of the Revolution 5 Pro is around 10 hours from a full charge, which is a little low, but the included braided cable is at least long enough to sprawl across most rooms at 3m.
Nacon Revolution 5 Pro design
A key visual design feature of the Revolution 5 Pro is the fact that it is an asymmetrical controller. This means that the joysticks are not side by side like most PS5-style controllers. It’s a big win for PC players who will be used to this layout anyway, but it might take some getting used to on console.
There is an LED ring situated around the right thumbstick that can be changed, or turned off, via the controller app. There are a few different settings to choose from and one in particular – Action – is very cool as it changes the light to match the typical color of the face button you most recently pressed e.g. X = Blue, Circle = Red.
The placement of four additional buttons on the back of the controller is in line with other premium controllers, but I’m glad they avoided paddles here which can sometimes be a pain to alter your grip around. Each button also has a mouse-click feel rather than a spongy or firm press, which is great for responsiveness.
There are three sets of thumbsticks included, as well as two directional pads. All are click-in rather than magnetic and simple enough to change depending on your preference. Also included are three sets of weights – 10g, 14g, and 16g – which fit into the handle of the controller and allow you to add to the bulk, should you find the base controller too light.
Nacon Revolution 5 Pro performance
My time testing the Nacon Revolution 5 Pro went well for the most part. Setting up the companion app raised some concerns given it didn’t recognize the controller the first few times I connected, and it tries very hard to get you to sign in or create an account to use it, by not hyperlinking the ‘continue as a guest’ option.
Once that was done, I was able to start tweaking settings based on how I like to play my games. The suite of customizable features here really is impressive, and you could spend hours tweaking the finest of details, but after just an hour I was ready to jump into gameplay.
I started with racing games where thumbsticks are crucial – unless you already own one of the best steering wheels for PC – and the Revolution 5 Pro handled this genre, and wider sports games well. The looser yet more accurate feel of Hall Effect joysticks is a joy, and knowing that their longevity is greater than that of the standard thumbstick is a bonus.
Moving on to shooters, this is where I expected the trigger to shine. The first ever Hall Effect triggers that are super responsive and accurate. Well, the truth is I think that Nacon lived up to their promise here, as the more I played around with trigger settings, the more I was able to tune the controller to the exact experience I wanted. When looking through the companion app, the responsiveness settings and the default options were very insightful.
As expected, there was an instant option that would actuate the trigger as soon as you press, but the testing lab in the app showed full actuation doesn’t trigger until you’ve pressed it around ⅓ of the way down. A better response time could be achieved by activating the trigger locks and selecting the short & delayed option, which is oddly counterintuitive. Fortunately, this appears to be a bug in the software, as the game performance clearly shows that the trigger was actuated almost immediately.
The triggers are not overly tight, like the standard PS5 controller, which is a positive, but they also don’t fall into the trap of feeling cheap. Unsurprisingly, the Hall Effect implementation has been crucial to the performance of the Revolution 5 Pro and if you’re happy to chase this performance at the cost of what Nacon is charging, then I would completely understand given the nature of competitive gaming being a game of milliseconds.
Should you buy the Nacon Revolution 5 Pro
As nice a package as the Nacon Revolution 5 Pro is, it is very hard to recommend at the $199.90 / £199.90 / €229.90 price point.
Instead, if you need Hall Effect joysticks, you can find controllers with them for as little (or less) than $50. Likewise, if you’re looking for a premium controller to work on PC, the Microsoft Elite 2 still reigns as one of the better controllers on the market.
While the performance of the Nacon Revolution 5 Pro is admirable, it’s hard to point at anything other than the inclusion of Hall Effect joysticks and triggers as reasons why this controller costs so much.
Customization isn’t rare in the market now, and neither are the Hall Effect joysticks. Despite the benefits of both, it’s hard to justify spending so much money for what is ultimately one unique feature, in the Hall Effect triggers, regardless of how effective they are. On PS5, basic vibration is also missing, meaning its cross-platform suitability is drastically reduced.
If I were to speak honestly about the value of the Revolution 5 Pro, I would actually say that Nacon has put together a well-built PC controller that should last you for years to come, which very few manufacturers can seem to do. Relevant features and stylish design all come together really well, and if you view a controller as a long-term investment, then maybe the initial price tag can be overlooked.
Purely as a PC controller, the Nacon Revolution 5 Pro is a great option that uses the latest technology to give you a fast response time, comfort, and longevity, but its price tag is a possible roadblock, especially if you plan to use it on console, where key features are missing.