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Thrustmaster’s new modular controller has something for everyone

With hotswappable modules, a mechanical D-Pad and more, the Thrustmaster eSwap X 2 Pro could be the most customizable gamepad out there.

The Thrustmaster eSwap X 2 Pro controller

Not all peripherals are created equal, be they mice, keyboards, or controllers, and the Thrustmaster eSwap X 2 Pro aims to be the pad that caters to your playstyle whatever the situation. Improving on the design of the original eSwap X Pro, with mechanical switches and improved module swapping mechanisms, there’s a lot going for this sophomore effort.

The competition for the title of best PC controller is fierce, with titans like Microsoft and Sony providing plenty of compelling mainstream and premium offerings. In order to separate itself from the crowd, Thrustmaster has its work cut out for itself, but the eSwap X 2 Pro could be the perfect pad for a professional-feeling gaming experience.

The Thrustmaster eSwap X 2 Pro controller

The headline feature of the eSwap X 2 Pro is undoubtedly its swappable modules. Dubbed ‘T-Mod technology’, you’re able to replace any of the modules on the controller, be it the D-Pad or thumbsticks, quickly and easily (thanks to a toolless installation system). The idea of a D-Pad in the typical position of a thumbstick sounds very appealing to me, particularly for fighting games.

Speaking of which, the D-Pad itself has apparently been designed in collaboration with fighting game professionals. It features mechanical switches that have an activation distance of just 0.45mm, so you shouldn’t need to worry about travel time in clutch moments. Thrustmaster also says the ergonomics have been specifically made “to let you link up your diagonals completely smoothly”, which is particularly important for the likes of Street Fighter 6.

The face buttons on the pad are mechanical too, with an even lower activation distance of 0.3mm. Thrustmaster claims this gives it a 64% advantage versus typical membrane systems. How much this can be felt in practice, however, as with all peripheral performance claims like this, will naturally vary depending on whatever you’re used to using.

Thrustmaster also claims that its S5 NXG mini-sticks have a greater lifespan compared to previous versions. Either way, the ability to swap out your thumbstick once its materials have rundown, or if it suffers from an unfortunate case of the dreaded drift, is certainly a plus.

You can pre-order the eSwap X 2 Pro from the Thrustmaster store now, as well as learn more about its other features, such as the controls afforded by the ThrustmapperX software. It’ll set you back $169.99 (£169.99), so be prepared to pay a pretty penny for this premium pad.