one minute review
The Revolution X wired controller makes an excellent first impression. When you open the box, you’re greeted by a sturdy carrying case that houses the controller. Perhaps it is the perfect introduction to the high quality of the overall package.
It is a somewhat unassuming controller at first glance. All the buttons you’ll find on an Xbox wireless controller are present, but there are a few notable differences. The face buttons are larger and slightly flatter, the thumbsticks have a deeper notch, and the triggers and shoulder buttons have a nice metallic finish.
Each button feels solid under your finger, it’s different – though, not necessarily better than – the official Xbox controller. However, they get the job done, and the D-pad is also great to use, thanks to its concave environment. The triggers are a little bulkier than we’d like, and they have a weird, jagged design that takes some getting used to.
On the back, you have four extra buttons for custom inputs, a button to switch between controller profiles, and a toggle to turn custom buttons on or off entirely. Also, there aren’t really any fancy bells and whistles that separate Revolution X from the crowd, but it doesn’t need them. The controller nailes the basics better than most others on the market.
The Revolution X controller easily connects to your Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One or PC via a wired USB-A connection. In a lovely aesthetic touch, the ring around the right stick lights up, signaling that the controller is connected. You might miss the lack of a wireless option here, but latency is kept to an absolute minimum thanks to this wired connection.
Connectivity options may be limited, but customization certainly isn’t: included in the Revolution X package is an extra set of thumbsticks and different sized rods. If the default options aren’t to your liking, you can switch to convex thumbsticks and wider shanks with ease.
Customization continues if you install the Revolution X app from the Windows or Xbox store. It allows you to assign custom inputs to buttons on the back of the controller and save up to four separate profiles. Also, this app allows you to customize trigger dead zones and thumb sensitivity.
While it’s a little tiring to have to download a separate app to customize the pad, the software itself is intuitive and makes it a lot easier to create a set of profiles suitable for your favorite games.
price and availability
The Revolution X wired controller can be purchased for $99 / £99 from Nacon’s official store. That’s a lot cheaper than the official Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2, which retails for $179 / £159.
And given the Revolution X’s overall high quality, it’s absolutely a worthwhile alternative if the price of Microsoft’s official keyboard makes your wallet a little queasy.
Revolution X: design
- Instantly stunning look and feel
- Thumbs are fantastic
- Triggers are a bit unorthodox
The Revolution X has positioned itself as a cheaper alternative to the Xbox Elite keyboard, but don’t be fooled into thinking the Nacon skimped on quality – the Revolution X looks and feels like a more premium unit.
The controller has a good weight – robust but light. It’s the perfect shape too, as your thumbs and fingers naturally rest on the analog sticks, triggers and rear paddle buttons.
The face buttons are a little larger than those on the official Xbox keyboard, but they have a nice tactile feel that doesn’t wear out on the thumb. The shoulder buttons are equally nice and satisfyingly clicked.
The rear blades are also of high quality. Four extra buttons are found on the back of the controller, situated right where your fingers rest, and can be customized as additional or alternate inputs. The same can’t be said for the awkwardly placed custom layout toggle and profile change button. You probably won’t hit them by mistake, but that’s because they’re a little out of reach. But this is less important and more something you just need to get used to.
Unfortunately, the D-pad is a downgrade from Xbox controllers, because it lacks that semi-omni-directional design. It’s still solid, though, and works great for side-scrollers and arcade-type titles.
Triggers are definitely the weirdest part of Revolution X, though. They’re not bad, but they have a slightly weird, beefier design compared to the official pad and take some getting used to. After a while it stopped bothering us, but it’s something to keep in mind if you like the slim profile of the triggers on the official Xbox Series X|S controller.
The star of the show here, though, has to be the excellent analogues. In fact, we prefer them to the official Xbox pad. By default, concave thumbsticks are installed, but these, and the sticks, can be exchanged for convex thumbsticks (included) or wider shafts.
Overall the Revolution X presents a big win in terms of design, you’re getting a high quality pad for the price.
Revolution X: features
- Custom rear paddles for extra inputs
- Adorable lighting around the right analog stick
- Save up to four button mapping profiles
What sets the Revolution X apart from the official Xbox controller – and guarantees parity with the Elite – is undoubtedly the four rear paddle buttons. They are off by default, but can be enabled by simply switching the back switch from ‘Classic’ mode to ‘Advanced’ mode.
With Advanced mode enabled, you can use these rear paddle buttons as well as the profile button that switches between your presets. We love that it’s treated as a strictly optional feature – it’s there if you need extra inputs, but not necessary to take advantage of the controller in general.
Ultimately, we found these extra buttons to be extremely useful. In Halo Infinite, we mapped the jump to one of the rear oars, allowing us to keep our thumb on the right stick when jumping while still using the default control scheme in the game.
That means Revolution X is also a good block for fighting games. In Guilty Gear Strive on PC, we were able to map out certain actions, like running into these oars, freeing up space in other parts of the controller.
By default, the four available profiles are adapted to a different style of play, including racing, shooters, arcade games, and so on. Each has a unique lighting scheme that illuminates the immediate surroundings of the right analog stick. This is a simple but nice effect. Plus, it acts as an easy visual indicator of whatever profile you’re currently using.
All this and more can be customized in the dedicated Revolution X app, available for free download from Windows or Xbox storefronts.
Revolution X: app
- Robust with lots of customization options
- Obtuse at first, but easy to get used to
- Required to customize your controller
The Revolution X app is a must if you want to tinker with the ins and outs of the controller. There is a bit of a learning curve, but you can really tweak your Revolution X experience with your app.
The application is divided into distinct menus. There are sections dedicated to button mapping, stick sensitivity, lighting effects and much more. For options like stick sensitivity, you can choose a quick preset for your profile, or customize it to a remarkably granular degree.
We were extremely impressed with the app in general, but there were times when it didn’t respond to our inputs, and the menus occasionally felt clunky. But once we understand these oddities, performing detailed customizations to the controller quickly became second nature.
Should I buy the Revolution X wired controller?
You’re on a budget
Revolution X is unbelievable value for money. It offers basic features found in other ‘Pro’ controllers at a fraction of the price and does so in remarkably high quality.
Do you like deep customization?
The Revolution X app allows you to customize your control schemes to an almost absurd degree, making it an excellent choice for competitive gamers.
Don’t buy if…
Do you want a wireless controller
Revolution X has no wireless option, requiring it to be connected to your Xbox or PC.
Do you want even more buttons
The Xbox Elite Wireless Controller has removable back paddles that can be customized to a greater degree.