Choice is always a great thing and, in stark contrast to the early days of console gaming, it’s really cool that we have manufacturers releasing officially licensed products that we can use with our devices. Nacon are no stranger to making peripherals and kindly sent through a sample of their latest PlayStation 5 controller for us to check out and give our thoughts. The Nacon Revolution 5 Pro is the 2023 refresh of their long-running line of Pro controllers that offer a level of customization above the standard first-party controllers.
So what exactly makes the Revolution 5 Pro worth buying? And does it justify the rather hefty €229.90 (R4,299) price tag when weighed up against other premium options?
Before we dig in, let’s first highlight the technical specs for quick reference:
- Connection: RF USB key, Detachable USB-C / USB-A cable, Bluetooth 5.2 connection with audio headphones
- Wireless: Yes
- Wired: Yes
- Cable included: Yes
- Cable length (cm): 300
- Software: Yes
- Headset jack: Yes
- Storage case: Yes
- Joystick position: Asymmetric
- Profiles: Yes
- Embedded profiles: 4 per platform
- Configurable buttons: Yes
- Programmable triggers: Yes
- Configurable joysticks: Yes
- Multifunction button: Sound, lights, and button mapping management
- Customization of joysticks: Yes
- Directional pad: 2 formats
- Raccourcis: Yes
- LED player indicator: Yes
- Adjustable weight: Yes
- Battery life: More than 10h
- Product weight: 0.313kg
- Product + packaging weight: 0.989kg
The Nacon Revolution 5 Pro comes in fairly straightforward packaging; however, upon opening it, you’ll be treated to an extremely premium controller case and a surprisingly comprehensive user guide. This feels great to the touch and gives off a real sense of quality from the get-go. The controller itself fits perfectly and comes with a soft cloth and an accessory pack filled with 3 sets of weights, a swappable d-pad, 2 optional stick sizes, and 2 sets of joystick heads.
Upon picking up the controller, you’ll immediately notice that it’s very similar in weight to the official PlayStation DualSense controller. On the upside – depending on your preferences, of course – it features asymmetrical joysticks that Xbox and PC gamers tend to prefer over the symmetrical PlayStation layout. The d-pad that’s installed on the controller by default can easily be swapped out if you’re not a fan of the flat fused style.
The controller has textured grips, feels great to hold, and even after prolonged gaming sessions, it never grew uncomfortable. It comes with a wireless dongle to connect to a PC or PS4/5, or you could use the provided cable if you’re looking to minimize any input lag. Adjusting the overall weight is simple as you just need to pop off the covers on the back of the controller and slot in or remove the circular weights.
Moving on to the actual performance, the triggers feel fantastic and you can quickly toggle between half- or full-press activations – perfect if you’re swapping between FPS and racing games. The joysticks use “Hall Effect” magnetic technology to detect inputs, so you won’t get any drift over time from worn sticks or internals.
Popping off the joystick caps is also really easy and you can replace them with those provided in the accessory box (and presumably spares if you ever wear them all out). The face buttons and bumpers feel similar to a Dualsense, the touchpad works exactly as intended, and the overall build quality feels more than sturdy enough to use daily.
It’s worth noting the deeply set USB Type-C port, so if you lose the original Nacon-supplied cable, you might have issues using a generic cable.
Additionally, if you download the Nacon Revolution 5 Pro software on your PC, you’ll be able to customize many inputs to an even greater degree – a factor that makes this a much better choice for gamers who play on both PS4/5 and PC.
Speaking of software, for some strange reason, you’ll need to change your controller’s settings manually at the back via the slider buttons to “A” for advanced, before changing to either PS4 or PS5 before first connecting to the PC. Doubly strange as there’s a “PC” toggle right there and this might confuse people.
Once you’ve figured out the initial connection to your PC and you’re in the software suite, there are 60 different customization options available to you. To better understand the impact, you can ditch the default settings and load up one of 4 pre-configured profiles for different game genres. Chances are good, however, you’ll want to create a custom profile from scratch to your own liking. Once done, you just save it in the software suite, assign it to one of the controller’s four slots, and can swap quickly between profiles while gaming.
For competitive FPS gamers or racing fanatics who insist on manual gear shifts, the Nacon Revolution 5 Pro features additional buttons on the back of the controller – but we personally found their location to be a bit unwieldy to reach and awkward to use compared to paddles. These extra buttons can be assigned custom inputs via the Revolution 5 Pro software suite through a straightforward interface, you save them, and then take the controller back to the PS4/5.
Somewhat bafflingly, Nacon have included Bluetooth connectivity – but you can’t use it to connect to your PC. Instead, this connection is only for an audio device, which feels like a strange decision when you’d most likely connect it directly to your PS4/5 or PC itself. If, however, you do decide to use it for audio purposes, there is a functional equalizer that can be configured using either the Nacon software or touchpad shortcuts on the controller itself. Plugging a headset directly into the 3.5mm jack didn’t seem to work at all, regardless of whether the controller was wired or connected wirelessly.
The Nacon Revolution 5 Pro touts up to 10 hours of battery life and in our testing, this held true. It can last even longer if you activate the battery-saver mode that disables certain power-hungry features. Oh, and for those who like visual customization, changing the lighting is a breeze and you can even see the results on the LED joystick ring in real-time while editing, which is a nice touch.
After using the controller for over a week, split between both the PS5 and PC, the Nacon Revolution 5 Pro stacked up pretty well compared to the original DualSense but there is one significant drawback. It offers standard vibration/rumble features on PC and PS4 games, but not complex haptic feedback or trigger resistance that the DualSense does. This is disappointing given this is a very pricey peripheral, but we suspect this might be down to a Sony patent rather than a Nacon issue. A 1000 Hz polling rate would also have been a premium addition as there is some input lag in faster-paced games when connected wirelessly.
Ultimately, the Nacon Revolution 5 Pro makes the most sense for those playing on both PC and PS5 due to the lack of haptic feedback when playing on the PS5. The additional settings and customization available through the software are great, though purists might feel as if this premium controller isn’t consistent with its feature set. Given this is a new update developed with the PS5 in mind, it’s a shame some elements feel half-baked, so to speak. Everything from the build quality, to the ease of use, and customization options feel well thought out – but it gets edged out by Sony’s DualSense Edge, which falls in in a similar price bracket. As such, we’d only recommend grabbing this controller if you want the asymmetrical joysticks, a focus on customization options, and you don’t care much about haptic feedback or variable resistance triggers.
A review sample of the Revolution 5 Pro was provided to gameblur for review by Nacon.
Nacon Revolution 5 Pro Controller (Tech) ReviewNacon Revolution 5 Pro Controller (Tech) Review
Build Quality9/10 Amazing
Value for Money6/10 Normal
- Excellent build quality
- Asymmetrical joystick layout
- Includes a great controller case and accessory kit
- Best for gamers that play on both PS4/5 and PC
- Lacks haptic feedback and variable trigger resistance when playing on the PS5
- Input lag is noticeable at times
- No option to connect the controller to your PC via Bluetooth
- For PS5-only players, the DualSense Edge is a better option at a comparable price