RIG Nacon Pro Compact review – Honey, I shrunk the Xbox controller

The RIG Nacon Pro Compact is available in barely cheaper than your bog-standard Xbox pad with a $49.99 / £44.99 price ticket, nevertheless it nonetheless manages to really feel simply as premium because the tried-and-tested-original from Microsoft. The truth is, it borrows among the extra celebrated options from the best PC controllers to maintain a minimize above the remainder, however struggles to seek out its personal identification when the PowerA Enhanced gives related options at a decrease $34.99 / £34.99 MSRP.

The corporate’s earlier high-end gamepad ventures are fairly first rate, such because the Nacon Revolution Unlimited, which gives an excellent match and end whereas providing greater than a regular controller. Whereas this finances mannequin isn’t as feature-packed, it’s nonetheless on par in terms of construct high quality.

The RIG Nacon Pro Compact is available in black or white, which isn’t fairly the identical stage of personalisation as a controller made by way of the Xbox Design Lab, nevertheless it’s fashionable with a shiny coating on the again and gold accents – which could sound cheesy however truly works nicely right here. Positioned subsequent to the official Xbox pad, it’s considerably smaller and slimmer, which may make it the proper possibility if you happen to discover the previous barely too massive.

Whereas it might really feel extra comfy for folks with small fingers, its diminutive measurement makes it barely much less comfy in longer gaming periods when you have bigger fingers like me, nevertheless it feels fairly just like a PlayStation controller if you happen to ignore the thumbstick structure.

The smaller Nacon PC controller placed next to an official Xbox Series S pad

Even so, if you happen to’ve ever used the Nintendo Change’s pleasure cons, the RIG Nacon Pro Compact looks like an ergonomic blessing compared. A textured rear additionally provides you a decent grip on the controller, even when your palms begin sweating.

Sadly, the RIG Nacon Pro Compact additionally loses the very good D-Pad of the most recent Xbox controller. It nonetheless works in eight instructions, in fact, nevertheless it seems and feels just like the four-way controls discovered on controllers which can be twenty years outdated, which isn’t as good to make use of. The triggers have barely much less journey, too, which could truly be helpful in FPS games, however this makes it more durable to modulate your throttle and brakes in racing games. The buttons and bumpers, then again, have a satisfying click on to them.

A close-up of the thumbstick with an imprinted Nacon logo

The thumbsticks function a concave form, however they’re noticeably flatter in comparison with different fashions, and really feel a bit of slippery regardless of the textures on the highest. You’ll want good dexterity to hold out actions with out eradicating your thumbs from the sticks, too, as there aren’t any programmable buttons on the rear – placing cheaper rivals such because the PowerA Enhanced forward in that respect.

As a wired-only controller, you’ll profit from near-zero latency, and also you don’t want to fret about your battery dying on you mid-match. The braided cable protects the fragile wires inside and will keep sturdy for some time, however if you happen to’re out of guarantee and it goes unsuitable, you’re out of luck because the cable doesn’t detach. I’d like to see a detachable cable on any future refresh of this mannequin, to make it simpler to move or repair additional down the road.

The headphone jack on the Nacon Pro Compact

The three.5mm headphone jack has a small trick up its sleeve, letting you add Dolby Atmos encompass sound know-how to your gaming headset. It’s not the controller doing the legwork nevertheless, because it’s solely a software program license registered to the controller, letting you employ the Dolby Entry app with out dropping $15 / £15 for the function. It improves sound high quality in supported video games comparable to Forza Horizon 4 and Microsoft Flight Simulator, and if you happen to’re already all in favour of attempting out the tech, it’s a bonus which will sway you from rivals.

Downloading the Pro Compact app is the one approach you’ll get essentially the most out of this controller, the place you’ll discover a stage of customization that matches that of far more costly fashions such because the Thrustmaster Eswap X Pro and the Xbox Elite Series 2.


Right here you may remap all of the buttons on the controller to your liking, together with altering response curves for the sticks between 5 preset modes, designed for various genres of video games. The arcade mode is especially helpful contemplating the disappointing D-Pad, because it provides the left stick an analogue really feel in Avenue Fighter V. You’ll be able to’t create customized response curves, however these 5 settings cowl most bases.

There are 4 presets for the triggers too, altering useless zones between modes comparable to ‘racing and sports activities’, the place the total journey is utilised, to ‘FPS’, the place 50% of journey registers as a full press. Sadly, just like the sticks, these settings can’t be fine-tuned. Even when utilizing the total size of the triggers, it’s considerably decreased from a regular Xbox controller, which makes it a bit of more durable to make use of in racing video games.


In the event you discover different controllers simply too huge, the RIG Nacon Pro Compact is likely to be the pad for you, with a compact footprint that also manages to take care of the nice really feel of its bigger counterparts. It’s glorious as a finances aggressive controller too, due to its customisation in terms of button mapping and useless zones.

It’s a disgrace there isn’t a detachable cable or wi-fi connection for portability to match its small measurement, nevertheless, and the triggers are a little bit of a letdown relying on the video games you play. The omission of rear programmable buttons or paddles is a disappointment too, contemplating there are cheaper pads on the market which have a couple of macros on the underside. Even so, it nonetheless gives stable customisation choices for lower than the official Xbox controller, and feels nice with a sturdy construct. Plus, if you happen to desire the texture of a smaller controller, the RIG Nacon Pro Compact simply is likely to be the perfect small pad you should buy on a finances.

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