Product: Nacon Pro Compact Controller
Intended Use: Gaming
We’re all thinking the same thing. Console controllers have been rising in price due to some sort of demand in complex hardware. There must be a solution? Well, luckily, import markets exist where we can reap the benefits of Nacon’s Wired gaming Atmos Controller. This controller may be complex on the outside but brings it home with simplicity, customizability, and affordability, as long as you can live with a wired controller.
Style / Feel / Build / Hardware
My first impression of the Nacon Pro Compact controller is that it’s rather sleek. The gold vinyl under the control sticks makes you feel like you’re holding a premium product but maintaining that edgy look you cling onto as you age. The ABXY face buttons are probably my biggest design complaint. It simply looks like they cared about every other part of the controller, except for these buttons. They just appear to be a little cheesy, but I digress.
The braided cable is thick and durable, with just enough flex on the wire to be tolerable. Although the wire was a bit thick, it did make me perceive the controller as premium. Still, I’m concerned about the texture on the control sticks, as they are almost non-existent.
You might expect to slip your sweaty fingers off of these not-so-rubber joysticks. On the other hand, they did provide a nice clicky noise. The bumpers and triggers are impressive, with firm yet snappy responsiveness to the press. Personally, the Nacon Pro Compact’s texture felt nice, but in general, this was also another non-existent design choice. It is very subtle to the touch, so if you like rubber and grippy handles, this is not the controller.
Performance / Hands on Use / Features / User Experience / Analysis / Etc.
When it comes to the selling points of the Nacon Pro Compact controller, we can break it down into a few key features. Wired format, customizable sensitivity, Dolby Atmos Integration, and I guess the fact that it is small. Let’s take a look at these points to analyze its performance and how it relates. When it comes to the wired design, I don’t know if it made much of a difference in latency. The thick wire became more of a nuisance than a benefit when playing, especially when there are other wireless options available.
The customizable controller buttons are cool, but it’s become fairly standard. Still, it’s good to have given the $49.99 price tag. The joystick and trigger settings are unique as they offer 4 different sensitivity presets ranging from FPS to Racing.
I would have liked to see more depth in this feature, though, as I felt underwhelmed after experimenting with them. I found that the racing or FPS preset was most natural. The other presets threw off my game and even had the sticks move on their own from time to time. I recommend sticking to the default settings on this one. It would have been nice to have let me manually set my sensitivity value instead of having 4 locked presets.
Dolby Atmos is a huge selling point of this controller if you are an audio nerd. High Fidelity audio shouldn’t be overlooked in gaming or life, as you don’t know what you are missing out on until you hear it. Anyway, Dolby Atmos is simply 3D audio, and this headset is supposed to have built-in Atmos support on whatever platform you’re using.
I tried a few headsets with the controller, and I can’t complain; it sounded great for being powered through the controller. I am fairly concerned about audio quality, and I want to throw in here that I couldn’t really hear much of a difference on my stereo native headsets. It did sound great, but I was unsure if I was taking advantage of my Atmos, which leads me to my closing point about the controller.
With all this Atmos hype, no code was provided. I was left reading everywhere, including the manual and online forums, that this controller automatically hosts Atmos with no needed activation. So I am sitting here, opening up Dolby Access with it telling me to pay for the service or use the trial version, with no sight of confirmation that my controller is doing its job.
This was a little frustrating, as the placebo effect kicks in, and I am unsure if I have Atmos because I didn’t see that I have Atmos. Confusing, yet a real user experience flaw I encountered. It just left me thinking more than I wanted to about my settings.
Oh, yea… if your hands are big, no worries, this controller is designed to be compact for the sake of having less distance between buttons. This way, your reactions, and gaming improve, and I can say I won my first two Fortnite games in a row, and I haven’t played in months, nor do I even play. Maybe the controller does improve your gameplay?
Overall, I enjoyed my experience, for the most part, with Nacon RIGS Pro Compact Controller. Some things seemed a little off design-wise, but the product is decent at the price point of $50. If you are on a budget, this is a fun little second or third controller with no worry about batteries nor audio quality.
Throw it in your on-the-go gaming backpack, take it to your friend’s house, or keep it at home for your main controller that never needs a charge. If anything dex points off this controller, it would be my Atmos conundrum, the wired selling point that isn’t really a selling point, and the limits on their coolest feature, the sensitivity controls of the sticks and triggers.
UPDATE: The manufacture has let us know that Dolby Atmos is enabled automatically via the app when you plug in the controller. The Controller provides a free lifetime Dolby Atmos to any headsets you pair with the controller. There’s a video explaining how to do this.
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