The old adage goes “Build it and they will come”. Well, in this instance the thing that’s been built in Microsoft’s excellent XCloud game streaming service, while the “they” being referred to is Nacon. Why? Because the third-party accessories manufacturer is back at it again, now with a new and improved version of its popular MG-X gaming controller for Android devices, which hopes to make playing Xbox games on your phone while on the go even more comfortable and effortless. The product revision is – perhaps unsurprisingly – called the Nacon MG-X “Pro” Mobile Android Gaming Controller, featuring an all-new chassis design that looks and feels more like the traditional Xbox Series X controller players have become used to. But does it succeed in trying to replicate the TV gaming experience for those who like to play portably? Yes, for the most part, providing you’re willing to swallow the fairly high price tag being asked.
Before we talk about cost, though, let’s talk about everything that Nacon’s MG-X Pro gets right. It absolutely looks and feels like it fits perfectly into the Xbox family of consoles. Not entirely surprising seeing that Microsoft has given the device its official seal of approval, but it’s still impressive just how closely it mimics the colour, button designs and even texture of the standard black Xbox Series X gamepad. The result is a portable controller that doesn’t feel quite as throwaway as the original MG-X, even though it did a good job at giving Xbox players extra freedom.
This new, “Pro” version achieves this by touting a much more ergonomic design, complete with proper grips that sit comfortably in the palm of your hands and some rather robust triggers. Couple such design elements with the ability for it to accept any android device with a 6.7-inch screen or smaller, and the MG-X Pro from Nacon ticks all the boxes for anyone wanting a Nintendo Switch-like experience, but for Xbox games.
The elephant in the room, of course, is the fact that your success with a product like this is entirely dependant on the strength of your internet connection. We tested the MG-X Pro out using games like Forza Horizon 5, Gears of War 5 and Halo Infinite with a 60 Mbps down wireless connection, and got on just fine. That isn’t so much an opinion on the MG-X Pro as it is Microsoft’s own XCloud, but we think it’s worth mentioning considering it’s an important factor to take into account for anyone looking to purchase Nacon’s upgraded controller. Is your internet connection strong enough to support it?
One area where the Nacon MG-X Pro Mobile Android Gaming Controller won’t let you down is on battery life. It touts an impressive 20-hour runtime on a charge of roughly 1-2 hours. That means if you’re planning on using it away from home or (if you’re feeling particularly brave) a commute, it’s well equipped to entertain you for a long while. At this point, the only aspect holding you back will be the battery life of your smartphone. Speaking of which, setting up the MG-X Pro with your device is absolutely seamless, as expected, working in much the same way as the standard MG-X. Just make your phone discoverable via Bluetooth and hold down the appropriate connection button.
Anyone worrying that the MG-X Pro’s extra size would translate to a much heavy device to hold into the hands can rest easy. We tested it over multiple hours during various play sessions, and though it took a little bit getting used to due to the added breadth in which your hands are separated, it felt natural to hold after a few minutes. There’s no doubt that this is a significant step up from Nacon’s first attempt at making an XCloud accessory build-wise.
As alluded to earlier, the only real downside to picking up the MG-X Pro right now is the initial cost. At the moment, it’ll set you back £89.99 here in the UK, which is roughly a £30 premium on the price of a standard Xbox Series X controller. That seems a little steep for an accessory that would be useless without another subscription in Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. The MG-X Pro does indeed work as advertised, but right now it’s hard not to feel like the discounted, original MG-X would suit most players. However, if you’re an Xbox player that craves the closest true gamepad experience possible, the “Pro” reiteration could still be worth it.
Overall, the MG-X Pro Mobile Android Gaming Controller by Nacon is another great way to play Xbox games remotely using your Android device. It succeeds in delivering a premium-quality experience thanks to an exceptional build-quality and the uncanny ability to replicate the official Xbox Series X controller both in look and feel. Couple this with a staggeringly impressive 20-hour battery life, and the only drawback is that £89.99 upfront fee. That said, if you’re a die-hard Xbox gamer craving the absolute best, the MG-X Pro gets a lot right. It just might not be worth the upgrade for those who already bought the original.
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