Nacon’s Pro Compact controller is an immediately impressive wired Xbox controller alternative. Being lighter and smaller than its first-party counterpart, it is a great choice if you don’t want to fork out the eye-watering price of a new Xbox controller. With a durable 3 metre long cable as well as a headphone port, the Nacon Pro Compact controller goes above and beyond what’s expected from third-party Xbox or PC controllers. But how does it stand when we inspect it a little deeper?
The Nacon Pro Compact comes in a few different styles. Of course, you can get it in a solid white or black, but if you’re looking for something more unique, it does also come in other patterns like a muted blue, or traditional green camo. The 3 metre long cable is high quality and evidently durable. The back of the controller is textured to increase the grip and supposedly provide a more comfortable experience - more on this later.
The quality of the Nacon Pro Compact’s buttons are on par to that of a first-party Xbox controller. With tight thumbsticks, a great feeling directional pad and responsive face buttons, it’s a pleasure using the peripheral. Having the headphone port that allows you to hear the game and chat with your friends is a necessary and welcome addition. This includes Dolby Atmos surround sound functionality, which makes a good feature even better. For PC gamers, the controller is plug-and-play and requires no additional setup. However, Nacon provide software that allows you to program the controller to suit your needs. Nacon have tried their best here to give users everything they will need from a controller of this type.
The Pro Compact controller is sturdy to the touch, with a pleasant sleek feel. The buttons are of high quality, and the triggers and sticks have great snapping. Though the controller is lightweight overall, it still has a good weight to it when in use. Unfortunately, I found the biggest downside for comfort was the textured back of the controller, which I found became irritating once my hands had warmed up. Though it has been designed to help you grip the controller better, for me at least, it ended up rubbing against my palm and distracting me from the game. While I feel this is an issue you may be able to get used to in time, it is an unfortunate gripe in an otherwise stellar package.
With an RRP of £47.51, the Nacon Pro Compact is cheaper than the first-party counterpart, and really is as high quality as it. Quick to set up and reliable with a cable long enough to support most players, it easily deserves its price. Whether playing on the PC or Xbox, quality for this price is hard to beat. However, paying a little bit more for a first-party wireless controller may be the way to go for those that really don’t want a cable.
A high quality controller at a reasonable price, the Nacon Pro Compact is a great alternative to the first-party Xbox controller. If you don’t mind being wired in and want a quick and easy controller solution, this is it. With a cable long enough that you likely won’t care that you’re plugged in, there are very few faults to be found with this fully-functional gamepad. The texture of the back of the Pro Compact stops it being a fully recommended purchase. However, if you can get used to the feel, then this may be exactly what you’re looking for.
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