May not fit larger hands.
Nacon’s Pro Compact controller nails the fundamentals and doesn’t overcharge them.
About the Nacon Pro Compact Controller
- connectivity: Non-detachable USB Type-A cable (9.8ft)
- Dimension: 6.06 x 3.8 x 1.88 inches
- weight: 7.37 ounces
- Device Compatibility: PC, Xbox One and Series X/S
- material:The plastic
- Characteristic: 3.5mm headphone jack, Dolby Atmos compatible, custom button mapping change
The Nacon Pro Compact Controller is a wired-only controller for Xbox and PC that connects via USB Type-A. The cable is permanently attached to the controller.
The controller comes in white, black, or an Urban Camo variation for $50. Although it does not feature rear buttons, a custom profile can be stored on board after configuring in Nacon’s Pro Compact Windows app and toggling between using a physical switch on the rear.
My complaints about the compact Nacon Pro controller are minor, even after a year of having it. Sometimes the buttons sound hollow, and sometimes my elden ring the character dismounted his horse because the L3 button was activated by moving the left stick too sharply.
Haptic feedback is also just as anemic. Still, these are not deciding factors; the Pro Compact Controller has yet to exhibit any stick drift, for example, a common problem for third-party controllers for any system.
This controller won’t set the world on fire, but for an Xbox and PC controller that costs as little as $30, it offers performance and build quality that beats many other similarly priced budget options out there. PowerA Enhanced Wired Controller. Nacon offers a longer PlayStation DualSense style form factor rather than the triangular shape of most other Xbox controllers.
The “compact” in the Pro Compact Controller’s name is there for a good reason: It’s about 10% smaller than the Xbox Core Wireless Controller. As someone with smaller-than-average hands, I found the redesigned layout easy to use. The small size adjustment made the Pro Compact Controller much more comfortable during marathon gaming sessions, too: I never had to spread my fingers too far to press any buttons.
The build quality of the Pro Compact Controller is fine and a bit higher than your typical third-party budget controller; when next to a Xbox Core Wireless Controller the seams on the plastic shell are much more visible and the texture on the back is larger and less refined. It’s also lighter, weighing in at 7.5 ounces compared to the Core’s 10 ounces. Wired controllers can often seem cheap and insubstantial, and that’s the case here too.
A little extra weight in the center would have helped immensely. The 9.8-foot braided USB cable feels durable and is long enough to play Xbox on the couch in the living room, while flexible enough to coil up if you store it on your desk.
After putting 200 hours into elden ring other hell, respectively, on PCs with Pro Compact Controller, I have no complaints about their responsiveness. The fire buttons have a much shorter throw than the standard Xbox Core Wireless Controller. There’s no way to physically adjust or lock that range of travel, but I appreciate how it reduced how much I had to press the button.
The joysticks don’t offer the same resistance, but I found them more than adequate for fast-paced games. The D-pad doesn’t click, but it’s responsive and won’t tire your fingers. Playing on an Xbox Series X is just as easy, especially with racing games like force horizon 5.
What sets the Pro Compact Controller apart from cheaper competition like the PowerA Enhanced Wired Controller is Nacon’s simple and intuitive Pro Compact app. For PC gamers, all controller buttons can be remapped, each device’s dead zones can be set or removed. and the range of trigger pressure sensitivity can be adjusted for different game genres.
Haptic feedback can be turned on or off and joysticks can be reversed at the hardware level, so there’s no need to configure it on a game-by-game basis. A custom profile can be saved on board the controller and changed on the fly using a switch on the back. That functionality is common above $40, but is sorely lacking in the $30 range.
Should I buy the Nacon Pro Compact Controller?
Yes, if you don’t mind a wired experience
Whether the Nacon Pro Compact Controller is the right choice for you will depend on the size of your hands and your budget. For anyone who needs more space, the controller will be cramped, but it’s perfect for kids or those who prefer Mini iPhones to full-size ones. Although the MSRP is $50, it currently retails for $36 on Amazon at the time of writing and sometimes goes as low as $30.
Unless you absolutely need wireless functionality, that’s hard to pass up. Performance is good, and the downsides are easy to overlook at such a low price. My biggest complaint is that the textured back of my white controller picked up a layer of grime after a few months of use, but nothing rubbing alcohol can’t fix. This is a driver that nails the fundamentals and doesn’t charge too much for it.
If you are looking for the next step, the 8Bitdo Ultimate Wired Controller it does everything the Pro Compact Controller does and more, including mobile support via Bluetooth, for around $10 extra. If you can really stretch your budget, the Xbox Core Wireless Controller is a classic for a reason, but if it’s too big, the Pro Compact Controller might be perfect.
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Prices were accurate at the time of publication of this article, but may change over time.
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