NACON Revolution 5 Pro Controller review for PS4, PS5, PC

Platform: PS5, PS4, PC
Brand: NACON
Medium: Hardware

Controllers are our gateway to this wonderful world we call video games, but generally they should not cost as much if not much more than the hardware they’re used to control unless they are specialized hardware such as a fight stick or a racing wheel. At a suggested price point of $199.90, NACON’s Revolution 5 Pro controller isn’t exactly top of mind if you are looking for a high end controller especially since Sony offers a similar solution in the form of a DualSense Edge. However, for the consumer who wants the most bang for your buck, The Revolution 5 Pro actually offers more than the official premium offering and I believe I will detail it below.

Weighing in at 309g at its default state the controller weighs slightly more than its contemporaries, the DualShock 4 (215g), and the DualSense (277g). The controller’s textured grip possesses a compartment where you can add additional weight to the controller, up to 32g split between the grips to give the controller additional heft. While I never incorporated the weight of the controller into my mindset, I had to admit a heftier controller felt more comfortable to hold even if the weight might lead to fatigue during marathon play.

The controller, unlike its 1st party cousin, is actually cross generational, So the Revolution 5 Pro will actually let you play on the PS5, PS4 and even PC. Switching between generations is a simple toggle in the back of the controller and it can be used wirelessly via dongle or wired via the braided cable that is included in the package. The Rev5 Pro does lack certain features in it’s PS5 state, specifically rumble and adaptive triggers. The former is quite perplexing as rumble is a feature when the controller is in its other modes and the latter is almost a selling point for me as it seems every time a game offers adaptive triggers my first task is to turn off the feature.

Customization is one of the key selling points of the controller and the Rev 5 Pro offers a robust PC app to do so. Each platform allows you to store four profiles which you can tweak to your liking. If you feel your configuration will be worth sharing, you can even export and upload your settings to the NACOM website, although why anyone would give away any competitive advantage is beyond me! For those who just want the most use hours out of their controller, you can even enable battery saving mode which turns off rumble, controller lighting and mic echo and noise cancellation.

To fully test the Revolution 5 Pro I enlisted a variety of games which I would play in my day to day life. Genshin Impact, Street Fighter 6 (Gotta test that D-Pad) and one of NACON’s newest releases, the excellent RoboCop: Rogue City. Genshin Impact and RoboCop: Rogue City revealed that adjusting the throw distances of the triggers does have noticeable effects. Shortening the throw actually hindered the gameplay as I’m unable to activate Elemental Skill rapidly, my sample being Keqing’s Stellar Restoration, however once I switched back to the long throw my ability to quickly use Stellar Restoration was on par with the DS4/DS. The shooting range trophies for RoboCop: Rogue City were my roadblock from getting the platinum trophy and as I received a unit for review I joked with the PR rep that if this controller did facilitate securing the platinum I would unequivocally recommend the controller with no qualms…alas skill issues prevented this wholehearted recommendation, but having a short trigger throw definitely made popping Old Detroit’s criminal element with the Auto9 a lot quicker affair.

Every controller I get my hands on I do an obligatory fighting game test. If I can’t do “shoto” stuff on the d-pad, the controller might as well be sent to the trash. The Revolution 5 Pro advertises that the controller’s development was aided by Mister Crimson, a pro player who hails from France. In its stock state the d-pad actually has a circular plate and my initial take would be this plate would be sent back to the storage case and I would be using the traditional d-pad cap for the controller. I was surprised as the circle plate remained as I found I actually performed the 360 motion more consistently than the standard d-pad cap. I don’t think I will be showing up at Evo anytime soon, but I think there will be a lot more servings of Borscht Dynamite in my Street Fighter 6 career.

So for the controller minimalist who wants to be able to access their hardware without having to keep a shelf of controllers, the Revolution 5 Pro will mean you can get rid of some of the clutter in your life. However as fully featured as the controller is there are some glaring futures that this 3rd party controller lacks that 1st party controllers don’t. While none of these are deal breaking these are some major quality of life issues. The way this controller connects wirelessly is via an USB dongle, as with most dongles they’re prone to be misplaced and if broken it renders a means of connectivity useless. Thankfully according to the controller’s support FAQ, NACON is committed to making replacement parts accessible in the near future so hopefully dongles will be part of this replacement part offering (Historically even Sony couldn’t provide replacement dongles for their accessories…).

The controller is unable to power on hardware…we’re just spoiled by modern controllers that have this function so it’s just a little annoying that this premium controller couldn’t incorporate such a simple quality of life feature. My final gripe with the controller is the visibility of text on the body of the controller. With the amount of switches on the back, the gray on black text makes it hard to certain which switch does what. This can be a simple fix with just a change of text color…perhaps white on black like the wireless dongle does.

Having to walk 4 or 5 feet to tacitly power on a console to play your games shouldn’t discourage you to dismiss the controller outright. Keep in mind you are getting a controller which can be used on 3 separate platforms, is built to last and if it doesn’t the manufacturer has plans to provide parts to return your controller to working order. If NACON does follow through with that last bullet point, this might be an investment that will pay out in droves. Between their headsets, RoboCop: Rogue City and this controller, 2023 really has raised the NACON profile within my mind. If this trend continues I certainly will allot my hard earned cash with this French brand.