I’ve had the privilege of using the new NACON Revolution Unlimited Pro Controller (the third controller in the series) for the last three weeks thanks to BIGBEN Interactive. I previously owned the original model and loved the comfort and customisation on offer, so I was keen to get my hands on the latest version as it has a feature which no other ‘Pro Controller’ for the PlayStation 4 currently has (as far as I’m aware), additional support regarding the use of the Thumbsticks (which I’ll come to later).
So, I’ve put the new controller to the test, I’ve used it within every genre, tried out all of the various customisations (both physical and digital), and I’ve utilised both the wired and wireless functionality to see if there is any lag or loss of functions as you seamlessly switch between the various modes. Without giving away any spoilers for my review, during my entire time with the NACON Revolution Unlimited Pro Controller, there’s only been one instance where I was forced to use the original DS4 due to an incompatible feature with the PS4; PSVR.
So, let’s take a look at our first hardware review, the Officially Licensed by Sony controller; the NACON Revolution Unlimited Pro.
Presentation and contents
Before I talk about my experiences with the controller itself, let’s take a look at what you actually get for your money. Within the box, you get the NACON Revolution Unlimited Pro Controller, a hard storage case, a three-meter USB-C ‘braided’ cable, a USB dongle for wireless use, six weights, six Thumbstick shafts, and four Thumbstick heads. Additionally, you also get some NACON stickers, a few small sheets telling you to download the software and how to troubleshoot if the wireless connection drops, and a handy cleaning cloth.
So, unlike the first variant of the controller in the series, the Pro utilises USB-C (the original one had a proprietary cable) and comes with a three-meter cable! The length, for me, was perfect as it was able to be plugged in and reach my sofa with no issues at all; however, at first I wished it was the standard micro-USB so I could have used it on my DS4 controllers as well, but as I previously mentioned, the DS4 has become my secondary controller now so that ‘want’ is no longer required.
Considering you’re paying a premium price for a premium experience with the NACON Revolution Unlimited Pro Controller, I felt like the entire product was ‘premium’ from the moment I opened the package. All of the various physical customisations come in a hand toolbox-like container, which neatly fits into the case with the controller, and the entire product screams “professional” from the presentation to the excellent build quality. So, let’s take a look at the various customisations you can perform with the unit itself…
Just like the previous two iterations of the controller, the NACON Revolution Unlimited Pro comes with various weights which you can place within the hand grips in order to make the controller as heavy as you wish. Personally, I always put the heaviest weights within mine as I like the controller to feel solid and weighty in my hands whilst I use it, but there are various different weights for you to use. You can either go ‘au naturale’ and use the controller without any additional weight or you can utilise either of the dual 10, 14 or 16-gram weights which are easily installed by sliding off the left and right handgrips of the controller.
Next, we have the Thumbstick shafts. Now, these are interesting, you can pull off both Thumbstick heads (carefully) and the small metal shaft which connects the head to the base also pops out. This can be swapped for either a 30, 38 or 46-degree shaft. In layman’s terms – they are thicker shafts which reduce the distance you can move the Thumbstick, allowing for more precise and quicker actions. I’ve tried all three of the variants and I’ve opted for the 38-degree shaft on the Right Thumbstick, for looking around with, and the 30-degree one on the Left Thumbstick for movement.
Finally, you can swap out the heads for either concave or convex styles. You get two of each, with the concave heads having grips within them and the convex ones being plain (one of them has the NACON name on it). I personally stuck with the concave ones as I use my trusty Batman Arkham Knight thumb grips on them as I’m used to the texture and grip they provide (as I’ve used them for a few years now). However, even without the use of third party grips, the various heads all offer a great amount of support and never slipped or became hard to use should my hands get clammy during long gaming sessions.
As you can see, there’s a decent amount of physical customisation options which you can swap and change in order to meet your preference, but what about the digital side – the reason you’ll most likely be looking at a controller like this? Let’s take a look…
Oh boy, where do I begin! First of all, the NACON Revolution Unlimited Pro Controller has three settings – PS4, PS4 Advanced and PC Advanced. The PS4 mode forces the controller to operate as a standard PS4 controller, as you’d expect, with no extra functions other than the physical adjustments you can make. However, if you switch to the advanced mode (either PS4 or PC), then you can swap between four programmable profiles via a button on the back of the controller. Honestly, I wish the button was a bit higher up as I’ve accidentally pressed it a few times. All you need to do is download the software off the NACON website (for both PC or Mac OS) and connect your controller to your PC in order to open up a multitude of digital customisations…
The basic customisation you can perform is simply remapping all of your buttons upon the controller. You can remap every single button, bar the PS, Options and Share buttons. The NACON Revolution Unlimited Pro Controller also comes with four additional buttons upon the rear of the device, near where your fingers rest upon gameplay, which can also be customised to an operation such as a face button, Thumbstick click, or even the touchpad button.
My first issue with the controller was the placement of these additional buttons. The first iteration of the controller had them higher up and in an easier to use position, this controller initially felt cumbersome and hard to use them. However, after a few hours, my hands began to become accustomed to the design of the layout and I can now use them perfectly without any bother. However, those with small hands may have difficulty utilising the position of these whilst also operating the standard controller buttons.
If you want to get a bit deeper with the customisations, you can reprogram the dead zone of the shoulder triggers (so you don’t have to push L2 and R2 in as far), the sensitivity of the Thumbsticks, change the colour of the Right Thumbstick backlight, and you can even alter the dead zone of the Thumbsticks too, should you find that certain games work more efficiently if you’re not required to move the stick much in order to initiate movement.
**You can also reprogram the four rear buttons on the fly within the standard PS4 mode (without using a computer). Simply hold the Profile button, push one of the new buttons then the button you wish to map to it. It’s so simple and allows for quick remapping on a per-game basis!**
The main reason I had to have this controller!
I know my preference here may cause a bit of debate but I can’t play a game which isn’t inverted. My brain is hardcoded that in any first or third person game, pushing down on the Right Thumbstick should pull the camera back/up and pushing forwards should move it forward/down. As such, over the years I’ve noticed a variety of games (mainly indie titles) which don’t incorporate this feature as they presume everyone plays games like they do, where up is up and down is down. So, I’ve had to sell games I’ve owned and shelve some digital games as I simply couldn’t get used to the non-inverted mechanics.
So, why am I bringing this up? Because the NACON Revolution Unlimited Pro is the first controller I’ve seen which gives you full control over both of your Thumb Sticks in relation to the orientation of the axis’! That’s right, within the software you can program a profile to invert the y-axis on either the Left or Right Thumbstick, or both should you wish to do so. This is the single most important feature which I’ve wanted for years.
I’ve simply created a new profile where the only difference is an inverted y-axis on the Right Thumbstick. If I load up a game and see there’s no option, I flick the switch on the back of the unit and it seamlessly switches to the ‘advanced mode’ and enables the invert at a hardware level, thus allowing me to enjoy the game how I want to play it. If you’re a non-inverted player then you won’t understand how much this one simple feature is a requirement for people like me who come across a game with no invert option in the menu. Technically, all games should have the option – but until then, this controller fixes the issue perfectly.
Other features of the Controller
So, aside from the standard features (and the brilliant invert y-axis option), does the controller have any other built-in functions? Yes. On the rear of the device, just below the profile switches, there are three buttons which allows you to mute your microphone and increase/decrease the volume whilst in-game. As this controller is designed with Pro Players in mind, this feature is perfect for those who game online a lot and require quick access to these options should their headset not have them covered. Also, it means you can adjust them without taking your hands off your controller in order to press said buttons upon your headset – yet another advantage!
Finally, yet another essential reason to purchase this controller, should you be looking for a Pro Controller on the PS4; wireless mode! Okay, you need to use a dongle in order to use the controller with the PlayStation 4 or PC wirelessly, but it’s a sexy bendable dongle which can be wiggled around to create an efficient signal. You can even use multiple controllers with multiple dongles, as long as you bend the dongles apart from each other. The previous NACON Revolution Controllers were wired ONLY, and I’ve not seen any others that offer wireless advanced functionality. To put it simply, you can utilise all of the digital customisations with zero lag either wired into your device via a USB-C cable or wirelessly using the provided dongle.
There is a downside to the controller, but this is a generic downside which all third-party controllers have on all systems – you can’t turn the PS4 on with just this controller. You have to either start it up with another controller first or press the power button manually. This isn’t the controller’s fault, it’s the design of the various systems, they don’t allow third-party devices to turn the machines on. Also, I found I was getting around seven to eight hours of battery life on a full charge when using the controller wirelessly.
Things I didn’t like
The list of things I like about the controller is huge, but there are a number of things I don’t like, especially when I compare the overall design to that of the first iteration of the NACON Revolution Controller (which I also own).
• The face button symbols are all grey on the NACON Revolution Unlimited Pro Controller. This isn’t a big issue, but instead of the colourful face buttons we saw on earlier models (and the official DS4), all of the symbols are grey. I’m not sure if this is a design choice to keep it more aesthetically pleasing, but I would have liked the PlayStation colours.
• The position of the additional buttons on the rear isn’t the best. As I said, I got used to them after a few hours of play, but my initial impression was that they would be a pain to use if my hands were smaller as they aren’t spaced apart and can be a bit fiddly to operate.
• No speaker! Okay, not a lot of games use the speaker for critical operations, but it’s a feature the DS4 has for a reason as some games do use it. I’ve been playing a game recently where in-game phone calls come out of the speaker, as well as alerts when you’re near secrets – both of which weren’t supported via this controller.
• No lightbar. The NACON Revolution Unlimited Pro Controller has a tiny lightbar on the front of the controller, which changes colour as per the game’s request, just like the DS4, but there’s no standard lightbar. Whereas this means the battery life is extended, it also means you can’t use the controller within VR. I would have liked a lightbar with a toggle to turn it on or off in order to preserve battery. However, every Pro Controller I’ve seen has scrapped both the lightbar and the speaker.
• The L2/R2 triggers are too pointy. This may only be an issue to those of us with big hands but the triggers are pointed within their design. They’re rounded, so they don’t dig in you, but they’re made for your fingers to be straight across them and not curved around them, doing the latter results in cramped and sore fingers in games like Assassins Creed and Racing games where you’re constantly holding it down.
If you’re looking for a new controller which is a more bulkier design than the standard DualShock 4 (almost Xbox 360-like with its Thumbstick placements and design) which provides lots of customisations and tweaking mechanics, then the NACON Revolution Unlimited Pro Controller is perfect for you. If you’re like me and need to play games inverted, yet find some of your games don’t support the option, then that’s another amazing feature this controller supports at a hardware level. However, if you’re looking for a full-on replacement controller and you also use a PSVR headset a lot, then you may need to pick up a standard Dualshock 4 as this controller won’t work within VR due to its big lightbar omission.
I’m extremely happy with the product, it does everything it said it would do via the marketing and information upon its website with little to no effort on my side. I didn’t cover it much, but using it on PC is as seamless as plugging in the cable or dongle and putting it in either of the three modes so that it gets picked up as either a PS4 or Xbox controller. This was another benefit as I don’t own an Xbox Controller and I’m playing a few games on the Epic Store for review, the only storefront which doesn’t appear to support the DS4 on PC.
Bar the few negatives I pointed out above, I highly recommend this controller and as I’ve stated a few times, this has now replaced my DS4 in terms of my main controller, apart from during VR sessions.
The NACON Revolution Unlimited Pro Controller is simply the best controller I’ve used on any platform throughout my years as a gamer. It’s one of the first ‘Pro controllers’ I’ve seen which offers the advanced digital re-programming via both USB cable and wireless operation with little to no lag either way. The stand-out feature for me is the ability to invert the y-axis of your Thumbsticks at a hardware level and save it as a profile, this means I no longer have to give up playing a game should it launch with no official invert support.
With its large selection of physical and digital customisations, the NACON Revolution Unlimited Pro Controller can be fully adapted to your own playstyle and preferences, it takes gaming to a whole new level and beyond!
NACON Revolution Unlimited Pro Controller£137.99
- - The best PS4 controller I've used so far in terms of comfort and customisation
- - You can invert the y-axis at a hardware level!
- - Can be used both wired and wirelessly with all the digital customisations and alterations
- - The build quality is amazing, no overlaps or sharp edges
- - Works flawlessly with both PC and PS4 with no hassle
- - No built-in speaker
- - No long lightbar (doesn't work with PSVR)
- - The triggers are a bit pointy
- - The face buttons are grey rather than the PlayStation colours