Nacon Pro Compact review

by Ben Kirby
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When it comes to third-party peripherals these days, you’re not stuck looking at some naff MadCatz stuff. We live in an age where manufacturers create premium alternatives to the official hardware. Often with a licence from the first parties like Xbox and Playstation. Nacon is no exception, in that they create top-quality gear and make no compromises in doing so.

The Nacon Pro Compact is a prime example of this. The customisable, compact Xbox controller with more features than your average bear. It’s an impressive little unit that I’ll be using for some time. I’d love to see how the “full” Pro controller compares, but rest assured, if your budget doesn’t go that far, Nacon has your back with a well-built and well-featured Xbox controller.

Nacon Pro Compact Controller

It’s all in-hand

The Nacon Pro Compact has 2 features that will make it a cross-generational controller. Built for parent/adult gamers, and younger ones, too.

With the “compact” element of it coming into its own. This isn’t a full-sized controller, nor is it a tiny one. It’s ergonomically suited to my rather large hands but perfect for those younger gamers like my nephews who used it for a few rounds of Fall Guys. I’ve used it excessively as I’ve played through Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak, and never found the smaller size to be an issue.

So it fits hands comfortably, which is ideal. The other feature of the Nacon Pro Compact is the “Pro” element. With the PC software you can download from the Windows app store, you can actually customise it to a level that 99% of controllers just don’t allow for. Gives you that control of things like sensitivity and dead zone on your individual thumbsticks and the amount of pressure required for a press on both of your triggers. It’s actually impressive how customisable it is.

I’ve had it set for first-person shooters, I’ve adjusted my triggers to make the use of my Insect Glaive in Monster Hunter, a touch more responsive, and I’ve played about with it for driving in Forza Horizon 5. Each time, I’d noticed a subtle change in how things feel, how the response times change on different parts of the controller. The Nacon Pro Compact is a little pocket rocket!

Nacon Pro Compact - Response Curve

Quality

What the Nacon Pro Compact lacks in size (this isn’t a negative trait), it compensates for a build quality that other manufacturers should strive towards.

The plastic shell is textured for grip, but not rough or abrasive. The thumbsticks have a properly-conceived runner for grip whilst delivering their design. Buttons are bold and clear and super-responsive to presses. I think the Nacon Pro Compact looks the part, too. The bright white, mimicking that of the Xbox Series S works a treat, against the black hardware.

The d-pad is customisable in the software to be either the classic 4-way or the more modern, fighting game-friendly 8-way movement. I tried this in Shredder’s Revenge and found it robust, responsive and comfortable.

Equipped with a 3m thick, braided cable. You’re able to plug in and play anywhere with relative ease. Sure it’s not wireless, but who sits 3 m from a screen with any comfort? The build again is high quality and whilst being so long and thick can feel a little chunky when trying to wrap it up and put it away. At least it feels like it’s going to take a beating of years and years of being plugged in, unplugged and moved around.

Nacon Pro Compact Controller

Overall

Everything here is impressive and “premium”. Retailing around £40 it’s the right price bracket to deliver you some bang for your buck. Modern controllers are expensive, often hitting the hundreds of pounds mark these days. The Nacon Pro Compact delivers comfort, functionality and customisation for a fraction. Well done Nacon for delivering something that hits a lot of sweet spots.

The clunkiness of the cable aside, you’re getting some serious value here. I intend to use this for a long time, and it’s all but replaced by the usual Xbox One controller.

If you have a few different sets of hands wanting to use a controller, the Nacon Pro Compact works for all. And those of us that want to take things a little further, to give us a bit of an edge, they have you covered there, too.


You can find more details about the Nacon Pro Compact controller on their official website. And you may find more of our hardware reviews right HERE.

Click HERE to buy the Nacon Pro Compact controller from Amazon. We may earn a commission for any sales through this link.

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