It feels like only a year or so ago that I bemoaned the lack of a good pro variant of a PlayStation 5 controller. Turn around, and this isn’t even the first one I’ve done this year. So many are in the wild, but not all are a worthwhile purchase. NACON has been on the forefront of great accessories, however, and the Revolution 5 Pro looks to reset your expectations in the best way possible.
As per usual, let’s start inside the box. You’ll find the Revolution 5 Pro controller and wireless dongle inside a really nice case, with two different style detachable d-pads, several metal joystick “precision” rings, four additional joystick heads (the stock being concave and extra convex), a USB-C braided charging cable, and six weights. All of the extra accessories come in a plastic storage box, so you don’t have to worry about these rattling around in your case.
The Revolution 5 Pro feels heavy the second you take it out of the box. Maybe it’s just recent Pro controllers, but there’s a good heft to the Revolution 5 Pro that you associate with something well made. It’s a premium product, so it only makes sense to feel premium as well. The buttons and triggers are nice and clicky, and the thumbsticks are a great middle ground, right between tight and loose. Also, the matte design is clean, looking the part of a device you’ve put good money into.
Just the normal controller elements aren’t all you get out of NACON’s newest controller; this thing is loaded with great features. Something I hear about all the time are Hall Effect joysticks, and these are built into the Revolution 5 Pro. These magnetic sensors don’t suffer the same stick drift issues as their counterparts, and while drift isn’t completely eradicated, the life span is extended. This means your controller will stay precise much longer, which for any competitive player is a huge benefit. Not only that, your precision is just better as these read your input more accurately. Add in the joystick rings and you can really train yourself to hit the toughest shots.
That said, I did notice a longer than usual adjustment period. The payoff is worth it, with the aforementioned pinpoint aiming at your thumbs. But, I felt off for quite some time to start. I’d recommend doing what I did, moving to something less competitive but that requires some skill. It’ll give you a chance to get used to the feel before jumping into something where your aim has to be exact.
The same extends to the back buttons on the Revolution 5 Pro. The top two (S1 and S2) are fine, jutting out and being in natural positions for holding the controller. S3 and S4 however are fitted into the controller, meaning it’s not always easy to find them. They’re also a bit further down your grips, so at least for someone like me with smaller hands I found myself awkwardly holding the Revolution 5 Pro. These aren’t the worst buttons I’ve ever used, but they aren’t the best either. You’ll eventually adjust, but it takes some time. I do appreciate that you can turn all of them off via a switch, something I’ve not encountered in any other controller.
An adjustment that works right away are the trigger locks. There is only one, which stops you halfway back on your pull. Just click the switch, and you’re ready to rock. It feels good, and you can adjust your deadzone further in the controller app on PC (more on that later).
Something I didn’t know I needed until using the Revolution 5 Pro: Bluetooth. I don’t mean Bluetooth for connecting it for gameplay either, but Bluetooth audio. You can connect your earbuds or headphones with Bluetooth capability directly to the controller for audio input and output.
On my PS5, this meant I could bypass using a dongle and tying up another USB port, fantastic given I didn’t have one available after connecting the controller (I have a hard drive on the back port). I love how easy it is to set up, simply putting both in pairing mode the first time, and being able to have some control over it via volume buttons. There’s still a 3.5mm jack if you want to go wired, and even a mic to plug in there if you want the DualSense function, but this Bluetooth integration is one of my favorite features on this controller. Also, sound EQs are preloaded and can be customized through the app, which is a sweet bonus for audiophiles.
I mentioned the weight of the controller earlier, and crazy enough you can add to that. You can go up to 32g heavier via the included weights, which sounds ridiculous. When I considered why that matters, however, it started making sense. Some people just prefer a different weight, and this allows you to play at your most comfortable. I would have liked to have been able to remove the vibration modules included however, as I prefer mine light as a feather. Seems like a miss to not stretch to the opposite extreme.
All of these extras don’t matter in the slightest if you’re “landlocked”, and the Revolution 5 Pro will work across ecosystems, both wired and wirelessly, at the flip of a switch. PS5 is going to be the selling point, but additional PC and even PS4 support add value to it. The functionality isn’t an afterthought either, with the PC app including specific presets and ability to customize profiles for each device.
Speaking of the app, I love that we’re getting deeper customization for controllers in more ways than mechanical. When you boot up NACON’s Revolution 5 Pro app, you’re greeted with the option to change things on PS5, PS4, and PC. Once you’re through that, there are a plethora of adjustments you can make, from setting your two trigger locks sensitivity via a percentage or preset, remapping buttons, or even choosing EQs. These are set to specific profiles, of which the Revolution 5 Pro has four to choose from. My only wish is that the app was available on PlayStation; currently you can only make these changes on PC.
If you don’t have a computer handy, you can make some on the fly changes mechanically. Remapping your back buttons is easy with the multi-function button at the top of the controller, which can be used to swap those around. Between that and the profile button, you can make changes whenever you want. Up to four profiles can be set up, with four presets at your fingertips out of the box.
Battery life is another important factor, and to be honest, I haven’t noticed it. Some of that is my usual preference for running wired when playing something competitive, but it is a concern for some. NACON advertises ten hours of play, which is decent compared to the DualSense’s average around six. It’s good, just not great.
I’ve gone on and on about the features, and I have to end by saying they all come together in gameplay. Once I got used to the controller, especially through some intense Zombie sessions in Modern Warfare III this weekend, it felt like an extension of me. I forgot about the stiff joysticks I wasn’t used to, and even adjusted to the locations of the secondary back buttons. That’s just the mark of a good controller, one you forget you’re even using as you’re using it.
David Burdette is a gamer/writer/content creator from TN and Lead Editor for Gaming Trend. He loves Playstation, Star Wars, Marvel, and many other fandoms. He also plays way too much Call Of Duty. You can chat with him on Twitter @SplitEnd89.
Nacon Revolution 5 Pro
NACON knew what they were doing when they dropped the Revolution 5 Pro. Being one of the few PlayStation peripherals on the market with Hall Effect joysticks is a game changer. It’ll take a little time to get accustomed to, but the Revolution 5 Pro is an awesome controller that meets its hefty price tag.