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Nacon RIG Revolution X Pro Controller review

The Nacon RIG Revolution X is a solid upgrade over the standard Xbox gamepad

Nacon RIG Revolution X gamepad plugged into laptop
(Image: © Future)

Tom's Guide Verdict

The Nacon RIG Revolution X wired gamepad is a worthwhile investment for those who regularly spend hours gaming on a controller. It's nearly as good as the Xbox Elite Series 2, and costs almost $100 less.

Pros

  • +

    Remarkably customizable

  • +

    Rear triggers give you more options

  • +

    Multiple profiles

  • +

    Onboard Dolby Atmos for Headphones

Cons

  • -

    Feels plasticky and cheap

  • -

    Rear triggers feel inconvenient

The Nacon RIG Revolution X ($99) is a wired controller for PC and Xbox that aims to deliver better performance than the base Xbox gamepad, for not much more money. 

This is a controller marketed to competitive players who want the security of knowing they're wired up to their Xbox or PC. But anyone who appreciates a customizable gamepad should find that the Revolution X fits their needs.

While the Revolution X offers many of the same features as the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 for less money, it still can't quite match the build quality of Microsoft's premium gamepad.  Read on for our full Nacon RIG Revolution X review.

Nacon RIG Revolution X review: Price and availability

The Nacon RIG Revolution X is currently available for purchase for $99, although you can often find it discounted by $10 or more if you shop around.

Nacon RIG Revolution X gamepad and all included accessories on desk

(Image credit: Future)

You can buy it direct from Nacon's website (opens in new tab), or from third-party retailers such as Amazon, Best Buy and Walmart. 

Nacon RIG Revolution X review: Design

The Nacon RIG Revolution X is roughly the same size and shape as Microsoft's standard Xbox Series X controller. However, the buttons are spaced slightly farther apart on its face, and there's a customizable RGB light ring around the right stick. There are also four triggers on the rear where your fingers typically curl around the gamepad, giving you four additional customizable inputs. 

The Revolution X is a bit heavier than the Xbox Series X controller, weighing roughly 11.9 ounces versus the ~9.8-ounce Xbox Series X gamepad. The RIG also comes with a set of swappable grip weights, so you can customize the controller's heft to your liking. Three pairs of weights come with the controller, which together weigh 10, 14 or 16 grams. You can slot these weights into compartments in the grips, sliding the compartment covers off and clicking the weights into place without need of any tool. 

Nacon RIG Revolution X gamepad upside down on desk

(Image credit: Future)

The Revolution X comes with two extra sets of thumbstick shaft adapters, as well as a set of convex thumbstick tops. With these, you can make the sticks a bit taller or replace the concave tops with rounded convex ones instead. Together, these three sets of swappable parts give you a fair bit of leeway in customizing how the Revolution X feels in your hand.

Regardless of how you customize it, the Revolution X feels solid and sturdy, if a bit plasticky. Our review unit rattles a bit more than either the standard Xbox Series X gamepad or the Elite Series 2, but not so much that it feels cheap.

Nacon RIG Revolution X gamepad with cable showing

(Image credit: Future)

The Revolution X can also store up to four customizable control profiles, which you can swap using the Profile button on the rear of the gamepad. This button is nestled right on the back, and you can hit it repeatedly to switch among the profiles, keeping track of which one is enabled by looking at the LED indicator on the front of the gamepad.

On the back, you'll also find a switch that lets you toggle the between the controller's Classic and Advanced modes. You'll likely want to leave it in Advanced mode, as that enables you to switch among profiles and use the advanced features. But if you flip it back to Classic mode, the Revolution X will behave like a normal Xbox gamepad. 

Of course, since this is a wired gamepad, you'll have to plug it into a console or PC using the included 9.8-foot braided cable. There's no wireless support on offer.

Nacon RIG Revolution X review: Features

The Revolution X offers a slew of useful features for folks who spend a lot of time with a controller in hand. 

Most notably, you can customize the way the device feels using the aforementioned weights, thumbstick adapters and replaceable thumbstick tops. These small adjustments can go a long way toward making the gamepad feel more comfortable in your hands. That, in turn, can make a huge difference during marathon gaming sessions. 

The controller may also help alleviate discomfort. I suffer from RSI in both hands and can't hold a gamepad too long without pain. Yet I found myself able to hold the Revolution X a bit more comfortably than the standard Xbox Series X controller after I adjusted the thumbsticks to stick out as far as possible from the pad. This didn't miraculously solve my hand pain, and I wouldn't recommend that you buy this gamepad if you're seeking relief from similar maladies. (A visit to a trained physician would be my advice.) But experiencing less pain was a benefit of being able to customize the feel of the controller.

Nacon RIG Revolution X gamepad plugged into laptop

(Image credit: Future)

You can also use the Revolution X app, available as a free download on Microsoft's Xbox and Windows storefronts, to customize up to four profiles on the controller. Using the software, you can fine-tune everything from button mapping, to trigger dead zones, to the response curves of the sticks. For example, this lets you set up separate profiles for shooting games and racing games, tailoring the former to require very little trigger pull, while outfitting the latter with slower, more realistic response curves.

You can also take advantage of 3D audio with just about any pair of headphones that you plug into the Revolution X's 3.5mm audio jack. That's because the gamepad itself offers software support for Dolby Atmos for Headphones. This is a small-but-neat feature, and in practice, I found it adds a bit of atmosphere when playing games with a headset that doesn't already offer 3D audio. Of course, keep in mind that the game itself needs to support Dolby Atmos 3D audio for you to get the most out of this feature.

Nacon RIG Revolution X review: Performance

I spent as much time as I could playing games such as Elden Ring, Star Wars: Battlefront II and Forza Horizon 5 using our Revolution X review unit. I found it to be a solid gamepad that's a decent upgrade over the base Xbox Series X controller.

While I've never been sensitive to input lag or dropped frames, I can say that in my hours of testing I never once noticed the Revolution X miss or misinterpret an input. The controller felt good in my hands, and the four programmable rear panel triggers were useful.

In my experience, the rear triggers were most valuable as stand-ins for other buttons on the controller that you might have a hard time reaching quickly, or with fingers you'd rather leave firmly in place on the sticks. Mapping the face buttons to the rear triggers makes the former usable without having to take your thumb off the right stick, for example. This can be valuable when want to make a move without disrupting your aim in a first-person shooter.

Nacon RIG Revolution X gamepad on desk plugged into laptop

(Image credit: Future)

The face buttons themselves are perfectly serviceable, as are the triggers. In my brief time with the gamepad, I never had any issues using them. 

Nacon RIG Revolution X gamepad on desk next to xbox elite series x controller

Nacon RIG Revolution X (left) alongside the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2. (Image credit: Future)

However, I did find myself pining a bit for the added heft and comfort I feel when using the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2. I also prefer the Elite Series 2's four rear paddles to the Revolution X's rear buttons, partly because they're easier to to press, and partly because you can remove some or all of them whenever you like. 

Still, the Revolution X feels nearly as good as the Elite Series 2, and costs almost $100 less, which is a pretty enticing value proposition.

Nacon RIG Revolution X review: Verdict

The Nacon RIG Revolution X wired gamepad is a solid upgrade over the standard Xbox Series X controller, and a worthwhile investment for those who regularly spend hours gaming on a controller.

The depth of customization rivals the excellent Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2. And yet with its $99 MSRP, the Revolution X is roughly $80 cheaper than the $179 Elite Series 2. While you do feel that savings in the Revolution X's plasticky build quality, the device holds up well under sustained use, and is perfectly suitable for hours and hours of gaming. 

Alex Wawro is a lifelong tech and games enthusiast with more than a decade of experience covering both for outlets like Game Developer, Black Hat, and PC World magazine. A lifelong PC builder, he currently serves as a senior editor at Tom's Guide covering all things computing, from laptops and desktops to keyboards and mice.