The Nacon Revolution 5 Pro controller on PS5: Making Too Many Sacrifices in Testing

Designed by Nacon, the Revolution 5 Pro controller has immense qualities. But, on PS5, it requires making sacrifices on technologies improving immersion.

The PlayStation 5 comes with a DualSense, the best controller designed by Sony. However, despite its immense qualities, some people may still find one fault: its symmetrical sticks. Those who are used to the Xbox pad know that the optimal layout, for the majority of games, requires asymmetrical sticks. It's only a tiny detail, but it can matter to performance enthusiasts.

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Fortunately, we can count on third-party accessory makers to enhance the range of PS5 peripherals and offer console owners a more complete catalog. Nacon, a French brand, markets the Revolution 5 Pro, a high-end controller compatible with PC, PS4 and, for the first time, PS5. Packed with features, it allows you to play on PS5 with a pad equipped with asymmetrical sticks. This is already an argument for a fringe of gamers, and an alternative to the DualSense Edge.

Nacon Revolution 5 Pro controller // Source: Nino Barbey for Numerama

A high-end controller with asymmetrical sticks

What about the microphone?

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To be able to speak in a chat when playing online, Nacon has thought of a microphone to plug into the bottom of the controller. The audio will be output through the headset you are using simultaneously.

When you open the packaging of the Revolution 5 Pro, you discover a padded carrying case. It not only hides the controller, but also a host of accessories to personalize the experience. Everything is well stored and protected, knowing that the Revolution 5 Pro offers two communication options with the PS5: wired (with a very rigid braided cable) or wireless (with a small USB key to connect to the console). Good point: the remaining battery life is indicated by five indicator lights on the front of the controller.

The Revolution 5 Pro sports finishes worthy of the price

There are also several choices of sticks (curved, hollowed, more or less high), or even small weights to insert in the sleeves to weigh down the controller if necessary (2 × 10 g, 2 × 14 g, 2 × 16 g) . In fact, some people like to have a heavier controller, to feel the object in their hands better. It's good that Nacon thought about it by giving the choice. As a base, the controller weighs 308 g, and you can go up to 340 g – compared to just over 280 g for the DualSense.

Nacon Revolution 5 Pro controller // Source: Nino Barbey for NumeramaNacon Revolution 5 Pro controller // Source: Nino Barbey for Numerama
The compartment to weigh down the controller. // Source: Nino Barbey for Numerama

Aesthetically, the Revolution 5 Pro sports finishes worthy of its price (more than €200). Its appearance is robust, with appreciable grip to grip the palm of the hand (it does better than the DualSense on this point). Note that the sticks are based on Hall Effect magnetic technology, considered more reliable in relation to the drift problem, because it is less aggressive for the components (zero friction). In use, they are very pleasant.

Nacon Revolution 5 Pro controller // Source: Nino Barbey for NumeramaNacon Revolution 5 Pro controller // Source: Nino Barbey for Numerama
The Nacon Revolution 5 Pro controller comes with a carrying case. // Source: Nino Barbey for Numerama

The Revolution 5 Pro must ignore certain advantages of the DualSense

A little more massive than the DualSense, the Revolution 5 Pro is very easy to hold. Its more rounded sleeves are paired with larger, prominent buttons, which click perfectly. We appreciate the fact that the triggers are equipped with a very grainy grip to grip the index finger. We can reduce their travel by a notch, a feature that will be appreciated by FPS enthusiasts who are precise to the millisecond when they aim. The Revolution 5 Pro is also distinguished by the extreme flexibility of its sticks, which do not catch at all and almost give the impression of being levitated (the other benefit of the Hall Effect?).

On the back, the controller has four keys that can be programmed. If the small wings S1 and S2 fall almost naturally under the middle finger, we have doubts about the placement of S3 and S4, which take the shape of a drop which extends to the bottom of the handle. Pressing it appears much less obvious in use.

Nacon Revolution 5 Pro controller // Source: Nino Barbey for NumeramaNacon Revolution 5 Pro controller // Source: Nino Barbey for Numerama
You can reduce the travel of the triggers of the Nacon Revolution 5 Pro controller. // Source: Nino Barbey for Numerama

Between its manufacturing quality and its difficult-to-dispute ergonomics, the Revolution 5 Pro only has good qualities. In reality, PS5 users will have to ignore two technologies participating in immersion. Nacon's controller is devoid of haptic feedback, replaced by traditional vibration motors that only work on PS4 and PC. In short, your Revolution 5 Pro will not vibrate at all if you play a PS5 game – which will bring back memories for the first owners of the PS3 (whose first controller did not vibrate due to a patent issue).

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Evolution of the controller at Sony // Source: NumeramaEvolution of the controller at Sony // Source: Numerama

The Revolution 5 Pro is also deprived of adaptive triggers, capable of providing resistance depending on what is happening on the screen. They can, for example, allow you to feel the tension of a bow when you draw your string. But, they are also used to add commands in certain video games. This is the case in Returnal, which combines two different shooting modes on the same DualSense trigger (you stop halfway to aim, you press fully to activate the secondary mode). Is the Revolution 5 Pro compatible with these original, admittedly rare, mechanics? Yes, but we lose the sensations: the adaptive triggers add a sort of button by adjusting the maximum resistance. And, in some cases, the lack of adaptive triggers can make essential actions impossible. Less serious, you can't turn on the PS5 with it.

Nacon Revolution 5 Pro controller // Source: Nino Barbey for NumeramaNacon Revolution 5 Pro controller // Source: Nino Barbey for Numerama
The triggers on the Nacon Revolution 5 Pro controller are not adaptive. // Source: Nino Barbey for Numerama

In short, we would rather recommend the Revolution 5 Pro to PC gamers. Especially since they can have access to ultra-in-depth customization software (stick sensitivity, dead zones for the triggers, etc.), with the possibility of creating various profiles adapted to different genres. Up to twelve profiles can be saved (four per platform). For owners of a PlayStation console, it's just a shame to have to go through a PC or Mac to use the application.

Price and availability of the Nacon Revolution 5 Pro

The verdict

The Revolution 5 Pro controller is definitely a high-end product. The €230 claimed is justified by the finishes, the numerous accessories offered and the estimated durability, as evidenced by the sticks equipped with Hall Effect technology. Furthermore, it represents the opportunity to play on PS5 with an asymmetrical design.

However, we would not recommend the Revolution 5 Pro to owners of a PlayStation 5. The reason? It must sacrifice two technologies that are part of the console experience: haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. We cruelly lose sensations when playing PS5 games with this controller, and that's a shame. Fortunately, it also works on PS4 and PC.


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