There’s no denying that the Nacon Pro Compact has been designed exclusively with Xbox players in mind. With the button tags and placement, joystick positions, the fact the box screams Xbox at you and all that. I mean, Microsoft does have the most comfortable controllers to date, it’s no surprise Nacon has taken inspiration from this side of the console war. However, it’s much smaller than your traditional Xbox controller, which might be a bit of an issue for some.
The main noticeable difference with the Nacon Pro Compact, when compared to a traditional Xbox controller, is in the handles, and also around the bottom, just under the Dpad. These areas have been significantly shrunk down and for me personally with my hands, feels now a little harder to hold on to. Nacon claims it’s been shrunk up to 15% over traditional controllers. I liked the fact the handles of the original Xbox controller were held in place by my thumbs. But with the Nacon Pro Compact, I had to use my last three fingers to hold it. Weight-wise, the Nacon Pro Compact feels pretty light, which kind of offsets the awkward holding though the back of the controller has a rough texture for your fingers to grip to.
Internally though there’s something going on with the audio. It has Dolby Atmos passthrough if you’re using the Dolby Atmos app. It does require you to download an app to your device, which is called Dolby Access in the Microsoft App Store. It’s also available on Xbox too, so you can take advantage of the superior sound format there too.
Button responsiveness is very good, and I never found myself mispressing or buttons not registering, and all of the buttons have a nice firm and tactile click to them, including the shoulder buttons. There’s less travel distance in the triggers compared to the traditional Xbox controller which for FPS games is really good, but for racing titles where millimetre movements count, it’s not as accurate. Thumbsticks again are very nice. Now this is where the Nacon Pro Compact gets interesting. It has an app, which can configure and customise the controller is a number of ways. First, you can rebind buttons directly inside of the app, but what’s even better is you can change the activation zones of the triggers and responsive curve of the analogue sticks to make it easier to use in certain types of games, something that I’ve not seen done before on a games controller. However, this is a PC software, so it doesn’t work with Xbox consoles.
The Nacon Pro Compact uses a typical USB Type-A connection on the end of a 3-metre braided cable. It feels more than enough to play at your desk, even if your PC is on the floor, and depending on the size of your living room of course and how long you sit away from your TV, you could get away with it. There is, unfortunately, no wireless option that I can see on the Nacon website, so it might come in the future, but I can’t say for sure.
Even though size for me a little bit of an issue and was a bit awkward to hold, it wasn’t a bad experience. Its lightweight design offsets that, and the button quality feels super sturdy. I just wish there was a bit more flash on the front, like the circumference of the analogue sticks light up or something like on their other controllers. Apart from that, for £30 from various retailers online, it’s actually an absolute steal for the quality of controller you’re getting. It’ll make a great addition to your PC gaming setup for sure, but doesn’t quite top the edge of comfort over the official Xbox controller. For more information, head over to the Nacon website.