You just never know when you might need a new controller for your PlayStation 4, and sometimes the DualShock 4 just feels a little bit… well… boring. That’s where the Nacon Revolution Pro Controller 3 comes in, which offers all of the features of a DualShock 4 but with a larger design, a different stick layout, and some neat customisation options.
It’s an officially licenced controller that Sony have approved of, so you know you’re getting quality and not a cheap knock-off third-party controller. The customisation options and shortcut buttons will definitely appeal to gamers who appreciate an extra degree of precision as to how their controller feels too, whilst it also just so happens to have the same stick layout as the Xbox One which I KNOW will appeal to plenty of gamers who prefer Microsoft’s asymmetric design.
It is pricey though, with the £90 price tag a bit higher than that of the traditional DualShock 4. That’s why we’re here tell you if the Nacon Revolution Pro Controller 3 (RPC3) is actually any good. We’ve broken our review down into the different aspects of the controller so you can get a better idea of how it feels to use.
- Shape and Comfort
One of the most obvious differences that the RPC3 has in comparison to the DualShock 4 comes with its shape, which is more similar to the Xbox One controller than anything else. It is a little bit more curvy in design when compared to its Microsoft counterpart, particularly on the control grips which do actually feel a more comfortable to hold, but the similarities are otherwise pretty obvious.
Grip-wise, you’ll feel right at home when holding the RPC3, with its underside curving in to accommodate your fingers nicely. The texture of the grip on the controller is great too, so you shouldn’t be expecting to accidently drop the controller or feel it slip out of your hands during extended playing sessions. It’s also worth noting that whilst the RPC3 is bigger than the DualShock 4 in design, it never feels too big or overly chunky.
- Analogue Sticks
The analogue sticks of the RPC3 were probably the weakest element of the controller’s design, though even they were adequate enough and worked well. They just seemed to lack the weight that’s present in the DualShock 4 sticks, which offer a bit more resistance against your thumbs when being used. Whilst this isn’t really a big problem, if you’re already used to the DualShock 4 you may find that it’ll take a bit of time before you can adjust to the smoother feel of the RPC3’s analogue sticks.
The base of the analogue sticks also had a little less grip than the DualShock 4 controller – whilst this wasn’t too big of a problem when playing, I did find myself having to readjust my thumbs now and then to ensure that they stayed within the centre of each stick. It just further strengthens the fact that the DualShock 4 outweighs the RPC3 when it comes to analogue stick design.
So, I’ve already mentioned that the RPC3 feels really similar in design to the Xbox One controller, right? Well, the same applies to the d-pad, which, like the Xbox One controller, is a full cross as opposed to individual buttons for each direction on the DualShock 4.
I actually found that this felt a lot more comfortable than the DualShock 4, with the smooth design of the d-pad making it easy to change directions quickly without feeling the ridges of each button catching the top of your thumb. However, I think that I prefer the d-pad of the DualShock 4 from a gameplay perspective – I find that having individual buttons to press just feels a bit more accurate during gameplay, whilst the symmetrical placement of the d-pad and the face buttons has always been a bit more comfortable to me.
That’s not to say that I have any issues with the d-pad though, with the design and comfort proving more than adequate… it’s more of a personal preference kind of thing.
- Face Buttons
The face buttons of the RPC3 are a little bit bigger than those on the DualShock 4 and are a bit closer together, but it was something I actually appreciated. They feel sturdy in design and have a satisfying click to them, so I’ve got no complaints here. They’re different to what you’ll be used to with the DualShock 4, but in a good way.
- Shoulder Buttons
The trigger buttons of the RPC3 are angled higher than the DualShock 4’s counterparts, with the back of each button sitting slightly higher than the shoulder buttons beneath them. Whilst this seemed a little unusual at first, I found it to be pretty comfortable after a few hours of play – my index fingers sat neatly on each trigger button, whilst the upwards-angle ensured that my fingers never slipped when reacting quickly in-game. I’d say they’re actually more comfortable than on the DualShock 4, so that’s a big plus for the RPC3.
The front shoulder buttons each have a satisfying click to them and they feel more like those found on the Xbox One controller than anything else. That’s not a flaw, but it is something that’s worth bearing in mind if you’ve preferred the DualShock 4’s shoulder buttons in the past.
Overall, the shoulder and trigger buttons sit nicely and feel comfortable to press. The only real issue that I found with them was that they were a little close together – I found that I’d accidentally hit the shoulder and trigger buttons at the same time on occasions, which is something that I’ve never had a problem with when using the DualShock 4. Much like the front shoulder buttons, this is very similar to the Xbox One controller design (that’s the last mention of the Xbox One!), so it’s something you may or may not already be familiar with.
- Customisation Options
One of the RPC3’s neatest features is the level of customisation that it offers, with the player able to use PC-based software to customise things such as button and stick sensitivity, button mapping, stick dead zones, and so on – you can use two different profiles that can be switched with a button on the back of the controller too, so if you want to change the way the controller feels for different games you can do so with ease.
There are also four buttons to be found on the inside of the RPC3’s grips, which can be assigned as shortcuts for button presses. When playing competitively online, this could be a game-changer when you need to react quickly or pull off some swift actions, but for the average gamer I can’t imagine they’d be too much use. Sure, they’re neat to play about with, but they’re certainly not necessary.
One of the big things that’s worth mentioning is that the RPC3 is a wired controller, so you won’t get the convenience and accessibility that the traditional DualShock 4 brings. Whilst this may seem like a flaw to some, it does come with a few plus points: one, you never have to worry about it running out of charge, and two, you’ll have zero latency with your button inputs (again, ideal for competitive gameplay). The controller’s wire is also pretty long, so it’s not as if you’ll have to sit ridiculously close to the console if you want to use the controller.
It also comes with additional weights that you can easily
slot into the grips to give it a heavier feel, with two 10g weights and two 14g
weights included. Admittedly, the controller feels like it weighs a little more
than the DualShock 4 anyway, so these may not be necessary for those who just
want to replicate the feel of that controller. Still, they’re a nice addition
that make the RPC3
a good weapon to use against any burglars feel a bit
heavier for players who prefer a weightier touch to their controller.
Lastly, it’s also worth mentioning that the RPC3 comes with a zip carry case that stores it snugly, whilst the right analogue stick also has a neat LED ring around it that lights up. Sure, these don’t affect the performance of the controller in any way, but I felt they were definitely worth pointing out.
It’s certainly a bit pricier than a DualShock 4, but there’s no denying that the Nacon Revolution Pro Controller 3 trumps Sony’s ‘official’ controller within multiple facets of its design. The only area where it actually felt a little weak was with its analogue sticks, but even they were adequate enough. The lack of wireless functionality may stick out to some gamers too, though the long lead ensures that it doesn’t become a big problem.
With its customisation options, its comfortable design, and abundance of neat extras, the Nacon Revolution Pro Controller 3 is definitely an easy controller to recommend to gamers – especially if they’re planning on using it to play competitively online, where the shortcut buttons and the fine-tuning of controller functionality can make the difference between a victory or a loss. There’s plenty here for the average gamer too though, and hey, who doesn’t want a slick LED light around their analogue stick and a snug carry case to keep the controller in?!