Nacon Revolution 5 Pro review: "A worthy successor to one of the best controllers ever made"

Nacon Revolution 5 Pro face-on
(Image: © Future / Duncan Robertson)

GamesRadar+ Verdict

The Nacon Revolution 5 Pro has one of the most expansive list of features you'll find in a pro controller. For that reason, it's one of the best PS5 controllers currently available, and its hall sensor technology creates some great value for money. Unfortunately, it has some issues that stick out like a sore thumb.


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    Exhaustive list of features

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    Sustainable materials and a premium feel

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    Hall sensor tech

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    Battery Life


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    Loose stick tension

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    Back button foibles

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    Headphone jack issues from previous controllers

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The Nacon Revolution 5 Pro is the spiritual successor to the first pro controller I ever owned. In fact, I still deem the Nacon Revolution Unlimited one of the best controllers ever made - it sparked my obsession with back buttons, deadzones, and thumbsticks I now make a living from. Sadly, that controller's lack of compatibility with PS5 games makes it increasingly difficult to find uses for; hence the arrival of the Revolution 5 Pro. 

This is Nacon's attempt to make the best PS5 controller, and out of the gate, it definitely sounds impressive. This is the first-ever PlayStation gamepad to feature Hall Sensor thumbsticks. Given the controversies surrounding the DualSense's stick drift issues, I'm sure that accolade alone has created a lot of interest. 

Annoyingly, those Hall Sensor sticks don't come cheap. At $199/£199, the new Nacon Revolution 5 Pro follows the price trend of other officially licensed PS5 controllers. If that tag isn't an issue for you though, there are features and perks a-plenty here, and if it weren't for a slightly cheaper rival, this might be the best Esports controller for the platform so far.


Nacon Revolution 5 Pro review image of the face buttons and touchpad

(Image credit: Future / Duncan Robertson)

In its design, the Nacon Revolution 5 Pro does feel very similar to the PS4's Nacon Revolution Unlimited. It's got the same broad shoulders and long grips and is welcoming to larger hands. Its face buttons are chunky, and the circle button spills over the right-hand side in the exact same way. 

The most notable change is probably in its texture, as the Revolution 5 Pro utilizes a rubberized surface that feels smooth to the touch and worthy of the high price tag you pay for it. One reason I like this is because no matter how sweaty your competitive gaming sessions get, the Revolution 5 Pro stays nice and cool in the hands. Perspiration can create some smudges, but it still looks great in the white or black colorways it's available in. 

The thing I think should be most highly praised about Nacon's design philosophy is its sustainability. This is a ClimatePartner-certified product, and Nacon has said that "The ability to repair and replace key components was a prerequisite during the initial design phase". In my talks with Nacon, the team seems very committed to this, even asking for feedback as to what parts may need replacing most after testing so they know what to include in repair packs. 

Nacon Revolution 5 Pro face buttons and D-pad

(Image credit: Future / Duncan Robertson)

The Revolution 5 Pro has asymmetrical Hall Sensor thumbsticks. These use tiny Electromagnets to measure player input, so they don't wear down in the same way potentiometers do. The right stick has Nacon's patented and ever-classy RGB lighting ring around it. This is customizable - like the whole controller is - through the companion PC app. Thankfully, there are a few different stick tops in the case, giving you the ability to opt for a longer right stick if you want a bit more accuracy when aiming down sights. 

There are four back buttons on this pad, and while I'll get into the weeds about these in a bit, they're fully integrated into the grips and the ergonomics of the controller. The bottom two even feature the same textured groove lines as the grips, while the top two curve into the controller's back and have a shinier look to them. 

The D-Pad, although swappable, is a very stylish circular shape. I wasn't the biggest fan of this d-pad since it protrudes a bit and I frequently had trouble with mis-presses. You'll also find a handy mute button on board, a typical PlayStation touchpad, and lights surrounding it that indicate which of the four saved profiles you're currently locked into.


Nacon Revolution 5 Pro's back

(Image credit: Future / Duncan Robertson)

The features list of the Revolution 5 Pro (R5P) is as exhaustive as you'll find in a modern pro controller. For that reason, it may be easiest to start this section with what's missing from it.

As is the case for all officially licensed PS5 controllers at present, there's no rumble, haptic feedback, or trigger resistance. This is a shame, but it's a requirement for any third party trying to secure licensing, as PlayStation wants to keep these things exclusive to the DualSense and DualSense Edge. That said, the R5P does have rumble motors, and these do work when you're connected to a PS4 or PC. In a similar vein, you won't be able to power on the console by pressing the PlayStation button. If you want to learn more about how controllers get their official licensing, you can read the linked feature I wrote earlier this year. 

The Revolution 5 Pro features wired and wireless connectivity via a USB-A dongle or 3m cable you'll find in the case. Also inside is a cleaning cloth to tackle those aforementioned smudges, and a small toolbox that houses some weights you can add to the controller's grips. That's where you'll find the thumbstick toppers too.

In wireless mode, Nacon quotes a 10-hour lifespan, and I definitely found that to be the case. In fact, I'd say 10 hours is the minimum I managed to get on a full charge - the R5P feels like it's taking on the Razer Wolverine V2 Pro's battery life, and they're both a substantial leap over the rest of the PS5 pack.

Nacon Revolution 5 Pro review image of the top of the controller

(Image credit: Future / Duncan Robertson)

Trigger stops also feature, but only have one level you can set them to. Alongside that, the controller has the capability to store up to four custom profiles per platform - which is pretty conclusive. 

It's here that customizing can get pretty complicated though, because Nacon has included a "classic" and "advanced" mode, which will further change what settings you have enabled. Customizing deadzones and fine-tuning the smallest details is mostly reserved for the PC companion app. However, it is possible using the multifunction button and the classic mode, to change your back button assignments without this software. This is a trickier process than it is for the likes of the GameSir T4 Kalied, for example. The only way I found out how to do this was by looking it up on YouTube, so better manuals in the box would have been welcome.

While in classic mode, you can change the controller's audio EQ settings. There are four audio profiles on board, and while they're a cool novelty, I suspect they'll go unused for the most part. Most of the best gaming headsets will be the place to properly optimize settings like these.

The controller itself has multipoint wireless connectivity though, meaning you can connect a Bluetooth headset to the controller directly if you need to stop that pesky interference of radio signals from too many USB dongles sticking out of the PS5.


Nacon Revolution 5 Pro in the reviewer's hand

(Image credit: Future / Duncan Robertson)

All of those design choices and included features create one of the most conclusive all-round pro controller packages I've ever come across. I have no qualms with telling you this is one of the best gamepads on the market just now, and no matter what genre I turn it to, the Nacon Revolution 5 Pro is a worthy controller. It feels like a more substantial, less stripped-back Victrix Pro BFG, which is high praise coming from me. 

The main way I test controllers with four back buttons and this level of customization is by playing first-person shooters that are optimized for the best gaming PCs. You want as much functionality as possible with a controller like this, and I'm pleased to say that whether it's The Finals, HUNT: Showdown, or Deep Rock Galactic, the R5P is a controller I'd gladly use for any of them. 

In the same way, I used this controller for Blasphemous 2 sessions on PC, and it absolutely shone. It's a testament to the design work Nacon put into this controller that it's just as at home in first-person shooters as it is in nostalgic platformers. I especially love the chunky face buttons and satisfying triggers.

That said, this controller isn't perfect, and it's landed just shy of my top spot for gamespads in 2023. I have a few criticisms to get through, and I'm worried that this review will sound negative as a result. For security's sake, let me reiterate that this is one of the very best PS5 controllers available right now, and for a lot of players, it probably will be the best for Esports. It's because I like it so much that I feel it's important to provide some reasons why it misses out on the gold medal. 

Nacon Revolution 5 Pro review image of the controller face-on

(Image credit: Future / Duncan Robertson)

I'm disappointed to tell you that my biggest problem with the Revolution Unlimited returns here, and that's an issue with the controller's headphone jack. I know most people will likely use one of the best wireless gaming headsets these days, but for anyone still plugging in through a 3.5mm headphone jack, microphone audio is going to be compromised. The audio you'll hear when plugged in is absolutely fine, but your microphone audio sounds distant and accompanied by white noise no matter what set you plug in. 

To their credit, the folks at Nacon were really communicative and apologetic about my experience with this, but it's still a problem for anyone resigned to a wired connection.

I'm truly miffed this issue has carried over to this generation because it must be said, this did seem like a known issue. That problem was widely reported online and was no doubt the reason for a lot of refunds. After scrupulous testing, I'm honestly unsure whether this stems from a cheap audio port, or noise-canceling software Nacon is funneling into the controller. Since the static and grating white noise only kicks up when you speak into a mic, I'd guess that it's the latter. 

While I had no problem with the sensitivity of the Hall Sensor sticks in the R5P, I did find that the right stick's tension was far too weak. To clarify, that's the amount of pressure you need to apply to move the stick in any direction and the rigidity with which it'll ping back into the home position. 

Nacon Revolution 5 Pro review image of the back buttons

(Image credit: Future / Duncan Robertson)

Don't get me wrong, the right stick feels great to flick around, but the looser tension actually made the deadzones harder to tune and the sensitivities more difficult to customize. I mainly used the longer thumbstick, but even then, the deadzones felt massive on the R5P. If it's accurate aiming and speed you're looking for, I'd opt for something else.

Finally, the back buttons on the Revolution Unlimited were excellent, so I'm sad to feel a large departure from them with the R5P. The lower buttons are perfectly integrated into the grip panels, so they feel like they're missing a distinct texture that makes it clear your fingers are resting on them. They also have a tiny actuation, so it can be really difficult to tell if you've actually pressed them or not. That results in you adding loads of pressure, which can cause unintentional clicks into the higher back buttons your middle fingers rest on - all those tendons are connected after all.

The higher two back buttons have a more distinct glossy texture and click in much clearer, so these aren't as bad. However, they take some getting used to due to the fact that they're curved into the gamepad's spine, and not the grips.

Should you buy the Nacon Revolution 5 Pro?

Nacon Revolution 5 Pro with its RGB light ring on and its box of attachments open next to it

(Image credit: Future / Duncan Robertson)

The Nacon Revolution 5 Pro is one of the best controllers I tested in 2023. Its price tag is admittedly high, but it's one of the only PS5 controllers I feel actually warrants its price. Overall, it's a worthy successor to one of the best controllers ever made. Nacon has succeeded in making this a long-term investment too because if you buy this, you probably won't need to purchase another controller for the rest of the generation. Apart from whatever's going on with the headphone jack, the build quality really is that good.

You won't find many gamepads that are better than this for playing competitive multiplayer games, whether you're playing on PS5 or PC. It has a full suite of customization and loads of ways to fine-tune to your preferences. 

Unfortunately, there's a cheaper alternative on the shelves which means the top spot hasn't quite been reached. The Victrix Pro BFG is cheaper, has better back buttons, and more accurate thumbsticks (at least for me). Soon enough, its new Hall Sensor modules will even mean it has the longevity that the R5P does. That said, Nacon has made a heavyweight contender that stares it right in the eye. I suspect for a lot of players, the suite of software and hardware customization on offer here will actually make it more enticing.

How we tested the Nacon Revolution 5 Pro

I put the Nacon Revolution 5 Pro to the test for around two months before this review, going between PS5 and PC to see how it performed in a variety of different games. For FPS action, I played HUNT: Showdown, Deep Rock Galactic, and The Finals. For more nostalgic platforming, I played Celeste and Blasphemous 2. For third-person games, I did some lighter testing in Marvel's Spider-Man 2. 

I also used the PC companion app to mess around with the suite of customization options on offer. On the whole, I compared my experience to other PS5 controllers I reviewed this year, and to the Nacon Revolution Unlimited, a controller I have extensive experience with.

For more on how we test out the latest gaming accessories, have a peruse of the GamesRadar+ hardware policy.

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Available platformsHardware, PS5, PC
Duncan Robertson
Hardware Editor

Ever since playing Journey at the age of 15, I’ve been desperate to cover video games for a living. After graduating from Edinburgh Napier University with a degree in Journalism, I contributed to the Scottish Games Network and completed an Editorial Internship over at Expert Reviews. Besides that, I’ve been managing my own YouTube channel and Podcast for the last 7 years. It’s been a long road, but all that experience somehow landed me a dream job covering gaming hardware. I’m a self-confessing PlayStation fanboy, but my experience covering the larger business and developer side of the whole industry has given me a strong knowledge of all platforms. When I’m not testing out every peripheral I can get my hands on, I’m probably either playing tennis or dissecting game design for an upcoming video essay. Now, I better stop myself here before I get talking about my favourite games like HUNT: Showdown, Dishonored, and Towerfall Ascension.
Location: UK Remote