If you're a PlayStation fan but you've never been too keen on the layout of Sony's controllers, then the Nacon Revolution Unlimited Pro Controller for PlayStation 4 (phew) may well be the controller for you.
The headline here is that like Nacon's previous efforts, the Revolution Unlimited (as we'll be calling it from this point on) has asymmetrical analog sticks. In other words, they're not parallel like the analog sticks on a normal DualShock 4. It's the Xbox approach to controller design that a lot of people prefer, and with the Revolution Unlimited, it's executed very well indeed.
We've spent over 100 hours playing various games with the Revolution Unlimited in order to pen this review. From shooters and action titles to more laid back role-playing games and competitive fighters, we've got the full scoop. With a hefty price tag of over £100, is this alternate PS4 controller worth your money? Let's find out.
Build quality and comfort
As we've come to expect of these premium "pro" controllers, the Revolution Unlimited is a well built piece of kit. The face of the controller boasts a smooth, rubberised material that feels great, while the underside features two textured surfaces. Covering most of the controller's "arms", these surfaces act as perfectly placed grips, helping the controller to sit comfortably.
Letting the controller just sit in your hands, you can pretty much feel the quality, although it should be noted that the Revolution Unlimited isn't as heavy as the other pro controllers that we've reviewed in the past -- most notably the Razer Raiju Ultimate. Nacon's pad is just a tad weightier than a regular DualShock 4, and as a result, it doesn't feel quite as unwieldy as its heavier competition -- at least initially. It's just a nice, comfortable weight.
But if for some reason you want it heavier, the Revolution Unlimited comes with three sets of small weights, which can be placed inside of the controller's arms to give the device a bit more heft. Inserting the weights is easy enough -- you just slide the arm casings off and pop them in -- and they really do make a noticeable difference. A thoughtful option, for sure.
As for its shape, the Revolution Ultimate isn't any wider than a DualShock 4, but it does feel wider due to how its edges are curved. It's admittedly difficult to explain, but because its arms are thicker and its body is taller, it does feel more pronounced than Sony's standard pad. Still, unless you've got very small hands, you should have no trouble.
The Revolution Unlimited is a pleasure to hold, but we do find its face buttons a little weird. They're not bad by any means, but they're unusual in that X, square, triangle, and circle are all really big, and they're close together due to their size. What's more, the circle button kind of curves off, following the contour of the controller. Pressing them is fine, but their size can take a little getting used to, especially if you're playing a game that requires precise inputs.
Shoulder buttons and triggers
The shoulder buttons are difficult to fault, though. R1 and L1 both have a noticeable "click" to them and they can be pressed in very quickly, while R2 and L2 are firm and incredibly responsive. While the springs can feel a bit spongy on a DualShock 4's R2 and L2 triggers, the Revolution Unlimited's triggers are significantly snappier. In short, they're top notch triggers that are excellent for shooters.
As mentioned, the Revolution Unlimited has asymmetrical analog sticks, much like an Xbox or Switch Pro controller. It goes without saying that if you're used to the side-by-side sticks of Sony's DualShock design, then you're gonna need some time to adjust. But if you're approaching the Revolution Unlimited as an Xbox or Switch user, then you should feel right at home.
Nacon's pad comes with two sets of interchangeable stick grips. One set is concave, and one set is convex. As has always been the case with these pro controllers, we find ourselves preferring the concave grips across the board, purely because our thumbs don't slip off them as they tend to do with their convex alternatives. That said, if you've got longer or larger thumbs, then the convex grips may prove to be a better fit. In any case, swapping the grips is easy -- you just pull them out and click the new ones into place.
When it comes to stick movement, the Revolution Unlimited might just be the best of the pro controller bunch, in our experience. When you're tilting the sticks, the resistance feels spot on, and translating gradual stick movement to in-game character or camera movement is seamless. The sticks are precise and smooth -- the ideal combination.
But perhaps the best thing about the Revolution Unlimited's sticks is that you can customise their width. We're talking about the actual width of the stick shafts here, allowing for more or less travel distance depending on your preference. The controller comes with three width options for each stick -- metal rings that you simply slot on beneath the interchangeable thumb grips.
Adjustable stick width sounds strange, but it's something that you have to experiment with in order to appreciate. We found that altering the width of the controller's right stick, for example, had a clear impact on our aim when playing through The Division 2. With the thinner ring, the sensitivity felt just a little off, but with the thicker ting, it was perfect. Obviously it'll be different for everyone, but that's the beauty of having clever options like this.
When we first removed the Revolution Unlimited from its packaging and thumbed the directional pad, we weren't sold. Initial impressions painted it as spongy and imprecise, but in practice, we're happy to report that it works a lot better than we first thought.
While it is a bit spongy -- particularly if you don't press down the very edges of the four directions -- it's surprisingly effective at registering precise inputs once you're used to its depth. Even better, its shape is smoothed to a point where sliding your thumb across the d-pad is really easy. A lack of hard edges makes quarter or half circle motions a breeze.
However, it must be noted that by default, the d-pad is set to just four directions: up, down, left, and right. That's fine for most games, but for fighting games in particular, you're going to want to change it to eight directions so that it includes diagonal inputs.
It's not perfect, but for a fully elevated d-pad, it's won us over.
Turn the Revolution Unlimited on its face and you'll find four extra buttons on the inside of the controller's arms. S1, S2, S3, and S4 can all be mapped to different inputs, allowing for shortcuts. These additional buttons are placed so that you can tap them with your middle or ring fingers, and while they do feel somewhat cheap -- they're made of a light plastic -- they're responsive and "click" quite nicely. You won't find yourself pressing them by accident either, as they each require a reasonably firm push to register.
With four customisable profiles that you can switch between with the push of the controller's dedicated profile button, tweaking the Revolution Unlimited to your liking is straightforward -- you can either dig into Nacon's provided software and hook the controller up to your PC, or you can set things up manually by holding down specific button combinations. Said software is a little janky, but it gets the job done.
Moving on, the Revolution Unlimited does have wireless functionality. A switch on the back of the controller lets you toggle between wired and wireless connections, but in order to make use of the latter, you do need to insert the provided USB dongle into one of your PS4's USB slots. Not ideal, but we'll take it.
And last but not least, the Revolution Unlimited has three very handy little buttons next to its headphone jack. These underappreciated additions let you increase or decrease your headset's audio volume -- or mute it entirely. Simple stuff, but not having to dive into the PS4's volume settings is a blessing.
Should you buy the Nacon Revolution Unlimited?
The Revolution Unlimited is a rock solid pro controller for PS4. It's got good build quality, good buttons, fantastic triggers, great analog sticks, a surprisingly good directional pad, and some top notch customisation options. All in all, it's very difficult to fault.
If you've been looking for an Xbox-style alternative to Sony's traditional DualShock design, this is as good as you're going to get. Currently priced between £119 and £149, it's most certainly an investment, but the overall quality of the product is clear to see.
What do you think of the Nacon Revolution Unlimited? Are you in the market for a "pro" PS4 controller? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.