Back Buttons are a major problem.
Granskad i Storbritannien den 16 april 2020
I'll start with the major cons and work through the rest. I really wanted to like this product, but unfortunately I can't recommend it. This is long, but I strongly recommend you read it.
You can't do everything out of the box, and there is additional software to download on to PC. However, you do not need to download the PC software suite to reprogram the back buttons (you can do that with just the pad in your hands), though it is ideal to get the software as well, because then you can customise a lot more of the controller.
Unfortunately, however, I was unable to download the software onto PC, as NACON never got around to completing my online registration on their website in the first week of having the pad, for two separate email account atttempts. This may be down to timing due to COVID-19, which is understandable, but surely online registration is automated anyway? Now I'm returning it. I checked my Spam folders for both email accounts several times, but the email never came. I honestly do not understand why the program isn't just open to download on their website, without account registration?
So all I was left with during my brief time with the pad, were the back buttons. As I said, you can easily reprogram the back buttons without a PC, but unfortunately these back buttons aren't placed well on the pad, they're small, and they aren't easy to press in. It's hard to explain without a pad in hand, but in essence, the back buttons prevent you from holding the controller properly. Due to their placement you have to use your ring finger to press them in, and that's not viable. They're too far, at least for me and probably most people, for my middle fingers.
Using Modern Warfare as an example, I programmed the back Left 1 button to act as L3 sprint, but whenever I needed to press this back button to sprint, I had to shift my grip of the pad to press in the back button, and then didn't have full control of the stick on the front of the pad. It completely stifles performance.
If you think about it, you can only apply control to one side of a pad at any time - because you need to apply counter pressure to the opposite side to push against, when using the controls. You can't, for example, control the left stick with precision whilst hitting buttons on the reverse side at the same time. It's just not possible, because whichever side you're controlling accurately, needs blunt firm grip on the OPPOSITE side for resistance. Thinking about it, there's a reason why most major official control pads over the years haven't had back buttons - they don't work effficiently.
I've come away realising that back buttons aren't the answer.
I bought this because I wanted a pad with programmable buttons to replace the L3 and R3 of regular DualShock PS4 pads because, like many of you no doubt, mine have broken down.
The truth is that companies (Sony etc) need to get rid of clickable analogue sticks and just give us more buttons in appropriate places, then our pads will stop wearing down. Clickable analogue sticks are a crap idea. This is no fault of NACON's of course. They're just trying to provide an alternative. But when I was briefly using this, I ended up giving up and clicking the sticks for L3/R3 anyway because the back buttons are useless. In which case, might as well just get another DS4. They're less than half the price.
I can't really talk about the L2/R2 triggers, as they can be changed with the software, which I couldn't get access to. They might be good, but I couldn't tell you. Same goes for analogue stick sensitivity, backlight colours, etc. Sorry, couldn't access these features.
The L1 and R1 are not as good as a basic Dual Shock and take longer to register per press. They have a solid click, like a mouse button, rather than the soft L1/R1 of the DualShock 4, and throwing a quick flashbang isn't the same. It's slower and more deliberate, not ideal for FPS/online.
You can change the stick tops between convex/concave, and thickness of the actual analogue sticks, which means you don't need to press them as far forward - but this is useless without the software to change the speed % of the analogue sticks. I changed the left stick to a thicker diameter, and all I ended up doing was moving really slowly, because I didn't have the software installed, to change the analogue to a smaller push forward required for full walking speed.
The face buttons are fine.
The general ergonomics are great - when not talking about the back buttons. I'm not one of those that 'misses' the XBox pad, I'm fine with the shape of the DualShock 4, but this pad is a lot closer to an XBox pad and feels just as good.
The ability to add weights is great, though they are: two 10kgs, two 14kgs, and two 16kg weights, and I'll be honest - if you want more heft, you go straight for the 16kgs. The lighter two weights are a bit redundant.
The tactile finish is very nice and this does feel like a high quality product. This doesn't look or feel cheap over all, except maybe the L1/R1 feel a bit too plastic, slow, and 'clicky'.
Packaging is great and the carry case is very nice.
It's programmable (well, theoretically). It is nice that you can program the back buttons on the fly at least.
Pad works on PC straight away, it's not just for PS4, and it has mutliple profiles you can switch between.
Microphone mute button is great, but the microphone quality isn't. I tested this in the mic volume control menu on the PS4, and my mic sounded worse than the usual earbuds into a DualShock.
Don't forget that this is also a third party product - and not native. You can't use it to turn on the PS4, there's no app for it, despite being officially licensed. You'll need to use another pad (i.e. DualShock) to turn on the machine, then switch this pad on, log into your profile, and then turn the DS off. Which isn't ideal.
It also requires a USB slot on the PS4, whether wired or wireless. The cable it comes with is USB-C and a decent length. I didn't have any connection issues with the wireless dongle either, but it's still taking up a USB slot, which if you have an external HDD and PSVR starts to get problematic.
Battery life, I honestly couldn't say because I didn't use it for more than a couple of hours, I'm afraid.
I really wanted to like this product, and it does look and feel high quality, but its biggest asset, is also its biggest problem - the back buttons are small, poorly placed, and poorly designed.
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