The Nacon MG-X Pro is possibly the best controller currently available for Xbox cloud gaming
- Manufacturer: Nacon
- Model: MG-X Pro
- Release date: 19th January 2022
- Price: £79.99 (Argos UK)
- Supported Platforms: Android
- Reviewed with: Galaxy A71, Windows PC
- Supplied by: Nacon
Nacon MG-X Pro Review
I’ve been using the MG-X Bluetooth controller, with its more compact controls, for about five months. I love it, but it’s not perfect for every game type; Games that require precise inputs are more challenging due to the limited travel of the analogue sticks and triggers. The MG-X Pro, however, gives you full-size controls with its epic split-controller design.
With the slimmer MG-X, there was a definite period of adaptation as I got used to the diminutive controls, but with the MG-X Pro, I instantly felt at home with the comforting feel of a full-sized controller in my hand. I can’t emphasise enough how much better it is having that real-controller feel when playing proper games.
You can, of course, buy those mounts that clip to a standard controller, but if you’ve ever tried one, you have likely noticed that they end up very top-heavy and can be uncomfortable with prolonged use. The MG-X Pro has much better balance, more like a Switch, and can be used comfortably sitting, standing, lying down – whatever floats your boat.
I’ve been using it to play games on the cloud, but I get far more use out of it when at home and just connecting directly to my Series X. If my kids are playing on the Xbox connected to the TV and I want a break from sitting at my desk, I just connect the MG-X Pro, load up the Xbox app, and I can sit next to them on the sofa, with instant access to my entire game library.
TL:DR? – The MG-X Pro eliminates all the shortcomings of the smaller MG-X, making this an outstanding way to play Xbox Game Pass games from the cloud. Exceptional build quality and superb ergonomics make this, in my opinion, the best way to get your mobile Xbox gaming fix.
MG-X Pro – Design and build
As you can see, the MG-X Pro literally just looks like an elongated controller. The analogue sticks, triggers, bumpers and most of the face buttons are in exactly the same place as on a regular controller; The only real difference is the Nexus (Xbox) button is smaller, and the menu and window buttons have, by necessity, been moved outwards. Well, that, and the large opening in the middle to slot your phone into.
There is little in the way of additional branding or flashy extras on the MG-X Pro. The entirety of the rear is covered in a hex-cut textured plastic that gives you a solid grip, while the front has a smooth matte finish. The only branding is found on the rubberised coating of the phone slot, which bears a subtly embossed Nacon logo. It’s very tasteful, practical, and I love it.
Although you likely won’t be slipping the MG-X Pro into one of your pockets, it’s not that much bigger than a regular controller, so it’s very portable. In terms of weight, the MG-X Pro topped the scales at 271g – exactly the same as an official Xbox Series controller (with a rechargeable battery pack fitted). This gives it a durable feel in your hand, and it shares the same high level of build quality as Nacon’s other controllers.
MG-X Pro – Performance
The MG-X Pro uses the same buttons, triggers and sticks that we’ve seen used to great effect on the Nacon Revolution X and Pro Compact controllers. There are a few small differences compared to the official Xbox controllers, but in terms of button placement and overall feel, it will seem instantly familiar. As long as you are already familiar with the ergonomic feel of Xbox controllers, there’s no learning curve involved with the MG-Pro, you just connect it and go.
The analogue sticks, in particular, are brilliant. They have an ideal amount of resistance to them and a solid centring spring-back that’s at least as good as, if not better than, OEM controllers. Similarly, the face (ABXY) buttons are very good; They are slightly oversized and less convex than usual, but the responsiveness is faultless.
This flawless performance is something that extends across all of the inputs on the MG-X Pro, as the triggers are perfectly weighted with a good amount of travel and consistent resistance through the full range of travel, and the bumpers are responsive across their full width. The only button that I’d prefer if it was slightly more accessible is the window button, which is slightly awkward to reach due to its proximity to the left analogue stick.
A minor complaint I had with the Revolution X was the slightly spongy feeling D-pad, but on the MG-X Pro, it has been swapped for a clickier, more responsive one. It’s still not quite up to the same standard as Microsoft’s delightfully tactile OEM D-pad, but it’s a great step in the right direction.
Sadly, there is no controller rumble, but that is outside of Nacon’s control at the moment as it’s currently not supported on Android devices (although it now works with the Windows 10/11 app). If it gets implemented in the future, then hopefully Nacon will release an updated version with haptics.
MG-X Pro – Attaching and connecting your phone
To power on or switch off the MG-X Pro, you just need to hold the Nexus button in for a few seconds, then put the Bluetooth into pairing mode with a small, clearly labelled button on the bottom edge of the controller. Like the MG-X, once you’ve paired it to your phone it will auto-connect as long as Bluetooth is still switched on. It’s super simple to use, which is a definite plus point.
The quoted battery life is 20 hours, which seems to be accurate. Although there is no detailed battery level indicator, the indicator light on the MG-X Pro flashes red when it’s running low. While it’s charging, a solid red light is displayed, which turns green once it’s fully topped up. There’s an included USB-A to USB-C cable for charging, which can be connected to a PC, console, monitor or phone charger, and you can use the MG-X Pro whilst it is charging.
The clamp opens up very wide, and is officially compatible with phones with up to a 6.7” screen size. I have a Samsung Galaxy A71, which has a 6.7” (21:9) screen, and there is still additional space to spare. The actual horizontal width of the opening is 6.75” (172mm), with no restriction on height, so you can fit a sizeable phone or possibly a smaller sized tablet in there.
When I reviewed the MG-X, I noted that the clamping force was very strong which made attaching your phone a little tricky, but they’ve nailed it with the MG-X Pro. The clamp feels secure, but it’s not so tight as to make it difficult to open. Because the clamp isn’t quite as tight, there is the very slight possibility you could potentially dislodge the MG-X Pro if you go a bit OTT, but this isn’t something likely to happen in normal use, and my phone didn’t budge once.
As most phones have their ports located at the bottom, the MG-X Pro will obscure the charging port, the headphone jack (if you have one) and speakers. You could probably use right-angled connectors and still squeeze your phone in there, but I’d be concerned about my phone falling out. As it was, I could still hear the speakers on my phone, but it was slightly muffled.
There is a tiny amount of additional latency added when using Bluetooth, but I regularly use the Xbox controllers connected to my PC with Bluetooth and it felt no different. Even when factoring in the network latency when connecting to Xbox cloud services, it’s a super smooth experience that only slightly falters when extremely precise input timing is required, though that is more a downside of cloud gaming in general.
Some competitors use USB-C connections on their mobile controllers, like the Razer Kishi, which lowers latency, but that can be limiting for some devices depending on their connector location. Even if you are restricted to just Bluetooth, the MG-X Pro has the advantage of being compatible with pretty much every phone on the market.
Having that proper console gaming feel, even when using a phone for a screen, is amazing. For anyone who wants the greatest Xbox cloud-gaming experience, the MG-X Pro is currently the best controller available, as the full-sized controls and comfortable ergonomics outshine the competition.
The quality of the individual controls is outstanding, with the analogue sticks in particular feeling fantastic. The D-pad could use refining a little more, but it’s better than Nacon’s previous implementations, and importantly, it works well.
Connecting to your phone is simple and reconnecting after the initial setup takes just a second, battery life is great, it’s fully featured, and it comfortably fits pretty much any phone on the market. If you want to get the most out of Xbox cloud gaming, you can’t go wrong with the MG-X Pro.
The MG-X Pro is available now from retailers and in-stock at Argos in the UK for £79.99