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Nacon MG-X review

The Nacon MG-X is very nearly the perfect controller in combination with Xbox Game Pass.

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Nowadays we can hardly do without streaming services such as Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime when it comes to movies and series. When it comes to games, this isn’t the case yet, but Google Stadia and Xbox Game Pass are slowly but surely gaining ground. Of course, both services offer the possibility to play via the touchscreen, but what is nicer than gaming with a real controller. Of course, you can opt for your standard PlayStation or Xbox controller, but slowly but surely more products are coming onto the market that is specifically aimed at gaming on your phone. We have known Nacon for years from the fine controllers they make for the PlayStation and recently also for the Xbox, but now they have also jumped into the gap of equipment for streaming services. We got to work with the MG-X, a controller specifically aimed at Xbox Game Pass and made for Android phones. Below you can read what we think.

The Nacon MG-X consists of one piece, and you can slide it apart to clamp your phone in between. We tested with a Samsung Galaxy S20 and even though it is a bit on the large side, it fits perfectly. We did have to use some force to get the phone in between. The big advantage is that the device is solid and will not fall out. The inside of the controller is also provided with rough material so that your device will not slide. So, in the end, it feels like a perfect whole, and it does have something of the Nintendo Switch.

Connecting is easy. You turn on the MG-X by pressing the button with the Xbox logo. Unfortunately, it takes unnecessarily long before the device turns on, more than 5 seconds. Then it’s a matter of pressing the Bluetooth button and connecting the controller to your phone. This is a one-time action and after that, it’s just a matter of turning on the controller itself. You don’t have to do any extra actions to make it work with the Xbox Game Pass app, it all works immediately. That makes the MG-X extremely suitable for anyone with an Android phone and an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription.

The controller lasts about twenty hours and can be charged via a USB-C cable. When the light is red, you know that the battery is almost empty and the light turns green, then the battery is full again. And so far we have little to criticize about the controller, but the most important thing is of course: how nice does it play? Unfortunately, the result is a bit variable. At first, we were very enthusiastic about the controller, but after several hours of playing, we found out that Nacon had dropped some stitches. For example, the triggers on top cannot be pressed extremely far and you also have the feeling that you can go further and further, but you don’t want to do that because you are afraid that you will break something. This was especially a big drawback while playing racing games, where you use the triggers to accelerate and brake.

The triggers might have taken some getting used to, but the joysticks are even more annoying. These are perfect to use for games where precision is not an issue but can hardly be used when playing first-person shooters. We tried them to play a game of Halo, but in the end, aiming was more a matter of luck than talent. It’s all because the joysticks are quite short, allowing you to jerk in a certain direction with the slightest movement. You also play on a smaller screen, so you can do this much faster than on a large television. It leaves us with a few mixed feelings. We believe that Nacon could have gotten more out of this controller with a few minor adjustments.

The Nacon MG-X is not a bad controller and is great to use in games where precision does not play a key role. Unfortunately, the joysticks are on the short side, making first-person shooters difficult, and playing a racing game is not ideal because of the stiff triggers. The device is extremely comfortable to hold, and you don’t have to worry about your phone falling out.

 

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is the editor of Absolute Gadget and has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives.