Nacon’s MG-X Professional smartphone gamepad is snug however just a little too fundamental

Written by Jeff Lampkin

Nacon, now each a video games writer and peripheral maker, has been making gamepads for consoles for some time. It was one of many firms that Sony selected to make its wired ‘professional” PS4 controllers earlier than Sony introduced its personal ‘professional’ controller for the PS5.

Not that it stopped Nacon. It has launched two cell controllers, together with, most not too long ago, an iPhone-compatible mannequin that lands in the course of smartphone gamepad pricing. It’s cheaper than Spine and Razer’s technically spectacular gaming peripherals, and sadly, Nacon made some sacrifices to get to that value.

The MG-X Pro is mild, even with its built-in battery. In comparison with some smartphone controllers, the grips are extra substantial and nearer to typical console gamepads. That is probably the most snug smartphone gamepad I’ve ever tried by a large margin. It feels controller-sized, with related spacing between the d-pad and analog controls and full-sized set off buttons on the again, making it way more snug throughout lengthy gaming classes.

Nacon MG-X Pro

Picture by Mat Smith / Engadget

The buttons are responsive however just a little too squishy. I couldn’t discover any latency distinction between wi-fi and wired smartphone controller choices when taking part in by way of a number of Apple Arcade titles, Into The Breach, and a few Overwatch 2 streamed on PS Distant Play. The buttons don’t wobble round of their housing, however the d-pad feels just a little doughy and unfastened. The 2 analog sticks are product of sturdier stuff, luckily.

Between the 2 controller halves, the vice a part of MG-X Professional has a ridged rubberized floor to maintain your iPhone locked in, with just a little lip on each side to maintain every part in place. The vice works on each iPhone I’ve, from the Mini to the Max fashions. And, in contrast to another vice controllers, even with a protecting case, my iPhone 14 Professional suits in superb.

It’s simple to whereas away the hours with the MG-X Professional – till your cellphone battery runs out. In contrast to dearer choices just like the Spine, it is a wi-fi mannequin. There’s no lighting cable plug to attach your iPhone into) which implies there’s no energy throughput.

This drawback is compounded once you’re utilizing cloud gaming companies, like Xbox Cloud and PS Distant Play, which want a variety of energy to stream video games. If you wish to play for prolonged durations, you’ll need to be ready to take equally prolonged breaks. Different shortcomings embody a companion app that doesn’t supply sufficient to warrant its obtain. There’s the flexibility to calibrate the 2 analog sticks – which makes me fear that they may drift sooner or later – and walkthroughs of what the MG-X Professional is able to. That’s not all that a lot.

Nacon MG-X Pro

Picture by Mat Smith / Engadget

The MG-X Professional is probably the most snug smartphone gamepad I’ve ever used. Nonetheless, the flexibility to supply snug gaming over time is restricted by its lack of ability to maintain your smartphone powered up. For more cash, you could possibly go for the Spine or the Razer Kishi, which provide pass-through charging. Or, just a little extra inelegantly, you could possibly swap the vice-style controller for a extra snug Bluetooth controller (I charge the 8bitdo controllers) and maintain your cellphone propped up, however plugged in.

All merchandise really useful by Engadget are chosen by our editorial group, unbiased of our dad or mum firm. A few of our tales embody affiliate hyperlinks. In the event you purchase one thing by way of one among these hyperlinks, we could earn an affiliate fee. All costs are appropriate on the time of publishing.

About the author

Jeff Lampkin

Jeff Lampkin was the first writer to have joined He has since then inculcated very effective writing and reviewing culture at GamePolar which rivals have found impossible to imitate. His approach has been to work on the basics while the whole world was focusing on the superstructures.