The RIG PRO Compact controller is the latest offering from French video game accessory company Nacon. It has some unprecedented features, including a bundled Dolby Atmos subscription, and it offers them at a very attractive price point.
The RIG PRO Compact is a nifty piece of hardware for either PC or Xbox. It’s attractive, yet no nonsense design speaks to its priorities of affordability, comfort, and ease of use. Don’t let its unassuming appearance fool you though – it has more than a few tricks up its sleeve to win you over.
That said, the controller market is a competitive field and individual preferences will ultimately determine which pieces of gear are right for you. Therefore, we are going to break down the features of the RIG PRO Compact to highlight its strengths as well as its potential weaknesses.
Ergonomics and feel
Arguably the most important aspect of a controller is how it feels in the hand. You’ll likely be holding it for hours at a time, so a controller that leads to unnecessary fatigue, cramping or pain will immediately be relegated to the category of ‘undesirable’, regardless of any other benefits.
The RIG PRO Compact, as you may have gathered from its name, is on the smaller side of controllers, particularly when compared to Microsoft’s official Xbox product. This makes it a great choice for players with smaller hands, making uncomfortable stretching and reaching for the triggers a thing of the past. Players with larger hands will likely be less impressed though.
Another important thing to take note of is the RIG PRO Compact’s protruding lower trigger buttons. This design works well for players who hold the controller with their index and middle fingers hovering above the triggers. Those who prefer to generally just use their index fingers, sliding them up and down, may find it frustrating.
The PlayStation controllers which I have grown accustomed to are far more forgiving of this technique, and my recommendation is that players with a similar technique experiment by holding the RIG PRO Compact before purchasing it.
Finally, the controller is a wired product, which has a small but noticeable effect on feel. While the cord is robust and durable it is also somewhat weighty, adding a pulling sensation if not organised and stored in a neat fashion. This is only a minor inconvenience, but could be a factor for some players when weighing up all their options.
RIG PRO Compact build quality
The RIG PRO Compact is on the lighter side of controllers in terms of weight. Although in no way does this lightness come across as being indicative of ‘cheapness’; many players may prefer the lesser stress put on their wrists over the course of a gaming session.
The buttons and joysticks all feel nicely responsive, never contributing to a feeling of lag or a lack of precision. The joysticks are made from a semisoft plastic that, despite having the appearance of grip, aren’t particularly grippy. While less pleasing to my touch, I have a feeling that this material will contribute to the overall longevity of the product (watching my PS4 controller’s joysticks disintegrate certainly makes me open to trying something different).
The robust rope cord that I mentioned before appears remarkably strong and I would be surprised if doesn’t withstand the test of time. Long after the rest of the RIG PRO Compact has returned to the earth, I imagine that baby kicking back somewhere on a well-earned vacation. Probably with a margarita.
Features and Dolby Atmos
The RIG PRO Compact is the first controller ever to be bundled with Dolby Atmos (which we tested alongside a pair of RIG 500 PRO headphones). This wonderful program does a great job of expanding the spatial properties of sound sources; video games and films in particular. Essentially, it makes it sound like you are right there in the thick of the action. It’s a must have feature for next-gen gaming, and the fact that it comes bundled with this controller is a big bonus – if you don’t already have it through a different avenue, that is.
For gamers that are competitive in nature there is some suggestion that Dolby Atmos, or 3D sound in general, can contribute to improved performance. There’s probably something there, as the ability to clearly hear where a sound is coming from has obvious strategic advantages. But it’s also just really cool and immersive, and for my recommendation, that’s more than enough.
The RIG PRO Compact also comes with its own app that allows players to remap most of the controller’s buttons. This customisation is great for players looking to tweak sensitivity and create special control schemes for different games. It’s also a big plus if you prioritise using certain buttons over others.
No to mention accessibility. Having the ability to remap controls through an app bypasses the need for games or consoles themselves to have their own integrated remapping, which is an essential tool for gamers with certain disabilities.
Finally, the controller vibrates. No, it isn’t the DualSense – but its a nice feature that provides a solid jolt of immersion when you take damage or fall off a pesky cliff face. The vibration levels of the RIG PRO Compact can also be customised (within reason) in the controller’s app.
Verdict and value
The RIG PRO Compact is solid offering that is worth giving a go – with certain caveats. If you’ve got bigger than average hands, then this isn’t the controller for you. Similarly, if you prefer to only keep your index finger above the triggers then I strongly recommend trying the controller before purchasing it. Finally, if you want a wireless experience, then you best keep looking.
If those things aren’t applicable to you, then the RIG PRO Compact may well be the controller you’ve been waiting for.
The RIG PRO Compact is officially priced at $89.95 AUD; which when considering that it comes bundled with Dolby Atmos ($15 USD) and a useful customisation app, makes it a rather attractive offering.