Nacon MG-X Pro controller review: "Too simple for its price point"

Nacon MG-X Pro controller
(Image: © Future)

GamesRadar+ Verdict

The Nacon MG-X Pro is a little too simple for its price point. Yes, you're getting a comfortable Xbox-style gamepad with a solid housing for your device, but at the expense of additional features regularly found on models at the same cost. With a soft button feel and wireless connection bleeding your phone battery dry, the market for the MG-X Pro is going to be a fairly small.


  • +

    Comfortable, ergonomic shape

  • +

    Secure housing for range of phone sizes

  • +

    Full Xbox-style layout


  • -

    Spongey button feel

  • -

    No passthrough charging

  • -

    No audio options

  • -

    Wireless connection only

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It's no secret that the world of mobile gaming has been turned on its head with the advent of Xbox Game Pass streaming. It's now possible to hold a wad of Triple-A titles in your back pocket (providing you've got the internet strength to stream them), and mobile controller specialists are jumping at this opportunity. The Nacon MG-X Pro is the latest gamepad to take aim at the iPhone market, an area usually sidelined in favor of the Android world. 

A successor to the previously released Android model, the iOS controller has some serious competition sitting within the same $99.99 / £99.99. We put the Xbox-styled clickers to the test over the course of two weeks, to see just where the MG-X Pro stands against the best mobile controllers on the shelves right now. 

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Nacon MG-X Pro Key Specs
Price$99.99 / £99.99
Form factorWraparound
Remappable buttonsNone
Additional buttonsHome, Menu, Options
Passthrough ChargingNone
SoftwareMG-X Series (limited)


Considering the Nacon MG-X Pro carries its own rechargeable battery under the hood, it's a relatively lightweight gamepad. I had no problem keeping this tucked away in a backpack without adding too much extra heft and that smaller 350g profile worked hard to remain comfortable during longer play sessions as well. Of course, that comfort was aided by the overall size of the pad itself. These large, chunky grips provided excellent ergonomics, remaining enjoyable for far longer than smaller wraparound devices typically designed for portability. This isn't a gamepad you'll be keeping in your pocket, but it's certainly treading an impressive line in its overall footprint. 

Nacon MG-X Pro controller

(Image credit: Future)

That lighter weight and the larger surface do, however, come at a sacrifice in build. It's easy to recognize that the Nacon MG-X Pro has been made with cheaper plastics in the construction, everything feels a little thin and hollow here, which is disappointing for a $100 / £100 device. However, I did appreciate the few notes of premium design that were present; the grippy texture running along the back of each leg certainly pulled its weight during more intense moments, while the rubber covering the main bridge section felt plush and safe for the iPhone 14 Plus I was using in testing. 

In the absence of a full port (you'll be connecting your iPhone wirelessly here, rather than plugging it directly into the gamepad), a small rest keeps your device snug in its housing and I never had any concerns about my own device slipping out. 

Nacon MG-X Pro face buttons

(Image credit: Future)

The actual buttons follow the same style of a traditional Xbox controller, with asymmetric thumbsticks, ABXY face clickers, a d-pad, and all the triggers and bumpers you'd need. I did notice that this ABXY array felt a little larger than other models with smaller footprints. That's great if you're after a mobile controller for a set of larger hands, but combined with a soft (verging on mushy) landing coupled with a slightly sticky actuation, they didn't quite feel worthy of a $100 / £100 investment under the thumb. 


There's no easy way to get around it, the Nacon MG-X Pro is a basic controller. You're picking up Xbox-style buttons for use with your iPhone streaming antics and that's about it. There is an app associated with the controller, but at the time of writing, you'll only be using it to update the firmware. Other advertised features (like the ability to view games compatible with the pad and thumbstick calibration) are still listed as 'coming soon'. 

Nacon software

(Image credit: Nacon)

If you're after a simple vehicle for your Game Pass streaming or Apple Arcade endeavors, you'll be happy enough with the MG-X Pro. However, considering both the Razer Kishi V2 and Backbone One comes in at the same price with vastly enhanced feature lists, there's some disappointment here. Because there's no connection to your phone, you're missing out on passthrough charging and 3.5mm audio connections - vital pieces of kit if you're going to be playing beyond your phone's gaming battery life or using a gaming headset. 

That's a heavy caveat - even the best gaming phones can't run Xbox Game Pass streaming for hours on end. Having to recharge my phone between sessions (and being left with a dead device after a few hours of gameplay) was a frustration in my MG-X Pro testing that simply didn't exist in my time with the models listed above. Add in the fact that you'll be using up valuable power for wireless headphones or earbuds and you'll only be running this device for a few hours at a time. 


The Nacon MG-X Pro is decent, if you're after a decent experience. It trucked along a tour of Game Pass admirably, offering low-latency controls and a comfortable experience overall. However, for $99.99 / £99.99 I was expecting more from the overall button feel, especially when facing competition from Razer and Backbone. 

Nacon MG-X Pro back

(Image credit: Future)

The D-Pad, for example, while easily actuated (unlike many a sticky budget controller I've had my hands on), was a little spongey to truly feel tactile. Similarly, the aforementioned mushiness of the face buttons kept things from feeling snappy though things remained responsive throughout my testing. It was in the triggers, however, that I found the most frustration. 

These feel like particularly deep triggers, with a whole load of travel distance to journey before actuating. That meant my time with twitch-based shooters like Doom Eternal was cut short, these clickers are just too cumbersome to keep you nimble on the battlefield. I found the same frustrations even in slower moments of Halo: Infinite - if you're after a mobile controller for shooter or action titles, the Nacon MG-X Pro isn't the one. With all that said, though, these larger triggers did come in handy for Forza Horizon 5 excursions, offering an additional level of control over acceleration that I don't usually find in shorter triggers. 

Should you buy the Nacon MG-X Pro controller?

Nacon MG-X Pro

(Image credit: Future)

The Nacon MG-X Pro is a solid gamepad, but it's simplicity lets it down at its $99.99 / £99.99 price point. While the button feel leaves plenty to be desired, anyone after a basic set of Xbox clickers for Game Pass streaming will still feel right at home. Not only that, but the larger form factor means it's far more comfortable than the competition over long sessions. If you're prioritizing comfort over additional features, then, this is the model for you. 

However, there's plenty more value to be found elsewhere. The Razer Kishi V2 and Backbone One both sit at the exact same price point Nacon inhabits, and do far more for the cash. Razer's wraparound option, for example, offers a far superior software to keep all your compatible titles to hand and customize button mapping (including the two additional programmable buttons next to the bumpers). On top of that you'll find a snappier button feel with those microswitch buttons as well. 

If you're after an iPhone-first experience (the Kishi V2 ships in both Android and iOS models) the Backbone One is our top recommendation. With a console-like software that brings all your games together, as well as excellent additional features like passthrough charging and 3.5mm audio out, there's plenty to love here. If you're less enthused about Xbox, you'll also find a PlayStation model up for grabs as well. 

How we tested the Nacon MG-X Pro

I used the Nacon MG-X Pro for two weeks, testing performance across a range of Xbox Game Pass titles and Apple Arcade games. In that time, I primarily tested using Doom Eternal, Forza Horizon 5, Halo: Infinite and Ghost Song, running the controller for between an hour and five hours at a time. For more information on how we test controllers, check out the full GamesRadar+ Hardware Policy

We're also keeping you on top of all the latest PC controllers, and making sure you're playing with the best Xbox Series X controllers and the best PS5 controllers as well. 

More info

Available platformsHardware, iPhone
Tabitha Baker
Managing Editor - Hardware

Managing Editor of Hardware at GamesRadar+, I originally landed in hardware at our sister site TechRadar before moving over to GamesRadar. In between, I've written for Tom’s Guide, Wireframe, The Indie Game Website and That Video Game Blog, covering everything from the PS5 launch to the Apple Pencil. Now, i'm focused on Nintendo Switch, gaming laptops (and the keyboards and mice that come with them), and tracking everything that suggests VR is about to take over our lives.