If you are looking to take your Xbox and PC gaming to the next level the Thrustmaster eSwap X Pro Wired Controller is a worthy candidate. It offers a very unique modular design that allows players to physically remove thumb sticks and the d-pad for unprecedented customization. Players can reconfigure the controller as they see fit, even shifting 2 joysticks to the one side of the layout. Thrustmaster’s T-MOD technology and Hot Swap feature lets you seamlessly adapt your style of play on the fly. From next-generation (NXG) mini-sticks to action buttons with low response time all these features add up to one excellent controller. Let’s explore the eSwap X Pro Controller’s features from top to bottom and put the hardware through its paces.
eSwap X’s premium presentation
While unboxing the controller I found the packaging and presentation excellent, it’s a premium product right from the very start. Magnetic tabs hold the lid closed and all the components are encased in a high-density foam. As a gamer, I really appreciate these extra steps, especially when they are protecting a high-end controller’s components such as the joystick and buttons. Accessing everything straight out of the box was quick and easy, I was ready to get to gaming in minutes.
The full package includes the eSwap controller, instruction manual, convex thumb stick options, soft cloth carrying bag, screwdriver and braided micro-USB connection cable.
The eSwap controller’s features
The controller itself has a great solid feel in your hands, its footprint is a little bigger than a standard Xbox Wireless Controller. One major difference is the controller’s wings, where you grip the controller. On the eSwap X they are much thinner and as a result, I found it more comfortable to hold. The remote comes with 2 swappable joysticks and d-pad letting you customize the physical layout. On the back of the controller, you get four programmable buttons that can be remapped. The textured triggers also have a mechanical stop that drastically reduces input delay.
The 3.5mm jack area of the controller has 6 handy buttons that streamline a lot of functions that would usually require access to the Xbox guide. They control microphone mute, volume up + down and 3 total for remapping and player profiles.
eSwap X Pro’s performance
The eSwap X felt great in my hands but it is a heavier controller than the stock Xbox remote. I found this contributed to the overall solid feel and strong build quality, but it is hefty controller. If you have smaller hands, you might find the remote harder to use, but players with larger hands will feel right at home. The face of the controller is slightly larger than a standard remote with taller thumb sticks. I found my hands felt more spread apart with the eSwap Pro but it was still a very comfortable experience. The A, B, X and Y buttons are excellent and extremely responsive feeling springier than the standard Xbox remote. I found after extended use I really came to prefer the eSwap’s buttons as they were far more responsive and offered more tactile feedback with a light click.
The one aspect of the remote that is oddly placed is the share button at the very top of the controller. I am constantly sharing pictures and video, I found accessing the share button very awkward. To be fair this could be remapped, but it would take away a button slot on the back of the controller. If the share button on the eSwap lived in the centre of the remote it would be ideal. Another thing to note is the fact this is a fully wired controller.
The controller’s biggest feature, the 2 swappable modular thumb sticks and D-pad are excellent and perform extremely well. Exchanging the modules is fast and easy with only the D-pad requiring the included tool in order to swap. Before going “hands-on” with the controller I was worried that the exchangeable parts would be loose or non-responsive. I am happy to report after dozens of hours with the remote the hot-swappable design works perfectly. Once I moved the parts, they stay firmly seated and don’t move at all during gameplay. I was able to remove and re-add parts during a game and it worked perfectly.
The eSwap offers a whole new level of control
An advantage to this system is you can really experiment with configurations or mimic other controller’s layouts. For example, if you are a multi-platform gamer and want symmetrical thumb sticks like the PlayStation 5 DualSense you can easily swap thumb sticks to make it happen. If you are a fan of 2D fighters you can swap the D-pad to the top left slot for even greater accessibility. Having these options, with this level of quality is pretty incredible and can really help to enhance your gaming experience.
Precision control from front to back
The bottom and back of the controller offer even more customization options with remappable buttons and customizable triggers. The four buttons on the back of the controller are placed well and are small enough to avoid being accidentally pressed. You can assign these buttons new functions to better suit your playstyle.
The triggers can also be adjusted to have less pressure added to register a button press. This is achieved by limiting the travel length of a trigger squeeze. Using this customization creates a much faster response time in situations that require quick reflexes. Players can adjust this on the back of the controller easily with two switches, requiring no tools for on-the-fly adjustments. If you are big fan of action and first-person shooter games, you will really enjoy this feature, it’s a game changer.
Final thoughts on the Thrustmaster eSwap X Pro Controller
Overall, I really enjoyed my time with the eSwap X Pro controller. It brings a lot of versatility and ingenuity to the table. The fact that you can hot swap thumb sticks and the d-pad really gives it an edge. The onboard volume controls are also a testament to Thrustmaster’s commitment to use every inch of the controller in a functional way. The drawbacks of the controller come from its wired connection, odd placement of the share button and use of micro-USB. If you can look past these minor issues, the controller offers excellent quality, unmatched modification options and a rock-solid design.
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