Gaming controllers these days have gotten just as diverse as keyboard and mouse combos, with the RIG Pro Compact controller being one of the most recent options you can pick up.
RIG, a brand under Nacon which is well-known for its lineup of gaming peripherals, had a vision for a controller that was dedicated to delivering the best possible experience for high level play. Whether you’re into Esports and a rising star, or just someone who likes to play in competitive match types, the RIG Pro Compact is meant for you.
But just because it’s meant for you doesn’t mean it’s right for you. There are a lot of factors that come into play when deciding on a controller. Is it wired? Wireless? Does it have button mapping? What platforms is it designed for? These are all things worth considering when looking at any controller. Including the RIG Pro Compact.
In this review we’ll break down the strengths and weaknesses of this controller. That way you can decide if it’s a right fit.
The RIG Pro Compact is designed for small hands
Let’s get this out of the way first because I feel it’s probably the most important variable to consider. As the name suggests, this is a controller that is designed for small hands. That doesn’t mean you can’t use it if you have larger hands. But because it was designed to be smaller it might feel a little bit too small to you.
For me personally, I don’t prefer this size of controller. I thought I would get used to it even after playing with it for a couple of weeks. As I assumed it only initially felt too small due to my constant use of larger controllers like the DualSense and Xbox Wireless controllers.
That isn’t the case though. So keep this in mind if you plan to buy the RIG Pro Compact. Because there are some great reasons to pick it up. One noteworthy benefit of it is that it makes it easier to use your pointer and index fingers to hit both the left and right triggers and bumpers. Instead of using just one finger for each set.
Having said all of that, even though the controller is on the smaller side, that’s also a strength. Its smaller size means it will weigh less. Which should mean less fatigue if you plan to hunker down for a good long session. That’s especially important I think if you play a lot of competitive modes.
Dolby Atmos is really the star here, so use it
While there’s quite a few things about the RIG Pro Compact that are attention grabbing, the real star of the show is the Dolby Atmos support. This is the first gaming controller to provide Dolby Atmos. And what’s more is that comes with a lifetime license.
For this to work, you need to plug in a pair of headphones to the controller’s 3.5mm audio port.
However, there are some important distinctions to make here. If you want Dolby Atmos without having to use a specialized headset, then you need to use this controller. The beauty of that though is that you can plug in any old headset.
Even a cheap pair of earbuds or over-ear headphones. As long as it’s wired and uses a 3.5mm audio jack, it’ll work when plugged into the RIG Pro Compact. Since this comes with a lifetime Dolby Atmos license though, you can use wireless headsets. If that headset has Dolby Atmos support.
One more thing you’ll need is the Dolby Access app for Windows 10 PCs or the Xbox Series X / S. The license can be transferred as well. Say you have a friend that wants to use this controller. They can plug it into their own PC or Xbox console, then plug in a headset and experience Dolby Atmos if they have the app installed. Which is a pretty nice touch.
If you’ve never experienced Dolby Atmos before, it’s worth it. Because it makes a HUGE difference for the audio in games. Which leads to a much more immersive and enjoyable experience.
No PlayStation support is a tad disappointing
The main drawback for me, is that the RIG Pro Compact doesn’t support the PlayStation platform. So you can’t use it with the PS4 or the PS5. Now in most cases I would probably still use the DualSense controller. Especially with its advanced features. And because I prefer wireless controllers.
But there are instances where a wired controller would be beneficial. Namely for the lower latency of the button inputs. Unfortunately, if you primarily play games on either the PS4 or the PS5, this controller won’t be an option for you.
As it will only work with the Xbox Series X / S, Xbox One, or Windows 10 PCs. The good news is that it works with all three of those. Even though I don’t own an Xbox anymore, I was still able to enjoy this controller’s features by plugging it into my PC for games.
And even though I would like the controller to be slightly larger, the addition of Dolby Atmos support and things like the textured hand grips made for some fun game time. Particularly the textured hand grips, as they helped when my hands would get a little sweaty. Which happens more often than I care to admit due to how hot it gets here.
All that said, if you don’t own a PlayStation, this won’t matter to you.
Play lag-free thanks to the super long cable
There’s nothing worse than getting some input lag right at the most crucial moments of your game time. Maybe you’re right in the middle of a fire fight with the enemy team, or maybe you’re trying to escape a particularly dangerous situation. Either way, having lag input during moments like these can put you exactly where you don’t want to be – your character being dead.
You shouldn’t have that issue with the RIG Pro Compact. Because it was designed to provide a lag-free gaming experience. And with its super long cable the controller can even stretch across the room. Lots of controller cables are around 6 feet. So you can be limited in how far it stretches. Which is totally fine if you sit a little closer to the console or PC the controller is plugged into.
But if you’re sitting across the living room on the couch, depending on how big the room is 6 feet may not be enough. The RIG Pro Compact cable is 9.8 feet long. Which is likely plenty long enough for most setups.
The cable also feels heavy duty and it’s braided. Meaning I didn’t have to worry about any wear and tear from dragging across the floor or the edges of my desk or TV stand.
The buttons have a nice tactile feel but can be a bit spongey at times
Overall the controller buttons feel great, but during longer sessions of use repeated pressing of the buttons made them feel a tiny bit spongey to me.
This didn’t make a huge impact on the gaming experience. But the buttons didn’t feel quite as good as they do when you begin a gaming session. This could have just been my controller. And it’s also possible that it’s just my perspective after playing for a few hours.
However, I don’t get this feeling when using controllers like the Xbox Wireless Controller or the DualSense or the DualShock 4. So it’s worth keeping this in mind. The good thing I don’t think the controller buttons have a real issue.
And the way they feel may just be my own personal preference. I want to reiterate though that the buttons work great and I never once had issues with them relaying my presses to any games I played.
Don’t forget to check out the controller customization
One of the main features of this controller aside from the Dolby Atmos for headphones is the customization. This includes the button mapping, but also includes the ability to customize the sensitivity of the left and right thumb sticks.
There are presets for certain types of games too, like racing titles, FPS games for most weapons, FPS games with a sniper and so on. You may not need to change anything at all. And I would honestly recommend you try things out with the controller defaults. As you may find that you like these just fine.
But after a few games if things are feeling like they could be improved, then this is your next step. To customize the controller you need the Pro Compact app, which can be downloaded from the Microsoft Store on either Windows or the Xbox.
This app is also how you update the controller and reset things to default. While I generally don’t remap buttons on my controllers, having the ability is going to be a major benefit for many players. If you enjoy this kind of advantage, the RIG Pro Compact delivers.
Should I buy the RIG Pro Compact controller?
That depends. As I noted earlier in the review this is a controller that was designed for small hands. And for those users it’s perfect. Or at the very least near perfect. Everything feels good and because of the smaller size, there’s less travel for your fingers between buttons and the controller isn’t too weighty.
But you may not like the wired setup. Even though the reason for it is the lag-free input. Which is likely going to be better for official competitions or regular competitive gameplay. I think if you don’t have a problem with wired controllers though, this controller is a steal at $50.
For the Dolby Atmos support and lifetime license alone this is a great option. So, the RIG Pro Compact won’t be the best option for everyone, but it’s definitely an awesome controller worth the price. And you should buy it if you play on Xbox or PC.