Peripherals

Thrustmaster eSwap Pro Controller Review

Performance

There are four face buttons, as you would expect. However, they have mechanical micro switches giving them a light click. Seriously, why isn’t this the default? These switches are amazing! They’re not even noisy, it’s more like a light mouse click, but the impact it has is pretty drastic.

Tired of the stick you’re using or simply need to move it? No problem, pull that sucker outta there!

That’s it, just lift it right out.

It uses a pin system so it is fully hot swappable, and a strong magnet will snap it back into place when dropped into the controller.

Of course, the sticks and the D-PAD all use the exact same mount, so you can simply remove and then move them around too.

You can pull the D-PAD out with your fingers, but it’s a bit tricky. Fortunately, the mini tool they included does the job in a second.

Stripped out and ready to customise!

Wait, you can do WHAT with it? I know it looks stupid, but this really does work. Pretty crazy!

The side grips are magnetic too, so give them a firm pull and they’ll pop off.

They’re pretty robust too, so I can’t see them wearing out any time soon, but you can also customise them.

Let’s hook up the cable and… no wait, WAIT!

Let’s play with this lot first. In the box, you’ll find new drop in modules for the analogue sticks and the D-PAD. There are new side grips, new triggers, and a set of dome heads.

It’s all magnetic too, so just pull out the old, drop in the new, and you’re good to go.

The trigger covers are fitted with a small screw on the bottom, but as you can see above, the multi-tool is included and will get the job done.

Doesn’t it look fantastic! Other colours and themes are available, so I’m sure you’ll find something you like.

Hook up the USB and the LED kit comes to life. It’s nice to see something that’s a fixed colour too. Everything is RGB these days, but somehow this just feels right. Of course, PlayStation and blue always go together well anyway.

This controller is aesthetically pleasing, but more importantly, it’s built to compete. Being able to change the stick layout is great, as you can have a more Xbox style configuration to suit your play style. It’s a shame that the face buttons aren’t on a similar module though, as moving them to make a lefty controller would have been fun. However, they are by far the nicest buttons I’ve used on a controller, and they’re exceptionally responsive with a good tactile feedback; perfect for fighting games!

The D-Pad has a similar clicky feet to it, albeit it’s still got a nice flowing rocking motion to it, rather than just being a four way switch. Again, it just feels better and more responsive than a stock one. It should be said, the LED kit and the one that came pre-installed in the controller all feel the same, it’s purely an aesthetics thing.

As for the sticks, they’re completely custom, and I can certainly feel the difference. The sticks are really smooth and feel a lot more linear than Sony’s effort. There’s certainly no issue with drift here! Plus, they’re utterly customizable via the software.

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Peter Donnell

As a child still in my 30's (but not for long), I spend my day combining my love of music and movies with a life-long passion for gaming, from arcade classics and retro consoles to the latest high-end PC and console games. So it's no wonder I write about tech and test the latest hardware while I enjoy my hobbies!

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