The Thrustmaster Eswap Professional with its next-generation sticks put in is presumably one of many nicest controllers I’ve ever held, nearly value contemplating for our greatest PC controller information, and I’ve been gaming because the ‘80s. That mentioned, the steps you must take and the value you must pay to get to this state of potential nirvana—$180 for the bottom controller, $40 for the additional module pack—make it solely possible for the loopy or the wealthy. Or each.
Thrustmaster Eswap Professional Controller Specs
Compatibility: Home windows 10, PlayStation 5
Interface: USB 2.0
Cables: 2m micro USB
Equipment: Screwdriver, delicate bag
Dimensions: 228 x 76 x 194 mm
Weight: 385 g
Let’s begin with the fundamentals. The Eswap Professional is a controller whose components (besides the face buttons and bumpers) nestle in sockets, to allow them to be swapped out. Therefore the identify. On the backside of every socket is a magnet that holds the module in place, and they are often hot-swapped whereas the controller is related and lively. That magnet makes for a superb swapping expertise, because it snaps the brand new module into place with a optimistic snap that leaves you in little doubt that it’s related.
The thumbsticks could be pulled out along with your fingers, however the D-pad requires the providers of the small double-ended screwdriver that comes packed in with the controller. The 2 tiny screws—so tiny, the truth is, that I used to be stunned to not discover replacements within the field—maintain the triggers in place are the goal for the Phillips finish.
The unit we obtained for evaluation got here with a pack of additional modules in a brazen orange color, the D-pad and triggers nothing however beauty replacements, however the analogue sticks are the next-gen variants. And by next-gen, they actually imply it. The Eswap Professional is a licensed PlayStation controller, so the face buttons have the usual form symbols on them somewhat than Xbox’s ABXY. The sticks, by default in a side-by-side configuration, could be swapped to a extra Xbox-like place if that’s what you want.
The usual stick is stubby, with a concave textured high and a good quantity of resistance. The following-gen stick is taller, barely simpler to push but additionally extra desperate to return to its central place. You get a selection of concave or convex tops, however having the ability to roll your thumb across the rim of a convex tip, edging it gently away from upright, is unquestionably the easiest way to make use of a thumbstick. The following-gen tops are additionally barely bigger than the usual fashions, and this, mixed with the extra shaft size, make for a really premium expertise.
Elsewhere, nonetheless, issues aren’t as promising. Take the D-pad. No, please, take it away. Each the usual mannequin and the one within the add-on pack are unfastened, flimsy-feeling, and too skinny to get a good thumb-roll on when going for a fireball. Your thumb makes an excessive amount of contact with the plastic of the controller physique to get a extremely fluid movement.
Distinction with the Xbox Elite pad, the place the cross has developed right into a circle, and issues are evening and day. The DualSense, a extremely good pad in its personal proper, and the Xbox One pad each have thicker buttons right here, and are higher for sure video games in consequence. A round D-pad is obtainable within the Combating Pack of add-ons, however that’s simply extra expense on high of an already expensive controller.
The face buttons—those you may’t change—undergo an identical destiny. They’re clicky sufficient and don’t take a lot stress to backside out, however you may hear the spring beneath them, and so they transfer barely inside their sockets. They really feel a bit low-cost, principally, which isn’t what you need on a pad that prices twice as a lot as the usual Xbox One mannequin.
These tiny screws, as soon as eliminated, enable the triggers to be popped off, and a few packs of add-ons embrace prolonged triggers. In any other case, those within the orange pack I used to be supplied do nothing however change the color. That color, by the best way, fades significantly as soon as it’s utilized to the black controller. Taken out of the pack it actually dazzles, however as soon as socketed appears uninteresting. A fault of being barely translucent. You may plug your headset into the controller, and being a PlayStation mannequin there’s the small touchpad on the high too.
Beneath, there are 4 extra buttons that may be individually assigned to instructions utilizing the Thrustmapper software program. Or not less than that’s the concept. First, it triggered an alert in my browser that it couldn’t be downloaded securely, then when downloaded and put in, it didn’t work, throwing errors over each the names of latest profiles and the configuration of the controller, despite the fact that it had been put again into its default state.
The perfect configuration of this controller could be for the software program to work flawlessly and with each thumbsticks changed with the next-gen ones. This is able to push the price up much more, and for a pad that’s not even wi-fi, that’s a worth I think most individuals usually are not going to wish to pay. Not when there are such a lot of completely good controllers on the market for significantly much less. Our favorite pad, the Xbox Elite Sequence 2, is identical worth as the bottom mannequin of the Eswap and is in order that significantly better. Sadly, one thing that comes so near glory, has as a substitute been betrayed by its personal parts.