This article was originally written by me for BooredAtWork.com which can be seen here. I am reposting this with consent from Boored At Work.
The ThrustMaster ESWAP X Pro Controller is ThrustMaster’s entry into the Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One “elite” controller realm. It is a wired customizable controller which offers the kind of mappable button and swappable thumb stick functionality that you would expect to see in any Xbox Elite Controller competitor. However, the ThrustMaster ESWAP X Pro Controller goes beyond that and also offers more flexibility in how you arrange your D-Pad and thumb sticks.
For a quick look, you can see Thunder E’s earlier coverage here…
Now, we will go in-depth into the ThrustMaster ESWAP X Pro Controller for the Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC to see what makes it special.
Build and Features
The ThrustMaster ESWAP X Pro Controller comes with removable braided cabling, a pair of concave thumb sticks, a pair of domed thumb sticks, a trigger and D-pad removal tool, and a carrying sack. If you are wondering why you would ever want to remove the triggers, the answer comes in the form of the optional ESWAP X Color Packs. If you are looking to further personalize your ThrustMaster ESWAP X Pro Controller, you can opt to purchase either the blue or green ESWAP X Color Packs. Each pack comes with its own color variants of palm grips, triggers, D-pad, and thumb stick arrangements.
At a glance, the ThrustMaster ESWAP X Pro Controller sports a solid build. Each of the thumb stick variants feature rubberized surfaces that thumbs can easily maintain a grip on. The action buttons and bumpers have a nice presence to them, being responsive, accessible, and enjoyable to press. The triggers are also satisfying to pull, having just the right amount of resistance to them. Staying in line with features seen in today’s “Elite” Xbox controllers, this controller also features a dedicated sharing button, hair trigger switches, and four mappable buttons on the back.
Along the bottom, you have buttons for controlling wired headsets that are plugged into the ThrustMaster ESWAP X Pro Controller’s 3.5mm jack. You are able to control headset volume, mic muting, button mapping and controller profile swapping.
I particularly like the execution of the D-pad here. It pops out like a traditional plus-signed directional pad while having protrusions that mimic the kind of segmented D-pad seen in PlayStation controllers. It is like having the best of both worlds.
ThrustMaster makes moving and swapping controller parts very simple, with and without the included tool. The D-pad and analog sticks are situated in pods that can be easily popped in and out as needed. The analog stick tops twist on and off, allowing you to employ any arrangement of thumb surface options that you choose.
The D-pad, removable via the included tool, can be placed in either of the left slots. Whether you prefer a traditional Xbox analog stick layout or a parallel PlayStation analog arrangement, the ThrustMaster ESWAP X Pro Controller supports both.
Should you additionally purchase either the ESWAP X Blue Color Pack or the ESWAP X Green Color Pack, changing the parts are just as easy. The D-pad removal tool features a screw end that is used for replacing the triggers. The palm rests are magnetic and can be easily popped on and off.
As far as comfort goes, the ThrustMaster ESWAP X Pro Controller handles very well. There was little to no learning curve when developing muscle memory for this controller. Controls are snappy and satisfying. The controller’s threaded cabling offers good resistance against cabling snagging, as you should expect from any wired peripheral. The default palm rests sport a plastic-like texture that is cool to the touch, while still maintaining a non-slick grip, even in long playing sessions.
Offering color swap kits for this controller is a nice touch. They give you the chance to add some flair to your controller while also offering handy part replacements. Although, I would have liked if the ESWAP X Color Packs offered a different grip option than what they come with. The surfaces of the color pack palm rests sport smooth rubber surfacing and do a good job at ramping up the overall style and pop of the controller. I just felt that a more texturized rubber surface would have been in order, just to offer more texture contrast to the out-of-the-box grips. That said, the ESWAP X Color Pack grips are still plenty comfortable to handle.
The modular aspect of the ThrustMaster ESWAP X Pro Controller does more than offer you physical customization options. It vastly increases the lifespan of the product and saves you money down the road. While the various components of the ThrustMaster ESWAP X Pro Controller are rated by ThrustMaster to last you up to 2-million-plus activations, we all know wear and tear will happen. Consider the cases where the analog sticks on worn controllers led to in-game drifting, whether it be movement or aiming. Usually that meant either a visit to your controller’s analog dead zone settings, or a visit to the store to get another controller. Here, the design of the ThrustMaster ESWAP X Pro Controller allows you to simply plop out your problematic analog stick or D-pad mod and replace it with another. Just like that, your controller has new life, without having to cough up $60+.
Performance and Final Thoughts
The ThrustMaster ESWAP X Pro Controller handled more than well in my day-to-day gaming scenarios. As far as first-person shooters went, I dove right into games with practically no adjustment necessary. My standard layout, whenever I played with my Xbox Elite Wireless Controllers (Series 1 and 2), was a domed left thumb stick, a concaved right thumb stick, and both hair trigger locks engaged. The controller comfortably took me through Destiny 2 crucible matches and Apex Legend rounds.
Snap shots with my new favorite Destiny 2 hand cannon, the Steady Hand, felt second nature.
Picking off people with the 30-30 Repeater or mopping them up with the R301 in Apex Legends felt just as nice.
Loving fighting games as much as I do, as well as being hyped for the new King of Fighters XV, I jumped into King of Fighters XIII. Once I saw it on Xbox Game Pass, it was a no-brainer test for the ThrustMaster ESWAP X Pro Controller’s D-Pad. Combos and Max Cancel supers were simply easy to execute.
This D-pad is easily one of the best D-pads I have handled for fighting games on the Xbox One and beyond.
If you need to do some button mapping or fine tuning of sensitivities or dead zones in your thumb sticks and triggers, the ThrustMapperX software has you covered. ThrustMapperX is ThrustMaster’s own free software for customizing various controller behaviors. It is installable on Windows 10, Xbox Series X|S, or the Xbox One. The software itself is pretty intuitive and easy to finagle. You have visual and tangible feedback aids, showing you the results of your tweaks as you customize your very own controller profiles.
The ThrustMaster ESWAP X Pro Controller is not just a great Xbox controller with cosmetic options. It is a long-term investment that is bound to effectively handle your Xbox controller needs for years to come. Broken or drifty analog stick? Just spent $20 and swap the problem out. The controller offers you a feature set that easily validates its price point. For $159.99, the ThrustMaster ESWAP X Pro Controller is a solid purchase for the Xbox One family of consoles that you should definitely check out.
† As usual, there are no affiliate links contained within this post. We were provided a ThrustMaster ESWAP X Pro Controller for the Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S for review purposes and were not compensated for this review.