Thrustmaster eSwap XR Professional Controller assessment: Modular motorsporting

The Thrustmaster eSwap XR is a PC and Xbox controller in contrast to any that we have seen earlier than. After catching a glimpse of it, we have been so curious that we could not resist getting it in for testing.

It has a hot-swappable modular design, similar to the model’s previous eSwap controllers, however this time there is a new module. It is a tiny racing wheel in your thumb, and it is designed to bridge the hole between racing on a controller and utilizing a full-blown sim rig.


This controller can also be made in partnership with Forza Horizon 5, which implies we get a daring paint job that followers of the collection are positive to like.

The query is, how does it carry out? and is it value your hard-earned money? We have been making an attempt it out.


Thrustmaster eSwap XR Professional Controller

The Thrustmaster eSwap XR is totally distinctive controller. Not solely does it supply the flexibility to swap your controls round to go well with the sport that you simply’re enjoying, however it additionally provides a novel new technique to play racing video games.


  • Intelligent modular design
  • Useful racing wheel
  • Mechanical face buttons
  • Elevated longevity on account of replaceable sticks
  • Straightforward set-up and mapping

  • It’s extremely expensive
  • No wi-fi choice


  • Dimensions: 160 x 120 x 60mm
  • Weight: 324 grams
  • Forza Horizon 5 particular version colourway

The eSwap XR, in its signature Forza Horizon 5 livery, goes to be a love-it or hate-it kinda factor. It is a daring color mixture of largely white, pink and black, and it’s miles from refined. We’re fairly into it, however we are able to equally think about individuals craving a barely extra grown-up aesthetic – particularly at such a premium worth level.

Thrustmaster eSwap XR Pro Controller (3)-1

On the plus aspect, although, the modular design means that you could go for considered one of Thrustmasters’ extra conventional designs, just like the all-black eSwap X Pro, and easily add the racing wheel, which is available separately for round $45.

The controller is of a very good measurement, with longer palm grips than the usual Microsoft controller, which makes it very comfy for prolonged play classes. We must always be aware that we’ve pretty giant arms, although, so with smaller arms, you may need a unique expertise.

It has a strong development, with no audible creaking from the plastics whenever you grip it tightly and no rattle whenever you shake it about. That is particularly spectacular contemplating the quantity of elements which are held into place by magnets, Thrustmaster has finished an awesome job making this factor really feel strong within the arms.

Thrustmaster eSwap XR Pro Controller (17)

The end does not really feel particularly premium, although, the plastics are easy and untextured, placing it a step behind controllers just like the Xbox Elite Series 2 – which could be discovered for much less cash.

Nonetheless, there are some premium touches, the joysticks have metallic posts, for instance – which isn’t one thing that you simply see on cheaper controllers.

It is a wired controller and the cable is detachable. It has a braided cable with a 3-metre size, which makes it lengthy sufficient for sofa gaming within the majority of situations. It locks into place with a proprietary latching system, and it is a typical micro USB connector beneath the latch. USB-C would have made issues really feel a contact extra trendy, however it’s not one thing that issues in use.


  • Modules included: 2x joysticks, 1x D-pad, 1x racing wheel
  • The grips, triggers and energy cable are additionally modular
  • Screwdriver and module storage bag included

The headline function of Thrustmasters’ eSwap controllers is the modular hot-swap system. It is a very intelligent thought, permitting you to change up your gamepad to go well with the type of recreation that you simply’re enjoying.

Thrustmaster eSwap XR Pro Controller (13)

We had our reservations stepping into, we assumed it might really feel much less sturdy than an everyday controller, and imagined some annoying configuration can be required each time you swap, however that was not the case.

As we have already talked about, the controller feels reassuringly sturdy, with no rattling or motion from the modules as soon as they’re snapped into place. They’re straightforward to take away, too, aside from the D-pad, which has much less to seize onto. Thrustmaster has thought of this, although, and features a helpful software that can assist you take away it.

As soon as you’ve got swapped the format round, there’s nothing else that it’s good to do, it simply works – it is a actually spectacular system. The one means it might be improved can be so as to add modularity to the face buttons (A, B, X, Y) as at the moment, their place is fastened.

Thrustmaster eSwap XR Pro Controller (15)

There’s extra to this modularity than simply the joysticks and D-pad, too. You possibly can swap the grips on the aspect simply as simply, they’re merely held in by magnets, and you may even swap the triggers out – though that may require a screwdriver.

Software program

  • ThrustmapperX Software program for Home windows and Xbox
  • Button mapping and vibration changes
  • Stick, wheel and set off calibration

Thrustmaster offers configuration software program that’s accessible by means of the Microsoft Retailer on PC, Xbox Sequence X/S and Xbox One. It is known as ThrustmapperX, and because the identify suggests, it permits you to remap nearly all the buttons on the controller, ought to it’s good to.

ThrustmapperX software

There’s additionally very in-depth customisation for the sensitivity of the triggers, joysticks, wheel and vibration motors. It even permits you to set sensitivity curves to essentially dial within the stick really feel.

We have primarily been testing on PC, as that is the place we do most of our gaming, and we have not run into any points with the software program thus far. Regardless of the depth of the customisation, the interface is pretty intuitive and all the pieces appears to be working because it ought to.

It is value noting that you could bypass the software program completely in case you desire. On our Home windows 10 gaming rig, it was plug-and-play, the controller was immediately recognised and labored similar to a wired Xbox pad. For the total expertise, although, you will need to get it put in.


  • Wired connectivity for Xbox and PC
  • Racing wheel management
  • Mechanical button switches

We discovered the Thrustmaster eSwap XR could be very straightforward to familiarize yourself with, it is extraordinarily comfy within the hand and the buttons are precisely the place you’d count on them to be – except you select to maneuver them, in fact.

Thrustmaster eSwap XR Pro Controller (18)

We’re very keen on the joysticks, they’ve simply the correct quantity of rigidity and really feel very easy. Corridor sensors would have been good to see, however that is nonetheless a rarity and who is aware of if such a design would match into the modular housings.

The mechanical face buttons have a pleasant tactile click on to them and a really quick throw, this makes actuation extraordinarily fast. We’re used to the clicky switches, due to controllers just like the Razer Wolverine Event Version, however that has an analogous throw to Microsoft’s pads, whereas that is far more shallow – and it feels fairly totally different.

The D-pad is first rate, however it’s a bit of extra mushy than the face buttons, and nothing to get too enthusiastic about. What’s extra thrilling, is the headline function, the mini racing wheel.

Thrustmaster eSwap XR Pro Controller (10)

We have been a bit of afraid that this was going to show to be a gimmick, however it truly does add one thing to the in-game driving expertise. We would be mendacity if we mentioned it made us any faster in Forza, however extra exact? Maybe.

It looks like there is a smaller useless zone than when utilizing the joystick, which implies you can also make micro-adjustments with smaller actions of your thumb. Plus, it simply feels one notch nearer to driving with a wheel, which is fairly neat.

The draw back is that we discovered it extra fatiguing to play with the wheel than with the joystick. This may simply be all the way down to half a lifetime of enjoying with joysticks, however within the week or in order that we have been testing it undoubtedly makes our thumb extra drained than utilizing the stick.

Thrustmaster eSwap XR Pro Controller (19)

We discovered that the wheel was most comfy within the decrease left-hand slot, the place the D-pad would usually be on an Xbox controller. It really works properly within the higher slot, too, however there it feels most pure to pinch the wheel together with your forefinger and thumb, which was an excessive amount of for us to get used to.

One among our favorite features of the modular design is that, in case you can handle with no D-pad, you may have each the joystick and the wheel related. That is nice for hybrid video games like GTA V the place you’ve a mix of on-foot fight and driving – as you may simply swap to the management that fits the scenario.


We have actually loved enjoying with the Thrustmaster eSwap XR Professional Controller. It is good to see a controller that is making an attempt one thing progressive amidst a sea of choices touting comparable options.

The racing wheel module works higher than we had anticipated, and whereas it is not going to interchange a correct wheel anytime quickly, it does supply a pleasant center floor that does not take up wherever close to as a lot room.

The sticking level is the worth. At an MSRP of $179.99 / €199.99 / £179.99, there is not any denying that it is a hefty sum of cash for a gamepad, particularly a wired one. For that worth, we might count on close to perfection, and to not see issues like a micro USB connection and a slightly-mushy D-pad.

Nonetheless, if the worth does not maintain you again, the eSwap XR affords a gamepad-based driving expertise like no different. If you do not have room for a full-on racing wheel, that is the following neatest thing.

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