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GameSir Nova Lite, Review

When it comes to budget gaming controllers, the GameSir Nova Lite stands out as a pleasant surprise. While it may lack the flashy bells and whistles of its premium counterparts – there’s no RGB lighting, gyro motion controls or extra remappable buttons – it more than compensates with its reliability and sturdy build. This unassuming controller is not only wallet-friendly but also compatible with PC, Nintendo Switch, and mobile devices. Simplicity meets practicality and affordability, and that’s what we love here at Controller Nerds.

Design and Functionality

The GameSir Nova Lite is a budget-friendly gamepad that offers a limited set of features but makes up for it with its solid build quality. The design of the gamepad is simple, which is to be expected at this price point, but it still manages to impress with its overall look and feel. The back of the controller has textured grips that provide a comfortable and secure hold, allowing you to play for hours without feeling any discomfort – trust me, I’ve had controllers with fully smooth backs, and when your hands start sweating, it’s not great to hold. Textured grips are always appreciated.

gamesir nova lite grips

The buttons and modules are decent, with membrane face buttons and triggers that feel nice to press. However, the d-pad and bumpers are not as satisfying and feel slightly chunky. As a result, it may not be the best choice for games that rely heavily on the d-pad, such as fighting games or menu-heavy RPGs. Unless, of course, you like that kind of feel to them. Nonetheless, the Nova Lite provides a decent gaming experience.

One thing that sets the Nova Lite apart from other budget-friendly gamepads is its thumbsticks. They use Hall-sensing technology, which has become increasingly popular in third-party gamepads as it reduces the risk of stick drift. The thumbsticks are accurate and responsive, providing a great gaming experience, which is especially impressive given the controller’s low price tag.

How it Performs

The great thing about the GameSir Nova Lite is that you can use it straight out of the box on your PC or Xbox. It loads up on a PC as an Xbox controller, so you know it’ll be compatible with many games. But if you want to change things up a bit, there’s the rather handy function button, which we’ll get into in a bit.

The input lag is minimal, and the button presses register promptly. I tested it across various genres, from platformers to first-person shooters, and it held up admirably. The vibration feedback might disappoint some, but that can be adjusted slightly.

gamesir nova lite front

The main drawback of the GameSir Nova Lite is its battery life. When connected via 2.4GHz, the controller can last for around 10-11 hours on a full charge, which is in line with GameSir’s estimates. However, if you use Bluetooth connectivity with Nintendo Switch or mobile devices, you may be able to extend the battery life to up to 15 hours. It just needs charging more often than my Xbox controller, which is double the price – so I can’t complain too much!

I’m not a controller snob, though, so I felt that the performance was pretty great for my needs. Whether it was on Bluetooth or plugged in, I couldn’t notice any difference. The thumbsticks got the most use, and they feel great. Plus, there’s a little bit of comfort in feeling confident that there’ll be no drift. Other than the vibration feedback feeling different from my Xbox controller, they’re fairly comparable for my needs.

The Function Button

One of the most useful things you can do with the function button is adjust the controller’s vibration intensity. By holding down the function button and then pressing up or down on the d-pad, you can increase or decrease the intensity of the controller’s vibration. This is a great feature to have. It allows you to customise your gaming experience and make it more immersive.

Another feature of the function button is the ability to adjust each thumbstick’s dead zone. To do this, you simply hold down the function button, move the stick you want to adjust, and then release the button. This is a great feature for gamers who want more precise control over their games, as it allows you to fine-tune the sensitivity of the thumbsticks to your liking.

gamesir nova lite side

The function button can be used to switch the Nova Lite between PC/Xbox, Nintendo Switch, or Android compatibility. To do this, you simply hold down the function button and then press the Start and Select buttons simultaneously. However, it’s worth noting that this feature only works when the controller is connected via USB-C.

Conclusion

Overall, the GameSir Nova Lite is an impressive controller. Especially when you take into consideration the price. While its feature set is limited, its solid build quality and impressive thumbsticks make it a great choice for gamers on a budget. I’ve had controllers in this price point fall short, whether it’s in performance or being slightly too small. But the Nova Lite gets an awful lot right. And where it falls short of some others, you can look at the price difference. You’ll quickly realise this is quite impressive for what you pay for it.

If you’re wondering where the “Lite” part comes in, it’s because there is a “better” version. The GameSir Nova has RBG, better vibration and programmable buttons. All of which aren’t what I require in a controller. So, really, the Lite version is not “lite” to me. It’s the controller I want, and I think calling it “lite” is a bit of a disservice to what it accomplishes. At just £30, you can’t complain much. But if you want the extras, it’s just £10 more.

I know that I’ll be using this controller a lot with my PC, so I can save my Xbox controller for my actual Xbox. I rate the GameSir Nova Lite a brilliant 9/10.

We Score This Game

rating score: 9

Fantastic!

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