Controllers designed for eSports have been around for a while now but Scuf Gaming popularized them for regular consumers. Since then many companies, including Microsoft, have launched their own iterations. However, we believe that the Xbox Elite Controller is by far the best option out there for gamers looking for increased precision and more durability. Is there another controller that beats Microsoft’s offering though? Razer recently unveiled the Razer Wolverine Ultimate Controller for Xbox One and PC. Not only does it contain a lot of options, but it also provides added flair due to a series of ever-changing lights at the top.
The Razer Wolverine Ultimate Controller features a black hard plastic body with many of the same options as the Xbox Elite Controller. It doesn’t have as much of a rubberized feel. You can change your thumbsticks, D-pad, and hair triggers. However, the biggest change — for the better — is the placement of the additional buttons at the top and back of the controller. There are six more buttons you can customize using Razer Synapse for Xbox. Unlike the Xbox Elite Controller, you don’t accidentally press them at any given time and the controller is comfortable to hold. You won’t have to hold it around the edges to prevent accidental paddles presses. It makes you wish Microsoft implemented a similar design for their product.
One of the main differences between the Razer Wolverine Ultimate Controller and others out there has to be the presence of two button on the back which engage agility or precision mode. Let’s say you want to quickly change direction, then you hold down the agility button and quickly make a turn. Once you let go the controls revert to your standard configuration. This same principle applies to precision mode as well. If you’re playing a multiplayer shooter and slowly want to track a target that’s far away, then engage it until you don’t need to anymore. The Xbox Elite Controller somewhat does this if you change the controller configuration quickly back and forth but it’s not ideal. This implementation gives you a competitive edge especially in titles like Battlefield 1 or Destiny 2. While some might consider this an unfair advantage, it’s still a great feature.
Unfortunately, that’s where the improvements end. The Razer Wolverine Ultimate Controller doesn’t feel as premium as the Xbox Elite Controller. It doesn’t use metal on the thumbsticks and D-pad, and in general feels less sturdy. The buttons also have less travel. The problem here isn’t that this makes the controller less reliable, the issue is that it doesn’t feel like a premium product. The materials used in its construction could’ve been better.
The Razer Wolverine Ultimate Controller is wired so that means you’ll have to connect it to your Xbox One at all times. This might seem cumbersome for some even though it improves input lag when compared to a wireless device. Additionally, the light strip on the front is gorgeous, but it doesn’t add any functionality.
We’ve been using the Razer Wolverine Ultimate Controller for almost two months now and it’s reliable and durable. Unlike the Xbox Elite Controller, you don’t feel like pressing the bumpers will cause them to deteriorate quickly. After heavy use for a few days, the Xbox Elite Controller feels like it makes more noise than normal. While we would’ve loved to see the inclusion of metal components, everything in the Razer Wolverine Ultimate Controller is definitely designed to last. You can also switch out the thumbsticks and D-pad if you want with provided variants or use them as replacements. While the Razer Wolverine Ultimate Controller may not have a completely premium feel, you can tell it’s durable. Even after two months of heavy use, we didn’t notice a single quirk or issue. We’ve been using it to play Destiny 2 and Star Wars Battlefront II primarily as frantic shooters are taxing on controllers. The buttons, thumbsticks and bumpers are just as solid and tactile as when we initially got it.
Overall, the Razer Wolverine Ultimate Controller is great. Despite being wired, it brings a lot of innovation to the table. It costs the same as the Xbox Elite Controller so that might be an issue. Why would anyone purchase Razer’s offering as opposed to the one manufactured by Microsoft for $160? Well, that answer depends on what you want. If you just want added precision and don’t care about competitive games as much, then go with the Xbox Elite Controller. If you want precision and even more varied controls which you can change with the press of a button, then the Razer Wolverine Ultimate Controller is your only choice. Just like past products from the company, this one is also geared more towards the eSports community than regular consumers. Despite that — if you’re intrigued by the design and features — you should pick one up. Using the agility and precision modes might take some getting used to but the results are worth the effort.