I was in the market for a new PS5 controller. My current DualSense is on its last legs, given that I’ve been using it since the console’s launch in November 2020. Thankfully, I have a spare that has been seeing extended use, but it had to return to the charging dock as there is a new sheriff in town: the Razer Wolverine V2 Pro Wireless Controller.
Right away, I found one design choice that I immediately knew I’d have a bit of a time with, the placement of the left and right joysticks. The right one occupies its rightful place, falling easily to…thumb, whereas the left one inhabits the placement that is commonly found on the Xbox controller (with the d-pad following suit with its Xbox placement). As a PlayStation enthusiast, it did feel weird placing my thumb on the left joystick, and having it so high on the face of the controller strained my muscle memory more than I care to admit.
Apart from the outright peculiar joystick placement, the face of the Wolverine V2 Pro is remarkably beautiful, especially in white. The controller itself is considerably bigger than a regular PS5 DualSense but still fits in the hand quite nicely. I do have larger hands, so that helps a little bit, but the buttons are never too far away, even for the smaller-handed among us.
Speaking of the buttons, the Wolverine V2 Pro has quite a considerable number of them. Apart from the standard four on the front and four on top (L1, L2, R1 & R2), there are an additional six buttons to be found on the controller. Four on the underside and two on the top that flank the L1 and R1 buttons, respectively. Each of these additional buttons can be mapped to any other button function through the use of the Razer Controller app on your smartphone. You can have up to four different button configuration settings saved in the app and switch through them at any time.
“…the face of the Wolverine V2 Pro is remarkably beautiful, especially in white.”
Turning the Wolverine V2 Pro over reveals not only the back buttons but the toggle switches for a number of different functions. The one I used most was for the L2 and R2 buttons, which allowed them to travel either the full distance or be used as a hair trigger. The former I preferred for GT7 and F1 23, and the latter for MLB The Show and Cyberpunk 2077. There is a toggle to switch between wireless and wired use, as well as a toggle to switch between PS5 and PC usage. All the toggles fall easily to your fingers and have just enough resistance that they won’t accidentally move at the slightest touch.
In the box, Razer included two additional joystick caps that you can swap out, one being a taller concave option and a shorter convex option. Personally, I was content using the ones that arrived on the controller, as the concave option just wasn’t comfortable for me, and I found my thumb slipping off it when I tried it on both sides.
Also in the box is your standard controller fare: a USB-A 2.4GHz Bluetooth dongle, a USB-A to USB-C charging cable, and a manual showing how to connect the controller, what each of the buttons does, etc. What the manual doesn’t show is how to swap out those joystick caps I spoke about a moment ago. It took me a moment or two to figure out that they are actually magnetic and that the magnet that holds them on is quite powerful. I used the joystick while playing F1 23, Gran Turismo 7, MLB The Show 23, and Cyberpunk 2077 and didn’t feel the joystick move a millimetre when pushing the stick to its physical limit.
“…the Razer Wolverine V2 Pro controller is taking its rightful place in my rotation to split duties with the red DualSense I currently use.”
Battery life is reasonable for a controller that has RGB built in. In testing, I would get anywhere from 5–8 hours on a full charge with RGB fully active. As a parent with small children, this kind of battery life is perfect. It doesn’t run out so quickly that I am left without a controller, but lasts long enough that I can play for a while if they are off playing in their room or something.
The app itself is very simple to navigate and use. You pair the controller by holding the pairing and mic buttons on the front of the controller for 5 seconds until the app recognizes the controller. Once you have the Wolverine V2 Pro paired, you are able to map the six extra buttons to whatever you want, you can change the button setting configuration for when you go quickly from CoD Warzone to F1 23, and change the RGB settings to one of three options (Static, Spectrum, and Breathing). Much of the usability of the controller in different games depends on the app, so it’s great to see it work so well and so easily.
Using the Wolverine V2 Pro was a treat once I got used to the larger size. The buttons feel amazing to press, and they give a satisfying click noise when they are pressed. Even the multidirectional d-pad featured the clicky sound when used, which I appreciated more than I expected.
There are a couple of downsides that I would have liked to have seen when using the Wolverine V2 Pro, and they are problems that I have experienced with a lot of third-party controllers. One is that the PS button in the middle of the controller does not turn on the console. Too many times, I had picked up the controller, sat down on the couch and immediately had to get back up and turn on the console manually because the controller doesn’t have that function. I had this issue with the Victrix Pro BFG Controller, and it is weird that it isn’t a feature still.
The other issue I had was that the microphone button on the front of the controller does not turn the mic on and off when in a party. I race in a league in Gran Turismo 7, and I would be trying to talk to my teammates but could not turn my mic on. I had to either go into the party chat and manually turn my mic on or get up and get my DualSense to enable the mic. Both of which are more hassle than they should be.
Now we come to the part that is most important to a lot of people: the price. Coming in at a whopping $249.99, the Razer Wolverine V2 Pro is very expensive for a controller. Sure, there are features that make it worthwhile, but it’s still a hard pill to swallow
Overall, the Razer Wolverine V2 Pro controller is taking its rightful place in my rotation to split duties with the red DualSense I currently use. The controller is light enough that it doesn’t weigh down the hands and sturdy enough that it feels like it can take a bit of punishment. I really enjoy this controller, despite its shortcomings (however few they may be) and would recommend it to anyone that can splash the cash for a pro-level controller.