I like the idea of pro-controllers. Having extra buttons on the back to map so that I don’t have to take my thumb off the right stick (which is so often mapped to the camera) means that I can still jump and take potions AND have fewer in-game deaths. Seems like a win-win, or so I thought, when the Victrix Pro BFG Controller arrived at my house.
The Victrix Pro BFG comes in a lovely hard-shell carrying case that mimics the black and purple aesthetics of the controller itself. Inside the case, you’ll find all the interchangeable bits and bobs. There are two different analog stick options included in the case: a tall and a short one, combine that with the medium-sized one that comes on the controller, and you have a fair bit of customization capability for one of your sticks. As well you’ll find an entire right hemisphere swap-out option.
This swap-out is largely for those of us that are very much into fighting games, such as Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat. So instead of a right stick and your four face buttons (Cross, Circle, Square, and Triangle), you get the four face buttons and the R1 and R2 buttons as well. I really like this attention being paid to the fighting enthusiast, bringing that market into the fold, and offering a controller option that isn’t one of those dedicated fighting sticks.
Lastly, in the interchangeable options is the left side of the face. This swap allows you to switch the locations of the D-Pad and the left analog stick if you prefer to have them in the Xbox configuration. As a PlayStation purist and a fan of symmetry, I left the D-Pad and analog stick exactly where they should be. In addition to the location of the D-Pad and stick, you can also swap out the D-Pad itself for two different options: a traditional 4-way D-Pad or a multi-directional D-Pad, which, again, hearkens back to the fighter enthusiast in the home.
“The Victrix Pro BFG comes in a lovely hard-shell carrying case that mimics the black and purple aesthetics of the controller itself.”
In terms of interchangeable options, that’s the end of the story, but the customization doesn’t quite end there. In addition to all I mentioned earlier, you can also customize the L2 & R2 buttons. For the Victrix Pro BFG Controller, PDP has implemented what they are calling Clutch Triggers, which allow you to position the travel distance a trigger-squeeze requires to 5 different options. By this, I mean that, by default, they are at hair-trigger levels. Adjustment is made fairly easily, if crudely. On the rear of the controller, there are two toggles, and by pushing them in, you can adjust how far you want your L2 & R2 buttons to travel.
That seems like a lovely feature in theory, but in practice, it was a little…clumsy. Too many times did I have a moment of panic in Elden Ring and gripped the Victrix Pro BFG too tightly and squeezed the toggle switch, resulting in my L2 & R2 going back to their hair-trigger default position. I would have preferred that the toggle switch be a dedicated on/off style of switch, where you toggle it ‘on’, adjust your button to where you want it, and then toggle it ‘off’ again. The toggle is not an awful system by any means, it just needs a bit of refinement to avoid accidental interactions.
Speaking of accidental interactions, when it comes to the Victrix Pro BFG’s hair-trigger mode, PDP means just that. The L2 & R2 buttons in hair-trigger mode are so incredibly sensitive that it felt like they would engage if I thought about the button in my head. There were so many times between Fortnite and Elden Ring where I’d be trying to sneak passed an enemy, fingers poised over the triggers just in case, and suddenly my gun goes off/a massive heavy attack swings, and, to quote Disney’s Mulan, “All of China knows you are here”. Cut to me, actively running away before getting absolutely splattered and losing all my runes that I’d spent the previous 2 hours accumulating.
“Speaking of accidental interactions, when it comes to the Victrix Pro BFG’s hair-trigger mode, PDP means just that.”
The Victrix Pro BFG Controller features four back buttons that are, by default, mapped to your four face buttons, with the Cross and Circle buttons on the right and the Square and Triangle buttons on the left. These buttons can be re-mapped to suit your needs, so you’ll never have to take your thumbs off the sticks again.
One of the best features of the Victrix Pro BFG is that the controller can save up to three different “profiles”, letting you switch on-the-fly when changing games or tactics in-game. Switching is as easy as a quick press of the dedicated button on the back of the controller. It’s small, so you won’t press it by accident, but it’s raised enough so that you know it when you touch it. For me, it’s the perfect placement and functionality.
For those of us that need to plug our headset into the controller, fear not, as you are represented with the Victrix Pro BFG! The controller features low latency audio, so the 3.5 mm connection still provides you with incredibly high audio quality and is even capable of supporting Sony 3D Audio through the audio jack on the controller.
I used the controller in tandem with my PS5 on multiple games, but for those users on PS4 or even on PC, fret not because the Victrix Pro BFG has you covered too. On the top of the controller, next to the USB-C charging port, there is a little flip switch, allowing you to go from PS5 to PS4 and then to PC. The switch is seamless and works perfectly, as I quickly found out on PC when I jumped into a few matches of Fortnite on my laptop.
I even swapped the left module from the PlayStation layout to the Xbox layout (gasps and clutches pearls) and didn’t see any issue with the usage in-game, apart from my own muscle memory issues.
The Victrix Pro BFG Controller is powered by an internal Lithium-Ion battery that is charged using the included braided 3-metre USB-C cable. This cable also doubles as the connection cable should you want to play with a wired connection to your console. The Victrix logo lights up nice and bright in the middle of the touchpad on the front of the controller when it is on and also when it is charging. I was able to see between 12-15 hours of playtime in wireless mode on PS5, which is pretty much bang-on with the DualSense controller as well.
While we’re comparing the Victrix Pro BFG to the DualSense, the Pro BFG is a similar weight to the DualSense, coming in at 9.2 ounces, whereas the DualSense sits at around 9.9 ounces. The thing is, you’d never notice it. Before I looked up the weight differences, I compared them in my own hands and then the hands of my partner. Neither of us could pick out a lighter controller.
“I think the Victrix Pro BFG controller is a good PS5/PS4/PC controller with some amazing features and the potential to be fantastic once the software is fully uploaded and ready to be used.”
The thing that bugged me the most about the Victrix Pro BFG was its physical size. I’m so used to the shape of the DualSense, that the shape of the Pro BFG put me off. In fact, the Pro BFG has the same dimensions and body shape as the Xbox Series X controller. It took me far too long to figure that out, as I could never quite make sense of why it felt so bulky in my hands. And to be clear, I don’t have small hands. I stand 6’2” tall, so small hands are not part of the problem. I never felt like I could get a good grip on things, which probably explains all those clumsy moments from earlier.
Victrix does have a bit of software for you to download to your PC called the Victrix Control Hub, where you can download firmware updates for both the controller and the dongle that goes into your console/pc. You can also adjust your audio settings, button mappings, analog stick adjustments, and triggers as well. The issue is that the software isn’t available to be used just yet. After updating the controller and dongle, I was met with a message saying that all the features I just mentioned were ‘Coming Soon’. So, testing those was not in the cards for me just yet.
One thing that really irked me about the Victrix Pro BFG that I was so used to with the regular DualSense, was that there is no microphone button. On the DualSense, you have that small button at the bottom on the front of the controller to toggle the mic on and off. The Pro BFG is missing that, as well as the controller’s ability to turn on the console with the PS button. There were so many times that I’d grab the controller, press the button to turn on my PS5 and sit down on the couch, only to have to get back up and go over to press the power button on the console. I get that this may be one of those ‘first-world problems’, but I’m a slave to habit!
Overall, I think the Victrix Pro BFG controller is a good PS5/PS4/PC controller with some amazing features and the potential to be fantastic once the software is fully uploaded and ready to be used. The biggest downsides I experienced were the hair triggers and back buttons being extremely sensitive, as well as the trigger adjustment buttons being in a position where they can be inadvertently pushed. I have a hard time getting passed the Xbox controller sizing but will still continue to use the Pro BFG for Fortnite, as those back buttons are invaluable in a build fight.