Third-party controllers have had a stigma for some time now. While they often offer a slew of features beyond a stock controller, they are plagued by a cheap feel or lack of comfort, making them a far from ideal choice—until I tested out the Wolverine Tournament Edition, the new third-party Xbox One/PC controller from Razer.
The first thing you will notice when you pick up and use the Razer Wolverine is the quality throughout the design. This is truly a well-built controller. This is not to say the standard Xbox One controller is bad, quite the opposite, but Razer has managed to build an option that stands toe-to-toe with the first-party controllers and in some respects, manages to surpass it.
Out of the box, the Razer Wolverine feels shockingly well-built on every level. The ergonomic design fits well in the hands, and with the lack of any batteries, the Wolverine has a good weight and balance, especially in long gameplay sessions. The sticks, buttons, and overall fit and finish of the controller are second only to the Xbox Elite Controller, and the value of the controller is on constant display as you jump into a game.
This being a product from Razer released post- 2016, it comes with the iconic RGB Chroma lighting. Personally, I am not sold on the need for the RGB lighting on every gaming accessory, but there is no denying it is a stylish touch that does ensure the Wolverine stands out from the crowd. And thankfully for anyone that is not a fan of lighting, it can be adjusted using the Razer Chroma app on the Xbox One and the PC.
Now, as I mentioned earlier, the Wolverine is a wired controller. It has no batteries, so you will be forced to rely on the included extra-long braided nylon cable. While it may not be a deal breaker for everyone, it is a disappointment, especially at the current price tag of $159.99 CAD. It is good to see the cord is long, and the nylon braid does ensure it should last a while, even if it does add to the tripping hazards in your living room.
Now if you can get past the need for a wire, the features of the Razer Wolverine Tournament Edition set it apart from its competitors. The mechanical feel of the ABXY buttons was an interesting—if not amazing—feature. If you are born and bred using the standard Xbox One controller, the feel of the Razer Wolverine can take some getting used to. But once you use the Wolverine for a while, it quickly becomes hard to go back. I hope more manufacturers take this into account, as mechanical buttons are something I would love to see more controllers implementing moving forward.
The Razer Wolverine does not stop there though. It presents the user with a slew of customizable buttons, well beyond what you can find on stock controllers. Truth be told, it is more akin to the Xbox Elite controller, and in the overall feel that holds true. The paddles at the bottom of the controller are useful and easy to utilize. The additional M1 and M2 buttons are a nice addition, although in games I rarely used them to their full potential, and if you are a fan of the trigger locks seen on the Xbox Elite controller, you can rest assured, they are present here and feel fantastic, especially in hair-trigger games such as Doom.
Working with the Razer Wolverine on the PC and Xbox One is as easy as plugging it in. Out of the box, the Wolverine works with the Chroma springing to life the minute it is seen by the system. If you want to put any customization into how it works, button layouts, and Chroma lighting, it is not hard to use the app, but the need for a secondary app can sometimes be an extra level of tedium some players may not like, especially on console.
All in all, the Razer Wolverine is a device that makes some great moves in the world of third-party controllers but is hampered by one odd choice. The Wolverine boasts a fit and finish that is second to none, with well-executed buttons, layout, and overall design. While the need for a wire is a disappointment, if you can look past it, the Wolverine Tournament Edition is a good addition to your gaming arsenal.
A retail version of this device reviewed was provided by the manufacturer. You can find additional information about CGMagazine’s ethics and review policies and procedures here.
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