Back in 2015, hardware manufacturer Razer Inc. announced a controller that would rival Microsoft’s Xbox One Elite controller — titled the Razer Wildcat, it was the hope that the controller would give the Xbox One Elite a run for its money. However, Razer notably fell short of that goal, with most Xbox One users preferring the Xbox One Elite as the de facto high-end brand. That being said, Razer’s Wolverine Ultimate controller is an evolution of the Razer Wildcat, incorporating ideas from across the industry and Microsoft’s innovations — but is it one that every Xbox One or PC owner should consider buying?
The Razer Wolverine Ultimate comes packed in with one controller, a carrying case, one USB cable, one alternative D-pad, and two additional analog sticks. At first glance, the Razer Wolverine Ultimate closely resembles the traditional Xbox One Elite controller. However, there are several details on the Wolverine Ultimate which make it stand out from the competition: three interchangeable analog sticks, two changeable D-pads, and six remappable buttons on the back of the product.
However, the most significant difference between its competitor is the RGB lighting, which can be displayed on the border around the Xbox One guide button. Thanks to Razer’s Chroma Lighting system, you can customize the controller to flaunt over 16.8 million different colors as well as various optional effects, including a color change which reacts to what is going on during your gaming session.
Regarding overall comfort, the Razer Wolverine Ultra feels great. The analog sticks and buttons perform well and have that “broken in” feeling as soon as you start playing, so you don’t have to go through the awkward period of stiff controls. The D-pad is also very impressive — instead of an all-in-one D-pad with four different corners, each direction has its own standalone button.
My biggest complaint, however, would have to be the face (A, B, X, and Y) buttons; whenever I was clicking on them, they felt extremely flat and did not have any weight them. On top of that, the feedback sound seems tailored to mechanical keyboard aficionados instead of the default mashing sound that is found in other controllers. Although the sound of the buttons can be forgiven, the flatness of the buttons themselves feels a bit cheap — especially when you considering its current retail price.
Meanwhile, the crown of this controller is the six remappable buttons – two are found in between the shoulder buttons, while the other four are on the back of the controller. While most people would see that a bit of a clutter, it is far from it. The two buttons in-between the shoulder triggers are super convenient, even when factoring in that I have smaller-than-average hands. Not to mention, depending on how you remap your buttons, then those two in particular can serve to be the most useful in close call situations.
Going back to the four additional buttons on the back, two of them are trigger paddles, which sit just below the end of the controller. As someone who owns an Xbox One Elite controller, one of my most significant issues with the product was how the paddles, more specifically the ones closer to the tip of the controller would get in my way when I was playing. Thankfully, the four back buttons are located at the center of the controller, which not only make it accessible but clutter free as you endure extensive hours of gaming.
Now, the buttons and impressive effects can be modified by using the Razer Synapse — an all-in-one configuration software provided by Razer. The software itself is easy to use, and everything that you can think of is easy to access with just a few simple clicks.
But, that isn’t all that this controller has to offer, the Razer Wolverine Ultimate also includes physical media keys located below the bottom of the controller, which supports all 3.5 mm headphones. The media keys are primarily used to help modify your headset, including muting your mic and customizing the volume.
Now, let’s focus on those interchangeable parts I mentioned earlier: the extra analog sticks and the all-in-one D-pad. All the removable pieces were easy to take off, and offer just a slight more variety for those who want to experiment everything that the Wolverine Ultimate has to provide. And while aficionados may be able to feel the differences between each version, they felt almost identical to the default pieces. However, if you are someone that prefers the default, all-in-one D-pad, then you can certainly swap in that section on your controller.
While I found this to be a significant step up from its predecessor, the Razer Wolverine Ultimate has its fair share of problems. First off, the controller is completely wired and has no option for wireless play. It is worth noting, however, that I did use this product on both my desktop PC as well as my Xbox One, but I would instead use it for my PC, primarily because of the fact it is a wired controller. Although the USB cable that is included is around 10ft in length, the fact that there is no option for wired play may be a deal breaker for some. It’s not too much of a criticism, but considering that this product is to compete with the Xbox One Elite, the fact that it is wholly wired holds the product back from being the definitive high-end Xbox One controller.
Additionally, the price of the controller might also be a deal breaker for many. As I mentioned earlier, the controller is $159.99 — $10 more than the Xbox One Elite, as well as one of the most expensive controllers available now. In my opinion, you do get your money’s worth in this controller in the form of RGB lighting and extra controller functionality, as well as optimizations not seen in the Xbox One Elite controller. But, if you are on a tight budget, this controller might not be something you should invest in.
However, if money is no object, then I would say that the Razer Wolverine Ultimate is one that needs to be on your watchlist when shopping for a new high-end controller. The extra functionality, the ability to showcase a slew of colors while your gaming, and easy access to your audio controls make its super convenient.
Editor’s Note: A unit of the Razer Wolverine Ultimate was sent to DualShockers by Razer Inc. to facilitate this review.