Razer_PS4

Tech Review: Razer Raiju Controller for PS4

Each console comes with a controller, a controller you’ll start to love the moment you start playing games. Without it, you would be lost. Most people buy first party controllers and seem to be afraid of third party controllers, which we understand. A lot of third party controllers already showed us that nothing can top an original controller. But what if Razer brings a special PlayStation 4 Pro Controller on the market? Will this change the way we see third party controller for good?

With the Raiju Controller for PS4, Razer is challenging themselves to deliver a controller better than the official DualShock 4 controller, loved by millions of gamers. To convince these loyal DualShock 4 fans that the Raiju is worth the trouble, Razer included some great extras like programmable buttons and adjustable triggers. But is all this worth it? Let’s start with the design first.

A great looking controller

When you first take the controller out of its gorgeous Razer box (including a travel bag), you’ll notice it’s a lot bigger than the traditional DualShock 4 controller. To be honest, this looks more like an Xbox One controller than a PlayStation 4 controller. This is great news for gamers with bigger hands, the controller will definitely fit your palms better than the smaller DualShock 4 controller. If you have smaller hands, however, this Raiju might feel a little too big, making it harder to reach the analogue sticks. Also note that Razer added four extra buttons below the analogue sticks, enabling the player to change profiles without jumping to the console menus.

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Aside from that, the action buttons and D-pad feel great and it’s easier to use them compared to the official controller. Moving up to the shoulder buttons, you’ll notice some changes as well. You’ll notice two small sliders on top of the controllers, these enable you to modify the travel of the L2 and R2 button. Stretching the travel makes it easier to push the shoulder buttons and in games it’s perfect to control vehicles. A shorter travel on the other hand, enables you to push the button a lot faster than on an official controller, perfect for some quickly fired shots in shooters like Overwatch. The sliders offer the perfect tool to create the precision you’re looking for in a professional or amateur scene.

Sounds great, doesn’t it? Well before we jump to the real action, let’s first point out that this is a wired controller, perhaps even the biggest difference between this one and the official controller. The Raiju isn’t able to transmit a wireless signal to your PlayStation 4 console so you’re always forced to use a wired connection. Of course, this takes away any possible lag but I’m sure not everybody will enjoy spending their time with a wired controller.

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I’m triggered

The real game-changer of the controller are the four extra triggers that you can program to your likings. The controller features two extra bumpers, located next to the traditional shoulder buttons and two extra triggers, located on the underside of the Raiju.

You can map out the four extra triggers in any way you want to, just by visiting the game’ menu and add specific actions to one of the triggers. I mapped R3 actions to one of the triggers to enjoy my game more. For example, mapping the R3 to your extra trigger during shooters makes sure you won’t lose your aim by pressing the analogue stick. A nice bonus is that you’re also able to map direction or face buttons to the extra triggers so you’ll never have to lose grip of your analogue stick.

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If you’re not using the two extra triggers on the underside, you can simply screw them off but be warned, even when you removed the triggers, it’s possible you accidentally activate the button by pushing it.

Performance

After spending a couple of hours with the controller, it’s clear that this isn’t your standard PlayStation 4 controller. Everything about it feels different and it reminded me, once more, a lot of the Xbox One controller. The buttons feel a lot more responsive and have that nice clicking sound we know from mechanical keyboards. This also means that pushing the buttons is a lot faster than on the official controller, making it perfect to enhance your experiences in faster-paced shooters or racers. Too bad the D-pad isn’t of the same quality.

The biggest problem with the D-pad is that it consists out of four separate buttons, making it extremely hard to use them in games that use the D-pad to maneuver around obstacles. Same goes for fighters, creating combos with the D-pad is a lot harder since the buttons all react separately from each other.

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I did like the extra triggers and ability to map certain actions to those triggers, especially in games where I needed to use my analogue sticks a lot. If you’re playing a game that’s light on the analogue sticks, the extra triggers don’t really add something to the gameplay since you can only map one action to them (instead of multiple moves). It’s nothing game-breaking but you’ll need to consider what type of games you play the most before getting this expensive controller.

To conclude, I would like to point out that the wire wasn’t that big of deal for me personally, I played my games this way all my youth. I was disappointed however that the PS-home button wasn’t able to turn on my console, that’s a bit too retro to be honest. To make up for this flaw, the four extra buttons and audio jack work great and saved me a lot of time I would have been looking at boring menus otherwise.

Conclusion

This Raiju controller isn’t for the big audience but for the gamer that seeks for competitive challenges. Thanks to the extra triggers and sensitive buttons, this controller can really give you an advantage over your opponents but never expect it to magically win every round. It’s a great controller that really feels good in the palm of your hands. Too bad it’s not wireless and you can easily press the extra triggers by accident. That being said, it’s a very decent controller that’s worth its price. Be sure to know what kind of gamer you are and what kind of games you play but if this controller fits your profile, it’s simply one of the better third-party controllers on the market.

 

Got interested in games since I could read. Started with Nintendo but evolved into an all-round gamer. I love all kind of games; triple A games to Indie. If the vibe is right, I'll enjoy playing it.

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