- Manufacturer: Razer
- Model: Wolverine V2
- Platforms: Xbox, PC
- Reviewed on: Xbox, PC
- Supplied by: Razer
I have always wondered what could be done to an Xbox controller to improve it that Microsoft had not done already with the Elite controllers.
Well, Razer managed it. Enter the Wolverine V2, the latest entry to Razer’s line of Xbox controllers. The game-changer for the Wolverine V2 isn’t any of the usual improvements you see on SCUF or Elite controllers, no… The Wolverine V2 has Mecha-Tactile buttons.
The well-regarded PC favourite style of switch has finally been implemented into an Xbox controller and I could not be more thrilled about it. I have always loved the click of my Logitech G-Pro Keyboard, and now I can get similar satisfying feedback and sound from my Xbox controller. I genuinely feel this is a game-changer, the actuation feels super smooth and satisfying. There is no mistaking that you have pressed the button in, the buttons also feel super responsive with not even a little smushyness like the standard controller.
The mechanical switches are fitted to the ABXY, D-pad, M1/M2 (more on them later) and I think the bumpers, though I’m not 100percent sure. This has completely changed what I want from a controller. I am torn between the love I have for the texture and shape of the new Xbox controllers and the amazing click of the Wolverine V2s Mecha-Tactile switches.
The controller itself is not bad either, The shape is fairly similar to the official controllers with a straight top that curves down into the handles on the sides. It’s these hand grips where the main difference lies, as they are slightly shorter and opt for a more bulbous form rather than the sharper shape of the official controllers. The body also feels slightly shorter than the official controller. Some may think this would make it uncomfortable but let me tell you it absolutely does not!
The Wolverines shape feels more compact and ready. This depends on your hand size but to me, it almost feels the perfect size. The shape of the gips also makes you grip your fingers towards the inside of your palm rather than upwards towards the base of your thumb. This leaves your thumbs much freer to move around with no worries of losing grip. This may be a subjective point again depending on your hand size but in my case, it does feel like a more comfortable grip.
The body itself is mostly made of a solid feeling plastic with a nice matte texture and look. I’m a fan of this as it resembles the quality plastic used on the official controllers rather than the cheaper feeling plastic that can often be found on other third-party controllers. The grips however are covered in a textured rubber that adds more grip to the controller. This again is a slight improvement over the official controller that only has textured plastic to provide extra grip. Rubber isn’t always the best call but in this case, Razer has nailed it. It’s not overly soft rubber and has just the right amount of rigidity to maintain a quality feel and gives a uniformity to the controllers feel in general. It’s just soft enough to allow you a hint that it’s rubber, any harder and you would mistake it for plastic.
There is a vibrant green indent that runs between the main body and the rubber grips, showing you the separation point and also adding some design complexity and style to the controller. It is also my first almost dislike of the Wolverine V2, as on previous Razer controllers we have seen some RGB implementations. The Wolverine V2 has none, and these green accents feel like they would have been the perfect place to put some. The controller is hard wired so there would be no worry about battery life, and it would avoid being forced to have the iconic Razer green as an accent colour. I personally like the green as it symbolizes both Razer and Xbox but to some, it may not be to taste.
On the plus side, the inclusion of RGB would have raised the price and pushed it past the £100 mark – at the moment the Wolverine V2 is £99.99 and to me, that feels like the sweet spot. It’s below the price point of most third-party controllers aimed at competitive gamers, especially when compared to the Elite controllers and SCUF’s offerings.
Now I have spoken about the button switch a little and I mentioned the M1 and M2 buttons; these are the extra buttons Razer has added that sit next to the triggers almost at a midpoint between the triggers and bumpers. These remappable buttons are an alternative to the traditional paddles you see on other controllers. They seem to have the same mechanical switches with the super-responsive tactile feel that the main buttons have.
I have personally found a use for these in FPS games, usually to toggle crouch but admittedly they don’t have a huge amount of benefit due to the fact it’s very hard to use them and the triggers at the same time. I feel this was a slight oversight, as in most games I play the triggers are one of the things you don’t want to let go of. For example, if you were playing a racing game and using them to shift up and down you would in theory have to let go of the trigger to shift.
While not ideal I have found them easier to get used to than paddles. I can’t say I have ever gotten used to paddles on the rear of the controller but this will be subjective to each person’s preferences.
The analogue sticks are where this controller finds itself more closely related to its third party brethren. They are decent and perfectly usable as with most but the rubber used just doesn’t feel as grippy and comfortable as the official controller’s analogue sticks. I have always loved the Xbox analogue sticks and I can not say that the Wolverine V2 analogues come close for me. There is no texture to the side as with the official and all you have for grip is the dip and bevel.
One place it does shine though is the rim around the stick having a smooth metal or plastic rather than the standard matte plastic. This is similar to the metal edge used on the Elite controller, which in turn makes the analogue sticks glide around the edges with no resistance, and as far as I can tell it also seems to ward off the rough grinding that causes wear and tear eventually on official controllers.
The positioning of a couple of buttons is also different, the menu buttons are not in the centre of the controller below the Xbox button but rather diagonally above the Analogues nearly beside the Xbox button. This has honestly not really had much bearing on my experience, once I was used to it. It does give the controller a more unique and aggressive look in my personal opinion and allows for the Razer text logo to be subtly implemented where those buttons would usually be.
Now onto the triggers. They again follow the usual shape of the official Xbox controllers but with Razors own take. They are wider and shorter, and rather than having the slim face and large slope the officials have, these are nearly entirely curved faces with a much more aggressive curve to them. I have found them incredibly comfortable, especially with the glossy plastic they are made of. The shiner for them however is the 2 stage trigger lock. This allows you to either have full travel or to lock them to what seems like only a third of the travel; this will benefit FPS gamers the most by minimizing the actuation time of the triggers allowing you to get the jump on the competition.
The locking toggles are found on the bottom of the controller next to each trigger allowing you to just flick it over and lock/unlock the triggers with ease, even mid-game. Though they do not have as much adjustment as the Elite controller I feel it is more than enough with just the 2 stages as most of the time you want one or the other.
Finally is the cable. The Wolverine is a fully wired USB controller and thus has a cable permanently attached at the back. I would have wished that, despite it having no wireless capabilities, the cable would be replaceable, mainly because the cable attached is just a basic plastic sleeved cable. I would have far preferred a braided cable or the ability to change the cable for one of my choosing, even if it’s just to adjust the length, as I sit at my desk to play and do not need the huge amount of cable available and would instead prefer to replace it with a shorter braided cable. Again this would have likely raised the price over the £100 mark, and it’s by no means a huge issue or even close to a deal-breaker.
The Wolverine V2 is an absolutely stellar controller, with very minor flaws that can easily be overlooked. I can honestly say I can recommend the Razer Wolverine V2 to anyone who asks. I would one day like a version that has better analogue sticks, RGB in the grooves and wireless capabilities, but as it stands the Wolverine V2 has a permanent spot on my desk.