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Jeremy Laukkonen / Lifewire
Extra customizable buttons
Buttons and triggers feel great
Clicky mechanical buttons
Nice grip texture
If you’re looking for a high performance wired controller and have the room in your budget, the Razer Wolverine V2 controller might take your game to the next level.
Razer provided us with a review unit for one of our writers to test, which he sent back after his thorough evaluation. Read on for his full take.
The Razer Wolverine V2 is the first Razer controller for Xbox Series X|S, and it carries forward a lot of the same features that made the Wolverine line so popular on Xbox One and PC in the past. It upgrades the rubber dome switches found in the standard Xbox Series X|S controller with clicky mechanical switches, brings back the trigger locks and additional bumper buttons found in previous Wolverine controllers, and allows you to easily remap buttons using an app on your console or PC.
I’ve been a big fan of the Xbox One S controller since it first dropped, and I like the Xbox Series X|S controller a lot as well. I set those aside for a few days though so I could get in some quality gaming time with a Razer Wolverine V2. I put about fifteen hours into games like Dirt 5 on my Xbox Series S and Genshin Impact on my PC to see if the Wolverine V2 is really worth the price of admission, testing out the remappable buttons, the trigger locks, adjustable thumbstick sensitivity, D-pad accuracy, and more.
Razer Wolverine controllers are known for a few things, including flashy chroma lighting, buttons everywhere, great thumbsticks, and precise mechanical buttons. Razer seems to have gone back to the drawing board for the Wolverine V2 though, as this controller feels almost understated compared to something like the Wolverine Ultimate or Wolverine Tournament Edition. The chroma lighting is gone, as are the extra paddle buttons, and there are no extra bits tacked on like the chat controller from the Wolverine Ultimate
The Razer Wolverine V2 has a similar profile to the standard Xbox Series X|S controller, with more rounded rubberized grips and slightly different button placement. The view and menu buttons are swiveled around to make them easily reachable by your thumbs, and the share button is shrunk down and placed between the D-pad and right thumbstick. An additional button, not found on the standard controller, is placed directly beneath the share button.
The thumbsticks are set a bit further apart than the standard Xbox Series X|S controller, with the D-pad also a little further away from the right thumbstick. That makes the controller feel a little roomier, but it also makes it a touch harder to operate the D-pad with your right thumb in cases where that is called for.
Around back, the Wolverine V2 is closer to a standard Xbox controller than previous iterations of the hardware. The triggers and bumpers are positioned and shaped as expected, with the addition of M1 and M2 buttons that are easily tapped with the index fingers. The same trigger locks found on older Wolverine hardware are also present, allowing you to reduce the throw of the triggers individually for more precise, and faster, operation. There are no paddles or additional buttons, which is a bit of a let down for a Wolverine controller.
This is a wired controller, so it has a USB cable permanently attached. The cable is generous in length, so you shouldn’t need to worry about picking up an extension cable unless your television is exceptionally far from your seating area. Tripping and tangling is another matter entirely.
The overall look of the controller is clean and understated compared to previous Wolverine controllers, with a primarily matte black finish, and green lines separating the body of the controller from the grips. There’s a bit of a shiny black area around the Xbox button, and the triggers, bumpers, and M buttons are all glossy black as well. The guide button doesn’t light up like a standard Xbox Series X|S controller, with power instead being indicated by an elongated soft white LED set into the face of the controller.
“The thumbsticks feel great, and they’re positioned well in relation to the D-pad and face buttons for easy access.
The Razer Wolverine V2 is a comfortable controller. It’s really similar in shape and size to the standard Xbox Series X|S controller, with a body that’s maybe just a smidge wider, and a comfortable weighty feel despite the fact that it doesn’t have batteries or wireless hardware inside.
The thumbsticks feel great, and they’re positioned well in relation to the D-pad and face buttons for easy access. The rotated view and menu buttons are also easier to reach than in the standard configuration, as are the M1 and M2 buttons, which you can easily tap without moving your index fingers off the triggers.
My one issue with the configuration is possibly more of a personal problem than anything, but the wide set thumbsticks means that the D-pad is further away from the right analog stick than a standard Xbox Series X|S controller or Xbox One S controller. This isn’t a problem most of the time, but I’ll sometimes swap into a modified claw grip that allows me to hit the D-pad with my right thumb while working the right trigger and face button with my other fingers.
When raiding in FFXIV with the Razer Wolverine V2, I reached over with my right thumb to activate a D-pad skill while leaving my left thumb on the left thumbstick to keep the boss in position and continue dealing with mechanics. Instead of simply reaching, I had to rotate my whole hand to get my thumb into position. I was still able to activate my cooldowns in time, but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to get used to the extra movement or not.
For those of you who exclusively use your left thumb on the D-pad, you’ll find the positioning of the D-pad is excellent, and it’s also quite comfortable to use. It’s a standard plus-style button, unlike the four-separate-buttons style found in the Wolverine Ultimate, but it’s as accurate and responsive as a D-pad can get.
“The sensitivity clutch feature is huge for games where you need to both move around quickly and aim precisely.
The Razer Wolverine V2 works right out of the box when you plug it into an Xbox Series S or X, and you can also plug and play on your PC. If you want to get the most out of the controller though, you’ll have to download the configurator app. This app is a free download on both Xbox Series X|S and PC, and it works similarly on both platforms.
When you use the Razer controller configuration app, you can create a number of different profiles to use for different people or different games. Configuration options include changing what different buttons do, changing the level of force feedback, and thumbstick sensitivity. If you choose to adjust thumbstick sensitivity, you can also set the sensitivity clutch feature. This allows you to assign a button to either increase or decrease thumbstick sensitivity, so you can swap between fast, responsive thumbsticks for movement, and precise movement for aiming.
Curiously, there didn’t seem to be any way to assign a function to the additional face button or the capture button in the PC app. The app definitely recognized which controller I had plugged in, so I can only assume that functionality just hasn’t been added in yet.
Jeremy Laukkonen / Lifewire
The Razer Wolverine V2 might not be as flashy as previous versions of the hardware, and it might not have as many extra buttons, but it’s still clearly a high-performance controller.
The sensitivity clutch feature is huge for games where you need to both move around quickly and aim precisely. I remember playing games like Team Fortress 2 and Monday Night Combat on PC with a controller with thumbstick sensitivity cranked up to a ridiculous level in an attempt to keep up with mouse and keyboard users, resulting in the fast movement of a mouse with absolutely none of the precision. The sensitivity clutch is a massive help in that area, allowing you to swap on the fly between getting your cursor near someone’s head in a flash, and then zeroing in with precision.
The trigger stop switches are another huge aid to performance in certain games. Instead of pulling the trigger all the way down to fire, wasting precious fractions of a second, using the trigger stop switches allows you to fire almost as soon as you start pulling. In fast-paced games like Fortnite, those fractions of a second can make all the difference in the world.
Unlike most controllers, including the Xbox Series X|S controller and even Elite Xbox controllers from the last generation, the Wolverine V2 doesn’t use cheap rubber buttons. Rubber buttons break down over time, and they can also heat up and start sticking during extended gameplay sessions. The Wolverine V2 uses mechanical switches, resulting in a pleasant clicky feel, precise activation, and a longer lifespan.
“The Wolverine V2 uses mechanical switches, resulting in a pleasant clicky feel, precise activation, and a longer lifespan.
With an MSRP of $100, the Razer Wolverine V2 is cheaper than previous Wolverine controllers, but the fact is that it isn’t wireless. For a wired controller, this is a pretty hefty price. You’re paying for quality, and the Wolverine V2 is clearly a high quality device, but it’s a bit of a hard sell when you can buy an official wireless Xbox Series X|S controller for about $65.
Jeremy Laukkonen / Lifewire
The standard Xbox Series X|S controller, technically known as the Xbox Wireless Controller, is a great option for both your console and PC. It has everything that made the Xbox One S controller great, with grippier texture and an improved D-pad, with an MSRP of $60.
The Razer Wolverine V2 isn’t wireless, and it’s also significantly more expensive. However, it’s an upgrade over the standard Xbox Series X|S controller in almost every way. It has a few extra buttons, allows you to customize your thumbstick sensitivity on the fly, replaces the textured grips with rubberized grips, and even has stronger force feedback that you can tweak to your liking.
If wireless is an absolute necessity, then the Wolverine V2 isn’t your controller. If you don’t care, or you prefer a wired controller, then the Wolverine V2 is a massive upgrade and absolutely worth the extra price.
If you like mechanical switches, you’ll love this controller.
The Razer Wolverine V2 is a big improvement over an already great standard Xbox Series X|S controller, and you can use it on both your Xbox Series X or S and your PC. Handy features like the sensitivity clutch and trigger stops might just give you the competitive edge you need, while mechanical switches make for a highly precise experience and a more durable product overall. If you don’t mind a wired controller, the Wolverine V2 is a big upgrade.
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