While trying to source a new Xbox Series S/X is still a bit tricky, Razer’s new Wolverine V2 Chroma controller is designed to offer superior responsiveness regardless of whether you’re playing on Xbox or PC.
Priced at $US150 ($204), the Wolverine V2 Chroma costs slightly more than the vanilla Wolverine V2 and just a bit less than Microsoft’s own Xbox Elite Controller while delivering even more customizability, speed, and of course, built-in RGB lighting.
For the Wolverine V2 Chroma’s face buttons and D-pad, instead of typical membrane switches, Razer is using its own Mecha-Tactile Action Buttons which feature mechanical switches similar to the kind Razer uses in its gaming mice. So not only do you get more precise feedback every time you press a button, but Razer has also shortened up each button’s actuation distance by around 35%, so each press feels faster and more responsive. And while that might not sound like much, for ultra-competitive gamers, sometimes just a few milliseconds can mean the difference between life and death.
Additionally, like a lot of high-end gamepads, the Wolverine V2 Chroma comes with a range of customisable buttons including an extra pair of shoulder buttons up top and four triggers around back — all of which can be remapped to best suit your playstyle. And depending on the game, there’s also a switch that allows you to change the pull distance on the RT and LT triggers, so you can have a deep analogue pull for stuff like racing games, or a shorter pull for shooters or fighting games.
However, the customizability doesn’t stop there, because, in addition to the Wolverine V2 Chroma’s multi-function buttons, Razer’s controller also comes with interchangeable analogue sticks, allowing you to swap out the default Xbox-style sticks for shorter domed sticks (similar to what you get on older PS controllers), or a taller concave option designed to give your greater and control and accuracy in FPS games (especially when you’re sniping).
Also, because the Wolverine V2 Chroma was designed from the start to work on both Xbox (both Xbox One and Xbox Series S/X) and PC (sorry PlayStation owners), you can customise the controller’s buttons, vibration strength, and lighting via the free Razer Controller Setup app on the Microsoft store, instead of needing to download Razer’s Synapse app.
Unfortunately, the Wolverine V2 Chroma has one major drawback compared to most other modern gamepads: it’s only available in a wired-only configuration. For gamers who have gotten used to the convenience of wireless gamepads, adding a wire back into the mix could be a big barrier to entry, particularly for a $US150 ($204) controller. But with the Wolverine V2 Chroma, Razer said it wanted to focus on delivering the most responsive performance you can get. So like it or not, that means you need a wire, though I really wish Razer had included an option to go wireless too.
That said, there are a couple of benefits to going the wired-only route, because not only does the Wolverine V2 Chroma weigh less than a standard Xbox controller, Razer claims the latency between button presses on the Wolverine V2 Chroma is just 10 ms, compared to 12 to 15ms for competing wireless pads.
The other thing I’m not quite sure about is the shape of the Wolverine V2 Chroma’s D-pad. It might be fine for selecting weapons in a shooter, but it looks a bit clunky for die-hard fighting game enthusiasts (though admittedly, fighting game fans are probably better off getting a dedicated fight stick anyways).
A somewhat expensive wired-only gamepad might not be an ideal part of every gamer’s loadout, but for competitive gamers who really care about responsiveness, the Wolverine V2 Chroma is an interesting alternative to Microsoft’s Xbox Elite controllers and other third-party options like Scuf’s Instinct and Instinct Pro gamepads. And if you like the Wolverine V2 Chroma’s design but don’t need the RGB or the additional customizability, the standard Wolverine V2 gamepad will still be available for just $US100 ($136).
The Wolverine V2 Chroma is available today in select regions direct from Razer and other authorised retailers for $US150 ($204).
Editor’s Note: Stay tuned for local Australian pricing and availability.