For clarity’s sake, you should know that I’m not a tournament gamer. I am, however, a very competitive gamer and will always look to try and play optimally.
The wireless Razer Raiju (“Raiju”) is the upgraded version of its brother, the wired Razer Raiju. Razer has taken the original design and has made small tweaks and improvements to produce the controller we’re reviewing today.
Of course the most obvious change is that the controller is now wireless. The controller now has Bluetooth connectivity and can connect to your PC and PS4 wirelessly. The Raiju still comes with a nice 2m micro USB cable giving you the option to stay connected and fully charged if you desire. The Bluetooth capability of the controller also allows it to connect to your mobile phone where you can use the Razer Raiju phone app, which allows you complete control over the controller’s button mapping and vibration settings. You can also create different button profiles for each type of game you play. These profiles are stored on the onboard memory of the controller which means you can switch between them on the fly.
The design of the controller looks like a hybrid between an Xbox and PS4 controller. The matte black finish will ensure greasy fingerprints won’t shine off the controller and the inverted thumb stick grips will make sure your thumbs stay where they need to be. The most notable change at first glance is that the left analogue stick and the d-pad have swapped positions, just like an Xbox controller. The PS button, touchpad, share button and option button are effectively in the same position. The new button at the bottom centre of the controller is the configure button, this is used to sync up with the mobile app, and just below that you have a standard 3.5mm headphone/mic port. With the added config button and other new hardware inside the controller, this has beefed up this overall size of the controller. While this is nowhere near the size of the Xbox “Duke” controller, it’s inline with the standard Xbox One controller which definitely feels a little bit foreign to “PS4 only” gamers.
Flip the controller over and you are greeted with 4 new buttons and 3 new switches. The switch right in the center is the one that controls how you are playing with your controller, “PS4 BT”, “USB” and “PC BT”. Pretty self explanatory, just flip the switch into the position you want to use. Bare in mind that if you do want to use the controller in PS4 or PC Bluetooth mode, you will have to do so through the BT Device set up on each device the first time around. The other two switches are the hair trigger locks for the L2 and R2 buttons. Hair trigger locks allow you to pull the fire triggers faster by reducing the amount you have to pull the trigger buttons in. The trigger range can be fine tuned even further in the Razer Raiju app.
The four additional buttons on the rear of the controller are designed to reduce the time you remove your thumbs from the analogue sticks. If your thumbs are always on the sticks, you’ll always be able to adjust your aim and position not matter what action you are taking. The large back buttons fit nicely under your middle fingers and the two additional shoulder buttons are within reach of your trigger fingers without too much effort. You’ll want to remap these buttons ASAP as they’re defaulted to X, circle, square and triangle when you first boot up the controller.
Unlike the Raiju’s distant cousin, the Xbox Elite, these buttons are built into the controller and cannot be removed, which means you’ll need the Razer Raiju app at hand to unmap the buttons if needed, or you’ll need to set up a special profile. Another slight pain I felt when using the controller was I would unintentionally press the two rear buttons while playing, due to their position and the way they’re built into the controller. With the Xbox Elite’s rear paddles, I knew if my fingers were on them or not and I need to apply a bit of pressure to them to engage them. As with any new tool however, some things take some getting used to.
The other thing worth pointing out is how the X, square, circle and triangle buttons feel. You wouldn’t notice it at first if you have a mechanical keyboard because you are so used to it, but the main four buttons are like a mechanical keyboard keys. The Raiju features “Razer™ Mecha-Tactile Action Buttons” which feel lovely to press, the click noise is as satisfying on the controller as it is on a mechanical keyboard.
Although it takes some getting used to the Raiju is a welcome addition to the PS4 controller family. If you’re looking for a premium controller that will help take your gaming competitiveness to the next level, look no further than the Raiju Tournament Edition controller.