Razer Wolverine V2 Pro PS5 Controller Review – If you’ve never bought a third-party controller, then you’re very much not alone, because for years it seemed like third-party controllers would remain as the controller you give to your younger sibling, or that one friend in your friend group who you like the least/would like to see lose.
They were the devices you cared little about, though you had them out of necessity, and because purchasing a second first-party controller came at a significant increase in price.
That’s not been the case now however in recent years, with companies like 8bitdo, Scuf, PDP, PowerA and Razer making third-party controllers that might actually have a shot at becoming your new go-to gamepad when you turn your console on.
I got the chance to test drive Razer’s latest third-party controller finally making its way onto the PlayStation side of things, the Wolverine V2 Pro.
It’s the second generation of Wolverine controllers and the first PS5 compatible controller from Razer. It’ll also set you back a whopping $249.99 USD, though currently it looks like Razer is already out of stock after it launched at the end of 2022.
The controller boasts plenty of features to back up its pricing, but after spending some time with it, do I really think this controller is worth the tall asking price?
Well, not really. Let me explain.
Razer Wolverine V2 Pro PS5 Controller Review – Is The Added Bang Worth Your Bucks?
Asymmetrical Thumb-sticks? On PlayStation?!
There are a lot of things you’ll notice right away about the Wolverine V2 Pro when you first lay eyes on it, but the thing I noticed and fixated on first was the asymmetrical thumb-sticks.
I’ve grown up playing games on PlayStation consoles, which has meant symmetrical thumb-sticks on controllers for most of my life. In more recent years I’ve spent many a night in Master Chief’s boots on my Xbox, but the asymmetrical choice here for the V2 speaks to what I believe to be this controller’s best use-case.
And that use case is essentially any first-person shooter. Granted, the asymmetrical thumb-sticks, and the Wolverine V2 Pro’s marketing are a bit of a give-away in that regard.
But if you’re someone who only plays first-person shooters, who is more likely to be found playing Warzone then Horizon, and you’re looking for anything to help give you a competitive edge, then the Wolverine V2 Pro might not be the worst choice.
To clarify, there’s nothing about this controller that can ensure or guarantee you’ll play better in your chosen competitive shooter, but it does include features that can certainly help make playing better consistently a lot easier. The asymmetrical thumb-sticks are one feature, and more specifically the right thumb-stick.
The right thumb-stick is the one that can be changed on the fly, from something that is the same height as the the left thumb-stick, to a raised thumb-stick or one more lowered down.
The raised stick wound up being my personal preference, and though you only have three choices with no option to do the same with the left thumb-stick, this begins to showcase a running theme through the controller. It’s extremely easy to use, but not as customizable as it could be.
Other high-end controllers allow you to change the stick caps for both the right and left sticks, some even let you change from symmetrical to asymmetrical thumb-sticks depending on your preferred directional pad placement.
Sony’s upcoming DualSense Edge controller may not be asymmetrical, but you’re offered more customization with the stick caps specifically in that you can adjust both, and it comes in $50 less than the Wolverine V2 Pro. The stick caps aren’t even the only feature in which the DualSense Edge has an edge over the Wolverine V2 Pro.
More Buttons, Less Problems
The Wolverine V2 Pro is fashioned with four back buttons, each of which can be mapped to your preference. It also includes two additional shoulder buttons, which sit right beside the R1 and L1 buttons.
While the four mappable back buttons are good to have, it’s the additional shoulder buttons that are the best part of this extra-button feature-set.
I set those buttons to what would otherwise be directional pad inputs while playing Apex Legends, and made using grenades/healing a much faster and easier action then it was for me before.
While playing Neon White I set my alt-fires to be triggered by those shoulder buttons as well, and I’m positive that helped me get faster run times on challenging levels in fewer attempts than they would have with a standard controller.
Beyond the additional buttons, all of the other standard buttons you’d expect to see on a PlayStation controller feel very responsive.
Personally though I do not like the D-pad included on the Wolverine V2 Pro. I’ve always been more fond of a more traditional cross D-pad as opposed to the 8-way pad provided on the Wolverine V2 Pro.
But that has more to do with the games I play than the controller or d-pad itself. It works well enough and as with everything else there is a tactile feel to your inputs.
Worth The Price Of Convenience?
The running theme with the Wolverine V2 Pro is that everything about it is simple and easy to use, however that often also means it falls short of its competition, in some ways that are baffling considering the Wolverine V2 Pro’s price.
One of the best examples of one of its really good, simplicity focused features is the hyper-trigger switches it has on its back. On the fly, you can change the pull of your back triggers, even have them set differently if you like.
It’s easy to see how this is great for first-person shooters, but the fact that you can change things as you go is the best part about the feature for me.
The same goes for the controller’s profiles, even though that does require an few extra steps, and a second device. There’s no way to change the profiles directly on the controller, though opening the “Razer Controller” app on your smartphone will let you change between four profiles with a quick press of a button.
It’s also just as easy to customize those profiles in the app, and name them accordingly for your uses. I did however encounter a bug that kept deleting my custom name for one of the profiles, and it would default to “Racing” every time I re-opened the app.
The app is also where you can adjust the sensitivity of the thumb-sticks, and give each profile a different identifiable RGB pattern, which is very helpful for preventing an instance of jumping into a game with the wrong profile engaged.
You’ll also find switches between wireless and wired modes on the back, and a PC/PS5 mode switch. Again, these switches are great because they really do make switching between platforms and connection styles that easy.
But for how simple the app is to use, or how easy the included switches make things, still doesn’t account for its lacking software. 8bitdo’s now older model SN30 Pro+ I’ve had since 2019, not even the new Pro 2 being sold now, has a much more in-depth software that goes with the controller, allowing you to adjust trigger sensitivity, re-map everything, adjust stick sensitivity and dead zones, even add macros.
You can even adjust how much the controller vibrates, which you can’t do on the Wolverine V2 Pro, because it doesn’t vibrate at all, if you care about that kind of feature.
And you can get it much, much cheaper than the Wolverine V2 Pro. Now, this is a moot point if you’re buying this for your PS5, because 8bitdo doesn’t have a PlayStation compatible controller. But if you’re just looking for something PC compatible, then the price begins to seem even more insane, considering the other options available, and 8bitdo is just one example.
Premium Price Without The Backing For It
There are a lot of things to like, even love about the Wolverine V2 Pro. The tactile feel of the buttons, the comfortable grip, the hot-switches for different modes, all the additional remappable buttons, interchangeable right thumb-cap, and a simple-to-use app to switch controller profiles and make changes on the fly, with the controller updating in seconds. All while holding a single charge for a very long time.
But that doesn’t totally mean it stands up to is $249.99 price tag. That’s the same price as the most expensive version of SCUF’s Reflex line of controllers for PS5, but depending on your use-case you might be able to get away with the two other, cheaper models.
Or you can just wait for the DualSense Edge, which again, is cheaper than the Wolverine V2 Pro. The lack of adaptive triggers and haptics also automatically make this controller more of a “special-use case” only device for PlayStation players, particularly for any first-party titles that often take huge advantage of those features.
And once again, that makes the price an even tougher hill to climb. Even if you play shooters 80% of the time, I’d still call the Wolverine V2 Pro an unnecessary expense, especially if you’re just a casual player, and not looking to enter an esports league anytime soon.
If that is you, then I’d say this controller could likely be a fine choice for the professional player, if it suited your needs.
All this to say that this controller comes nowhere close to replacing the DualSense that comes with your console, unless you really only play one kind of game. That’s not all bad, but if all you think you want is some additional, remappable buttons, there are cheaper options that’ll do the job just fine, while offering more for less in certain departments.
The Razer Wolverine V2 Pro for PS5 is now available for $249.99 USD.
Review unit generously provided by Razer.