When it comes to pro gaming, the standard Xbox One controller doesn’t quite do the trick. The Xbox Elite controller is a wise choice for pro gamers and enthusiasts, but issues with the controller’s overall quality has come into question, time and time again. So, what’s a decent alternative brand that offers high-end quality at an affordable price? Razer! Razer has quite a robust line of controllers to select from and one of their latest models is the Wolverine TE – short for Tournament Edition. Sure, this may not be as accessible as the Xbox Elite or Razer’s Wolverine Ultimate, but it’s certainly a controller that’s built with quality in mind.
Wolverine TE comes in at the cost of £119.99 – or region equivalent. That’s roughly twice the cost of the standard Xbox One controller. I don’t want to outcast the standard Xbox One controller because I think we can all agree that it’s one of the best designed base controllers across all platforms. However, the Wolverine TE does one further by offering additional accessibility whilst not overly compromising the core design. What surprised me the most about this controller is that it’s very light, despite its additional functionalities. That’s not to say that it’s cheaply made. On the contrary it’s a solid, well developed and durable kit.
Part of its light weight goes to the fact that the Wolverine TE doesn’t house a compartment for batteries. Instead, it’s a plug-and-play controller that comes with a generously sized braided nylon wire; a natural design choice that improves input lag in comparison to wireless controllers. Out of the box, the controller sports a hard black plastic body and comes with four additional buttons and a slick RGB Chroma lighting effect along the top that can be customized using the Razer Chroma app on both Xbox One and PC. This lends the Wolverine TE its unique and distinct look, which I’ll say, looks absolutely sensational.
The main deal-breaker here will sit with the aforementioned wire. If you can forgo the necessities of wireless gaming, it’s not going to be hard to overlook. However, if you’re not one for trailing wires when you’re ‘in the zone’ then this will obviously prove less appealing. The bottom line here is that it all comes down to your preference. Now, the Wolverine TE doesn’t feature interchangeable thumbsticks, which can also be said about the D-pad. Though, it does indeed feature hair triggers on top of the four additional buttons alluded to above. These can be customized using Razer Synapse, giving you a great deal of freedom.
Two of these buttons are situated in between the triggers on the top of the controller, whereas the two paddles are located at the controller’s rear. Much like the ABXY buttons, these click (PC mouse-esque) when pressed. It can take a bit of getting used to but it does make for a more pronounced experience nevertheless. It certainly felt quite alien going back to the standard Xbox One controller after using the Wolverine TE in this regard. I couldn’t help but feel as though something was missing, so I do hope that Microsoft thinks about implementing this design choice in their own controllers, because it does feel much better.
Moving specifically to the Razer Synapse app, this is as straightforward as can be. The app enables you to not only remap the additional buttons and toy around with the Chroma effects, but you can disable vibrations and tweak the thumbstick sensitivity to custom-match your preferences. I found the placement of the additional buttons to be fluid, comfortable and accessible, especially the rear paddles. That being said, my one and only gripe with controller is that, unlike the Ultimate, there’s no audio panel included. This wouldn’t be so much of an issue if you could use the Headset Adapter, but sadly, you cant.
This means that if you want to toy around with the game audio/chat audio, you’re forced to enter the Xbox One Guide to make any necessary adjustments. I understand that many do this anyway, but it would have been nice to see this catered for, for those that enjoy quicker access. Still, the bottom line in all of this is that the Wolverine TE is a competent controller that’s durable, flexible and accessible. The price between the Wolverine TE and Wolverine Ultimate is small enough to capture the interest of those that may be looking for a bit more, but if you’re on the market simply for these features, Wolverine TE definitely has your back.
It’s light, like, very light, which is an absolute blessing. The additional buttons are all placed perfectly and are built to stand quite a finger beating. The hair triggers are also easy to access and manipulate mid-game and the general feel of the overall product is utterly comfortable. The controller has a lovely grip-texture to it that doesn’t grind your hands down over-time, with the ‘clicky’ face-buttons and triggers rounding off the overall package. It helps, of course, that its feedback is responsive. I’ve been using the Wolverine TE for a great length of time now and I struggle to go back to my standard Xbox One controller.
The Razer Wolverine Tournament Edition is a remarkable controller that comes with a great deal of accessibility and additional functionality. It’s extremely light, yet utterly durable, though above all else, it’s very comfortable to use and gorgeously designed. The accompanying app is very easy to get to grips with and enables owners to tweak vibration, mapping and the iconic Chroma lighting effect. It would have been nice to see an audio-filter built in, but when all is said and done, this is one controller that pro gamers, enthusiasts and anyone in between, will absolutely love.