I’ve always been a controller player and my favorite ones have all come from Razer’s Wolverine line up with the newest — the Razer Wolverine V2 Chroma — being the subject of today’s review. If you didn’t know, the Wolverine line are Pro controllers for Xbox and Windows PC and come with mechanical buttons, back paddles and swappable thumbsticks. My previous go to was the Wolverine Tournament Edition which was one of my first reviews here on PowerUp a few years ago now. I loved it but it did lack many of the customisation features of its big brother the Wolverine Ultimate.
The $254.95 Wolverine V2 Chroma is very expensive — even more so than the Xbox Elite Series 2 controller. And, the V2 Chroma isn’t even wireless! Nor does it match the Elite’s level of physical customisation. Where it does beat the Elite 2 is the freedom from wireless latency and battery life concerns. I’ve been using it for several weeks now and while I absolutely love it’s performance, I can’t help but ask “Why isn’t this wireless, Razer?”
Razer Wolverine V2 Chroma Review
The Wolverine V2 Chroma is a beautiful controller. Razer redesigned the entire controller to make a denser, more ergonomic design and added two dashes of RGB lighting that makes you want to cry out “I HAVE THE POWER!”. Seriously, the Chroma lighting on here looks so damn good and is very tastefully done.
I jest but this is one of the most wonderful feeling controllers I’ve ever used mostly due to its ergonomic L-shaped hand grips that offer much better support for your hands. The rubber texture makes for great grip even for the most sweaty of palms. I’ve used the controller for hours on end with no discomfort or fatigue even with its 270gms of weight. The shell is matte black and feels solid, durable and is very resistant to finger prints and oil smudges.
On the front face you get Razers excellent and clicky mecha-tactile buttons. Where previous Wolverines limited these to only the ABXY buttons, all the face buttons on the V2 Chroma are mecha-tactile and I love it. While I can’t speak to their comparative speed, I can tell you every other controller will feel mushy and weak after using these. The two thumbsticks are swappable and Razer provides some varying lengths in the box. The D-pad however isn’t which might be a bummer for some though I never play any games that rely heavily on the D-pad.
At the top we start seeing some of the extra buttons. Besides the regular right and left triggers, you get the first of two extra buttons, M1 and M2. My favorite use for these is mapping the annoying thumbstick press action. The RT and LT triggers have adjustable trigger stops that you can toggle using switches on the back. Shorter makes them actuate faster and is perfect for shooters while longer throw is better for racers like Forza Horizon 5.
Below that, centered in the middle of the back panel are the four additional paddle sticks M3, M4, M5 and M6 which you can map to any other button or just use as a sort of shift-key to enable other functions. The design of these paddles isn’t the most ergonomic. Unlike those found on the Elite 2 which flare outwards towards the hand grips for easy reach, the V2 Chroma instead just point straight down so you have to really reach for them.
It took quite a few days for my fingers to get used to reaching so far. In the end, I really only used the bottom two because the top two just didn’t feel natural during the course of play. I used the M5 and M6 paddles for my jump and crouch functions in shooters like Destiny 2. It took me a couple of hours of play to finally map that muscle memory and get over the finger muscle pain of adjusting to a new play style but once I did, I was finally able to git gud at my running, sliding and gunning.
Mapping the buttons requires the Razer Controller Setup app for Xbox or Windows. In here, you can do basic things like change the lighting, assign button mapping and adjust the motor vibration. Serious gamers can go a little further and change up things like thumbstick sensitivity, dead zones and more for the precise control. You can save your settings to different profiles for different games say for example, a profile for shooters and another for platformers. The only downside is that you need the app to switch profiles as there’s no way to do it directly on the controller.
One welcome improvement over previous Wolverines is the inclusion of a detachable USB-C cable. I remember breaking the cord on my Wolverine TE and searching eBay for replacement since I couldn’t seem to get it from Razer. The V2 Chroma won’t suffer that problem as literally any USB-C cable will work if it fits in the recess but best to stick with the solid, braided cable Razer provides.
Should you buy it?
Without question, the Wolverine V2 Chroma is the best controller the company has made and definitely one of the top three wired controllers money can buy. But at $250, it blows my mind that this isn’t a wireless controller in any form. Most of the competition from Xbox, SCUF, Nacon have a wireless option. I would love to see the V2 Ultimate with Xbox wireless and a 2.4Ghz HyperSpeed dongle for PC use.
For the money, the Elite Series 2 is a better buy for couch gamers. Even with the generous cable provided with the V2 Chroma, it’s still an inconvenience having snaking cables across the living room. Also, the Elite Series 2 can be used both wirelessly and wired. Additionally it has more physical customisations than the V2 and it’s actually cheaper.
However, for people who primarily game at a desktop PC/Console setup, then the Wolverine V2 Chroma is perfect companion for all sorts of gaming. I love mine and I do game mostly at my desk. Still, it wouldn’t hurt to have a wireless mode for some Xbox couch gaming, right?