Razer Wolverine V2 Pro Review – Dashed hopes

When it comes to pro controllers, there’s certainly no shortage of options in 2023. But if you want a pro controller that’s 2.4Ghz wireless and works with both PlayStation 5 and gaming PC, things start to narrow down quickly. The new Razer Wolverine V2 Pro is one of those few and it’s interesting to say the least.

First off is the eye-watering $475 price which is four times the cost of a regular Dualsense controller. To be fair, the new Dualsense Edge and the Scuf Reflex Pro controllers cost around the same. The Wolverine V2 Pro joins the rest of the Wolverine family which includes the wired only V2 and V2 Chroma — both of which are limited to PC and Xbox. The V2 Pro is the first of the family to support Razers HyperSpeed Wireless, answering my biggest gripe with my beloved V2 Chroma.

But HyperSpeed wireless isn’t enough to justify the astronomical cost of the V2 Pro so what else do you get for your almost console-buying-money? There’s Bluetooth and USB-C wired connectivity, PlayStation specific button layout, swappable sticks, six extra buttons and a very impressive 28 hour battery.

On the other hand, you don’t get any haptic feedback or haptic triggers like the Dualsense that we all know and love, the paddles aren’t swappable and you can’t swap out the physical stick modules or change the face plate. This is where the V2 Pro gets rather confusing. Is the Wolverine V2 Pro worth all that money when its clearly missing features that its competitors have?

Razer Wolverine V2 Pro Review

If you’ve seen the Wolverine V2 and V2 Chroma, then the V2 Pro will look and feel like a natural extension of the family. Razer really nailed the overall aesthetics, build and ergonomics which is why the V2 Chroma has been my main controller for PC and Xbox play.

The V2 Pro has the same bulbous design that’s closer to the Xbox controller than PlayStation one including the asymmetric left/ right control sticks that PlayStation diehards might wretch at. The V2 Pro’s chunky, functional aesthetic is a far cry from Sony’s svelte Dualsense controller. It’s heavier but wonderfully comfortable to hold thanks to the same Ergonomic L-shaped and textured rubber hand grips which give excellent support for your hands and a firm grip that won’t slip under pressure.

Unlike other pro controllers that nestle the extra paddles in the curve of the grips, Razer decided to move them to the center of the back panel, sticking downwards. Technically, you only have two paddles, each with a button above it instead of another paddle. Even after several months with my V2 Chroma, I still can’t get used to that design — in fact I never bother using those top paddle/buttons. It really would have been nice to have them physically separate.

Overall, this controversial paddle design will work for some but be a pain for others depending on how long your fingers are. Interestingly, I noticed they are spaced slightly wider on the V2 Pro than on the V2 Chroma but that difference isn’t enough to make a meaningful difference to comfort using them. On the flip side, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll ever accidentally trigger the paddles — something I was really prone to doing on traditional pro controllers.

Speaking of buttons, you still get the same excellent mecha-tactile face buttons on almost all the buttons on the face of the V2 Pro including the 8-way D-pad. Pressing anything feels and sounds like click a mechanical mouse and is very satisfying. The main shoulder triggers are the exception but they are solid, smooth and responsive. Flip the toggles on the back to lock in short throw triggering for fast fire in your games.

However, being a PlayStation centric controller, there are some obvious differences on the front compared to the other V2’s. For starters, gone is the backlit Xbox button and now replaced with the PlayStation touchpad for gestures. On either side of that is the PS menu and capture buttons and below is a larger PS home button.

When using the V2 Pro on PC, pressing the PS button ironically brings up the Xbox Game Bar. The V2 Pro still has a 3.5mm headphone jack which works fine over both wired and wireless connections, something that wasn’t possible with the old Razer Raiju Ultimate controller.

Connectivity, customisation and battery

As with all Razer products these days, the Pro nomenclature points to having every connection option available to mankind. The V2 Pro works with Razer HyperSpeed 2.4Ghz low-latency wireless USB dongle on PC and PlayStation 5, Bluetooth for your smart devices and USB Type-C cable connection for zero-latency. There’s no excuses with this one.

I’m simultaneously impressed that Razer HyperSpeed working on PS5 and utterly disappointed that it couldn’t do the same for Xbox as well. That would really make the V2 Pro worth its weight in gold. Additionally, I find it odd that the V2 Pro requires you to use a toggle on the back to manual select between PC and PS5 modes — it should be able to do this automatically. Likewise, there’s another toggle for switching between wired and wireless modes.

But flipping the controller to wireless mode doesn’t actually turn it on. You have to make an additional step of long pressing the PS button which then turns it on; something that initially baffled me when I unboxed the controller. The gorgeous Chroma lighting is your indication that the controller is on.

Now, if you want to remap any of the buttons, you will need to download the Razer Controller App on iOS or Android. In the weirdest turn of fate, the almighty Razer Synapse does not even recognise the V2 Pro, something surprising and somewhat irritating for PC users who have other Razer peripherals.

Regardless, setting up the app and pairing the controller is easy enough. You put it in pairing mode by pressing the mic and option button and the app will pick it up. Then you navigate a clean and simple interface that lets you easily pick from four preset configurations. You can change the button mappings, profile name and even Chroma lighting style to your hearts desire.

While this is all easy enough, it irks me that I constantly have to go through the repairing process just to change the mode I’m using. It seems powering on the controller doesn’t automatically power on Bluetooth. So it would have been nice to have some a convenient way to cycle through the saved profiles directly on the V2 Pro using some sort of button combination.

That said, after using the V2 Pro for several weeks across both PlayStation 5 and PC, battery life has been excellent indeed. I was getting around 10-12 hours with Chroma lighting on, which is in line with Razers estimate. Even better, you can get up to a whopping 28 hours if you turn off the Chroma lighting which is simply outstanding and puts the 4-6 hours of the Dualsense Edge to utter shame.

Verdict

I like the new Razer Wolverine V2 Pro but it’s a conundrum. On the one hand it adds the key thing I always wanted from my beloved V2 Chroma — Wireless connectivity for PC and PlayStation 5 with excellent battery life. On the other, it loses all haptics, drops Xbox support and yet adds $200 to the asking price.

At close to $500, the sacrifices Razer made to go pro just aren’t commensurate with the asking price. Compared to Sony’s DualSense Edge and Scufs Reflex Pro controllers that have more modular designs and haptics, the V2 Pro doesn’t look like a very good deal. Playing on PlayStation without the innovative trigger haptics is such a compromised experience and I just don’t see why Razer couldn’t have kept the haptics and simply put another toggle on the back to turn them on or off.

Yes, this is a Pro controller for people play Pro competitive games so haptics isn’t a thing but I’m not convinced. As such, it’s really hard to justify the high price of this controller since you won’t be getting the complete, next-gen PlayStation experience with it. PlayStation owners would have a richer experience with the Dualsense Edge Pro controller and PC gamers will get much more out of the Elite Series 2 Controller.


Razer Wolverine V2 Pro
Likes
Fantastic build and feel in hand
Razer HyperSpeed on PC & PS5
Excellent performance in games
Impressive 28 hour battery
Dislikes
No haptics at all
Not modular like competition
So expensive
3.5
Razer Wolverine V2 Pro
Kizito Katawonga
Kizito Katawongahttp://www.medium.com/@katawonga
Kizzy is our Tech Editor. He's a total nerd with design sensibilities who's always on the hunt for the latest, greatest and sexiest tech that enhances our work and play. When he's not testing the latest gadgets or trying to listen to his three whirlwind daughters, Kizzy likes to sink deep into a good story-driven single player game.

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