Razer Raiju Ultimate review: «Chock full of premium features, but also harbors a premium price»
A decent option for pro and eSports players, but doesn’t offer decent gameplay improvements for everyday players. And it’s super expensive.
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How do you improve on controller perfection to give players an edge? That’s the tricky question Razer Raiju Ultimate finds itself needing to answer when appealing to the PS4 crowd. This is because, from a pure comfort perspective, most PS4 players would agree that Sony nailed it with the design of the DualShock 4. Whereas the leap from the PS2 analogue controller to the PS3’s left a lot to be desired in terms of iteration, for the current generation, PlayStation’s handset feels satisfying to hold and easy to use. The addition of a massive touchpad that operates as a big button in the centre isn’t as annoying as sceptics initially thought, either.
The Razer Raiju Ultimate maintains these technical strides for the most part, seeking to improve upon them by way of increased customisation, multi-functional buttons, and interchangeable D-pad and thumbsticks – all factors that are useful to the dedicated eSports player craving an edge the next time they step into Call of Duty.
For the average gamer, however, the increased number of options will likely serve as a complication, at risk of getting in the way of your next wistful outing in games like Red Dead Redemption 2 and God of War where the quickest reaction times aren’t necessarily required.
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(Image credit: Razer)
Works with: PS4, PC
Buttons: Two back paddles, two bonus multi-function shoulder buttons, trigger stops, Mecha-Tactile face buttons
Customizable: Yes (d-pad and thumbsticks)
Connectivity: Bluetooth, wired (braided micro-USB fiber cable)
Battery life: Up to 11 hours
While largely pitched as a PS4 controller alternative, everything the Razer Raiju Ultimate brings to Sony’s console is also offered up on PC thanks to dual-compatibility. There are three play options that can be set via a switcher located on the backplate: wireless PS4; wireless PC, and wired with either two. There was no noticeable delay or lag between the three in any of my extended play sessions, and following a four-hour charge, the Bluetooth connection continued to hold strong.
In more practical terms Razer Raiju Ultimate is pitched primarily as an eSports controller, so there are few quirks particular geared towards that. One is what Razer calls ‘trigger top switches’, which allows players to determine the distance needed to activate the all-important L2 and R2 triggers. The idea is that by hitting them with a simple click, rather than letting them insert all the way in, your response time to shoot or aim is significantly increased. We’re talking milliseconds of difference by this point, but that’s the kind of precision levels needed to potentially boost the likes of your Victory Royale win rate in Fortnite .
Then there are the interchangeable thumbstick types: two standard modules, one raised, and one smooth. Competitive players will no doubt want to swap out the right stick for the raised module, if only to increase sensitivity of precision far beyond what most first-person shooters offer in-game. The alternative D-pad will have more to offer the average player, featuring a single tile as opposed to individual directional modules – making it easier to play games like racers and fighting games, which work better when rolling your thumb over an arrow. In this regard, Razer Raiju Ultimate improves the play experience for certain genres on PS4 over and above what the DualShock 4 can offer (or the cheaper Razer Raiju Tournament Edition , for that matter).
Aesthetically, Razer Raiju Ultimate makes a great first impression when taking it out of the box. Packaged in its own hard-shell carry case complete with compartments designed to safely store the D-pad, USB to Micro-USB cable, and thumbsticks you’re not using, everything about Razer Raiju Ultimate screams ‘boutique’ and ‘premier’. Expected, considering its $170 price tag. Onto the controller itself and the ergonomic shape is more akin to that of a standard Xbox One controller than a DualShock 4. Before you start worrying about the woes of non-symmetrical thumbsticks, however, know that Razer Raiju Ultimate keeps them central. Overall, there’s a satisfying weightiness that comes as a result of the controller’s fatter design.
(Image credit: Razer)
Other than the added customisation offered by interchangeable thumbsticks and D-pad, Razer Raiju Ultimate slaps on four additional buttons to areas where your fingers would typical fall to rest. Dubbed M1, M2, M3, M4, the former two are located a little further inward than the L2 and R2 triggers, while the latter are at times all-too easily pressed due to their location at the back. To round out the key design points there’s some snazzy (if pointless) chroma lighting bordering the central touchpad, and matted texture applied to the grip either side ensures players can always maintain a handle on things.
So how does Razer Raiju Ultimate actually feel to use? Good and bad. The main hang-up, as alluded to earlier, comes from where the M3 and M4 buttons are located. At the back, they’re simply too easy to press by mistake, particularly whenever a click of L3 or R3 is required. Many times while riding across the desert in Red Dead I found myself accidentally getting off my horse instead of praising it or switching between cinematic modes. It’s a little nit-picky, but then so is Razer Raiju Ultimate in how it functions. The problem is easily resolved by mapping M3 and M4 to no other input whatsoever in Razer’s app, but it’s another hoop that most PS4 players will be annoyed jumping through, and you’re actually nerfing one of the features you paid top-dollar for.
(Image credit: Razer)
In stark contrast, Razer Raiju Ultimate’s M1 and M2 shoulder buttons (inward of L2 and R2) are a breeze to click in, but it’s to the detriment of L1 and R1. I mentioned earlier that Razer Raiju Ultimate has a lot in common with an Xbox One controller, and unfortunately as well as the nice heft and good grip, this also translates to a spongier and less tactile L1 and R1. It may only apply to those with large hands, but my index fingers never rested naturally on them. Because of this M1 and M2 were my referred replacements, but that’s solving an issue that wasn’t ever there in the first place.
Outside of this, the press of every other button feels satisfying – largely due to the Razer Raiju Ultimate’s clicky feedback. Even the centre touchpad feels good to tap, with it never being in doubt whether my presses registered ether in wired or wireless modes. The answer was always ‘you bet!’ Not having to press L2 and R2 as far down was also consistently responsive, and is a small feature almost every PS4 player will enjoy and be satisfied by. But it’s small gains.
Razer Raiju Ultimate does a lot of things right to appeal to the specialist and eSports PS4 players. To those who prefer single-player or story-driven experiences, however? Not so much. Given the $170 price attached, it’s nice that the controller provides a great sense of quality thanks to a good heft, textured, grip, and reliable button inputs, but the addition of M3 and M4 and how easy it is to accidentally push them seems like a design oversight. Critically, there simply isn’t enough benefit here to justify the premium price. The DualShock 4 remains the best option for the majority of PS4 players, while FPS devotees may find some value in boosting their response time.
Interested in all things Razer? Be sure to check out our guides to Razer headsets , Razer laptops , Razer keyboards , and the best Razer mouse you can get (not to mention our top picks for the best Razer streaming gear).
- Want to get the official PS4 controller cheap ? Our guide has you covered
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Aaron is a freelance writer who appreciates a good video game story just as much as great visuals and gameplay. Having covered the subject for places like WIRED, Den of Geek, PLAY Magazine, NME, PC Gamer and more, he’s well equipped to discuss a range of topics and industry goings-on through in-depth features, developer interviews and thoughtful reviews. His favourite game ever is 2005’s TimeSplitters: Future Perfect, a madcap character shooter from the makers of GoldenEye 007 that he first played whilst on holiday in Butlin’s Minehead. Because who needs to have fun in the sun, anyway?
Razer Raiju Ultimate Review | Trusted Reviews
The Razer Raiju Ultimate will be complete overkill for most . But for hardcore players that want full control the Raiju Ultimate’s feature set is excellent and easily matches key rivals, like the Xbox Elite and Astro C40 on performance. The only serious drawback is that it’s excruciatingly expensive.
- Solid build quality
- Excellent customisability
- Strong wired performace
- Latency on Bluetooth
- Seriously expensive
- Review Price: £200
- Customisable D-Pad and thumbsticks
- Wired/Bluetooth 5. 0 connectivity
- Additional M1, M2, M3, M4 customisable shoulder and trigger inputs
- PC/PS4 support
- Chroma lighting
- iOS/Android/Windows compatible button mapping apps
The Razer Raiju Ultimate Edition is the top dog gamepad in the PC gaming heavyweight’s current portfolio.
It targets the same hardcore market as the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 and Astro C40 and is being marketed as the ultimate weapon for budding esports athletes and hardcore PS4 competitive gamers.
The Ultimate certainly lives up to its name on paper, featuring a wealth of thumbstick and D-Pad customisation options and more custom switches and additional buttons than you can shake a stick at. This plus its programmable software, which makes it quick and easy to make game-by-game profiles, make it an excellent option for very, very, very hardcore gamers.
But it’s hefty upfront price and slightly flaky wireless functionality makes the Raiju Ultimate complete overkill for everyone else. Most people will be better off saving their money and opting for the regular DualShock 4, or Razer’s cheaper, stripped-down Raiju Tournament.
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The Raiju Ultimate has an atypical, distinctly Razer design. It looks like what would happen if the Xbox One controller and PS4 DualShock had a baby.
The shape of the controller is distinctly Xbox-like, while the button, D-Pad and thumbsticks are firmly arranged like a DualShock. This in my mind is no bad thing as it means the controller is noticeably more comfortable to hold than a regular DualShock.
Outside of this, it ticks all the boxes expected of a professional game controller featuring a variety of customisation options and extra inputs.
Out of the box you can choose from a variety of different thumbstick and D-pad options. The sticks include differing heights and convex and concave tip options. Picking the right one for you is essential as the added comfort the right configuration it brings is palpable. Experimentation is also quick and easy as the parts are locked using a magnetic docking system, so it only takes seconds to swap out components.
I personally prefer the added stability of a screw system, like the one seen on the Astro C40, as a result. I’m also a little sad that, again like the Astro, you can’t swap the placement of the left thumbstick and D-pad to give the controller an Xbox-like layout, but this is a very small quibble. Build quality is otherwise excellent. The Ultimate easily survived the rage throws of an irate teenager suffering an ongoing CoD losing streak.
The extra programmable keys are another esports focused addition. Up top and around the back you’ll also find additional M1, M2, M3 and M4 keys. M1 and M2 are top facing additional shoulder buttons. M3 and M4 are paddle inputs that sit next to the regular triggers.
The paddles’ large size is a minor annoyance as it’s all too easy to press them accidentally during heated online sessions. But for the most part, the extra inputs are useful, especially in genres like ARPGs, MOBAs and shooters. The inclusion of switches to lower the regular triggers actuation point is particularly great for the latter.
Rounding off the extra inputs, there are basic RGB, profile settings and media keys lining the Ultimate’s bottom. I’m not super fussed about RGB lighting, but on the Raiju it’s useful, as it lets you match profiles to specific colours, so you know which one you’re using at any one time.
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Software – Simple, intuitive and works on iOS, Android and Windows
Customising the pad’s inputs and lighting is also wonderfully simple thanks to its mobile app and Chroma support. The software works on iOS, Android and Windows and lets you control everything from what colour the light displays to the intensity of the controller’s haptic feedback, as well as the button’s settings.
The system is about as intuitive as you’ll find. My only minor quibble is that you can only remap the M-buttons, not the regular controls. Though this is fairly common on most esports controllers. The only other controller I’ve seen do this well is Valve’s Steam controller, which comes with its own set of issues.
Connectivity and performance – Wired performance is excellent, but latency creeps in on Bluetooth
Wired performance is excellent. The custom thumbsticks and controller’s rubberised back make it quick and easy to get a solid hold on the Raiju, even during heated, sweaty online matches. The buttons also have a much more tactile, responsive switch mechanism and shorter actuation point than the regular DualShock and Xbox pads.
There are some issues using the Raiju wirelessly, however. The Raiju Ultimate features Bluetooth 5.0 wireless connectivity. This should be okay, albeit not as good as proprietary or 2.4GHz connection like the ones seen on the Xbox Elite and Astro C4. But with prolonged gaming sessions, I regularly saw latency creep in.
For a controller being marketed at esports professionals and hardcore gamers, that’s a huge issue. Thankfully, the two markets generally will always favour a safer wired connection for this reason, so it’s not a complete deal-breaker. It will be a huge annoyance for casual buyers, especially considering the controller’s hefty cost, however.
Related: Best PS4 games
Should you buy the Razer Raiju Ultimate Edition?
If you’re a budding e-Sports player or hardcore gamer happy using a wired connection, then the Raiju Ultimate is a solid option. It features an easy to use magnetic customisation system, super intuitive button mapping software and is one of the sturdiest built pads I’ve tested. Its hefty upfront cost and slightly patchy wireless performance make it a poor choice for more casual lounge gamers, however.
Razer Raiju Ultimate tested
Suitable for: PS4 and PC
Connectivity: Bluetooth or cable
Modular: Interchangeable grips and D-Pad
Individual: Razer Chroma™
Weight: 370g0019 * Mecha-Tactile Triangle
* Action Buttons
Audio: 3. 5mm for audio and microphone
Battery: up to 11 hours
1x Razer Raiju Ultimate
1x Micro-USB cable
1x instruction manual
Carrying case 1x
Razer released the Raiju PS2016 controller back in 4 years. The officially licensed gamepad for professional gamers impresses with its extensive customization options and particularly ergonomic design.
The Razer Raiju Ultimate (2019) was released three years later with the intention of adding Bluetooth wireless functionality to the then wired Raiju, fixing bugs, and providing even more customization options.
The design of the Razer Raiju Ultimate
The Raiju Ultimate does a lot when you unbox it. The controller is supplied in a transport case. The modular D-Pad and analog eartips are nicely lined up at the front of the case.
If you take the controller in your hand, you can immediately notice a lot of weight. The Pro-Controller weighs 352g and is thus 142g heavier than a regular DualShock 4 controller. The weight is evenly distributed throughout the controller. Too high load? — Nothing! However, it should be noted that the Raiju Ultimate, unlike other Pro controllers such as the Nacon Revolution Pro Controller 2, does not have interchangeable scales.
Raiju Ultimate is pleasant to the touch. The rubberized knobs on the handle provide a comfortable grip even during long gaming sessions. The button layout is also very well implemented. All keys are easily accessible by normal sized hands. Only triggers M3 and M4 require a small acclimatization phase due to their very deep placement. Similarly, players with small hands may have trouble with M1 and M2 triggers. They are difficult to reach with too short index fingers!
Speaking of buttons, in addition to the basic DualShock controller, Raiju Ultimate offers a touchpad with stylish RGB lighting and four multifunctional buttons. The key pressure points are correct and provide a nice mechanical feel with tactile feedback.
Razer Raiju Ultimate Features
Raiju Ultimate is primarily designed as a PS4 controller. However, the controller can also be connected to a PC. The mode can be switched between «PS4 BT», «USB» and «PC BT» with the switch on the back. In the test, the connection was established without problems. In the same way, communication was maintained constantly, without interruption. However, PC gamers should note that the Raiju Ultimate is still a DualShock controller that needs to be configured separately on PC and in games.
Professional gamers get their money’s worth. The modular design allows you to quickly change analog sticks and D-pads. Depending on the type of player, the Raiju Ultimate can be equipped with short concave sticks or an elongated convex stick. Wait — a bulging stick? I agree! Razer only includes an extended concave stick and an extended convex stick. It’s a shame that two identical pairs were not chosen here.
The D-Pad, which is available as a disc or classic control pad, is also interchangeable. The so-called «trigger stops» allow you to instantly change the travel of the L2 and R2 trigger keys. All you have to do is flip the switches on the back. Thanks to the shorter trigger path, you can react even faster, especially for shooters. To prevent unintentional pressing of the PS key and the configuration keys, they can be disabled using the lock key.
RGB profiles, application and chroma
Depending on the game genre, Raiju Ultimate can be programmed with different profiles. Key assignment, vibration strength and RGB color lighting can be adjusted. Programming through the application is the easiest. The «Raiju for PS4» app is available for download from the respective app stores (Apple and Google). The connection between the application and the controller is established via Bluetooth. In the test, the first connection setup immediately worked. Reconnecting again proved to be a difficult task, because the controller was found only after switching the smartphone on and off several times. Razer definitely needs to make improvements here!
Four pre-programmed profiles for shooters, combat, sports and racing are already available in the app. A Razer ID is required to create a new profile. Razer ID can save up to 500 individual profiles to Razer Cloud. However, preprogrammed profiles can also be set up without a Razer ID. The key assignments include the M1, M2, M3 and M4 keys. All other keys can be assigned to these special keys. The sensitivity of the analog sticks can be adjusted using the 10-level sensitivity control. Vibration strength of left and right vibration motor can be set in steps of 10.
To give the controller a unique look, RGB lighting is provided around the touchpad. In addition to custom color choices, there are also six different lighting modes to choose from.