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Razer Wolverine Tournament Edition

It may be pricey, but if you're looking for an alternative to the Elite, this is it.

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When it comes to consoles and their controllers, we tend to stick with the original first-party models. More often than not they're the best option for the platform, and the number of crappy third-party options we've encountered over the years would fill a rather large bin. However, sometimes the original controller is made obsolete or totally overshadowed, like when Sony released the Dual Analog Controller for the original PlayStation, or when Nintendo came up with Wii Motion Plus, and when Microsoft launched Elite Controller for Xbox One.

But even then, it was the original platform holder that upgraded its own stuff, rather than a third-party coming in and mixing things up. There are some exceptions, very rare ones, and Razer is one of the companies that has built controllers we've actually used to supplement the original ones, and therefore we were excited to unbox the Razer Wolverine Tournament Edition for Xbox One. With a price tag of roughly £120, it comes with expectations.

The solid build is immediately noticeable and as we twist and bend the controller, it feels almost completely moulded in a way that Microsoft's own controllers do not. The ergonomics initially reminds us of the standard Xbox One controller, but it comes with small changes that make it even better. The backside has a rubber-like surface that makes the controller extremely grip-friendly and the materials used have a nice luxurious feel.

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Tilting the analog levers instantly reveals what a sturdy build this is and the resistance is just right for us to adjust the micrometres required to put a perfect headshot in the distance. Even the buttons deserve to be mentioned because they have a significantly shorter press before keystrokes are recorded, and they feel more like mouse buttons rather than what we're used to from console controllers. It may feel a bit weird initially, but it does help improve your reaction times.

As it should be, a lot can be done to tailor the Wolverine Tournament Edition to your personal needs. On the back are carefully designed paddles (M3 and M4) hidden and next to the L / R triggers we find two more (M1 and M2), all of which can be customised. In addition, there is also the option of locking the triggers as with the Elite, ensuring they record keystrokes faster which makes them magnificent when playing first-person shooters.

The Wolverine is quite light despite the design (compared to the Elite, although it's slightly heavier than the original), which is because this - like all third-party controllers - lacks batteries, as Microsoft and Sony seldom allow wireless third-party solutions to their consoles even when it comes to licensed accessories. That's why this product uses a cable which we really don't see as a disadvantage as Razer's controller isn't built for casual gaming, rather it's designed for those who really want that slightest of theoretical advantages over their opponents. With cable, a couple of milliseconds are shaved off in terms of reaction times, and it might just be the difference that lets you kill an opponent in a Halo 5: Guardians shoot-out and escape with a sliver of health remaining.

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Razer Synapse is the app you use to set everything up, from the lighting on the controller (maybe you want the lights to shine the same colour as the buttons you press, or pulse when vibrating?) to what the four M buttons will be used for. For PC you get even more freedom to tailor everything and overall, we think Razer did a good job of making the controller as easy to use as possible.

In the end, there is no doubt that this is an absolutely first-class controller, which unfortunately also comes with a first-class price tag. You could get an Elite for about the same money, and it's undoubtedly a more versatile alternative with interchangeable levers, d-pads and stuff like that. But if you're mainly playing first-person shooters, we can highly recommend the Razer Wolverine Tournament Edition, as there's no better shooter-focused option right now on Xbox One.

08 Gamereactor UK
8 / 10
overall score
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