Sony revealed two cool alternative PS4 controllers a while back, the Razer Raiju and the Nacon Elite, of which the Razer recently released worldwide.
I have spent a week with it playing all sorts of games, from Destiny to Final Fantasy XV, and even a bit of Overwatch.
The controller is more versatile than I thought it would be, as the profile management and the quick mapping options make it ideal for someone who constantly changes games.
Following in the steps of the Xbox One Elite Controller, the Raiju comes in a neat carry case that zips up. It also comes with the screw you need to remove and replace the extra Hyperesponse triggers.
Other than that, the extra additional attachments are limited here. No D-Pad replacement, analogue removal options, and shorter paddles to change to.
It never felt like it was a must though, as even when I used the Xbox One Elite Controller earlier this year, I barely made use of all the extra attachments that came with the device.
The Raiju is a larger controller, perhaps 20% larger than the DualShock 4. What makes it feel so big in my hands was the larger grips on it and the spacing between all the buttons. On the DualShock 4 everything is very closely placed, and on the Raiju I had to reach for everything I pressed.
Starting off with the front interface, the action buttons like Triangle, Circle, Cross, and Square are smaller, and at the same time they have less pressure needed to press them in.
Almost 50% less in theory, so this meant that spamming buttons was quicker thanks to the less travel time between the chip inside and the button itself. The D-Pad is the opposite however, as the buttons use the same system as the DualShock 4 so they don’t feel as refined.
The touchpad also has a nice press to it and makes a loud sound when pressed in, so I knew that I pressed the button in.
Then we come to the control panel at the bottom of the controller. This is a cool 4-button feature that let me mute my mic, similar to the Xbox One mic adapter, change profiles, and re-map the layout of the controller, all from one panel.
Remapping is the most important part of this controller, and it was quick to do. I just pressed the “mapping” button, then tapped the trigger I wanted to map, and then the button I wanted to map to it.
It was fairly simple, and given that the controller has four extra Hyperesponse buttons, the possibilities are endless.
I then did the same thing for the second profile, and then easily switched between the two while playing the different games. The triggers themselves feel great.
The middle two are made from a metal-like material which click in quickly and have a great response time. As for the top top two, they were used less than the bottom ones, but only due to the reach of them between the top L1 and R1 buttons.
When I did try and use them frequently, I would press the L2 and R2 buttons by mistake.
The hair trigger toggles that reduce the distance between the L2 and R2 pressure also came in handy in some FPS games. Destiny does not support it unfortunately, but other games like Overwatch and COD made full use of it.
When the toggle was on, the press time was reduced by 50% thanks to the reduced distance the trigger had to travel to the pressure plate. For those hardcore gamers who feel like this would give them the edge, it is highly recommended that you use this toggle.
After a week with the controller there are games I would use it for, and games I would not. Some games like Final Fantasy XV just did not have the need for it, as the combat and exploration does not benefit from the extra buttons at all.
Although it is still nice to play with, I went back to my DS4. It was games like Overwatch, Titanfall 2, and Battlefield 1 that really stood out for me and made great use of the controller.
Crouching while still aiming, reloading while rotating my camera in BF1, and mapping other action buttons to the triggers, really gave me the edge in games.
All those times I had to lift my thumb off the right analogue to use a button were a thing of the past.
The Razer Raiju is a great PS4 controller, and if you are tired of using the old DualShock 4, then I highly recommend looking into it. The controller is available in South Africa right now for the recommended retail price of R2,499.