After creating an optimal Xbox One controller with their Wildcat, Razer now goes for the PlayStation 4 market with their Razer Raiju, a wired controller officially licensed for the PlayStation 4. In addition to the elements common to the DualShock 4, such as a touchpad, the Raiju offers four additional buttons, and focuses on optimal responsiveness.

It still remains to be seen, of course, whether the Raiju will become the controller of choice for PlayStation 4 players everywhere.

A controller dedicated to esports

The Raiju controller is resiliently high end, and is, according to Razer, designed entirely for esports. It is therefore intended primarily for professional players. The controller sells at a reasonably high price that reflects its elitist standards. While the Razer Raiju is one of the most expensive pro controllers as of now, it justifies its cost in many ways.

The Raiju’s Construction – outclassing the Wildcat

The Razer Raiju far outclasses the Wildcat. Finished elastomer-coated foam on the handles provides a perfect grip. It’s general finish is excellent, and, like the Wildcat, offers perfect compatibility with the PC, making this a great choice for dedicated PC gamers.

Interestingly enough, the Razer Raiju is much closer in shape to the Xbox One controller than a PlayStation 4 controller. It has been ergonomically designed to fit hands of all sizes. It nevertheless retains the symmetrical arrangement of traditional analogue sticks.

For those who prefer a more Xbox-like controller for the PlayStation 4, we would suggest the Revolution Pro controller from Nacon.

The weight of the Razer Raiju

The Raiju has a very definite weight in the hand, and weighs around 286.5 g, which is 53.5 g more than the DualShock 4, and 66.5 g more than the Revolution Pro controller without its optional weights. The controller is even 15.5 g heavier than the Wildcat, and approaches the 294 g of the Xbox One elite controller. While this weight isn’t exactly alarming, it is better that you rest your forearms or wrists somewhere while using this controller in long sessions of play, otherwise you may suffer some levels of fatigue in your wrists or forearms.

Controls of the Razer Raiju

The directional cross of the Raiju is positioned roughly where it is on the DualShock controller, and has a similar shape. Nevertheless, it has a crucial advantage over the traditional directional cross, in that it is not really a cross in one piece, and its direction buttons can operate independently of each other.

Razer-raiju-controller-ps4

As has been common on all Razer controllers for several years past, the cross buttons, square, triangle and round buttons, all benefit from hyper response technology, that is to say, they rely on mechanical switches like those used on gaming mice. They’re therefore very responsive, but also very sensitive, and one had best pay attention to where one puts ones fingers when using this controller.

Changes that matter

The diameter of the buttons of the Razer Raiju is also smaller than those of the PS4, being 9.5 mm against the PS4’s 10 mm. The buttons are also closer to each other by 1 mm. There is also a slight inclination to the left to make the triangle button a little more accessible. All in all, these changes make the buttons easier to use for a pro player.

The analogue sticks

The analogue sticks are very different from those of the official PS4 controller. They are a little wider than those of the PS4, are concave, and smoother. There are little caps on the sticks, made of rubber, with small pimples that provide for a better grip. The caps also increase the stick diameter by 2 mm, which is something that one can appreciate when one uses the controller.

This choice gives one the advantage of not having to wear out the sticks themselves, but rather the caps, which can very easily be replaced when they wear out. It would have been even better had Razer adopted the system of interchangeable sticks that Microsoft’s Xbox One Elite controller uses.

The triggers are very similar to those on  the Xbox One controller, but they don’t have the advantage of built-in vibration motors, these being located in the handles instead, just as in the DualShock 4.

Extra buttons

As we mentioned earlier, Razer has added a few buttons to the controller, taking the form of four triggers numbered M1 to M4. Two are placed at the top edge of the controller, while the other two are located on the back. The latter have the advantage of being removable. However, these buttons cannot be removed solely by hand, but instead require a tool to install or remove them. This can be a trifle inconvenient, even if the tool is provided in the carrying case supplied with the controller.

razer raiju additional buttons

These extra triggers can take the function of any other button on the controller, or can even be programmed with your own options, and are therefore very useful when you want to keep both hands on the sticks in the heat of the action. They especially allow you better responsiveness in running or jumping in a first person shooter, and allow for better changing of gears in a racing game.

Profiles and menus

What functions you assign to the buttons M1 to M4 can be saved in to built-in joystick profiles, which can then be activated on the go with a simple button on the control panel of the joystick. This button is located under the analogue sticks, and it also allows you to mute the microphone and change the volume of the game, or of chat conversations. Finally, there is a small headphone jack placed on the lower edge of the controller, just as on the official controller.

Installation and settings

The Razer Raiju has a USB connection via a braided cable that is 3 m long. While some controllers do provide longer cables, this is quite adequate for most pro tournaments. Unlike the Nacon Revolution Pro controller, the Razer Raiju cannot be configured via PC software that could adjust the behaviour of its analogue sticks or create macros. However, for PS4 games, there is some possibility that the controller’s function can be reconfigured directly from the PlayStation 4. Razer also provides a driver for Windows that allows the controller to be used in any game. You get a semi rigid carrying pouch with the controller that comfortably holds the controller and necessary accessories.

Impressions of the Razer Raiju

If it doesn’t revolutionize one’s gaming experience, the Razer Raiju certainly offers very dependable behaviour when playing just about any game on the market and offer flawless responsiveness. Its very sensitive buttons are a necessity, and the analogue triggers are soft and precise.

In general, the controller offers an exceptional level of comfort, despite weighing slightly more than would be perfect. The ergonomics allow people with different hand sizes to comfortably handle the controller.

Control analysis

For their part, the analogue sticks offer both very good fluidity and very good accuracy. Their flexibility is an asset when it comes to zoning in on a target, especially on an inclined plane. Though their axis is made of plastic and not metal, they seem to be strong enough for many hours of intense play. The analogue stick movement feels very natural, and all in all the ergonomics of their design is nothing less than exceptional.

The directional cross has separate buttons for each direction, but it remains a little hard to use, and can really only be used to select weapons or powers in action games. It still remain useful for such games, or for adventures or RPGs. It is best not to use this controller’s directional cross for fighting games.

An exceptionally good point with this controller is that the M1 to M4 buttons are very well placed and very sensitive. It is advised that you disable the two rear buttons, if the game you’re playing doesn’t call for them, as this allows for greater ease of use and functionality. It also prevents unintentional movements or power activations in-game.

The Razer Raiju is nothing short of optimal. It provides a pro gamer with the best of all possible worlds – with ‘razer’ sharp control, with superb response times, and optimal functionality. A must-buy.


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