The Raiju Tournament is a great gaming pad that offers buyers a number of features traditionally seen on more expensive e-sports controllers. This alongside its stellar build quality and improved switch mechanisms make it a solid option for semi-serious lounge gamers or early streaming adopters looking for a pad to take on the move. The only downside is that intermittent latency with its wireless performance means it’s ill-suited for more serious competitive play online.
- Solid build quality
- Intuitive customisation software
- Extra inputs are great for some genres
- Excellent wired performance
- Wireless performance could be better
- Review Price: £149.99
- Bluetooth 5.0
- Android app support
- 4 extra keys
- Hair trigger switches
The Razer Raiju tournament is the middle child in the PC gaming heavyweight’s current gamepad lineup.
It sits below the uber expensive Ultimate edition and is designed to be a universal peripheral for players across PC, PS4 and GeForce Now who are in the market for an accessible wireless gamepad that’s a little fancier than a regular Dualshock.
And for the most part it delivers on its opening promise, offering buyers rugged build quality, improved switch mechanisms and the advanced hair trigger controls and extra inputs seen on its more expensive sibling. This makes it a great option for lounge PC gamers who like to create custom profiles for their favourite aRPGs, MOBAs and racing games.
The only downside is that, like the Ultimate Edition, its reliance on Bluetooth, not a custom or 2.4GHz wireless connection, means that latency can rear its ugly head, diminishing its appeal for more serious online competitive gamers.
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Design – If the Xbox One gamepad and PlayStation Dualshock had a baby
The Raiju Tournament Edition is a curious beast of a gaming controller. It sits somewhere in between e-sports focused peripherals like the Xbox One Elite, Astro C40 and Razer Raiju Ultimate and regular gamepads like the Sony Dualshock and Xbox One Controller.
At first glance it features a near identical design to its Ultra sibling. You’ll see all the basic Dualshock inputs, plus two extra programmable paddles on its back and triggers on its top. As an added bonus the hair trigger controls are also present. For those out of the know, these are super useful switches that let you reduce the main trigger’s actuation point and travel. They’re particularly great when playing reaction speed focused games, like shooters, MOBAs and fighters.
The only immediately noticeable difference – outside of my review sample’s totes fetch pink colouring option – is that Razer’s swapped the thumbstick layout to be like an Xbox, rather than Dualshock. This means the left thumbstick is on the top left, not bottom.
And for the most part these features work great, with Razer’s synapse software and mobile app making it quick and easy to make custom profiles for specific games utilising the extra inputs.
But up close there are a few compromises that mark it as a mid-tier, not e-sports peripheral. For starters, it’s not customisable. Unlike e-sports pads, there’s no way to swap the thumbsticks or d-pad. Unlike the Ultimate Edition, it also doesn’t have any local storage, so you can’t save multiple profiles offline. Instead, if you want to switch you’ll have to load them via the cloud, which is a lot more fiddly than just pressing a button, as you do on the Ultimate.
Thankfully, unless you’re a seriously hardcore gamer, these issues aren’t terribly noticeable and the changes Razer’s made still add up to make the Raiju Tournament feel like a solid step up on the regular Dualshock.
Extra inputs aside, build quality is generally better. Having had a rampaging toddler thoroughly crash test both, I can confirm the Raiju is more rugged than a regular Dualshock. The controller’s switch mechanisms are also much better. The square, triangle, circle and X buttons, in particular, have a much more tactile click and shorter travel than a regular Dualshock, making them much more pleasant to use.
Performance – Great for multiple devices, but latency is an issue
This adds up to mean that the controller offers way better performance than a regular Dualshock, when wired. Here the benefits of the easily mapped extra keys, hair trigger controls and generally better switches make the controller an absolute blast. Jumping into Destiny 2 the hair triggers led to a palpable increase in my K/D ratio and the customisable keys remain a godsend in Dragon Ball Fighterz and RPGs, such as Grim Dawn.
However, things go a little dicey when you try to use the control wirelessly. Unlike the Xbox Elite, which uses a proprietary signal frequency, or Astro C40, which uses a 2.4GHz connection, the Raiju Tournament uses Bluetooth 5.0. This is on paper great, especially for GeForce Now and Stadia users, as it makes it quick and easy to connect it to most devices.
But like the Ultimate, it’s a double-edged sword and latency is an issue. Even using the controller in a quiet signal area, the device would on occasion stutter and chug, leading to early deaths playing online. On a cheap £30 controller this is semi-forgivable, but on a pad that costs in excess of £150, it’s a serious issue for anyone planning to just use it wirelessly.
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Should I buy the Razer Raiju Tournament?
If you’re looking to take your gaming to the next level with a more advanced gamepad the Razer Tournament is a solid option. It features many of the core features seen on most top-end e-sports peripherals and comes with wonderfully intuitive customisation software. The only downside is that its use of Bluetooth 5.0 means its wireless connectivity isn’t solid enough for competitive play.
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