Very high-quality workmanship, useful extras and only the control pad is swallowed. Unfortunately he’s stuck on the cable again.

The search for an elite controller for the PS4 continues, this time it is Razer’s turn with their Raiju. Like practically all controllers that cost a few euros more, this one is launched as an e-sports device, has a whole range of additional functions and of course wants to shine with impeccable workmanship. No wonder, the good piece is supposed to cost around 130 euros – initially it was even significantly more expensive – so it has to offer something. That’s actually more than an Xbox Elite and about twice as much as a regular PS4 controller.

Chic and feature-heavy without being overloaded.

In any case, the Raiju prevails against the DualShock 4 in terms of processing. Everything feels valuable and stable, nothing rattles more than it should, you immediately get the impression of an expensive product. The surface is a mix of finely roughened plastic for everything that is black and below you have a few blue rubberized grip areas for a secure hold. Here the pad rests on the middle finger and the middle, ring and little fingers grip securely. Even after almost 200 hours with the Raiju, the ergonomics still seem to be well thought out, in any case there were no finger cramps or signs of finger fatigue. When it comes to the layout, the controller remains true to the DualShock, which means that the two sticks are centered at the bottom and the control pad on the top left. So whoever disdained the Nacon, because he copied the Xbox layout, the Sony ideal gets here. Personally not my ideal, but since the Raiju is larger and feels better in the hand for my haptic feeling, I can live with it without pain. Literally, with the DualShock I have a slight pain in my thumb after a few hours, with the Raiju not.

The triggers below the pad are not real triggers, but microswitch buttons.

If the first feature, the additional rapid-fire triggers under the pad, bothers you when you grasp, then you don’t have to despair. They’re not as easy to unhook as on the Elite, but that also has the advantage that they don’t occasionally unintentionally go on long journeys in couch folds. A small screwdriver is supplied with the Raiju, with which you can loosen the screw in seconds and then remove this trigger completely. The holder then hooks securely into the pad with a slider and everything is as if nothing had ever been there. When it’s your turn, it’s freely assignable additional keys and really good ones. The metal triggers are not analog, but microswitch triggers. These switches offer the clean, full click that you are used to from this technology, the necessary pressure is deliberately very low. That also means that you can accidentally trigger something here, you have to get used to it. But as an option and implemented in a flexible and high-quality way, they are definitely welcome.

Turn left, turn right: The trigger buttons below can be quickly removed and reassembled using the screwdriver supplied.

The other additional pair of buttons is on the inside next to the normal triggers. You reach these buttons – adult hands assuming – with the tips of your index fingers while you release the triggers with the middle phalanx. That works far better than I thought, I got used to it relatively quickly and since high-quality microswitches are built in here too, these additional buttons don’t give the impression of being a cheap quick shot either. To be honest, the pressure point feels almost better than the normal shoulder buttons, which offer a little more resistance. They are certainly not bad, on the contrary, but they are not particularly noticeable in view of the rest of the pad.

The spring triggers are stable and very sensitive.

This also applies to the two normal triggers, behind which there is a solid spring construction that should at least appear to be halfway durable. Of course, at this point I have to say that all information on the shelf life is given with the caveat that “only” two months and 200 hours of use are the basis. After this time, however, there was no real signs of wear and tear, which gives reason to hope that the Raiju can compete with the purchase of an Elite in terms of sustainability – which only breaks when someone empties half a liter of cocoa on it. But in that case, I wouldn’t chalk it up to the Raiju either if he pulls up his hooves.

Good to see on the right: No microswitches for you, you wicked control pad! (Doesn’t matter, it’s not much good anyway).

An additional feature that the elite are also familiar with is the ability to dramatically shorten the triggers’ paths to perhaps a quarter. In addition to the triggers, you have a sluggish slide switch that you at least don’t use accidentally. The point is that with shooters there is usually no use of the long, analogue path and a short tap is actually enough. With the shortening, the triggers effectively become digital buttons, which is much more pleasant in the long run, especially with shooters. Great function, great to have her.

On with the sticks, which offer a much more elegant resistance than that of the DualShock and are also a little softer than, for example, an Xbox One controller. Even the elite can’t manage the mixture of enough counter pressure and almost weightless movement as well as the Raiju, definitely a real strength of the controller. There were no adjustment errors during the test period, and even the replaceable blue rubber cover looked almost new after the time. What is striking, however, is the very high resistance of the stick buttons. Precisely because of the ease of movement, this is surprising and you will often trigger a small movement before the button has made contact. There should be very few situations where that could make the game, even hypothetical.

The buttons below are a real asset for headset users. It’s just a shorter way than reaching for the headset or a wired remote control.

Continue with the microswitch pleasure and those under the touchpad in the top center also offer decent resistance before they trigger their function with an astonishingly full click, comparable to a real arcade button. While the other switches aren’t silent either – how are they? – Their noises are completely drowned out even at low gaming volumes. But if you press the touchpad, you will hear it. Strange that such massive switches were built in here, but they will probably last forever. If the pad breaks through, you can probably still take it out and use it to save a Pac-Man machine. The surface of the touchpad feels very smooth, almost like walking your finger over a Teflon surface. Very pleasant, just a shame

The other buttons on the top – front buttons, option, share and PS button – are also spoiled by microswitches, are only one millimeter away and are very easy to move. And they feel amazing and direct. So everything is great? Well, unfortunately the glory ends again at the control pad, the Achilles heel of so many pads. A four-button solution was chosen here, not a closed cross. This is no problem with shooters and other modern games where the cross is only used for menus or weapon selection. But what you can forget are retro games, tournament fighters and all games in which movement is performed with the control pad. It’s completely the plague, to be factual. Special moves are practically impossible and even a round of emulated Super Castlevania on the PC was no fun. And Super Castlevania is always fun. In addition, all the buttons on the pad feel as if they weren’t microswitches, but cheap rubber domes, which makes it clear what priority the cross enjoyed during development.

Sunk deep: Not every cable should be attached to this micro USB port. Just one thing, actually, so take good care of that.

What else is there: Below you have a combo input for headphones or a headset and this also has a little more power than the converter of the normal DualShock. At least 32 ohm headphones were loud enough, the quality was okay. Just like that, but at least significantly better than most of the competition. Above that you have four special buttons: a volume control that works in conjunction with the control pad, a mute function and two buttons for assigning the special buttons. The key to reassign you hold down briefly, then you press one of the four special keys and then the key that should copy the special key. Takes only a few seconds and works without any problems, so nothing stands in the way of wild trying out which button of the four ideally does what. There are even two profiles, between which you can switch using the last of the four special keys. Again, not overly complex, practical, does what it is supposed to. And with just two profiles, nobody gets mixed up …

The additional keys can also be used in Windows.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, the master design management, who at least in my eyes – and I’m certainly not alone – pulls this controller down a whole lot. First of all, there is the problem again that the Raiju, like the Nacon, is not wireless. As always, the excuse is e-sports, the lowest possible latency and so on and that may also play a role for 0.001 percent of all players. Therefore, an optional cable connection would also make sense with such a device. There are no options here other than “Cable or nothing”. The cable itself is of the usual textile-covered, higher quality type and at three meters long enough for most people. It’s just enough here but turning to the side with the pad on the couch is no longer possible for me, for example, without pulling it out of the console. But that’s what extension cables are for. Then the phenomenon is that the PS button does not switch on the console, you have to do that on the device itself, unless you have a DualShock lying around. I assume that there is some requirement on the part of Sony that does not allow this, but that doesn’t help much with the fact that you can’t fall on the couch and start the console.

Order Razer Raiju for free on Amazon.de.

The highlight, however, is the USB cable itself and the connection port on the Raiju. Had they put it deeper into the case, it would have come out at the other end. Okay, that’s exaggerated, but almost an inch deep in a specially notched recess, the port isn’t even particularly tight. If you pull on the pad, it’s 50-50 whether you pull the plug on the console or the pad. I have about 20 micro-USB cables here, none of them fit, at least not without grabbing a pocket knife and pruning it. It makes sense that the port should be recessed a little to avoid rupture, but this is the most inelegant solution imaginable. Especially since you have to be very careful with the cable, simply buying new ones doesn’t seem to work.

After all, there is a bag for the price so that important accessories such as the screwdriver can be found later.

But let’s end it on a positive note: The Raiju is PC-compatible and is immediately ready for use on Steam as plug-and-play. For games outside of Steam, there is a Raiju driver that ensures general compatibility so that you do not have to experiment with third-party solutions. So if you also want the DualShock Sony sticks arrangement on your PC, the Raiju is a real, higher-quality option.

No, this is again not my “Elite for the PlayStation”. Close again and yet missed. The Raiju is without question a well thought-out, largely well processed, expensive, but I think not too expensive piece of technology – mind you for the 130 Euro street price, 170 would then be beyond the pain threshold. The microswitch rage in the substructure is great, the entire feel of the shape and buttons is absolutely successful and the features such as the additional buttons and their uncomplicated assignment are practically ideally implemented. I like the triggers even better than the “pedals” on the Xbox Elite. PC compatibility with your own driver is also always a plus, so what is the problem? With a premium product for the money, I don’t want to do without such a natural feature as wireless use. Cable as an esports option, sure. Just cables, and a pointless pseudo-proprietary one at that, that’s not a feature, it’s a step backwards in development. On top of that, the control pad is more of a selector switch than a real control pad. In any case, not many hadoken will be thrown with this. Is that raining the whole party now?

No, it’s still close enough to what I want: A real PlayStation-compatible competitor to the Elite and if a Raiju 2 could still accommodate a battery pack for the wireless connection somewhere, that would be this actually simple goal can finally be achieved. In any case, not many hadoken will be thrown with this. Is that raining the whole party now? No, it’s still close enough to what I want: A real PlayStation-compatible competitor to the Elite and if a Raiju 2 could still accommodate a battery pack for the wireless connection somewhere, that would be this actually simple goal can finally be achieved. In any case, not many hadoken will be thrown with this. Is that raining the whole party now? No, it’s still close enough to what I want: A real PlayStation-compatible competitor to the Elite and if a Raiju 2 could still accommodate a battery pack for the wireless connection somewhere, that would be this actually simple goal can finally be achieved.

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