If you're looking for a more customisable game controller than the standard one that came with your Xbox Series X|S console, the Asus ROG Raikiri adds plenty of that, as well as two extra rear buttons. You'll also get a built-in DAC for your headphones. However, it is a wired controller, and a fairly expensive one, too.
- Customisable rear controls
- Built-in DAC
- Vibration, lighting, trigger dead zone and joystick response customisable via Armoury Crate app
- Wired with 3m USB-C to A detachable cable
Designed for the Xbox, the ROG Raikiri looks and feels very much like the official controller. The button layout, for instance, is almost identical. While the buttons mostly felt similar between the Raikiri and the Xbox controller, I did prefer the Xbox controller's bumper buttons. They just seemed a tad more tactile compared with the softer feel of the Asus controller. The Raikiri is also slightly lighter since it's wired, and doesn't require AA batteries. The included 3m long detachable USB cable is sufficiently long that I can use the Raikiri on my couch. The Raikiri has a distinctive two-tone design featuring the ROG logo and customisable LED lighting. Overall, the appearance is busier than the clean look of Microsoft's Xbox controller. But the Raikiri's darker colours are probably better at hiding stains and other grimy bits than the standard white Xbox controller.
Of course, Asus isn't merely creating a clone of an Xbox controller with the Raikiri. For starters, the Raikiri comes with two rear buttons that can be programmed using Asus' Armoury Crate app. These buttons are located in the middle — less chance of accidentally triggering them — but I still hit them by accident occasionally. You can also manually toggle a short trigger lock mode that reduces the actuation point for the left and right triggers. There's a microphone mute button on the Raikiri, which actually has a built-in DAC for its headphone jack. As I'm used to Sony's DualSense wireless controller, which also has a microphone mute button, it's nice to have the same feature on the Raikiri. But I feel the DAC is less crucial with wireless headsets becoming the norm among gamers.
But what sets the Raikiri apart from the standard Xbox controller are the comprehensive customisation options. The Armoury Crate app lets you adjust just about everything, such as the response curve and the joystick sensitivity. The amount of customisation is probably overkill for the average user. But I think even casual users will appreciate being able to do certain functions, like adjusting the amount of vibration or having LED lights. That being said, I'm not a fan of Armoury Crate. It quickly balloons in size, especially if you have a few Asus PC accessories or components like I do. And it sometimes loads slowly, and freezes occasionally, too. In fact, I had to do a complete reinstall during my testing. The app just wouldn't load properly, even after a few PC reboots.
At S$159, the Asus ROG Raikiri is more than twice the price of the standard Xbox wireless controller. That's likely too much for the average user. Another downside is the lack of wireless connectivity. Hardcore gamers may find it worthwhile for the extra buttons and customisation. It's available now from Lazada and Shopee.
Note: Review unit provided by Asus.
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