More than two years after the release of the PlayStation 5, there are finally controller options other than the DualSense. Sure, there have been countless modded third-party PS5 controllers, but the PDP Victrix Pro BFG is the first officially licensed PS5 controller to be revealed. After spending some time with the BFG, the premium controller lives up to its $180 price point. With excellent ergonomics and arguably unparalleled versatility thanks to its modular design, the Victrix Pro BFG is definitely worth a look if you’re looking for a competitive gamepad or simply prefer the form factor of Xbox controllers.
While the Victrix Pro BFG was the first third-party controller revealed for PS5, it’s not the only one to choose from. The Razer Wolverine V2 Pro is also due out this month, and PlayStation’s own DualSense Edge launches in January. I can’t comment on how it compares to the Edge just yet, but I’ve also tested the Wolverine and will share my thoughts on how they compare at the bottom of this review.
Modular design adds versatility
The Victrix Pro BFG goes beyond the usual features of competitive controllers, such as improved grips, interchangeable stick caps and reassignable rear triggers. It ticked all those essential boxes, but it has a lot more customization options than you’d expect from most controllers, even high-end controllers in this price range. The BFG has a modular design that allows you to switch input layouts on the fly.
Both the right and left sides of the controller have control modules that can be removed in seconds with the included Allen key. By default, the BFG has a traditional Xbox style layout with a unique full-body diamond D-pad that is well suited for fighting games.
Speaking of fighting games, a fightpad module can replace the face buttons and right joystick. This module contains six flat, large buttons that replace the four face buttons, as well as R1 and R2. The six face buttons on this module sound and feel like clicking a mouse. They are super responsive and feel fantastic.
While the BFG is shaped more like an Xbox controller, you can flip the left module to get aligned joysticks along the bottom of the controller, just like a conventional PlayStation controller.
In the handy carrying case you will also find two D-pads, two extra analog sticks and a few spare spacers/protectors for the sticks. While the standard D-pad works well and makes diagonal pressing easier, traditionalists can use the normal cross-style pad. Or you can opt for a design that’s in between the two: it closely resembles the current official Xbox D pad. Meanwhile, the extra sticks are what you’d expect from a controller like this: a long stick with a concave cap and a short stick with a domed cap. FPS players may find that a longer stick is better for aiming down sights, while the short domed stick used on the right side can promote more jittery movement. Personally, I prefer the default style of most analog sticks, and the matching sticks equipped right out of the box feel very much like a first-party controller.
Ergonomics and performance
The wealth of customization options makes the Victrix Pro BFG ideal for all genres of games, not just shooters, which are the focus of most professional controllers. It has great ergonomics and high-level performance no matter what layout or modules you use.
It all starts with the form factor, which, as mentioned earlier, pretty much matches the Xbox wireless controller. If you’re someone who thinks the DualSense might be a little too big, the Pro BFG will probably be more natural to hold. Due to its lightweight design and plastic body, it’s certainly not as premium as the Xbox Elite Series 2. That said, it has a well-made, sturdy build, which is critical due to its modular design.
The front of the handles have raised, rubber pads that improve your grip and add a little extra comfort. The backs of the grips are also rubberized and textured, although these panels are more subtle and flush with the plastic that wraps around the rest of the controller.
Victrix opted for the best kind of reassignable triggers on the back: real buttons built into the controller. These are becoming more and more common and I’ve always found them to be easier to use and more natural than detachable paddles. There are a total of four back triggers, two on each side. As usual, there is a small trigger on top and a larger one below. They are built into the curvature of the handles, meaning they sit where the middle and ring fingers come from most players rest, of course. Like the left and right triggers, they are built on top of the controller and have a winged design that is ergonomically correct. You can instantly reassign these triggers using the profile button on the back of the BFG.
The BFG also has a feature that is becoming more and more common in these types of controllers: trigger stops. The left and right triggers can be adjusted to shorten the pull distance, making them feel more like shoulder buttons. The special thing about these trigger stops is that you can calibrate the pull distance exactly to your liking. Two switches on the back correspond to each trigger. You just pull the switch, hold it, pull the trigger down to the desired stop point, then release the switch to save that setting. The triggers do not need to be calibrated in the same place. Activating the trigger stops can be beneficial for first-person shooters, but it should be noted that some games are not fully compatible with activated trigger stops. For example, I tried using them with God of War Ragnarok and ended up not being able to throw Kratos’ axe.
All functions and modules of the BFG work with PS5, PS4 and PC. A switch on the top of the controller can be toggled to choose your platform. It connects to all devices via a 2.4 GHz USB-A adapter or with the included USB-C to USB-A cable (braided, about 3 meters long). The BFG operated for about 20 hours on a full charge.
What you lose by going to a third party
Yes, the BFG is officially licensed, but that doesn’t mean it retains all the features of the DualSense. This includes adaptive triggers, perhaps the coolest console controller advancement in recent memory. As a primarily professional controller, omitting adaptive triggers in favor of trigger stops makes sense.
In addition to that potentially significant loss, you also lose haptic feedback – well, rumble, really. Finally, the BFG has no internal speaker, but it does have a 3.5mm headphone jack. Again, both of these absences make sense when you look at the target audience, I didn’t miss them during my testing.
Technically, those three are not the nothing but missing features. Although the BFG has the PlayStation button, you can’t turn on the console with the controller. This really isn’t an inconvenience, as the PS5 has an HDMI link feature that can turn on the console when your TV is on.
it comes down to
The Victrix Pro BFG is really a fantastic controller. I tested a lot of competition-oriented controllers with eye-popping prices, and the BFG is right up there with the best of them. It has unparalleled customization features compared to other current-generation controllers – and that won’t change when any of the other currently announced controllers launch.
Yes, $180 is a steep asking price for a controller, but it’s packed with useful features and additional components, all of which tuck away neatly in the included hard carrying case. Nothing has been announced at this point, but the modular design offers the possibility to release more interchangeable components if Victrix decides to go down that route.
You can purchase the Victrix Pro BFG from multiple major retailers, including Amazon, Best Buy, and GameStop.
How does it compare to the competition?
As mentioned earlier, the Victrix Pro BFG isn’t the only premium controller for PS5. The Razer Wolverine V2 Pro is just around the corner and Sony’s DualSense Edge is due out on January 26. The Pro BFG is actually the cheapest of the three, with the DualSense Edge coming in at $200 and the Wolverine V2 Pro at a whopping $250.
If you’re interested in any of these controllers, it probably makes sense to wait to see hands-on impressions of them all, but especially the DualSense Edge – unless you know you want offset sticks and something with a different form factor than the DualSense naturally.
When it comes to the issue of Victrix Pro BFG vs Wolverine V2 Pro, I give the edge (heh) to the Pro BFG because of the standout features mentioned earlier. The Pro BFG offers much more customization options. It also has better ergonomics for me, but keep in mind that your hand size plays a big role here. The Wolverine V2 Pro is bigger and Razer stuck with the vertically oriented rear triggers, the same style as the Wolverine V2 Chroma for Xbox. They work and feel great, but they’re nowhere near as conveniently placed. I think the Pro BFG is more practical for a wider audience, and the $70 price difference is also something to consider.
That’s not to say the Razer Wolverine V2 Pro isn’t impressive in its own right, though. Far from it. In fact, the Wolverine V2 Pro beats the Pro BFG in terms of overall build quality and premium input feel. The sticks are slightly better, the face buttons and the D-pad are extreme responsive thanks to Razer’s mechanical switches (gaming mouse feel and sound), and it has two additional programmable buttons next to the top triggers.
Be sure to check out our Razer Wolverine V2 Pro review for a more in-depth look at the only other officially licensed third-party PS5 controller.
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