Razer Sabretooth Review – Sharp sharp


By Darryn Bonthuys on Friday, May 31, 2013
"But the biggest draw here are the extra buttons"

Razer (3)

Look at you. You want to be a pro gamer, but your reaction speed is slower than a snail that has just puffed away the fattest spliff possible. Your current Xbox 360 controller is holding you back man! You need something better, faster and more in line with your ambitions!

Enter the latest piece of tech from Razer, the Sabretooth. It’s a controller that is marketed squarely at professional gamers, and has a few extra buttons up its sleeve in order to give them that necessary edge.

On the surface, this isn’t too much of a radical departure from the current Xbox 360 controller. The controller itself arrives in a rather decent carrying case that has room for a few extras if necessary, and the braided cord feels durable and able to withstand plenty of punishment.

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The basic shape is there, but with a few more subtle edges thrown in for good measure. The surface itself is slicker, less porous than on the regular Xbox 360 controller and lighter due to it being a wired input device.

There are one or two design faults at play here. Take the standard Xbox 360 controller hub button. On the regular controller, that’s a nice little hemisphere with a polished look, but on the Sabretooth, it’s an ugly sticker on a cheap button. It’s dull, looks cheap and does nothing for the controller.

Likewise with the analogue sticks, if you’re the kind of gamer who prefers resting their thumbs on the edge of the stick, you might find those sticks to have some sharp edges. Fortunately, Razer remedies this problem by throwing in a pair of thumb covers, that can be applied easily and quickly.

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With a proper D-Pad thrown in for good measure, fighting game fans should be in their element, alongside the hair-trigger sensitivity of the face buttons. Compared to the buttons on the vanilla controller, the AXYB selection here is a ton more responsive, at least half as shallow as what gamers are used to these days.

While a more shallow jab of the button doesn’t sound like much, considering how split-second decisions have become more and more commonplace in the esports scene, that tenth of a second that you’re saving with these buttons could make a massive difference in matches between opponents of similar skill levels.

But the biggest draw here are the extra buttons. Razer has thrown in two extra buttons between the shoulder and trigger buttons, and two more triggers on the belly of the controller which can perform four extra input actions.

Razer (1)

So why extra buttons? Simple really: To save you that half a second when you need to engage a sprint or a knife stab in FPS games. Think about it for a second. Sprinting or meleeing usually requires gamers to push down on the extra button in the analogue stick itself, an action which delays a gamer, even if it is miniscule by international professional standards. Hell, even if you don’t like those triggers, you can easily remove them anyway.

But mapping those functions to an extra button instead, saves you that crucial bit of extra time. Think of it in terms of F1 racing, how teams spend millions on getting a minor piece of equipment right in order to shave off a tenth of a second. After a while, that all adds up in the end.

The other big draw, is the LCD screen located at the bottom of the controller. It’s more than just decorative though. It’s used to help map those extra buttons to the analogue sticks or face buttons, a process which is genuinely easy and quick to do once you get used to it.

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You can save two custom profiles on the controller, as well as set your analogue stick sensitivity. And for something that takes a few seconds to do properly, that’s a boon for gamers who aren’t too keen on going through in-game menus to make their experience easier.

So will the Razer make you a better gamer? Well, that’s debatable. It takes a while to get used to extra buttons and to wean your muscle memory towards the new buttons instead of the usual analogue clicks. But for a gamer that knows how to take full advantage of what the Sabretooth offers, could see an improvement not in skill, but in the application of those skills instead.

So far so good right? But we’ve yet to discuss the biggest elephant in the room, and that’s build quality. The previous Xbox 360 controllers from Razer were notorious for having a bad habit of just plain out breaking down.

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Will the Sabretooth follow in those footsteps? I honestly have no idea. What I can say, is that after handling the controller for more than a month, using it as my sole piece of gaming equipment and neglecting my usual controller is that I have had zero problems so far.

That’s an average of two hours gaming per night with my habits, and it’s all been good so far. I’m going to continue to use the controller, because I genuinely do like it. But the second it breaks, I will update this article.

But I doubt that will happen with the Sabretooth. If you’re a pro-gamer looking for something to match your ambitions, then you can’t go wrong by spending a few extra bucks on the Sabretooth. It may be a third-party controller, but it feels first-class all the way.

The RRP for the Razer Sabretooth is R799.

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Author:Darryn Bonthuys

Because he's the writer that Lazygamer deserves, but not the one it actually needs right now. So we'll hunt him. Because he can't take it. Because he's not a hero. He's a loud-mouthed journalist, a watchful procrastinator. A dork knight.

  • Rinceandspit…

    How much?

  • Bierboer

    Thumb Covers? Sorted!

    • http://lazygamer.net/ OVG

      I use that for something else thanks :p

      • Rinceandspit…

        I just vomited…

        • http://lazygamer.net/ OVG

          sis

          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            Ag nee man.. there are children here.

          • http://lazygamer.net/ OVG

            For the Nintendo news lol not on this site. Unless you are an American ONE NFL fan.

    • http://lazygamer.net/ OVG

      NOW THIS IS HOW YOU USE A THIMBLE WITH TASTE :)

  • Rinceandspit…

    PS, wasn’t there an axe in that log a few days ago?! Just got to that part. Man, special place in hell for people like Darry, special place…

  • http://lazygamer.net/ OVG

    I wonder who is going to make a Universal controller for the ONE and 360 ? It is not Microsoft. :(

    • Rinceandspit…

      I think we need to make a video man. I think we can start at 8pm on A Saturday with you shooting at the moon in ME3, and progress onto Dead Space with ‘Jasons’ Weapon making tips’… I SWEAR people would pay to see that shit!

      • http://lazygamer.net/ OVG

        I do not want to believe you but I kind of do considering the next gen is all about WATCHING instead of playing.

        • Andre116

          I shall be joining you in your drinking momentarily. Maybe well Krogan Warhammer some geth tomorrow.

          • http://lazygamer.net/ OVG

            Yip I need my monthly N7 while RinceThis and I take a break from Raping CAPCOM a new hole. All will be reveled next week ;)

          • Rinceandspit…

            What, and hear him bitch and moan he is always last? You BETCHA!

        • Rinceandspit…

          This is ranting level 80. Well done…

  • Nick

    Please put price or atleast approx. price on hardware reviews. Thanks.

    • Major Commodore 64 Darryn B

      Well, seeing as how you asked me so nicely, I can’t refuse that request.

  • Rinceandspit…

    R799 is not a bad price at all!

  • FoxOneZA – X-Therminator

    Those bumpers look awful o_O

    R399 for MS PC + Wireless dongle at Makro and BT Games.

  • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    Do you hear Microsoft… BUTTONS… BUTTONS… BUTTONS!

    • http://lazygamer.net/ OVG

      OK Since the inception of the control pad. The only feature that still makes me grin like a cheshire cat is the right stick. The camera. Wow the N64 was the shit man.

      Rumble is also valid but it is subconsciously perceived.

      Now REMEMBER SONY were cunts back in 2007. They did not want to pay off immersion software the royalties to have that feature. FUCK SONY were dicks last time.

      We have six axis. Rumble is BACKWARD we are moving forward with Blu-Gay.

      Look how the tables have turned. Surely somebody at Microsoft was with Microsoft back in 2007 to tell these clever Clogs that they are repeating the same arrogant SHIT as what SONY DID.

      • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

        You know what I want? You know what could very well be the greatest innovation in gaming… dials! Yes.. dials… I want to turn things. :D

        • http://lazygamer.net/ OVG

          But Okami did that

          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            This is true. But I want a controller with dials on it, so that I can play Steampunk Jim!

          • http://lazygamer.net/ OVG

            Jims new interface :)

          • http://lazygamer.net/ OVG

            Shit… One can post more than 1 pic :) That dude who sole 1 pixel for advertising is a winner.

          • Rinceandspit…

            Moron. LOL!

      • Rinceandspit…

        Level 88…

    • Aussious

      I really had hoped that we would be closer to the matrix type virtual reality right now though I mean the controller is a very old creation.

  • https://twitter.com/jGLZA_b00 jGLZA

    Will most gaming retailers be carrying Razer or is it just a few? (Musica I think) And when will it be available locally?

    Also any word on it being Xbone compatible?

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