Razer Sabertooth ReviewClayMeow - May 20, 2014
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Razer Sabertooth Testing:
Testing a game controller, or any input device, is largely a subjective process. Sure I can tell you if all its functions work (which is obviously crucial), but for the most part, it all comes down to feel. If this was a mouse or keyboard review, I could break it down into three basic categories: everyday use, work, and play. But this is a game controller, so there's only one use: gaming. As this is a computer site, all the game testing is done on a PC, but gaming on an Xbox 360 should be no different.
Even though it technically doesn't have an impact on my experience, before I get on to the plethora of games I played using the Sabertooth, here's my rig:
- Processor: Intel Third Generation Core i7 3770K
- Motherboard: ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe
- Memory: Mushkin Redline 2x8GB DDR3-14900 (1866MHz)
- Video Card: NVIDIA GTX 770
- Power Supply: Mushkin 650
- Hard Drive: 256GB OCZ Agility 4 SSD (but my Steam games are installed on a secondary 3TB 7200RPM HDD)
- OS: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
I am a PC gamer first and foremost. That means I love me some keyboard-and-mouse (KBM). Nothing beats KBM in shooters, real-time strategy games, and MMOs, but there are plenty of genres that play best with a controller. While every genre can be played with KBM, assuming a game supports it, I feel platformers, fighting games, and racing games play best with a controller, and so those are the genres my testing will be focused on. While the underbelly triggers would in all likelihood provide an advantage in shooters compared to a standard controller (allowing your thumb to never leave the right analog stick), it wouldn't be fair for me to play a shooter with the Sabertooth since I Ioathe using dual-analog sticks compared to my trusty KBM.
- Injustice: Gods Among Us
- Castle Crashers
- Guacamelee! Gold Edition
- Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
- Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition
All gameplay videos found on the subsequent pages were recorded using NVIDIA ShadowPlay and with me using the Razer Sabertooth as the sole control method.
Razer Sabertooth Customization:
Before I discuss how the controller felt and performed during the aforementioned games, I thought now would be a good time to discuss its customization. All customization is done on the controller itself and stored locally on the controller in one of two profiles. The button to the left of the OLED display cycles through the two profiles, while the button on the right is used to enter and exit Program Mode.
If you've been paying attention, you'll know that the Sabertooth contains two multi-function buttons (MFB) on the shoulder and four multi-function triggers (MFT) on the underbelly. Configuring these is extremely simple: while in Program Mode, you simply press and hold the MFB or MFT you wish to configure, then press the button or trigger you wish to assign to the MFB or MFT. You can assign any pressable button to these, which essentially means everything except analog directions. This means all of the following can be assigned to any MFB or MFT: any of the four D-Pad directions, A, B, X, Y, LB, LT, RB, RT, either analog stick button (LASB / RASB), and even Back and Start. Each MFB and MFT are disabled by default, and if you want to re-disable them, you simply press the Program button while holding it down instead of one of the other buttons. You can always just completely reset a Profile if you want as well, which I won't get into, but the instructions are clearly laid out in the Quick Start Guide.
If that wasn't enough, you can also change the individual sensitivity of each analog stick. Sensitivity is set at 00 by default and can all the way up to 10 (high sensitivity) and all the way down to -10 (low sensitivity), in increments of one. The sensitivity settings are saved to the selected profile, so if you like playing first-person shooters with a controller, you can have one profile set at normal sensitivity and switch to a lower sensitivity profile when sniping, similar to what some KBM players do with mouse DPI settings.
While this is a nice degree of customization, one thing you cannot do is set macros. Some of the hardest moves for me to pull off in fighting games are usually the ones that have a "Left Right" or "Right Left" sequence, as half the time I wind up jumping in between. The individual D-Pad buttons certainly help alleviate that problem, but it would have been awesome if I could assign that as a macro to one of the MFTs. I could assign "D-Pad Left" or "D-Pad Right", but not both together in one command. From my understanding, Razer could not include macro-support (nor rapid-fire support) because of Microsoft regulations if it wanted the Sabertooth to be an "Official Xbox 360 Controller". That sadly means PC gamers must suffer as well.