The Razer Kishi V2 mobile gaming controller is a welcome refresh of the company’s 2020 release, but does that mean it’s worth the investment?
As gaming has continued to grow in popularity, many developers have begun bringing their games over to Android and iOS, which has helped mobile gaming grow in popularity as well.
Mobile gaming has gotten so popular, in fact, that games like PUBG and Call of Duty have entire esports franchises built around them. What if you don’t want to play with touch controls, and don’t want to lug around your favorite console controller wherever you go?
Razer launched the first version of their Kishi mobile gaming controller back in 2020, and instantly became a hit with mobile gaming fans, although some weren’t a fan of the foldable design.
Now in 2022, Razer has brought a welcome refresh to their popular controller aptly dubbed the Kishi V2, and we’ve spent the last few weeks with our hands on the product.
Priced at around $100, is the Razer Kishi V2 worth the purchase?
- Weight: 123g
- Connectivity: USB-C
- Compatibility: Android 9.0 or higher
- Price: $99.99
- Features: USB-C Pass-through charging, 2 remappable buttons, clickable thumbstick
- Where to Buy: Razer, Amazon
What’s in the box: Razer Kishi V2 for Android controller, 2 pairs of interchangeable rubber cushions, product guide
The Razer Kishi V2 is a drastic design change from the original as it swaps the foldable bridge for a solid segment but still manages to maintain the eye-pleasing matte black color and a similar button layout.
The Kishi V2 also retained its near rectangular shape, which is just a little bit wider on the bottom and just over an inch thick to provide a super comfortable grip. We found that even during long hours of gameplay, it maintained its comfort — but don’t worry, the controller is not too thick, and easily slides into your pocket to take it on the go.
On the face of the Kishi V2, you’ll see everything you expect from a gaming controller: ABXY buttons, a D-Pad, and two analog sticks. You’ll also find the ‘Nexus’ and ‘Start’ buttons on the right side of the controller, as well as screenshot and record buttons, tucked away on the left.
Looking at the top of the controller, you’ll find a pair of buttons and triggers on each side of the device, as well as slightly raised macro controls that (thanks to the Razer Nexus App) can be mapped to any of the other buttons provided on the Kishi V2.
Except for the triggers and D-pad, the controls provide a highly satisfying mechanical click when they’re pressed, which is one of the best features of the controller. The tactility is very welcome and helps the controller feel immediately responsive.
Tying both controllers together is the extendable bridge that allows the Kishi V2 to fit phones from three inches to roughly seven inches long. The device also has two different sets of cushions that allow the controller to fit nearly every device you can throw at it.
Unfortunately, the bridge is also where the Kishi V2 has its biggest flaw. When extended, the controller has a fair bit of flex in the middle — even when a phone is connected.
It’s not bad enough that we are worried about it breaking anytime soon, but the flex is definitely a worrisome aspect of the Razer Kishi V2. Outside of that, the controller has excellent build quality.
We kicked off the testing of the Razer Kishi V2, of course, by installing Razer’s ‘Nexus’ app which quickly provided us with a list of controller-compatible games.
Accessible by the dedicated Nexus button on the right side of the controller, the app is a welcome feature because, quite frankly, controller support outside of this list of games is rather poor. Call of Duty and Apex Mobile, for example, are only compatible with Bluetooth controllers, and not wired ones for some reason.
Android inputs generally lag while over Bluetooth, so we hope to see more developers bring over their titles to support the Kishi V2, since playing games with it is a dream.
We started off our testing with Diablo Immortal to test out Razer’s microswitch mechanical buttons and boy did they show up for the test. The buttons were perfectly responsive, with a satisfying click that confirmed we pressed the button every time.
Another game we tried the Kishi V2 out with was Asphalt 8, as it was one of the highest recommended racing games suggested in the Nexus app. We were able to easily map the M1 and M2 macro buttons to accelerate and brake, (which are A and X by default) within the app’s settings before launching Asphalt 8.
In the game, the slightly raised macro buttons allowed us to easily reach our preferred controls and withstood being smashed as we drifted around corners, knocking out our opponents in the process.
We also tested out the Kishi V2 with the Xbox Game Pass app, which allowed us to seamlessly stream and play a good chunk of the Game Pass library seamlessly. The app quickly recognized the controller and offered no issues while playing games like Forza Horizon 5 or Sea Of Thieves using the service.
Another good use case for the Kishi V2 would be for emulation, where you would be able to bind each individual input. The Kishi V2 ends up being an essential accessory for anyone looking to game on the go and wants an excellent mobile experience while they’re doing it.
The whole package
The Razer Kishi V2 really is the best mobile gaming controller we’ve used and is a massive upgrade from the original Kishi. Getting it set up is nearly seamless, and we had no issues getting our Note 20 or Pixel 3 to fit in the device.
Razer is set to release the iPhone version of the Kishi V2 in the Fall of 2022, and while it’s disappointing that it didn’t launch alongside the Android version, you’re in for a treat.
The bridge flex is definitely a downer for us, however, and is the reason we can’t mark the controller as being quite perfect. However, the rest of the controller really provides a premium experience and we can honestly say that the Razer Kishi V2 is well worth the purchase.