In the past, having a superior build quality and paddles were enough to make a console controller elite. The luxurious feel of better materials and the noticeable edge from the extra buttons had been enough to lure gamers to drop more money on a peripheral that gave them an advantage.
Times have changed though, and pro-style controllers have evolved. One of the more fascinating takes is the Victrix Pro BFG Wireless Controller for the PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4 and PC. It has the prerequisite features (paddles and customizable parts), but Performance Designed Products added a slew of customization options that increases the peripheral’s versatility.
A MODULAR DESIGN
The most obvious option is the modular design that lets users adjust or even replace the face buttons, analog sticks or D-pad. It’s a feature similar to the one for the Astro C40 TR Controller. This lets players tweak the Pro BFG so that the controller can be in PlayStation- or Xbox-style layout.
PDP didn’t stop there. The peripheral also comes with different D-pads, analog stick tops and even gates, which gives players more granular customization. If they want more precision when playing first-person shooters, they can opt for a tall sniper stick cap. If they want a more convex top, they can swap out the cap for a rounded one. Those extras, except for the octagonal stick gates, are easy to install. Users just take one out and pop a new one in.
The more compelling element lies in the included Fight Pad module. Similar to the Sega Genesis 6-button arcade pad, PDP offers another button layout setup in the Street Fighter-style. That’s two rows of three buttons (six in all) and it’s made for fighting games. That meshes well with the other parts of the customization. The octagonal gates make the analog sticks feel like joysticks. The Fight Pad switches themselves have a clicky quality and work well. They’re responsive especially with a wired connection.
The modules themselves are easy to pop in and out thanks to an included hexagonal screwdriver, with size-2 hex screws that stay in each module so you don’t have to worry about losing them.
FEATURES FOR SHOOTERS
With the fighting genre covered, the Pro BFG also has first-person shooter specializations. It has multi-position clutch triggers that have five stopping points. Players can adjust them so they can have a hair trigger that activates with a slight press or one with the normal pull that one would expect from a stock controller. The faster activation could be the difference between surviving and dying in an online shooter.
The Pro BFG also has paddles, which have become essential for competitive play. The controller has four of them and they can each be mapped to different buttons on the fly or in the Victrix Control Hub Customization App if the user focuses on PC. (Note: The app doesn’t appear to support the device yet.) The benefit of paddles is that players never have to take their thumbs off the sticks. This allows players to jump and turn around to fire at rivals more easily. They can also reload or slide while looking around.
If players don’t want to map jumping or ducking to those controls, they can add the R3 or L3 to the paddles for easier access to a sprint or a melee attack. Again, the customization is up to players, and the controller lets them adjust to the scheme to the one, which they’re most comfortable. The Pro BFG even has three customizable presets that are accessed by hitting the back Profile button.
My only issue is that four paddles can feel a little too much at times. The top ones are positioned the best and are easily accessible with the middle fingers. The lower ones have more of a learning curve. Players will have to develop the muscle memory to use their ringers fingers to hit them on purpose and not accidentally grip them during tense moments.
At times, I wish the Pro BFG had the option to switch between a two-paddle or four-paddle option in the same way that the Victrix Gambit does. For better or worse, the paddle buttons with their textured surfaces are molded into the controller’s handlebars.
As for the performance, the Pro BFG acquits itself well. The controller feels fast and nimble, converting button presses and thumbstick movement to actions on the screen. The one element that some gamers may miss is the lack of rumble in the controller. This isn’t a huge deal for fighting games or shooters, but it will be noticeable in more games that use it for immersion or cues.
MORE BELLS AND WHISTLES
Although it’s missing force feedback, the controller does have a battery that gives it some heft. At 261 grams, it’s lighter than the DualSense controller’s 281 grams. The internal battery is rated at 2000mAh, and though PDP said it has a battery life of up to 20 hours, I got smidgen less than that.
Doubling down on the theme of versatility, the controller works great across the PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4 and PC using a cabled connection or wireless one via USB-A dongle. Interestingly enough, the PlayStation button brings up the Xbox Game Bar when the device is connected to PC.
Similar to other Victrix and PDP controllers, the Pro BFG has a Function button that lets players access numerous options. If players connect a wired headset to the controller, they can use the Function button and D-pad to control the volume or switch between EQ presets that bump up the bass or treble. If they’re in a tournament setting, players can press the Function and Profile buttons at the same time to lock out the touchpad, share, options and PlayStation buttons so they can avoid disqualification.
With the Pro BFG, Victrix leverages its expertise in the fighting game and competitive shooter scenes to craft a controller that works for both worlds, but more than that, it has the versatility to do well in other genres or even casual play just as long as players don’t mind the lack of haptic feedback.
Victrix Pro BFG
3½ stars out of 4
Platform: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC
Comments are closed.