Razer Kishi V2 review: Mobile gaming controller borrows from one of the best

Razer Kishi V2

MSRP $99.99

“The Razer Kishi V2 mostly just mimics Backbone’s design, but that is what makes it an important mobile gaming controller.”


  • Extendable bridge
  • Microswitch buttons and D-pad
  • Reprogrammable buttons
  • Minimal latency
  • Sturdily built


  • Indistinguishable from Backbone
  • Awkward button placement

Prefer it or not, console-quality mobile gaming is on the rise. Not only are titles like Diablo Immortal showing that games don’t should be pared down as much from their console counterparts, but Netflix is heavily investing within the space, and services like Google Stadia, Amazon Luna, and Xbox Game Pass let you literally play console games in your phone.

But unless you need to use lackluster touch controls, a superb mobile controller is crucial to make console-like gaming on mobile price it. The unique Razer Kishi was already among the best mobile controllers on the market, however it had a number of flaws. Razer wiped away lots of those issues with the Razer Kishi V2, which was released earlier this month.

By taking some design cues from its competitor, Backbone, the Razer Kishi V2 improves upon a solid design to create an incredible mobile game controller that is almost console quality. Even though it’s slightly larger than the unique Kishi, which isn’t one of the best for portability, I’m already sure this might be my go-to mobile gaming controller going forward.

No more stretching and squashing

The unique Razer Kishi was a superb mobile gaming controller, however it may very well be a pain to insert your phone into it. You had to carry down release latches so a stretchable support band could floppily fall back before you may insert the phone into the controller. It was a hassle to stretch out and squash back into place when you took the phone out. The Razer Kishi V2 does away with this issue by replacing that support band and latch system with an extendable bridge.

A Razer Kishi and Razer Kishi V2 sit next to each other on a table.

To place a phone into the Razer Kishi V2, one simply has to drag one side of the controller to increase the bridge and place the phone inside. It’s way easier to make use of and has encouraged me to make use of the Razer Kishi V2 more continuously for mobile and cloud gaming on my Google Pixel phone than ever before. While the more exposed bridge does leave me a bit frightened that this may break in half if left floating around in a bag, its sturdy construct quality does make that unlikely.

This isn’t an original concept, even when it’s the most important draw of this latest hardware. The Razer Kishi V2 could be very similar in design to the opposite leading mobile gaming controller, the Backbone One. That controller introduced this extendable bridge and even has a really similar button layout. While I’m content with the Razer Kishi V2 copying many features of the Backbone One’s design since it makes the controller easier to make use of, its similarities mean the Razer Kishi isn’t as unique of a controller brand anymore, and the V2 just isn’t price it in case you already own a Backbone controller. However it does cement the extendable bridge as by far one of the best setup for mobile gaming controllers going forward.

Buttoned up

Regarding button layout and feel, the Razer Kishi V2 isn’t too dissimilar from the unique Razer Kishi, but makes some key improvements. The microswitch face buttons (laid out like an Xbox controller) and the D-pad feel way more satisfying to click and use than on the unique Razer Kishi. While the D-pad still isn’t quite nearly as good because the one on the Xbox Series X controller, that is undoubtedly among the best third-party controller D-pads I’ve ever felt. Its analog triggers and microswitch bumpers are well-built, making playing first-person shooter games like Doom Everlasting feel higher to play than they typically do on mobile controllers.

Like the unique, you may even plug in a charger to the bottom-right and charge your phone while playing. Unlike the unique, the Razer Kishi V2 not only has a capture button, but even lets players remap two programmable microswitch buttons near the triggers. These buttons are excellent alternatives for players who struggle with pressing the analog thumbsticks for L3 and R3 inputs, so it’s a superb accessibility and utility feature.

A Razer Kishi V2 controller on a black table.

The one big flaw of the Razer Kishi V2’s layout is the menu and Razer Nexus button placements. This button takes you to Razer Nexus, a latest free app that organizes downloaded mobile games and recommends latest ones for Razer Kishi owners, unlocking the complete potential of the controller’s button remapping and screen capture functionalities. It’s frustratingly placed right above the beginning/menu button, which is utilized in almost every game, so I often found myself by chance hitting the Razer Nexus button and going to that app once I just desired to pause or start a game.

Technically, I can remap these buttons, however it doesn’t take away from the proven fact that it is a frustrating ergonomic design alternative that might’ve easily been solved by flipping these two buttons. In its current state, the Razer Nexus app isn’t that useful unless you may have many games installed in your phone and haven’t grouped all of them together. Still, because it’s free to make use of and is required to remap button controls, it’s price installing if you may have a Razer Kishi V2. Just take note that you just might by chance open this app as an alternative of using the menu button quite so much while you first start to make use of the Razer Kishi V2.

Good gaming

I tested quite a lot of native and cloud-based games on mobile to place the Razer Kishi V2 through its paces and bumped into nary a problem. Games like Stardew Valley and Shatter Remastered natively running on my phone immediately recognized the controller and played easily afterward. As more complex and console-quality mobile games like Diablo Immortal proceed to emerge, you’re going to wish a controller that may handle them. The Razer Kishi V2 looks like among the best controllers to do this with as there’s no noticeable latency and it feels good to make use of.

Meanwhile, TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge on Xbox Game Pass, Bloodrayne 2 on Amazon Luna, and Doom Everlasting on Google Stadia all proved that that is an important cloud gaming controller that won’t add much additional noticeable latency. In case you’re an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscriber and wish to see what the cloud-supported games look and play like on Android, the Razer Kishi V2 is a cushty controller to do this with. It’ll now be my preferred controller for cloud gaming going forward, and I exploit many cloud gaming services continuously.

A man plays a Razer Kishi V2 on his couch.

Whether you’re playing natively in your phone or through the cloud, the Razer Kishi V2 is a useful mobile gaming controller. It’s exceptionally well-built too, so I don’t expect the damage and tear that comes with frequent controller use to set in for quite a while.

Our take

The Razer Kishi V2 loses slightly little bit of its individuality by closely copying the Backbone One. Still, it’s an especially well-built and highly customizable mobile gaming controller that can support your gaming habits, whether or not they’re happening natively in your phone or within the cloud.

Is there a greater alternative?

The Razer Kish V2’s design is kind of just like the Backbone One, and you may’t go improper selecting either of them.

How long will it last?

The Razer Kishi V2 feels very strong and durable, so I believe this mobile gaming controller will last you a few years (or at the very least until the Raser Kishi V3 inevitability comes out).

Do you have to buy it?

Yes, in case you plan to start out playing more video games in your phone, consider picking up the Razer Kishi V2 to boost that have. It’s a transparent improvement over the unique Razer Kishi, so it’s price upgrading.

The Razer Kishi V2 for Android is on the market now. A version of the controller for iOS is within the works and may release later this yr.

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