Victrix Gambit Controller Review

As esports and competitive multiplayer gaming have risen to prominence, so too have peripherals that aim to enhance and compliment a player’s natural ability. Victrix was a brand created purely to cater for esports aficionados, and despite a buyout by PDP, they’re still focussed on helping you get up to the top of the leaderboard. Their newest addition to the lineup is the Gambit controller, an Xbox and PC wired controller that boasts a host of inputs and customisation options and claims to be the fastest Xbox controller ever created. It means that control is quite literally at your fingertips, and if you’re looking for a competitive controller there’s plenty of reasons why this could be the one for you.

The Victrix comes with two outer shells, a white, hard plastic affair, and a purple rubberised number. Frankly, the white plastic one feels horrible, evoking sensory memories of cheap controllers from the 90s. It’s thin, cheap-feeling, and abrasive, and if it were the only option I’d be telling you not to bother reading any further. However, the purple rubberised shell is the complete opposite.

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It provides a satisfying level of grip, feels comfortable and sturdy underhand, and it looks great (if you like purple). I can’t overemphasise how good this cover feels, and the combination of a lurid colour scheme with the soft-touch rubber is rather appealing. Whichever cover option you go for, they’re held in place by magnets which won’t remotely shift or move during play, but which you can easily detach and swap over. It’s a great idea, but it’s still a shame that you won’t want to touch one of the options.

As an Xbox controller it’s little surprise to find the offset analogue stick placement, which is the way controllers should be laid out anyway, as we all know. The sticks are the controller’s strongest feature, and they feel like a distinct step up from the already-excellent sticks on the standard Xbox controller. They’re taut without adding extra friction or resistance, and motions are replicated with the kind of responsiveness and precision you need, whether you’re playing Halo Infinite’s multiplayer component or are sticking with something tried and tested like Overwatch or PUBG.

The excellent feel of the sticks is countered somewhat by the lighter weight of the left and right triggers. I know why they’re lighter, helping to shave off a millisecond from your trigger finger motion, but I don’t enjoy using them; at least not as much as the standard Series X controller.

They do have a very clever five-step locking system, so that you can adjust the level of travel they have, shifting from a short and sharp hair trigger to the longer graduation that you’ll want for racing games. It works well, holding the adjustment switch in as you pull the trigger to the desired depth, and then releasing it to lock it to the closest notch. It’s the kind of smart design you want to see from this kind of product.

The Gambit is noticeably lighter than the official Xbox controller, and like a feather compared to the similarly input-rich Xbox Elite controllers. That certainly helps to reduce fatigue if you’re playing for a long session, but it does make the Gambit feel like a less premium product. Still, the proof will be in your long-term performance, and the Gambit allows you to feel as fresh in hour ten as you do in hour one.

On the other side of the controller, you have the pro controller standard feature of programmable back buttons, and even these are customisable with both two-button and four-button units that you can swap in and out. The buttons are flush to the handgrip, sitting nicely under the fingers, but with the caveat that it’s not as easy to distinguish between them when playing with four. Whichever input you’re pressing it’s being handled by Victrix’ Dual Core system, which basically means there’s a chip doing the heavy lifting to make sure the input is registered quicker than you can probably press it.

Customisation is at the heart of the Gambit, and there’s so many options to choose from that it’s a game in itself tailoring it to your needs. Besides the external shells, you can choose from two heights of analog stick, a traditional four-way D-pad or a diamond-shaped curved number, a pair of differently gates (either circular or octagonal), and the choice between dual back paddles or four. All of the different components sit in the nicely crafted carry case, and it’s a simple task to chop and change the separate elements as you need to.

There’s also the added bonus of in-built Dolby Atmos activation, which is becoming increasingly common with wired Xbox controllers. Plugging your headset of choice into the Gambit’s 3.5mm socket gives you access to Dolby’s virtual surround sound option, and it’s as simple as that. Not only does it save you a few bucks/pounds on a separate Atmos activation, it gives you even more chance of catching enemy Spartans sneaking up on you in a tense Big Team Battle.

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Summary
The Victrix Gambit makes an excellent argument for being your competitive weapon of choice. Its modular setup gives you a host of options, the lightweight build will see the hours fly by, and its sub-£100 price-point is attractive. Just make sure you like the colour purple.
Good
  • Fantastic analog sticks
  • Great level of customisation
  • Dolby Atmos activation
Bad
  • White faceplate feels horrible
  • Lightweight triggers
8
Written by
TSA's Reviews Editor - a hoarder of headsets who regularly argues that the Sega Saturn was the best console ever released.

1 Comment

  1. “As an Xbox controller it’s little surprise to find the offset analogue stick placement, which is the way controllers should be laid out anyway, as we all know.”

    What on earth have you been smoking? The layout is my main gripe with my Xbox vs Ps5. Take warzone for instance. Tagging with the up button (playing claw) is simply impossible plus my hands cramp up if I don’t use the long thumb stick on the elite 2. Some peoples kids…

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