Victrix Gambit Dual Core Gaming Controller Review: Unmatched Esport Performance
Is the Victrix Gambit controller by PDP the fastest Xbox licensed joystick on the market, or is the claim overstated? What power does the Core processor bring to the table? Let’s find out.
- 4 Interchangeable Paddles
- Set Of 6 Thumbsticks
- Hair Trigger Locks
- Custom Shell: Black
- Customization In The App
- Carrying Case
- USB Cable
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PDP is a global company founded in 1990 with the mission to provide high-performance gaming products unmatched in design, features, and quality. They are officially licensed by Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo.
One of their notable products is the Victrix Gambit Dual Core, a tournament controller. It’s marketed as the world's fastest licensed Xbox controller, thanks to its dual-core technology, where one core is dedicated to ultra-fast input processing for the thumbsticks, triggers, and buttons, while the second core focuses on delivering crystal-clear audio.
The brand also has the Pro BFG Controller for PS5, which comes with killer ergonomics and offers a PlayStation modular stick layout on an Xbox-shaped joystick. Check out the complete review here.
Packaging and Included Accessories
Let’s get to unpacking the bad boy. The Victrix Gambit has a cool purple and Xbox-inspired design with a smooth matte finish. The box has all the usual product info on the sides and back. But here's the best part: when you lift the front cover, you'll find a super secure carrying case nestled snugly in a molded cardboard base. And guess what? The Dolby Atmos and user manuals are right there at the bottom of the box.
The carrying case is made of sturdy fabric with a complete material construction and looks very cool with those purple color accents. Unzipping the case, you'll see the controller and all its accessories, perfectly organized and protected. Oh, and check out the 10-foot-long braided USB Type-C cable tucked neatly under the mesh netting at the top of the case.
There's more: you've got these Velcro straps holding two mesh nets in place, so you can use them for extra storage. Right in the center of the bottom section, you'll find the white alternate faceplate. And don't worry, there's a protective cardboard sheet between the faceplate and the controller, so everything stays safe.
When you lift it out of the case, you'll notice that the bottom part of the case is specially molded to fit the controller, along with the additional thumbsticks, gates, and paddles. They all sit snugly on a molded rubber base, so you don't have to worry about anything getting jumbled up. All in all, this is a seriously top-notch and compact carrying case. It's perfect for keeping your Victrix controller and its accessories safe and sound, whether you're gaming at home or taking it on the go.
Controller Design: Mod to Fit Your Play Style
Alright, let's dive into the controller itself. The Gambit brings together some elements from the DualSense while maintaining that familiar Xbox layout.
You've got those classic offset dual analog sticks, with a directional pad right below the left analog stick, and the four face buttons in the Xbox configuration (with A on the bottom) above the right analog stick. The Home, Guide, and Capture buttons are all flat and made of textured black plastic. There's also a Function button located between the direction pad and the right analog stick. The shoulder bumpers and triggers are large and textured too, giving you a solid grip.
On the front and bottom of the controller, you'll find the function buttons, and the trusty 3.5-millimeter headphone port is right where you'd expect it to be. The USB Type-C port is slightly recessed, giving it a sturdy feel. The bumpers and triggers have a nice, neutral texture that helps with grip.
Now, when it comes to the back paddles, they're responsive and have a cool knurled grip finish. However, there's no extra grip added to the handles on the backside of the controller—they're just made of regular plastic.
The controller comes with two front shells to choose from. The white faceplate is made of hard plastic and features a large knurled handle grip. It gives a better impression, lending a more premium look and solid feel to the controller. Its neutral suction provides good comfort and grip during gaming sessions.
Here's something worth noting: the purple faceplate seems to have gotten a bit dented from the white faceplate sitting on top of it in the carrying case. Even though they put a black cardboard piece between the two shells, it didn't do a great job of protecting them. The purple faceplate itself is made of this matte, soft-touch gel skin, which feels a bit flimsy but still offers a decent grip.
Honestly, my initial impression would've been better if they had installed the white base plate, giving the controller a more solid feel and a premium appearance. It's a bit of a missed opportunity there.
Overall, this controller is designed for folks with average-sized hands. It's got solid build quality, ergonomic design, and up to 14 customizable components to match your playstyle. However, the combination of its lightweight nature and the somewhat flimsy purple gel faceplate falls a bit short of delivering a premium pro controller appearance. It kind of gives off the vibe of a knockoff from a third-party manufacturer.
Features and Specs
When holding the controller for the first time, you'll notice that it's super lightweight, weighing only 243 grams. But that’s not the most notable feature of Gambit—its patented clutch triggers that offer five trigger stop positions. We’ll dig into details on the option later.
The Victrix Gambit is a wired device that can only be used with the provided 10-foot-long braided USB Type-C cable. The cable itself is heavy-duty, boasting great build quality and two ferrite beads to prevent electrical feedback. Once installed, the cable does not wiggle from side to side and remains well in place, so you don't have to worry about it getting disconnected during gaming sessions.
The Gambit comes with lifetime access to the Dolby Atmos app, unlocking the best sound experience when using a headset plugged into the controller. You can connect your controller by opening the Dolby Atmos app and going to the settings section. Ensure that your headset is plugged into the controller to fully utilize the Gambit's audio capabilities.
Once connected, you can unleash the full potential of the Gambit's audio by turning on performance mode, adjusting the equalizers, and creating custom profiles. You can also conveniently adjust a few audio settings directly from the controller, like tuning in-game chat volume, changing audio modes, and muting your microphone. Notice that the Function button LED will change accordingly when adjusting these settings. Keep in mind that these audio controls only work when your headset is plugged into the controller.
Moving on with the specs, the Gambit also includes an alternate diamond-shaped D-pad in addition to the traditional one, allowing you to easily swap between them. The diamond-shaped d-pad feels smoother to be played with, but I found the inputs to be a bit too sensitive with the pad.
Two hexagonal gates come included with the controller and can be a great help to you if you play lots of adventure and fighting games. These are optional for situations where you need to lock the thumbstick in a specific position.
Remappable Back Buttons
With my natural grip on the controller, my fingers naturally rest on the paddles. I don’t say that about each controller paddle attachment I test, but these feel super comfy and responsive. The neural texture on the paddles gives me a solid grip, although I did notice that the two lower paddles require a bit more force to activate because the plastic flexes a tad before engaging.
But here's where it gets interesting—the Gambit controller offers a unique feature: an alternate paddle design that gives you two back paddles instead of four. These paddles have that same neural grip texture, which feels great. And if you take a look at the bottom of the paddles, you'll see two little spikes that press on the buttons when you push the paddles down. It's a smart design that ensures solid button activation.
The best part here is that you can easily switch between having two or four back paddles, depending on your play style and preferences. Both attachments feel super comfortable and ergonomic, and their large surface area means they can accommodate different grips and hand sizes. It's all about finding what works best for you.
It is important to note that mapping the paddles is a breeze. You can do it through the software or right from the controller while you're in the middle of a game. Just press and hold the function button, then tap the button you want to map. The function button starts blinking to let you know it's in mapping mode. After that, simply press the button you want to mimic. Repeat the process for the other paddles. Now, if you want to clear a paddle, no worries—just press and hold the function button and double-tap the paddle. The function button blinks like crazy to indicate that it's been cleared. Repeat those steps to clear the other paddles.
So, whether you're all about the full paddle setup or prefer the sleekness of just two paddles, the Gambit controller gives you options and makes it super easy to customize your gameplay.
Trigger, Bumpers & Locks
Here's where it gets really interesting—Victrix Gambit clutch triggers with patented 5-trigger stop positions. Being able to adjust the trigger stop distance improves your reaction time, allowing you to up your game and gain an edge over your opponents. It’s especially true for FPS games, where fast and precise firing can make all the difference. With five different stop positions available, you can find the optimal setting that suits your gameplay preferences or each game you play, although it may take time to get used to changing between them.
To adjust the trigger stop distance, you press and hold the clutch button, then press the trigger to the spot you want, and release the clutch to save that setting. The pro tip: if you just press and release the clutch button, it automatically sets the trigger to the shortest distance. And if you want those longer pull, hold the switches in place while you pull the triggers all the way and then release them.
Let’s also mention Victrix Gambit bumpers—they're legit! Nice and big, super responsive, and they even come with this cool knurled grip for extra control. By the way, the triggers have that same knurled grip too, so you know you're getting that enhanced gaming experience.
The controller includes two alternate thumbsticks: one short dome and one tall concave. Both options serve as replacements for the default right stick to enhance the player’s comfort or improve precision, depending on the game being played.
Longer thumbsticks can improve accuracy by allowing for finer adjustments, while having a dome thumbstick option provides an alternative surface for improved comfort, catering to player preferences.
All thumbsticks are made from a soft rubber and plastic combo, giving them a nice feel. They're super responsive and glide effortlessly in a circular pattern. Plus, they snap right back to the center as soon as you let go.
A much more interesting feature than the thumb sticks themselves is the swappable gates for them. You can choose between the traditional full-circle gates, allowing you complete rotation for your analog sticks. It's perfect for most games where you want that full-circle movement, like racing games or first-person shooters.
Or you can opt for the hexagonal-shaped gates, which might be a better choice for specific games or situations like fighting games, where you want those precise diagonal or horizontal movements.
Customization App: Victrix Control Hub
For those who want to delve deeper into customizing their controller, the Control Hub app takes customization to a whole new level, giving you a ton of awesome benefits.
First of all, you can keep your controller up-to-date by updating the firmware. Going further, you can calibrate the controller to perfection and customize a variety of settings like button assignments, mapping the back panels for both the two- and four-paddle setups, adjusting the analog stick dead zones and trigger dead zone calibration, and even tweaking the audio settings. Yep, you read it right. You can play around with EQ enhancers to fine-tune that audio experience. And hey, if you're into vibrations, you can control the intensity too. It's like having your own personal audio engineer and vibration expert right at your fingertips.
Oh, and did I mention diagnostics? That's right, you can run diagnostics to make sure everything is running smoothly. It's like having a virtual mechanic for your controller. How cool is that?
The best part? The Control Hub app is super user-friendly. It's designed to make your life easier and give you full control over your gamepad settings. No complicated tech wizardry is required—just a few taps and adjustments, and you're good to go.
Elite Series 2 vs Victrix Gambit
Diving into this comparison between the Gambit controller and the benchmark Elite Series 2 controller, you can’t help but notice how similar they are in size and layout, but some key differences set them apart.
When it comes to thumbstick choices, the Elite Series 2 takes the lead. It offers a wider variety of options to suit your preferences. Plus, the Elite Series 2 has enhanced grips on the back handles, giving you that extra hold during intense gaming sessions and allowing you to quickly adjust the stick tensions for that perfect feel.
Another important feature of the Elite Series 2 is its wireless capability. Yep, no pesky cords getting in the way. And let's not forget about the app—it’s a more powerful and versatile software.
Finally, Elite’s premium carrying case is like the cherry on top. However, Gambit isn't backing down just yet.
Both controllers rock those handy back paddles, allowing you to go either the two or the four-paddle style. With Victrix you have a dedicated attachment for each config, while the Elite 2 lets you install and use just two of the four detachable paddles if that’s your jam. They both offer alternate d-pads and trigger stops, but the Gambit goes the extra mile with five different positions to choose from.
When it comes to the trigger stop positions, both controllers feel the same when set to their shortest distance. But the Xbox Elite Controller keeps things simple with a straightforward switch that allows you to set the triggers to stop at three different positions. It's just easier to handle, plain and simple.
Now let’s talk about Gambit’s unique strengths. The bumper and trigger grips are top-notch, giving you a solid hold during intense gaming sessions. You can change the gates for even more control. Oh, and those quick audio controls right on the controller? Pure convenience. And let's not forget the enhanced Dolby Atmos audio and dual-core technology. It's like having a full-on audio experience right in your hands.
And here's the icing on the cake—the Gambit is lighter on your hands and your wallet. It's a more affordable option that doesn't skimp on quality.
So, there you have it—a breakdown of the Gambit controller versus the Elite Series 2. They may have their unique features and strengths, but it all comes down to what you value most in a controller.
The Verdict: Is It Worth Buying?
Let’s answer the most important question: whether the Victix Gambit lives up to its marketing claim of being the fastest Xbox licensed controller out there. If you're an esports pro clocking in 20 hours a day, you might pick up on a tiny 0.2-millisecond delay difference. But for the majority of players, it won't make any noticeable difference whatsoever. It didn’t make for me.
So what does the Vitrix Gambit bring to the table? First off, the five-way clutch trigger stops. They may not be the controller's major selling point, as it takes time to get used to operating them and they don’t always lock in immediately in the desired position. But it’s a unique functionality currently available on this device.
Furthermore, Gambit gives you the convenience to quickly change the base plate and the flexibility to choose between two or four paddles, depending on your preference. It's all about finding the perfect setup.
Plus, you can control the audio settings right from the controller itself. Just press that function button, and you're in command.
There’s more. The controller also hooks you up with alternate d-pads and gates. You can truly tailor your controls to your liking. And let's not forget about the comfy grips on the triggers and bumpers. No slipping and sliding here. Oh, and the paddle design? It's highly ergonomic. Whether you're a button masher or a finesse player, this controller has got you covered.
As for the drawbacks, the Gambit misses out on grips for the back handles. It's a small miss, but it's worth noting. And while the trigger stops are alright, the shortest distance setting doesn't give you that super short trigger pull you might be craving. It's not quite as precise as a mouse button if you catch my drift. And when it comes to the triggers, buttons, and d-pad, they have a standard feel and lack that satisfying tactile feedback. It's not a deal-breaker, but it's worth considering.
When it comes to the build quality and responsiveness, the Gambit holds its own. The dual-core technology ensures a smooth experience, and that's commendable. However, it does have a mostly plastic feel and falls slightly short of that premium vibe, especially with the alternate skin used. It's not a major letdown, but it's something to keep in mind.
Now, here's the deal. Professional and competitive players might overlook this controller because it lacks certain features like a mouse click hair triggers, tactile buttons, a variety of alternate thumbsticks, and enhanced grips all around. But here's the kicker—I'd recommend this controller for players who are ready to upgrade from a stock controller and want a taste of those professional features without breaking the bank. It's a solid entry-level controller that can take your gameplay to the next level.
So, there you have it—the Gambit Controller in all its glory. It's got some awesome features, a bunch of customization options, and a price tag that won't empty your wallet. If you're looking for an upgrade without going all-out, this controller has got your back. It's time to step up your game and unleash your full potential. Game on!