Razer Kishi Ultra review: Is bigger really better?

Razer Kishi Ultra review: Is bigger really better?

Razer has unveiled the latest version of Kishi mobile gaming controller — but is it worth the increased price tag?

Ever since the Razer Kishi V1 controller launch in 2020, the company has continued to pump out high-quality mobile controllers alongside a feature-packed app called Nexus.

Razer’s third attempt at a mobile gaming controller, the Kishi Ultra, is by far the biggest design change they’ve done yet, featuring bigger buttons, joysticks, and molded grips for comfort.

Coming in at $149.99, the Kishi Ultra is among the most expensive mobile controllers available. But, does it offer extra value over the cheaper options on the market?

Key specs


The Kishi Ultra is significantly bigger than its predecessors, but it’s not without reason. Its main selling point is that the buttons, joysticks, and triggers are the same size as a full-size controller — and Razer has clearly considered ergonomics when it comes to how large the Kishi Ultra is.

While the sheer size no longer allows the Kishi to slide into your pocket with ease, the increase in comfort is well worth it for anyone with bigger hands, like myself.

The “bridge” that holds the sides of the controller together is significantly less wobbly than the Kishi V2, making it feel significantly more premium in your hands in the process.

Razer Kishi Ultra review: Is bigger really better?

It’s increased in length, too, as the Kishi Ultra now supports the iPad Mini, and potentially similar-sized Android tablets. The issue you may find with smaller Android tablets is that they often have different aspect ratios than the iPad Mini. Due to this, they may be longer than the dimensions Kishi Ultra supports.

Razer equipped the Kishi Ultra’s USB-C passthrough charging with 15W of power, which is perfect for anyone looking to charge and play their favorite game in the process.

One of the most sought-after features of any third-party controller is tactile buttons, and the Kishi Ultra’s microswitch buttons feel very premium. The sunken D-pad is super clicky all around, and its one-piece design feels perfect, it’s clear that the company has taken notes from their excellent Wolverine V2 Pro controller on consoles, and has adopted a similar design here.


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Up top, you’ll find hall-effect left and right triggers, with a matching button on each side. There are also two extra programmable buttons for you to customize through Razer’s Nexus Software.

Razer Kishi Ultra review: Is bigger really better?

Razer opted not to give the Kishi Ultra’s joysticks the same hall-effect sensor treatment as the triggers, which is disappointing. Hall-effect joysticks have a near-zero chance of suffering from stick drift, which would have added even more value to the already costly controller. When compared to its biggest competitor, the cheaper GameSir G8 Galileo, it feels like a puzzling design decision.

The company did include the ability to reprogram each stick’s dead zone in the software to help combat drift, but only time will tell how well it works on a worn joystick.

Software & features

The Kishi Ultra features a handful of hardware features like haptic feedback and Razer’s famous Chroma RGB around the sides of the controller. You can also use it as a wired PC controller, which takes some time to get used to, given its design.

With each side of the controller being more spaced apart than your usual Xbox-style controller, the accessory has a bit of a learning curve. It didn’t take long, however, as it just feels like you’re playing on a Nintendo Switch or Steam Deck while staring at your monitor.

Where the Kishi Ultra excels, is the Razer Nexus software experience. Right after installation, you’re greeted with organized lists of controller-compatible games, separated by each respective genre. Once you install them, Nexus creates a “My Games” row that takes the top spot whenever you open the app.

The Nexus settings are where you’ll find all the controller adjustments, with haptic feedback level and Chroma RGB settings being the main point for most people. This is also where you’ll find the menu to program the two L4 and R4 buttons and adjust the joystick dead zone. Everything is easy to find in the menus and even easier to understand, and they’re not charging a subscription to access all of the Kishi Ultra’s features like the Backbone One.

Gaming performance

The Kishi Ultra is made to latch onto your phone instead of being a second handheld device like the Steam Deck or Asus ROG Ally, but I tested the controller with the Razer Edge tablet I reviewed back in 2023.

I immediately jumped into Warzone Mobile and Call of Duty Mobile and fell in love with the Kishi Ultra. Each button is super responsive, and the tactile microswitches left me confident that each button was getting actuated as needed.

Razer Kishi Ultra review: Is bigger really better?

Call of Duty Mobile on Android doesn’t support wired controllers, which provided a perfect reason to try out Razer’s virtual controller option. It takes just a couple of minutes to set up where you need the touch controls placed on the screen and it worked flawlessly after that. Once you set it up, you won’t have to do it again, as Nexus remembers your layout when you close the game.

The Kishi Ultra works as a wired PC controller, so I put it through the tests with DiRT Rally 2.0 and Diablo 4. It worked great, but I couldn’t help but notice a fair bit of flex in the bridge while using it without a device connected to the controller. It never felt like it was going to break from normal use, however.

Should you buy it?

If you don’t mind the increased size taking more space in your bag, the Kishi Ultra is well worth a purchase. The increased price may be hard to look past for some, but the added comfort, and the ability to use it as a wired PC controller increases its versatility.

Verdict: 4/5

Razer has created one of the best mobile gaming controllers on the market with the Kishi Ultra. However, the lack of more durable hall effect sensors in the joysticks — especially when they’re already being used in the triggers — just seems like a huge oversight from a company that prides itself on quality above all else.

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