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Razer Kishi Gaming Controller Review: Do You Need One?

The phone has become more than just a phone. Now, it is a gaming device.

And as mobile technology advances, so will the kind of games that we can play. But do you really need a Razer Kishi Gaming Controller?

On this Razer Kishi Gaming Controller review, I will take a look at its components, its features, and whether it is worth it or not. My goal is to help you decide if you need it for your gaming habit.  

What is the Razer Kishi Gaming Controller?

Razer Kishi Mobile Game Controller / Gamepad for iPhone iOS: Works with most iPhones – iPhone X, 11, 12 - Apple Arcade, Amazon Luna, Google Stadia - Lightning Port Passthrough - MFi Certified


The Razer Kishi Gaming Controller is a device that you clamp on your phone. It works in android only.

The device looks like a Nintendo Switch or PSP. It has a joystick, directional buttons, and four more additional control buttons at the front.

There are many products like this in the market. Many of these connect to your phone via Bluetooth. As such, the gaming experience is crappy because there is a lag between what you pressed and what happens in the game.

The Razer Kishi Gaming Controller is a tad different in its design. Most controllers are made as a single unit, and you need to put your phone on top of the device. This one, however, splits in half.

Once you separate the two sides, the only thing that connects both pieces is an elastic band. This elastic band is critical as it houses the wires that connect the left and right pieces.

The way it works is that you sandwich your phone in between these two pieces. The device has a USB port that will connect to your phone’s USB port.

This is the method by which the two devices will communicate.

As you can see by now, you do not need to connect the phone and controller via Bluetooth. The connection is wired so it is faster.

Also, the phone must be on Android 8.0 or Oreo. The Rishi does not currently work with iPhones, but they will release one sometime this year.  

The Controller Parts

Razer Kishi Mobile Game Controller / Gamepad for iPhone iOS: Works with most iPhones – iPhone X, 11, 12 - Apple Arcade, Amazon Luna, Google Stadia - Lightning Port Passthrough - MFi Certified

Let us take some time to see the parts of the controller.

  • Clickable analog thumbsticks – these are the joysticks. There is one on each side. Like console joysticks, you can also press them down.
  • Function buttons – these are buttons to toggle some settings
  • 8-Way D-pad – this is the directional button
  • Special function button – this is the home key found at the bottom on the left side.
  • Type C Connector – this one lies underneath the device; it is the thing that gets inserted into your phone’s USB-C port
  • Speaker ports – the sound from your phone will come out of this port
  • Face buttons – these buttons are X, Y, A, and B; they are similar to the buttons you see in Xbox. In PlayStation, the equivalent is the set of buttons to the right (circle square, triangle, and X)
  • Status indicator – this is a light that shows you the status of your device; a green light shows it is working and has power. Red means there is a problem, and no light means there is no power.
  • Triggers and Bumpers – this is what blew me away. The device actually four extra buttons that are the equivalent of the R1, R2, L1, and L2 buttons on a gaming console controller. Of course, these buttons will only work if the game has such provisions for extra controls.
  • Release latches – these are the latches that you pull to split the device into two parts. Pull them to insert or to remove the phone.
  • Retaining plate – this is a plate at the back of the device where your phone will sit.
  • Stretchable Support Band – it is located underneath the retaining plate; this is the elastic band that expands so the device can stretch enough to fit your phone.

As you can see, they really put a lot of effort into this one. If you are playing a complex mobile game, then this is really the controller that you need.

Razer Kishi Gaming Controller Features

Razer Kishi Mobile Game Controller / Gamepad for iPhone iOS: Works with most iPhones – iPhone X, 11, 12 - Apple Arcade, Amazon Luna, Google Stadia - Lightning Port Passthrough - MFi Certified

So, what is in it for this controller? What are its offerings and how does it perform? In this section, allow me to elaborate on its features so you can decide if this is the right controller for you.

USB-C

The device connects via the USB port of your phone. Take note that it only works with USB-C. The beauty of this is that it no longer requires Bluetooth connections.

Since the connection passes through the hardware, the inputs and outputs are faster with no lag-time.

No Set-up Required

I like the fact that there is no need for a lengthy manual for this product. All you have to do is to plug and play.

They designed it in such a way that using it, even for the first, time is no hassle.

Compact

Unlike other controllers, this one is really small if not in use. As mentioned earlier, it expands. It is not a single piece of material but two.

As such, you can simply “fold” if you are done playing, and then keep it in a small pouch or bag.

Performance

This is where I want to spend a little time. Does it perform well? Let us see!

Since no wireless connection is required, the controller immediately works as soon as you plug it on your phone. After plugging, you can easily navigate your phone with the controller.

Overall, it feels like you are using a PlayStation or Xbox controller.

The control feels good in your hands. Since it is expandable, it only occupies an additional space compared to how “large” your phone used to be.

If you try it in fighting games, you will be surprised at the level of control that you have. It is a responsive as it can get, and this is what you want to happen when gaming. 

Overall, this is a solid product. However, there is one drawback: it does not work with Call of Duty and PUBG Mobile.

These games are massive, and I wonder why the developers did not think about this. The company is still working on a mapping system.

In this mapping system, you can map your virtual buttons with the physical buttons of the controller. Sadly, there is no definite date when this update will be available.

Another thing that you may not like is that the device blocks your audio port. What this means is that you cannot use a wired headset.

You can only listen to the sound coming from the phone’s speakers. An alternative is to use a wireless headset that connects via Bluetooth.

Summary: Razer Kishi Gaming Controller Review

Overall, I can say that the Razer Kishi Gaming Controller is one of the best out there. My recommendation is that you buy it if you are a serious gamer on your mobile device.

What I like about it is that it has a flexible design. The makers know that android phones come in all sorts of sizes and lengths.

As such, the device is stretchable and will clamp on most android phones. And because it fits, it offers a secure hold so you will never drop your phone.

My final recommendation: buy it if you are a serious gamer for MMORPGs and shooting games. 

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