If you like a high degree of customization with your Xbox controllers, then you should strongly consider the Victrix Gambit. The gamepad comes bundled with modular analog sticks, an alternative D-pad, swappable analog stick gates, and a couple of pleasing faceplates for good measure. Additional features like trigger locks are very welcome, too.
Excellent build quality
All modules feel fantastic
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The Victrix Gambit is an Xbox Series X|S controller manufactured with tournament and Esports players in mind. PDP’s official website states that it’s the “world’s fastest licensed Xbox controller,” and the pad itself puts a strong case forward to support that lofty claim.
For one, the Victrix Gambit is a wired controller. That may be a dealbreaker if you’re looking for a wireless option, however, it does help to significantly reduce input lag in multiplayer environments, particularly when playing online. Its modules are designed with speed in mind, too; face and shoulder buttons, as well as the triggers, all of which have remarkably short travel time. More so for the triggers if you’re making use of the locks found on the rear of the controller.
My biggest takeaway from the Victrix Gambit is in how broadly customizable it is. And the package doesn’t short change you here; in total, there’s 14 different swappable parts, allowing owners to mix and match modules until you get your setup just right. In terms of sheer customizability, the Victrix Gambit is one of the best Xbox controllers around.
Victrix Gambit - price and availability
The Victrix Gambit controller is available to buy right now for $99.99 / £89.99 / AU$149. Availability in the US is broad; in that region, it can be bought directly from PDP’s website, or via big box retailers like Amazon. UK buyers will need to rely on Amazon and Game to purchase the controller.
Victrix Gambit - design and features
The Victrix Gambit has a strikingly similar form factor to that of the Xbox Wireless Controller. If you’re familiar with Microsoft’s pack-in option, then you should feel comfortable when holding the Gambit in your hands. The controller sits snugly when held with your thumbs on both analog sticks. Meanwhile, your index and middle fingers will rest easily on the triggers and back paddles respectively.
Now, if you haven’t used a controller like this before, you may be a little overwhelmed when you first open up that slick black carry case. It contains all the swappable modules for the Gambit, which includes two faceplates (a plastic white plate with a textured front, and a purple plate made of rubber), two extra thumbsticks, a swappable back paddle plate, two sets of thumbstick gates (two circular, two octagonal), an extra D-pad featuring a diamond-shaped design and a 3m cable for connecting the Gambit to your console or PC.
The modularity here is about on par with the Xbox Elite Series 2 wireless controller, which features more or less the same amount of swappable parts. The Gambit’s parts aren’t quite as high quality as those for the Elite Series 2, but I found swapping modules to be slightly easier and more intuitive with the Gambit.
If you’re at a bit of a loss, fear not. The Victrix Gambit is already set up with recommended modules, although swapping parts is exceptionally easy. The faceplates magnetically snap into place, and are easily removed by simply lifting the bottom part with your finger. Similarly, the thumbsticks slide out and lock into place with ease, but are secure enough that they’re in no danger of dislodging during play.
All in all, the Victrix Gambit is smartly designed, comfortable to hold and its modules can be swapped quickly. It won’t take long before changing parts based on your preferred titles becomes second nature.
Victrix Gambit - performance
As a wired controller, expect minimal input lag while playing the best Xbox Series X games. You can expect faster inputs overall, too, especially from those clicky and tactile face buttons that feature a remarkably short travel time, reminding me of the excellent 8BitDo Ultimate controller for Nintendo Switch.
I did find the analog sticks to be a little stiff in comparison to the Xbox Elite Series 2 controller, but not so much that it hindered my play time across a variety of titles. In fairness, this is perhaps to be expected given the Series 2 higher price point of $179.99 / £159.99 / AU$249.95; it’s going to have higher quality parts. However, the Gambit is still more than serviceable here, and the sticks’ relative stiffness was easy to get used to. By comparison, the Gambit’s sticks are of a quality on par with the cheaper Xbox Wireless Controller; what you’re paying extra for, essentially, is that extra modularity compared to Microsoft’s base pad.
The triggers have the opposite problem, at least by default. Out of the box, both triggers feel a little too sensitive, and I found inputs to be registering if I moved my index fingers even slightly. The trigger lock switches on the rear of the pad help circumvent this, thankfully. Simply hold the trigger at your desired rest point, then move the switch to lock the trigger at that length, preventing it from moving beyond. Sensitivity for triggers and sticks can further be customized in the downloadable Victrix app. However, this will only be applicable to PC players.
Overall, though, the Victrix Gambit is an impressively responsive controller, and feels well-suited to the best FPS games and best fighting games thanks to low input lag, fast button inputs and robust trigger lock settings.
Should I buy the Victrix Gambit?
Buy it if...
You want a high degree of customizability
The Victrix Gambit comes bundled with an impressive amount of swappable modules.
You don’t quite have the budget for an Elite Series 2
The Gambit is a cheaper alternative, while accomplishing much of the same as Microsoft’s premium pad, albeit without the seriously luxurious build quality.
Don't buy it if...
You want a no-frills gamepad
If you’re after something a bit cheaper or more straightforward, consider pads like the Xbox Wireless Controller or the PowerA Fusion Pro 3.
How we tested the Victrix Gambit
We tested the Victrix Gambit for review over the course of about a week, ensuring to play a wide range of titles, including online shooters like Halo Infinite and PUBG, as well as competitive fighting games like Guilty Gear Strive and Killer Instinct. Such genres are where we felt the Gambit was best suited. However, it’s still an excellent choice for gaming of any kind.
Considering other Xbox controllers? Be sure to read our review of the excellent Nacon Revolution X Pro, as well as the budget-friendly 8BitDo Pro 2. For more Xbox peripherals, our best Xbox Series X accessories guide has some excellent suggestions, too.
Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.