Razer Panthera Evo Arcade Stick Review – Evolving to the Next Stage
The Razer Panthera Evo is more affordable than its predecessor at RM999, and does have some benefits over it as well. The changeable artwork, the addition of the headphone jack for the PS4, and the more tactile buttons. It only has the balltop however, and opening up to see the internals is more of a hassle than on the predecessor.
1 Year (Up to 3 Years Depending on Store)
+ Authentic Sanwa joystick with balltop
+ Utilizes Razer mechanical switches
+ Has headphone jack for PS4 audio and chat
+ Changeable artwork
+ 1kg or so lighter than the original Panthera
+ Can be fully modded
+ Easy storage for USB cable
+ Can be used on PS4 and PC
- Only comes with balltop, no battop here
- Would be better if joystick was 5mm taller
- Non-removable cable
- No more quick opening hatch
Razer Panthera Evo Arcade Stick Review
Unboxing the Razer Panthera Evo
For the most part, the Razer Panthera Evo looks almost the same as its predecessor but when you think about it, how different can arcade sticks look anyway. It still dons the Razer signature triple-headed snake design like in the previous one, and once again, it is blue in colour to show that it is meant for the PS4. If it was the Razer signature green, people may think that it’s for the Xbox.
It generally has the same boxy arcade stick look, similar to its predecessor, but it does seem to be bigger than its predecessor at first glance when in truth, it is essentially the same size. when move down from the buttons, there is slight curve towards the bottom edge of the top panel. This was designed so users can comfortably rest their wrists on it, and it is certainly a smart decision on Razer’s end.
The Razer Panthera Evo has lost the quick opening hatch mechanism from its predecessor, which was to open and reveal the storage compartments. With this, you will have to unscrew everything and remove the acrylic panel in order to open it up. On the plus side, it has gained the ability to swap the art so if you want something different than the blue triple-headed snake art, you can change that now.
You have the PS4 touchpad, the PS button, L3 and R3 buttons, mute button with an LED glow, volume button, a switch to lock the start and pause button, a switch to denote whether you’re using the Dpad, left analog stick, or right analog stick, Sanwa stick, and a total of eight main buttons utilizing the Razer mechanical switches on the top here in Viewlix layout.
For the sides, the right side is where the Options and Share buttons are located, along with a 3.5mm headphone jack, which is used to connect your headset when in use on the PS4. On the top side, there is a hatch which can be easily opened to reveal the USB cable. This is where you’re meant to store the cable, which is no longer removable. There’s nothing worth nothing on the left and down side, its just empty.
On the bottom part of the Razer Panthera Evo arcade stick, you’ll notice that the grips do not cover almost the entirety of it. It’s simply two strips of it but despite that, it works just fine when placed on your lap or on the table so no worries there. There are also 6 screws; 3 at the top and 3 at the bottom which are used remove the acrylic panel and open it up to reveal its insides. To adjust the stick itself or to change its top, you don’t actually have to open it up. There is a hidden screw covered by a rubber stopped right where the product info is listed.
Overall, the Razer Panthera Evo arcade stick is a beautiful one to behold, just like its predecessor. Some thought was also put into it to make it more comfortable to use and while it has lost some things from its predecessor, it has gained something else that fans have been asking Razer for a while now, which is the ability to change the artwork.
- 8 Razer Mechanical Switch pushbuttons (Viewlix Layout)
- Authentic Sanwa joystick with ball top
- Fully accessible internals for easy modification
- 9.8 ft / 3 m hard wired cable and cable management storage
- Approximate size: 385 mm x 260 mm x 121 mm (L x W x H)
- Approximate weight: 2.1 kg / 4.6 lbs
The Razer Panthera Evo arcade stick uses authentic Sanwa joystick complete with a balltop, and Razer mechanical switches for the buttons. This means that for the joystick itself, it is actually the same as the previous generation Panthera so don’t expect much differences there.
I still do feel like it would be beneficial for the joystick to be positioned slightly further away from the buttons. Furthermore, I wished the joystick itself is 5mm taller so its easier to hold, especially with big hands like mine. With that being said however, the height is the same as with other sticks, it’s just a personal preference for it to be longer. Because Due to the fact that it is using Sanwa joystick however, you can opt for those Sanwa shaft extenders which will give you an additional 15mm height, and it’s relatively easy to find one.
As for the buttons, it does feel noticeably more tactile than the predecessor’s buttons, which is rather neutral. However, there isn’t much difference and it is still quick to initiate actions so you don’t have to worry about it impeding your skills. Personally, I do enjoy the feel of the buttons better here.
The Razer Panthera Evo arcade stick is meant for the PlayStation 4. As such, it includes the PS4 touchpad and it uses the PlayStation button layout. The addition of the headphone jack is a blessing, and certainly makes it more viable for eSports players. When using the headphone jack, you can easily mute and adjust volume with their respective buttons on the stick.
Just like the previous Panthera, there are two switches here as well; one to dictate the joystick’s functions (Dpad, left analog stick, and right analog stick) as well as one to lock the Option and Share / Start and Select buttons. As people may have the tendency to accidentally press those two buttons on the side, the lock switch is a godsend.
Just like its predecessor, the Razer Panthera Evo arcade stick can still be fully modded. The only difference here is that opening it up requires more effort. There will be a bunch of things you need to unscrew first, and then removing the acrylic panel, before you can see the internals. On the plus side, it is possible to change the artwork now, which is a big plus.
The loss of the quick opening hatch isn’t necessarily a bad thing and is subjective. If you open it up often whether it’s for storage or checking the internals often, then this would be a pain for you. However, if you barely open it to begin with, then this is definitely a non-issue for you.
The joystick top itself doesn’t require opening the whole thing up to change / adjust however. On the bottom of the Razer Panthera Evo arcade stick, there will be a piece of rubber right beside the “Important” sign. Removing it will reveal a screw, which can be used to tighten or remove the top of the joystick. Keep in mind however, this only comes with a balltop and doesn’t include a battop.
The cable itself already has its own storage compartment on the front portion of the stick. There is a hatch that will reveal the USB cable, which is pretty lengthy. Personally, I am a fan of this over the removable cable on the previous Panthera as it is actually more convenient to store the cable.
Some of you may point out that removable cables will make it easier to maintain but herein lies a problem; Razer doesn’t sell the cable for the Panthera officially, and finding a replacement can be tricky. You have higher chances of ruining your cable from frequently connecting / disconnecting it rather than with use. As such, I see this as the better and more convenient option.
One thing I really love about the Razer Panthera Evo arcade stick is how much lighter it is compared to its predecessor. It’s over 1kg lighter and it is very noticeable if you have both arcade sticks. This will very helpful if you frequently bring your arcade sticks out whether it’s to game with friends or for eSports tournament, and you’d be extra thankful if you’ve been using the original Panthera all this time.
Razer Panthera Evo Verdict
The Razer Panthera Evo is a great arcade stick. It is more affordable than its predecessor, at RM1,099, and does have some benefits over it as well. The changeable artwork, the addition of the headphone jack for the PS4, and the more tactile buttons.
However, it does have some drawbacks as well such as the loss of the quick opening hatch, cable no longer able to be freely replaced, and it only comes with a balltop. If you do own the original Panthera, I don’t see a reason as to why you should upgrade, even if the lesser weight is that much more beneficial but if you don’t own one yet, then this is definitely a great choice.
With that being said, I award the Razer Panthera Evo arcade stick with our Gold Pokdeward