PDP Victrix Pro BFG Controller Review: A highly customizable pro gamepad

Meet the new king of customization

PDP Victrix Pro BFG Controller
(Image: © Future)

Tom's Guide Verdict

A brilliantly modular "pro" controller that makes up for its minor shortcomings with a genuinely freeform approach to customisation. When it comes to third-party PS4 and PS5 controllers, it can rank high among the best, though it faces stiffer competition in the PC market.


  • +

    Impressively modular

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    Included fight pad is a great bonus

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    Carrying case included

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    Customisation software is actually decent


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    No rumble or haptics

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    Fewer microswitches than we'd like

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Despite the PS5 entering "the latter stage of its life cycle" there are still very few third-party controllers compatible with it. Perhaps it's understandable: the DualSense is a landmark device with haptics technology that would be difficult and costly to replicate. PDP's answer to that problem is to do away with physical feedback entirely in favour of deep customization.

The lack of haptics or "rumble" in the Pro BFG is a keenly felt loss when playing first-party games like Final Fantasy VII Rebirth that make good use of it. But the Pro BFG isn't necessarily designed for 70 hour single player RPGs: this is a device for competitive gamers, with a broad sweep of customization options that will please FPS and fighter competitors alike. It's an easy recommendation to PS4 and PS5 users, though its other compatible platform — the PC — has more competition and thus, its pitch is slightly more niche.

PDP Victrix Pro BFG Controller Review: Price and Availability

PDP Victrix Pro BFG Controller

(Image credit: Future)

The Victrix Pro BFG is available from PDP.com for $179.99 with free shipping to the US, but can be found marginally cheaper from online outlets like Amazon. It's available in Australia via Amazon for AU$269.95 and the United Kingdom for £159.99. 

At the time of writing, PDP isn't selling replacement parts for the Victrix Pro BFG, though hopefully this changes in the future.

PDP Victrix Pro BFG Controller Review: Customization

The main drawcard of the Pro BFG is its modular design, allowing users to customize the face buttons' arrangement. To this end, the analog sticks and face buttons sit in two removable panels unscrewable with provided tools. These can be placed to position the analog sticks parallel (think the PlayStation controller) or asymmetrically (think the Xbox controller), and the D-pad can also be swapped between three included varieties, including a concave design usually found of Xbox controllers, a protruding variety similar to those found on the Switch Pro controller, and a happy medium between these two extremes.

Elsewhere, the height of one analog stick can be raised or lowered with a provided pole replacement, and even the housing at the foot of each analog stick can be swapped between a perfect circle and an octagonal fitting, the latter to emulate eight-directional movement. 

But the real surprise inclusion is a fightpad with ultra-tactile microswitches. Like the analog stick panels, this can be screwed into either the left or right side of the controller face, and will especially appeal to players of Tekken 8 or Street Fighter 6. Pairing the fightpad with the aforementioned taller analog stick is as close to a real fightpad experience we're likely to see in a traditional handheld format.

PDP Victrix Pro BFG Controller

(Image credit: Future)

The process of mixing and matching is very simple. A provided precision screwdriver can quickly remove each face panel. The swappable elements in each can be popped off manually: to change the d-pad, for example, requires a gentle tug on the existing buttons. The potential for catastrophic error is basically non-existent: you're not fiddling with the innards of the gamepad — it's more akin to Lego with screws.

PDP Victrix Pro BFG Controller Review: Gaming performance

PDP Victrix Pro BFG Controller

The taller analog stick on the left is best paired with the fight pad. (Image credit: Future)

Like any pro controller worth its weight, the L2 - R2 trigger switches have five on-the-fly adjustable press depths — or trigger stops — to accommodate competitive FPS players. And speaking of pro controller features, the P1-P4 paddle switches are here, ensconced on the backside of the controller as per usual, though unlike some contemporaries these are not removable and can sometimes be pressed by accident. Luckily, each can be toggled off individually. 

There are two more buttons here than on the DualSense Edge, which inexplicably deviated from the Pro controller norm by providing only two. Mapping them is easy and doesn't require software: a press of the profile button at the back of the controller allows any other button to be mirrored to P1 through to P4.

Customisation can also be done via the Victrix Control Hub software, and if the thought of diving into a peripheral brand's app elicits a groan, then you're not alone. But the PDP software is actually pretty straightforward and stripped back, allowing left and right trigger dead zone customisation, general button remapping (including the paddles) and audio options which only work for PlayStation. The ability to invert the analog sticks on a hardware level will definitely appeal to zealots who bemoan the lack of this option in some modern games.

Despite the BFG Pro's larger footprint compared to the DualSense and its more featureful sibling, it's actually marginally lighter without feeling cheap. The build quality is firm and robust, and the ribbing on both handles doesn't feel prone to pilling and wear like very many other third-party controllers.

PDP Victrix Pro BFG Controller

(Image credit: Future)

One unmistakable advantage the Pro BFG has over both the DualSense and DualSense Edge is its battery life. Thanks in no small part to its lack of haptics, we charged our unit once a week, whereas the DualSense — just to be safe — basically requires a charge every day. The advertised battery life is 20 hours, and the included USB-A to USB-C cord is long enough that it's pretty easy to play wired in most environments.

We would have loved for microswitches to power every button on the unit; the d-pad and face buttons have the same near-silent mushy quality as the vanilla DualSense. The biggest consideration is price: the BFG Pro is $179.99 (AU$269.95 in Australia), while the DualSense Edge comes in at $199.99 (AU$339.95). While $20 is not an insignificant saving, it's worth considering where your priorities lay: is granular customization, stick placement, and that fight pad enough to warrant priority over the DualSense's best-in-class haptics? If you edge towards the former pole, the Pro BFG is a wise investment.

PDP Victrix Pro BFG Controller Review: Verdict

The Victrix Pro BFG succeeds in bringing granular, hardware-based customization to both PlayStation and PC, and will especially appeal to competitive players for whom the lack of nice-albeit-superfluous haptics and rumble won't be a dealbreaker. It may lack the elegance of the DualSense Edge, but it offers more "pro" appeal than Sony's premium PS5 controller. Based on nearly a month of continual use across both PC and PS5, I can happily recommend the Pro BFG to PlayStation users fed up with the DualSense's poor battery life. 

Despite most aspects of the Pro BFG being removable by the user, it's not possible to buy replacement analog sticks at the time of writing, unlike the DualSense Edge. Time will tell whether the Pro BFG's analog sticks are as prone to drift as the DualSense's, but a lack of replacement parts feels like a missed opportunity.

The Victrix Pro BFG faces stiffer competition in the PC market, facing off against recent heavy hitters like the Turtle Beach Stealth Ultra, which benefits from more tactile microswitches and no-drift Hall Effect analog sticks. But the Victrix Pro BFG's fightpad and the modularity may prove more useful to some players. 

Overall, the appeal of the Pro BFG will differ marginally depending on the platform: for PC its a more niche recommendation catering exclusively to its modularity. For PS5, its long battery life, paddle sticks and modularity make it a much more hearty recommendation.

Shaun Prescott is an Australian games journalist with over ten years experience covering the industry. He is Australian editor for PC Gamer, and his work has appeared on GamesRadar+, TechRadar, The Guardian, PLAY Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald, and more. Specific interests include indie games, obscure Metroidvanias, speedrunning, experimental games and FPSs.