Being an avid gamer, I’m always looking for ways to enhance my gaming experiences and improve upon my skills. I’m not one to shy away from trying something new in the hopes of finding my own personal gaming nirvana. So, naturally, I jumped at the opportunity to try the Xcaliber PS4 Adjustable Triggers by Minnesota accessory company Trigger King.
Let’s start off with the package and contents. The Xcaliber trigger set comes equipped with two adjustable triggers, a precision wrench to tighten and loosen the triggers to your particular specifications, alcohol wipes, and adhesive to attach the triggers. The installation is simple enough, almost to the point where you almost feel that you are missing a step because, yes, the installation is just that easy. There’s no disassembling the controller or any removal of any pre-existing hardware—all that’s required for installation is to apply the adhesive and allow it to dry overnight before making any adjustments.
So do these triggers actually help improve reaction speed in games? The answer is a bit more complicated than a simple yes or no. So, in short, we’ll go with sometimes. The level of increase in reaction speed honestly differs from game to game and can differ from “negligible” to outright “night-and-day difference.”
The obvious choice to test triggers of this Xcaliber (sorry-not-sorry for that pun) would be Call of Duty: Black Ops III. The triggers almost seem specially made for the Call of Duty series, and I can only hypothesize that they were made with the game in mind. The reaction speed for this game, in particular, is extremely noticeable compared to other games I tested, and I would even argue that it has improved my K/D ratio by about a margin of at least 50 percent.
However, as effective as these triggers were for Call of Duty , there was one game that stood out as the game to benefit the most from the Xcalibers, and that game came out 20 years ago. Honestly, Duke Nukem 3D World Tour (20th Anniversary Remaster) saw the most significant increase of any game that I’ve played so far.
Of course, not every game benefited from these triggers as much as those two. There were some games where the improvements were either entirely negligible or nonexistent. Games like Driveclub VR, 7 Days to Die, Dragon Quest Builders, and Dishonored showed incredibly minor improvements in gameplay, though admittedly those games were not the ideal candidates. However, there was one game that, for all intents and purposes, should have complimented and benefited greatly from the Xcaliber triggers but ultimately was made unplayable as a result.
I’m speaking, sadly, of Battlefield 1. This game is so outright unplayable with the Xcalibers that with the triggers on the controller, the game would often become entirely unresponsive to the firing and aiming buttons. I’ve never experienced a game that just outright rejected a controller add-on the way Battlefield 1 rejected these triggers. I was only able to attempt them on the game for around an hour before having to switch to a nonmodified controller, just to make sure that it wasn’t the game itself. It wasn’t, which is unfortunate, given that Battlefield 1 is one of the most anticipated games this holiday season.
But Battlefield 1 wasn’t the only issue I’ve had with the Xcaliber triggers. Probably the most egregious error that I’ve come across was that Trigger King’s patent-pending trigger screw within the R2 trigger cracked the back of my controller. The screws (and the holes) on top of the trigger also created a noticeable distraction from the gaming experience, as the screws and their subsequent holes are not shaved down flush to the trigger. This is a minor complaint, but one I felt would be worth addressing as it is a personal preference.
The kind of damage resulting from the screws in the back of the trigger, however, is unacceptable and could have been easily mitigated had the manufacturer placed a soft stopper at the bottom of the screws. And being that I collect and use limited-edition and exclusive controllers, it could have just as easily been any one of those that was cracked. Thankfully, however, I purchased a brand-new (standard) controller to try the Xcaliber triggers on, and the resulting damage made me entirely grateful for that decision.
In conclusion, for all the positives that I experienced in Duke Nukem, Call of Duty, and 7 Days to Die, this singular design flaw undermines a lot of those benefits. For the casual gamer who plays Call of Duty during their down time throughout the week, this may be a nice add-on to the gaming experience. However, for someone who would be considered hardcore in their gaming sessions and would play extended periods of time, that distinction would have to outweigh how much you would be willing to spend on potentially replacing your controllers and triggers should the damage arise from those extended sessions. Or you might simply want to wait until Trigger King can resolve the issue.
Final Score: 5.3 out of 10
What I played with Trigger King’s PS4 Adjustable Triggers:
- 20 hours of 7 Days to Die
- 12 hours of Duke Nukem 3D
- 10 hours of Mighty No. 9
- 8 hours of Doom
- 6 hours of Call of Duty: Black Ops III
- 5 hours of Dragon Quest Builders
- 4 hours of Dark Souls III
- 3 hours of Dishonored
- 2 hours of Destiny
- 2 hours of Battlefield: Hardline
- 2 hours of Driveclub VR (PlayStation VR)
- 1 hour of Battlefield 1
Total Time Played: Approximately 75 hours