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Here's what you need to know about the PS5 controller
The PS5 DualSense controller has been a game-changer for Sony. Equipped with haptic feedback and adaptive triggers, this controller immerses players in gameplay like never before. Here’s everything there is to know about the innovative PS5 controller.
Also read: The PS5 is good, but the DualSense controller is blowing my mind
DualSense wireless controller for the PlayStation 5
People thought the upgrades to the DualShock 4 controller for the PS4 were revolutionary. The changes Sony has made to its next-generation controller for the PS5 are even better. Compared to competitors like Microsoft, whose Xbox Series X/S controller is virtually identical to the last generation, PlayStation pulled out all the stops to push the limits of immersive experience for gamers.
A futuristic new look
You’ll notice massive visual differences if you compare the new PS5 controller to the PS4 controller. Below is a picture of a PS4 DualShock controller. It had a classic PlayStation look, which remained relatively constant throughout the past couple of console generations, such as the iconic colored shapes.
If you look below at the new design of the DualSense controller for the PS5, you’ll notice just how sleek and different the new design is. The most significant difference is the change to a default white controller — though Sony has released a midnight black version and pink, purple, red, and blue options. No matter which color you choose, the LED lights around the touchpad will look cool.
For the most part, all of the buttons are in the same spot. The Dualsense is slightly bigger and heavier than the Dualshock, but the rounded contours make for a more natural, comfortable fit in hand.
Immersive haptic feedback
The new PlayStation 5 controller offers haptic feedback. This means you’ll be able to feel the difference between driving through the mud and driving on a smooth road. Haptic feedback provides a much more immersive experience for players because you can feel the unique differences between in-game environments.
Even movements will simulate real-life touch. For example, when receiving a text in Spiderman, you will feel vibrations on the right side of the controller as you pull up the phone on the right side of the screen. It may not sound like much, but little touches like this throughout the game enhance the experience.
If you have a Nintendo Switch, you’ve already got a taste of haptic feedback — that rumble you feel which varies depending on how intense the situation is in your game. The Xbox Series X controllers have similar rumbling effects as well. Still, neither console comes close to the precision of Sony’s DualSense controller, enabling you to feel every single raindrop in your hands as your character stands under a downpour, for instance.
The bottom left and right triggers (L2 and R2 buttons) on the new DualSense controller for the PS5 feature adaptive triggers. For example, when drawing an arrow, you can feel the tension increase as you pull back on the bow. While using firearms, you may even feel the trigger lock up as the gun jams, indicating a need to reload the magazine.
Usually, when firing weapons in-game, you don’t feel any difference between them and another task where you have to press the same buttons. Instead, each weapon has a unique sensation with the DualSense and is another example of Sony going the extra mile. PlayStation took caution with the controller design and incorporated the bulky trigger hardware without compromising the sleek new design.
See also: How to update the PS5 controller
More ways to Share
PlayStation pleased a lot of players with the introduction of the Share button on the DualShock 4 controller. With the newest iteration, the DualSense, the Share button has been replaced with a Create button.
While playing a game, you can push the Create button to bring up a menu of options. You can take a screenshot or save a video recording in up to 4K resolution. The PS5 constantly saves the last hour of gameplay footage if you want to keep the memories, which you can save as a video to your Media Gallery or retrieve on the PS App.
You can also start a live broadcast from the Create menu, allowing you to share your live gameplay with friends on Twitch or YouTube.
The DualSense offers 6-axis motion sensing, consisting of a 3-axis accelerometer and a 3-axis gyroscope. While only a few games have utilized the technology so far, such as Gran Turismo 7, which basically turns the DualSense into a steering wheel, most games simply use subtle motion controls that are more immersive without feeling extraneous.
Charging and battery life
PlayStation again uses a rechargeable battery in the DualSense controller, which is great not having to swap out batteries all the time. The battery life lasts around three to eight hours, depending on how demanding a game is on the DualSense. Just make sure to charge the PS5 controller so you don’t run out of juice in the middle of a match.
The larger battery makes the controller heavier, but Sony has put in the effort to make the controller as light as possible. Compared to the new Xbox Series X controller, the DualSense weighs about the same at around nine ounces.
Speaker and microphone
The PS5 controller has a built-in speaker and microphone. You’ll hear various sounds play through the speakers from game to game, including characters speaking, notifications, blasts from battles, audio recordings, and more. The sounds can also tie into the haptic feedback support, such as equipment or weapon effects.
How much is the PS5 controller?
One DualSense controller comes with the console, and you can buy a second one for $69.
It’s a slight bump from the price point of the PS4. However, the price increase is not surprising given all of the new technological features, especially haptic feedback and adaptive triggers.
The PS5 comes with a pre-installed game, ASTRO’s Playroom. The game is an excellent introduction to DualSense and its features. If you can, we highly suggest playing this game before playing anything else on your new PS5. It’s a great way to escape by feeling the wind when your robot enters a sandstorm on the beach and hearing the sand’s crispness through the speaker.
No, unfortunately, the PS5 controller is not compatible with the PS4. If you’re playing PS4 games on your PS5, you can most certainly use the DualSense. But as of right now, you can only use DualShock controllers with the PS4.
You can, however, use the PS5 controller with your gaming PC or mobile device, including iPhone/iPad and Android. Learn more in our guide on connecting the PS5 controller to any device.
Yes, but you can only use DualShock 4 controllers when playing PS4 games on the PS5. If you’re trying to play a PS5 game on the PS5, you’ll be required to use the new DualSense controllers.
You shouldn’t expect full functionality when you mix PS4/PS5 parts. Even though they’re both Sony systems, they’re still different systems, and their parts are independent of each other for the most part.
The LEDs show your player number; it does not indicate that there is a problem. If your PS5 DualSense controller changes from a blue light display to a red light, that means you are the second player in a multiplayer game.
Customizations are possible, but they aren’t always easy or worth it. To learn more, check out our own C. Scott Brown’s experience of customizing his PS5 controller.