At a glanceExpert’s Score
ProsVery snug within the handHaptics and adaptive triggers are amazingBuilt-in speakerConsMore costly than an Xbox controllerShort battery lifeLimited assist on PCOur VerdictThe DualSense controller feels nice, and options like adaptive triggers are an actual game-changer. Nonetheless, PC assist is missing.
Value When Reviewed$69

Finest Costs Right now: Sony DualSense controller



Not Obtainable

The windfall of Sony’s DualSense controller is evident the moment you see it—this controller appears to be like like an evolution of the older DualShock controllers Sony has used for the final 20 years. The grips lengthen downward from the principle physique of the controller, tapering extra so than on the DualShock 4 and earlier iterations. On the precise aspect, you have got the usual Sony buttons: sq., circle, x, and triangle. Reverse that’s the d-pad. The directional arrows are all separated, which makes them very tactile and straightforward to press, however this design isn’t nearly as good for preventing video games or the rest the place diagonal d-pad enter is used.

Sony’s controller makes use of symmetrical thumbsticks versus the offset sticks you see on all Xbox-style controllers. Within the center, you have got a big clickable trackpad, which is unfortunately nearly ineffective on PC. You additionally get a share button and menu/pause button on the face. Plus, there’s a tiny speaker useless heart on the DualSense, which may add atmospheric sounds to your gameplay expertise.

On the highest edge, the DualSense appears to be like extra like your conventional sport controller. Seems could be deceiving, although. There’s a single USB-C port, which can hyperlink your controller to a pc in addition to recharge the built-in battery. You continue to need to pay additional to get rechargeable battery packs for the Xbox controller, however neither comes with a USB-C cable.

The shoulder buttons work as you’d count on, however the triggers are one thing particular. Builders can change the quantity of resistance for the triggers, making them really feel totally different when performing totally different actions within the sport. When you can’t inform simply by wanting on the exterior, the DualSense has monumental vibration motors within the grips. This permits the controller to create superior haptic experiences, once more, relying on developer assist.

The matte plastic exterior is smoother than the Xbox controller, however it’s nonetheless sufficiently steady with the longer grips. Aesthetically, it’s a beautiful piece of know-how if you happen to just like the PlayStation 5’s look. There aren’t any uncovered screws, and most of the plastic seams are built-in with the design language to kind PS5-style unfavorable area and lighting bars. It’s a gamepad from the long run.

Sony DualSense: Options and hands-on expertise

Many avid gamers are entrenched of their controller structure preferences. If you happen to’ve been utilizing Xbox-style controllers for years, there is likely to be a studying curve with the DualSense. Xbox followers shouldn’t low cost this one, although. The DualSense weighs in at 281 grams, about the identical because the current-gen Xbox controller. Nonetheless, we discovered the DualSense to be extra snug within the hand throughout lengthy gaming periods. The Xbox controller feels a bit chunky by comparability.

The buttons on the face are all tactile and straightforward to press, though the pause button could be very flat and could be laborious to seek out by really feel. The thumbsticks have a grippy rubberized texture and simply the correct quantity of resistance. It takes much less pressure to click on the sticks on Sony’s controller in comparison with Microsoft’s, however it’s not so little that you simply’ll do it accidentally.

Aspect by aspect: The Sony DualSense controller and the Xbox Wi-fi Controller.Ryan Whitwam / Foundry

The controller’s distinctive {hardware} works wirelessly with the PS5, however on PC, you’ll have to make use of a USB-C cable to get correct assist in DualSense-optimized video games. When a sport helps the DualSense, it actually elevates the expertise. For instance, Returnal makes use of the DualSense’s haptics to relay details about your character’s standing and the setting. If you happen to attempt to use your alt-fire earlier than it’s recharged, the controller provides you an angry-feeling vibration within the set off area. In locations the place it’s raining, the superior haptics may even simulate the sensation of raindrops hitting the controller. Mixed with the speaker, the DualSense makes for a way more immersive expertise.

The adaptive triggers are much more spectacular than the haptics. With out adjustment, the triggers are clean and straightforward to press, with about the identical journey because the Xbox controller. Video games can ramp up the resistance to make in-game actions really feel extra actual, however the set off adjustment may also be practical. Going again to Returnal, the builders created a two-stop button out of the left set off. Depress it to the primary cease, and your character goals for elevated precision. Push previous the tactile bump, and also you activate alt-fire mode. It’s extraordinarily cool and helpful in a fast-paced title like Returnal.

In wi-fi mode, we’re averaging round eight hours of gameplay per cost, which is much wanting the 25 to 30 hours you get with the Xbox controller. Granted, the DualSense does much more, however the enhanced haptics and triggers solely work in choose video games and over a wired connection. That makes wi-fi mode on PC underwhelming.

As a bit of {hardware}, the DualSense is much superior to the present Xbox choices. It’s extra snug, the buttons really feel higher, and options like adaptive triggers are revolutionary.

Sony DualSense: Compatibility

Naturally, the DualSense works greatest with the PS5. The trackpad, adaptive triggers, and haptics are utilized in nearly all video games, and you may play wirelessly. Connecting the DualSense to a PC over Bluetooth is fast and straightforward, however it’s going to solely be detected as a generic sport controller. Steam helps you to map Xbox controls onto to DualSense, so all controller-optimized video games will no less than perceive it as an enter machine.

There are about 30 whole video games on PC that assist DualSense haptics and/or adaptive triggers. Most of them are PlayStation ports like Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered and the aforementioned Returnal. In all different PC video games, the DualSense works like a daily controller with no particular options. Though, it’s a fairly snug one.

If you happen to’re taking part in a sport with out DualSense assist, you may play wirelessly and never lose something. Nonetheless, it’s best to follow wired enter for DualSense-supporting video games. We’d like to see Sony unlock the DualSense expertise over Bluetooth for PCs. Within the meantime, the third-party DualSenseX software program could make the controller extra helpful on Home windows, however it takes numerous tinkering to get it working accurately.

The DualSense is proscribed on PC, however nonetheless very snug within the hand.Ryan Whitwam / Foundry

Must you purchase a Sony DualSense?

The DualSense is a really spectacular gamepad, marrying {hardware} and software program to allow extra immersive gameplay. As a bit of {hardware}, the DualSense is much superior to the present Xbox choices. It’s extra snug, the buttons really feel higher, and options like adaptive triggers are revolutionary. Sony’s exact, immersive haptics are on a unique stage in comparison with different controllers, which simply rumble at various intensities. It’s like evaluating iPhone haptics to every other cellphone—there is no such thing as a comparability.

We like that Sony’s controller comes with a built-in rechargeable battery, however the battery life might be higher. At about eight hours per cost, you’d do nicely to choose up a charging dock so that you don’t neglect to juice up the gamepad whenever you’re not taking part in. You’ll additionally want to supply your individual USB-C cable, because the controller doesn’t include one.

Nonetheless, you’ll solely get the most effective expertise on the PlayStation 5. Solely a handful of PC video games assist the controller’s superior options, and so they all require a wired connection. Over Bluetooth, the DualSense is only a generic controller. The Sony DualSense is the premium controller that PC avid gamers deserve. However sadly, the assist isn’t there but.

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