The 9 Best PS4 Controllers
We spent 42 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top picks for this wiki. Controllers are the lifeblood any PS4 experience. Whether you are looking for a replacement for a broken one or are hoping to improve your gaming performance with a faster or customizable model, you'll be able to enjoy all of the latest titles in the way that best fits your gaming style with any one of these excellent options. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best ps4 controller on Amazon.
Why Bother With A Different PS4 Controller?
In the past couple of decades, it’s become less and less stigmatic to refer to yourself as a gamer.
In the past couple of decades, it’s become less and less stigmatic to refer to yourself as a gamer. If anything, it’s become a kind of badge of honor in modern times to know your way around a console. In some arenas, it’s actually considered a sport that could earn you a handsome living. For most of us, it’s a pleasant pastime that we use to distract ourselves from the rigors of everyday life the same way we might go to the movies or put on a favorite record.
But gaming is also a social event. Few things have brought some of my closest friends and I closer together than making a run for the Stanley Cup on whatever the hottest NHL franchise game was. And games like Mortal Kombat, Super Smash Bros., and others have become gathering points and centerpieces for rambunctious and memorable parties with pals. Given how visible your controllers are liable to be in your gaming space, it makes sense to want to spruce things up a bit.
The standard controllers that come with your PS4 are fine. There’s nothing inherently wrong with them, save for the fact that they’re all the same. And if there’s anything we can say for sure about the gaming community, it’s that it’s diverse. Your controller can be an expression of who you are as a gamer, not just a means to input your commands to the game.
Using your own controller can give you a psychological advantage, as well. Having something that gives you an extra jolt of excitement when it comes time to get playing can provide personal boost, and breaking out a flashy controller and making sure the competition sees it (with their puny, stock controllers in hand), may dampen their spirits before the game even begins.
The other possible reason to get your hands on a custom controller is for some feature buttons and capabilities that stock controllers don’t offer. Some of these are merely aesthetic, but there can be real advantages here, as well. I recall that there was a third-party controller for Sega Genesis back in the 1990s that duplicated the three action buttons, but added a turbo feature that you could use to easily blow your friends out of the water.
Which PS4 Controller Is Right For You?
Whatever your eventual reasoning is behind the purchase of an additional controller, you’re going to be faced with a particular dilemma when you realize just how many of these things are out there. There’s a lot to choose from. We’ve narrowed that list down, to be sure, but even here you might find several options that speak to your sense of style or your approach to gameplay.
The first thing to contend with is the practicality of a given controller. After all, if you go purely for aesthetics, you might find one or more vital functions missing from your experience, or at least that it’ll take you an inordinate amount of time to transition from your old controller to your new one. The big divide here is between traditional PS4 controllers and more retro game pads.
The big divide here is between traditional PS4 controllers and more retro game pads.
The traditional styles of controller will be the easiest to get used to, since the muscle memory you’ve developed in your hands will immediately work there. Less traditional layouts, like old-school arcade joysticks, for example, will take longer, as all your necessary functions have been ported to new locations.
For gamers who just want to dive in and have fun, more traditional setups are usually the way to go. If, on the other hand, you find yourself too good at a given game, and you want a challenge, a having to learn a joystick configuration might be just the handicap you need to make things more interesting.
Aesthetic considerations should take a backseat to practicality, but the odds are that you’ll see a controller you like and start there. There’s no shame it that, either. A lot of this comes down to personal preference, but there are some controllers that are thematically related to certain games, like first-person shooters, for example. If you happen to be a big proponent of a certain title or series, then using a controller that ties into that world might give you a significant psychological edge.
When all is said and done, though, you shouldn’t discount Sony. More often than not, the branded option will give you the best battery life and the most reliable connection with the least bugginess. If you’re in the market for another controller simply to expand the number of available players, or as a replacement for a controller that broke after you threw it through your television in a violent moment of nerd rage, then there’s neither shame nor folly in sticking with something simple and reliable.
A Brief History Of The Playstation
The first Playstation wasn’t originally the sole property of Sony. In fact, it was intended as a joint venture between Sony and Nintendo, and was to be called the Super Famicom. Fascinatingly, just one day after Sony unveiled a prototype at the Consumer Electronics Show in 1991, Nintendo announced that they were pulling out of the deal due to disputes over revenue sharing.
While the divorce from Nintendo set them back a bit, the company had its first official independent design, the Playstation project, greenlit in 1993.
At the time, Sony didn’t have a dedicated arm for game console development, hence the partnership with Nintendo. But the company decided to forge ahead without Nintendo at their side, forming the Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. While the divorce from Nintendo set them back a bit, the company had its first official independent design, the Playstation project, greenlit in 1993.
Upon its release in 1994, the Playstation immediately found success, competing on an even keel with the likes of the Sega Saturn and the Nintendo 64. That success has followed the company into the modern era, and the Playstation is widely considered to be one of the top three gaming consoles on the market, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the likes of Microsoft’s Xbox series and the various consoles produced by Nintendo.
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