Sony console controller hasn’t changed much since the launch of PlayStation. That means loyal PS gamers can adapt to the next generation console almost effortlessly. Over time, more after-market controllers have shown up on the market. This begs the question: Which PS5 controller is best?
While your gut instinct might be to say, “The one that came with the console, of course,” the truth is that many gamers have found success with after-market competitors. With this in mind, let’s look at some of the best PS5 controllers for 2023.
- Best Overall PS5 Controller: DualSense Controller
- Best Custom PS5 Controller: Aim Controllers
- Best PS5 Controller for Fighting Games: HORI Fighting Commander OCTA
- Best PS5 Controller for Racing Games: Thrustmaster T248 Racing Wheel
- PS5 Controller with the Best Battery Life: Victrix Pro BFG
Best Overall PS5 Controller: DualSense Controller
- Haptic feedback - Feel physically responsive feedback to your in-game actions with dual actuators which replace traditional rumble motors. In your hands, these dynamic vibrations can simulate the...
- Adaptive triggers - Experience varying levels of force and tension as you interact with your in-game gear and environments. From pulling back an increasingly tight bowstring to hitting the brakes on a...
- Built-in microphone and headset jack - Chat with friends online using the built-in microphone or by connecting a headset to the 3.5mm jack. Easily switch voice capture on and off at a moment’s...
- DualSense Controller PS5 and PC compatible. Not compatible with PS4.
- PS Remote Play requires Remote Play App connected to Wi-Fi, PS4 or PS5 console with the latest system software and compatible game. A PS4 or PS5 console with a wired connection via a LAN cable is...
Even with so many other options available to you, it’s hard to name the best overall PS5 controller as anything other than the official DualSense Controller
A serious upgrade even over the closely linked DualShock 4 controller for the PS4, the DualSense controller is just about the best a gamer can have for the PS5. With vibrotactile haptics, force feedback, adaptive triggers, and even an esthetically pleasing two-tone color scheme, the DualSense controller for the PS5 delivers on all fronts.
|Power||Rechargeable 3.65 V 1560 mAh Li-ion battery|
|Size||6.3 in. x 2.6 in. x 4.2 in.|
|Features||vibrotactile haptics, force feedback, adaptive triggers, two-tone color scheme|
Check out the DualSense Controller on Amazon.
Best Custom PS5 Controller: Aim Controllers
- Precise and intuitive aiming for compatible PlayStation VR shooter games
- Advanced motion sensing and light tracking technology
- Ergonomic two handed control
- Immersive vibration feedback
Aim Controllers are fantastic but expensive PS5 controllers reserved only for the most serious gamers.
If you wouldn’t consider yourself a pro gamer, then you won’t need to bother with Aim Controllers. They’re known for customizing and upgrading pre-existing PS5 DualSense controllers with mods and features to improve the pro gaming experience. Nevertheless, the remap paddles on the back of the controller make it a very useful and fun addition to any pro’s gaming arsenal.
|Power||Two lithium-ion batteries (removable)|
|Size||8.03 in. x 7.32 in. x 3.11 in.|
|Features||Adaptive triggers, haptic feedback, remap paddles, custom colors|
Check out the Aim Controllers on Amazon.
Best PS5 Controller for Fighting Games: HORI Fighting Commander OCTA
- Wired Controller optimized for fighting games
- Features a six-button layout, micro Switch Buttons, adjustable d-pad, and a short throw analog stick with 8-way Gate for increased accuracy and execution speed
- Customize and save up to four profiles with the companion app and easily Switch between them with the profile button
- Compatible with Xbox series x|s, Xbox One, and Windows 10
- Officially Licensed by Microsoft
From Injustice to Mortal Kombat, the HORI Fighting Commander OCTA is ideal for fighting games.
When fighting, we know how tricky it is to hit the right buttons at the right time on a standard PS5 DualSense controller. This is especially true if your preferred fighting style is to turn the gameplay into a button-mashing bonanza. OCTA controller moves the R1 and R2 buttons to the front while delivering customizable D-Pad sensitivity options to perfect your fighting game strategy. It’s by far the best bet for any fighting game enthusiast.
|Size||5.87 in. x 7.09 in. x 3.07 in.|
|Features||Wired controller, adjustable D-Pad sensitivity, six button layout with front R1 and R2 buttons|
Check out the HORI Fighting Commander OCTA on Amazon.
Best PS5 Controller for Racing Games: Thrustmaster T248 Racing Wheel
- Force feedback so you can gauge speed, road surfaces, and obstacles
- Compatible with PlayStation 4 and 5, as well as PCs running Windows 10 and 11
- Interactive dashboard with more than 20 different displays
- Magnetic pedal set with 4 pressure modes on the brake
- 25 action buttons for more choices when assigning controls
While Thrustmaster T248 Racing Wheel isn’t that great for a first-person shooter, there’s no doubt it’s the best PS5 controller for racing currently on the market.
The Thrustmaster T248 is the ideal racing wheel for any racing game aficionado. Plus, it has more than 25 unique action buttons, a built-in display for in-game stats right above the steering wheel, and its own dynamic haptics inside the leather-wrapped wheel. Though expensive and heavy-duty, T248 is undoubtedly the best racing controller around.
|Size||19 in. x 15 in. x 13 in.|
|Features||25 action buttons, built-in display, Dynamic Force Feedback, leather wrapping|
Check out the Thrustmaster T248 Racing Wheel on Amazon.
PS5 Controller With the Best Battery Life: Victrix Pro BFG
- The Pro BFG is the leading PlayStation esports controller and winner of multiple awards in both Gaming and Tech including: Best Gaming Accessory (Shacknews) , Best Modular Controller (Esquire), Best...
- Full Wireless & Wired Compatibility with High Quality Audio - With the Mode Switch, players can swap between PS5, PS4, and PC (using X input) devices. Immerse yourself in the highest audio quality...
- Complete Customization - The Left Module can flip 180° to play with the standard PlayStation stick configuration as well as offset sticks. Fans of fighting games can swap in the Fight Pad module, to...
- Firmware Update (PC Only) - Update to extend battery life to 20 hours of play and improve wireless stability. Download the Victrix Control Hub App to program back buttons, re-map face buttons, adjust...
- Four Mappable Back Buttons & Multi-Position Clutch Triggers - Map back buttons with the LED Profile Button, then save and store up to 3 profiles on the controller. The patented clutch triggers have 5...
If you love to game for hours, having a PS5 controller with long battery life is essential. For our money, that’s the Victrix Pro BFG.
Nothing will snap you out of a game faster than a dying controller. Pro BFG has a boosted battery life with plenty of additional pro gaming features to boot. It’s sort of like the best of both worlds in this respect. With Victrix Pro BFG, you get an excellent battery upgrade and a bunch of professional add-ons as a bonus.
|Power||One lithium-ion battery (removable)|
|Size||3.74 in. x 8.27 in. x 8.27 in.|
|Features||Backwards compatibility, swappable modules, four additional buttons on back, multi-position clutch triggers|
Check out the Victrix Pro BFG on Amazon.
How to Pick the Best PS5 Controller: Step By Step
If you’re torn on which PS5 controller is best for you, consider these steps below. They’re unquestionably the most critical factors in picking the best PS5 controllers is most ideal for you. Firstly, we’ll consider the price. Secondly, battery life. Thirdly, we’ll consider what you’ll primarily use the controller for. (In other words, what’s your preferred game genre?) Following these steps will help make a choice between PS5 controllers as easy as possible.
Some after-market PS5 controllers can verge on $200 or more. Others, alternatively, can come in at less than $50. That’s quite the dramatic range, especially considering the former is about half the console price and the latter is less than the price of a new game. Set your budget and hold tight to it as you peruse your options. The DualSense PS5 controller remains a happy, high-quality device among all the options presented above. At around $70, give or take the price on sale, it’s a good and dependable product for an average price.
Nobody wants their PS5 controller dying on them mid-game, which is why it’s essential to think about the battery life you personally need. If you’re into marathon gaming sessions long into the wee hours of the morning, you’ll need the best battery you can get. If you’re more of a casual player, logging on for a couple of hours here and there, then you can get away with a less massive battery pack. Think about your habits and make a decision from there.
Decide the type of games you’re going to be playing the most. If you’re someone who almost exclusively plays first-person shooters as good as the pros, you might consider leaning more toward a custom controller. But, if you like racing games, you might think about purchasing a racing controller. If you’re a casual gamer, then you might consider sticking with the most basic, least frilly controller you can find. You don’t want to be left with too many or too few features when it comes time to boot up the PlayStation and get to gaming.
What to Know Before Buying a PS5 Controller
Before you buy a PS5 controller — especially one not officially made and released by Sony — you should know that the DualSense controller truly is the best bet for PS5 gaming. While some prefer to use after-market controllers for their added benefits like battery life, affordability, or customization options, the folks at Sony put so much time, effort, and money into perfecting their latest console’s controllers. For this reason, you can’t ever go wrong with simply buying the controller made and released by the console’s developers. As they always say, there is no need to reinvent the wheel.
Using a PS5 Controller: What It’s Like
Functionally speaking, the PlayStation controller has been the same for years. Triggers on the back, analog sticks on either side, Triangle, Circle, Cross, and Square action buttons on the right, and D-Pad on the left.
If you’re more accustomed to Xbox, Nintendo, or PC gaming, the PS5 controller might take some learning. Every console or gaming device has its own unique set of controls. It’s part of what gives each console a unique edge over its competitors. For this reason, a jump from one console to the other will require some trial and error as you get to know the controller for the first time. The PS5 controller is closest to the Xbox Series X controller but also resembles the Nintendo Switch controller. It’s probably the furthest thing from familiar for PC gamers, but you’ll learn fast.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©iStock.com/Teamjackson.
Last update on 2023-10-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API