The DualSense controller that arrives with your shiny new PS5 is by no means an inferior product. The weighty new shape, the unique variable tension triggers, and the enhanced haptic vibrations all make it the controller to beat for PlayStation 5 gaming … but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other options out here, too. If you’re looking for an alternative and want your new controller to be something a little different, we have the top options you should take a look at! Let’s start with some favorite models that retain compatibility on the PS5.
Important note: Sony has strict compatibility guidelines locked in for the PS5. That means that all official PS4 controls from third parties will work with the PS4 games that you play on your PS5, and Sony has assured players that fighting sticks and other accessories will be similarly supported. However, brand-new PS5 games are generally off-limits to PS4 controllers. If you want to play a new PS5 game, you may have to switch back to the DualSense. We’ll keep our list updated as alternative PS5 controllers start to come out.
The Raiju (which Razer faithfully updates with new firmware) is designed to be the ideal controller for more competitive games. It offers “mecha-tactile” action buttons, which is a fancy way of saying they’re designed to resist slipping when your fingers are sweaty. There are also interchangeable thumbsticks and D-pads so you can switch styles between games or find the option that works best for you.
Razer’s software also allows you to program multi-function buttons for the most useful actions and fine-tune responses, including a hair-trigger mode specifically designed to support FPS games. Plus, the whole thing looks great, with some signature RGB lighting that you can also tinker with.
Nacon’s controller means business when it comes to thumbstick customization. The sticks are highly customizable, allowing you to adjust amplitude to exactly what suits the game you are playing, plus interchangeable heads to get exactly the feel that you want. You can also map buttons to specific actions and create several different profiles to switch between as needed. It supports both wired and wireless connections, depending on what you prefer and find the most reliable. The overall design is both comfortable and high-quality, making it a great pick for long sessions of serious gaming.
Scuf’s Impact controller has a bit more of a traditional shape and comes with a whole kit of customization options to get things just right. Along with the customizable controller faceplate, you get four removable paddles that fit into the back for some extra button mapping, electro-magnetic remapping options for easy swaps, adjustable hair trigger, quick shift trigger stops, and interchangeable thumbsticks to find the best options. It’s the perfect choice if you love tons of personalization and tweaking the controller to find just the right setup. It also supports both wired and wireless modes.
If you’re a fighting game fan, you may have something more in mind for playing your favorite fighters, and things don’t get better than this Victrix fight stick. It offers a 5-millisecond response time and comfortable wrist slope that’s perfect for everything from Mortal Kombat to Soulcalibur. You get total customization options too, and we’re not just talking about software: This fight stick was designed so you can open it up and make hardware updates or swaps as you prefer. It’s also made to be portable and includes a traveling kit if you feel like taking the fight on the road and finding a local tournament.
Maybe you’re looking for a combination between a classic fight stick and a traditional controller. Razer has you covered with the innovative Fightpad. This controller moves all six buttons to the front for easy access (especially if you prefer the business pose of holding all your fingers in front for faster response) and has an eight-way D-pad designed for extra-precise inputs. The buttons use mechanical switches for excellent response and extended durability. You can also activate a competition mode that helps avoid mistaken inputs during the most rapid action.
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