The DualSense wireless controller that arrives with your new PS5 is by no means an inferior gaming 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 there, too.
If you’re looking for an alternative and want your new controller to be something a little different, we have the best PS5 controllers 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 for the PS5 controller compatibility. That means that an official PS4 controller from a third party will work with the PS4 games that you play on your PS5 console, 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 PS5 controller. We'll keep our list updated as alternative PS5 controllers start to come out (there are a couple due in 2022).
Scuf Reflex Pro
- Enhanced grip
- Interchangeable thumbsticks
- Various profile settings
Scuf fans won't be surprised that the controller brand was the first to announce an official third-party PS5 controller with all the bells and whistles, making it one of the most suitable replacements for Sony's own DualSense — especially for those looking for something a bit extra.
The base design of the controller is excellent, with adaptive triggers, a performance coating for an easy grip, textured thumbsticks for precision, and an overall solid design that's why we expected from an experienced company like Scuf. But that's just the beginning: This controller is also packed with extras, including interchangeable thumbsticks and four removable, remappable rear paddle buttons that you can customize with whatever options you want. Since you'll probably want different configurations with different games, there are also three different profile settings you can save and switch between whenever you want.
The Reflex Pro also comes in a variety of colors, designed to match the colors that the PS5 is finally available in as well, so you don't have to worry about your controllers clashing if you plan ahead!
Note: The Reflex Pro is the first of its kind and is in high demand, so supplies are limited. If you want one, you'll have to get on the waiting list ASAP and watch for updates.
PS5 RIVAL Premium Edition
- Rear button paddles
- Slim triggers
- Adjustable thumbsticks
- Also super pricey
HexGaming starts with a basic DualSense PS5 controller and then upgrades into an esports-ready beast of a pro controller that's superior in almost every way. The rear button paddles include remapping software that allows you to change them on the fly for each game, programming them with any other button activation you need. The top shoulder/trigger buttons have also been redesigned with a slimmer profile that allows for faster activation that may help gamers work on their reaction times. The controller also comes with "six-in-one" thumbsticks that allow you to adjust the height, pick a thumbstick grip that feels more comfortable (and prevents slipping), and more.
Finally, HexGaming offers a wide variety of themes so you can pick a visual design that you like the most without sacrificing quality. It should also work with the DualSense charging station. The only real downside of this Rival Premium Edition controller is that it's far more expensive than the original DualSense, so you will have to pay for what you get. It's hands down one of the best PS5 controllers on the market though.
Razer Raiju Tournament Edition (2019)
- Slip resistant
- Interchangeable thumbsticks
- Programmable buttons
The Raiju is an excellent pick if you don't mind using a PS4-era controller and want a design that's focused on competition. It offers “mecha-tactile” action buttons, which is a fancy way of saying they’re designed to resist slipping when your fingers are sweaty (like towards the end of a tight battle royale match).
There are also interchangeable thumbsticks, while Razer’s software (via a handy mobile app) also allows you to program four unique multi-function buttons for the most useful actions and fine-tune responses. There's even a hair-trigger mode specifically designed to support FPS games which reduces switch travel distance for faster response when firing. Plus, the whole design looks great, with some signature RGB lighting that you can also tinker with to match your PS5 console or a fun PS5 accessory.
Nacon Esports Revolution Unlimited Pro V3
- Customizable sticks
- Button mapping
- Various profile settings
- No built-in speaker
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 on the PS5 console.
- Removable paddles
- Traditional design
- Lots of customization
- As always, customizable controllers like these are expensive
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.
Aim PS5 Controller
- Complete customization
- Surprisingly affordable
- Works with PS5 charging dock
- Doesn't impact performance
Aim takes a different approach to customizing the PS5 DualSense controller: Their system allows you to pick each part of the controller and specify a different look so you get the precise appearance you want, right down to what each thumbstick looks like and the color of the touchpad. Each option gives at least a few primary colors to choose from, allowing gamers to tinker until they've replicated their favorite theme or invoked the color pattern of any character in media.
The advantage of this approach — in addition to the customization — is that it's still very affordable since the changes are all visual. The downside is that, unlike the HexGaming optimization, the Aim Controller won't actually change how the DualSense performs. The official DualSense controller is great, but the customization options here make it one of the best PS5 controllers. And it will still work perfectly with a default PS5 charging station.
Victrix PS4 Pro FS Arcade Fight Stick
- Great for fighting games
- 5ms response time
- Large and bulky
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 gaming 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. Out of the best PS5 controllers, this one is our top choice for classic fighters.
Thrustmaster T248, Racing Wheel and Magnetic Pedals
- Feels realistic
- Lots of customization
- Leather wrap grip
- Expensive, but you get what you pay for
If you're a huge fan of racing games, there's nothing like a realistic wheel and pedal set to really get in the zone — and this is one of the best models out there. You can order it now to ensure you get this wheel, which features leather wrapping for a luxurious grip and a built-in screen that can provide more than 20 different display options depending on the sort of data you want to see. The wheel houses 25 action buttons you can use and program, including dual-position encoders. There are also three preset modes you can switch between to adjust the advanced force feedback level. And don't forget the excellent magnetic pedal set, which sports four spring configurations for the brake pedal alone. If you want to race in style, nothing else can beat this Thrustmaster!
- Best gaming monitor deals for October 2022
- Best gaming headset deals for October 2022
- Best Nintendo Switch deals and bundles for October 2022
- The best Intel processors for 2022
- The best mouse for 2022: top wireless mice tested and compared