The best PS4 controllers of 2020, best options for smarter gaming
Over the years, Sony has reinstalled its advanced official controllers from various generations of PlayStation, so that with the latest PS4, you’ll get the DualShock 4 with an advanced design and movement control in addition to the touchpad.
Still, this does not mean that there is no room for improvement, which is why, today, it is possible to find a complete ecosystem of PlayStation 4 controllers manufactured by third-party brands that would make some difference to Sony. And bring innovation.
Either because you want a high-end platform to play in tournaments, or can access an extra cheap controller designed for the smallest of the houses, below you can find a guide with the best dualshock models.
Remember that you can use your official DualShock 4 controller with your PC as well as your Mac. In fact, most third-party controllers that work here will also work to connect them to PCs and play on other platforms.
The best controls for the PS4 of 2020
PlayStation DualShock 4
Price: $ 59.99
Although Microsoft has also carried out variations of its controls on its Xbox One, Sony seems to have remained more faithful to the functionality of its control, to the point that its current DualShock 4 has hardly had any notable innovations except its pad area.
Once again, this is further proof that the company has a good enough control in hand that it does not need constant adjustments, revisions or modifications associated with its ergonomics.
The aesthetic is classic PlayStation and, at first glance, you might think that the functionality is also basically the same, with the standard keypad, the D-pad touchpad, the analog buttons, as well as the levers and triggers.
You will also find the rear light bar and the touch panel, in addition to the share button and options. It works wirelessly, is charged by standard micro USB cable, and offers quite satisfactory battery life.
However, there are more aspects to consider under its structure. There are motion controls (though not all games take advantage of it), a light bar that changes color to match game events, and the touchpad that also doubles as a button.
The latest versions of the controller (from 2016) also make the light bar slightly visible through the touchpad, instead of limiting it to the rear of the controller, so that the player is also aware of its start up.
The updated DualShock 4 isn’t a big enough upgrade to warrant its purchase, but if you need to replace a broken controller, or if you want to get a second for multiplayer, there are plenty of reasons to get the official one.
It is cheaper than most of the competition. Now it comes in a decent range of colors, and as you may already know, it works downright well.
Razer Raiju Ultimate
Price: $ 199.99
With the arrival of the Raiju Ultimate , Razer has added the possibility of wireless control compared to the previous traditional model, in addition to slightly simplifying the design, which has led to it becoming a more expensive solution.
There are good reasons for that, to be fair. The Raiju Ultimate is inspired by Microsoft’s Xbox Elite controller, claiming to offer the best in all its fields.
Comes with a heavy-duty carrying case, interchangeable levers and D-pad, and a wired or Bluetooth gaming option, with a switch on the back for quick switching between modes (including a Bluetooth option for PC).
The whole feeling is as premium as the Xbox Elite controller. For aesthetic purposes, it is completely black, loses blue tones and has improved mechanical buttons that feel satisfactorily tactile in handling.
Unlike most other controllers, it cannot reprogram those that use the pad itself, for which you will have to use the application of your mobile with which you can create and save multiple different game profiles.
That app is also used for Ultimate’s most exclusive feature: support for Razer’s Chroma lighting effects, which run on a small strip that appears around the touchpad.
You can use the app to link certain colors and effects to specific profiles, with the usual set of animations and color cycle options of other Razer products.
A small problem that we observe is that the audio does not work when you use the pad through Bluetooth connectivity, even if the headphones are connected. So your only headphone option is a high-end set like the Razer Thresher that connects directly to the console, not through the controller.
If you already have one or you are going to buy it, make sure to carry out the latest firmware update with which you can solve certain problems detected in previous versions. For the rest, you will have one of the best controls that you can use with your PS4.
Astro C40 TR
Price: $ 199.99
The Astro C40 TR is another high-level controller designed for those more professional users who demand the latest technology to attend tournaments, either on PS4 or on PC platforms.
The build quality is excellent, with a combination of material in its brushed finishes that offers a clean design with great grip, far from bright and bright color aspects that you can find in other competing controls.
The C40 TR is modular to change the analog stick and D-Pad to your liking, perfect for those who prefer the asymmetrical appearance of the Xbox One controller. It also has the ability to change the analog stick , opting for a concave or convex finish depending on the level of control required.
All accessories are provided in an included travel case along with the necessary tools to carry out the changes, as well as elements with which to personalize the peripheral.
Triggers are another standout area when it comes to the C40 TR, offering lightweight resistance for better control, and there are also built-in trigger stops designed for use in first-person gaming.
Unlike the cheapest controller options available this year, these stops can be enabled or disabled via a switch on the controller, making it a great option for all games, not just shooter games .
The parameterization, along with a handful of other customizable settings, including the ability to adjust the sensitivity of the analog stick , you’ll find using the Astro PC setup software.
The C40 TR allows you to store settings, perfect for those mid-session game changes. For granted it offers the possibility of playing wired or via wireless connection to eliminate possible latencies.
It’s nice to have this option, especially when other tournament-focused controllers drop wireless connectivity entirely. If you are looking for a discreet professional controller full of functionality, the Astro C40 TR is your great option.
Evil Shift for PS4
price: $ 69.95
If the Evil Shift company knob is characterized by anything, it is its innovative paddle system that uses the knob, called the Shift Paddles, which differs from the rest of the more standard knobs you can find in other models.
Instead of using finned paddles, the Shift features smaller, more ergonomic paddles that mount directly onto the trigger buttons. This provides an especially fast response time without having to apply excessive pressure.
If you prefer not to have palettes, you can have simple buttons in the same place. The only drawback that will appear is the noise issue that these additional drivers offer.
If you want those extra palettes to be remappable, you’ll also have to pay an extra $ 30, which you may find yourself depending on the type of games you play on your PS4 controllers.
The brand offers great customization on its website. There is a thumb bar option of four different heights, in order to better adapt to the size of your hands. There is also a variety of grips and special button mods that improve performance in shooters (with a special mod for Fortnite).
The button and touch trigger options reduce travel to just 1mm, with a click response that’s great for shooters, but be careful with triggers as they reduce analog control and are therefore not recommended for driving games.
You can also increase the control bar tension to 200g (from 80g by default) for more precise control over movement and target, and again, you can choose exactly which buttons to apply these options to.
You will find a wide range of purchase options, although each additional element involves an extra outlay. Custom Evil Shift is one of the best options for the advanced player, although most is excessive for the rest of the mortals.
Razer Raiju Tournament
price: £ 149.99 (about $ 185)
If the Raiju Ultimate is a bit expensive for your pocket, you can consider the slightly inferior Torneo model, which includes many of the same features as its older brother, but for € 60 less.
The two main features that you will not find in this model are the Chroma lighting associated with the D-pad and the control bars. Basically it means that this model is much less customizable, although for practical purposes the performance is similar.
You also don’t get the carrying case, which perversely means this isn’t very good to take to tournaments, despite the suggestion of its trade name.
The other big difference is that the Tournament model uses an Xbox-style control bar design, so regardless of the other features, you may prefer this over the Ultimate if that’s the style you’re used to.
Beyond that, things are familiar: a premium feel gamepad with mechanical switches, four extra remap buttons, app support to customize settings, and both wired and Bluetooth functionality.
Take into account the fact that as with the Ultimate, the audio output does not work through the wireless connection.
Thrustmaster eSwap Pro
The Thrustmaster company may be more famous for its gaming wheels and pedals, but you should know that it also produces a wide range of ps4 controllers for consoles and PC games.
Most controllers are focused on the low-price market, but the one we included in this guide changes everything by offering to delve into the range of high-performance PS4 controllers with a unique system to customize your design.
It’s called T-Mod technology and it lets you swap out the design of the analog and directional controls. The analog sticks and directional buttons are integrated into small magnetic modules that can be removed and exchanged mid-game.
There are no additional configuration aspects or software with which to carry out these adjustments, so you can switch between the designs of Xbox One and DualShock 4 depending on the go and without having to pause the game.
You can extend the functionality even further through other controller modules, but they are all sold separately. The modular design aside, you’ll find tactile switches underneath each button that deliver a satisfying, responsive click.
Using a switch on the controller, you can easily switch between two trigger activation presets, giving you the edge on shooters while avoiding the problem of incompatibility with games that require the full trigger activation range.
You’ll also find dedicated volume and mute buttons on the bottom of the controller, on either side of the 3.5mm headphone jack, along with the standard PlayStation and Touch Bar icon.
However, you do miss out on motion controls, plus there’s no light bar present, so keep that in mind when playing games that support this particular technology. (PS4 controllers)
On the back of the eSwap Pro you’ll find four buttons that can be remapped, though we’ve found these to be a bit small and hard to locate by touch compared to other systems, like the Scuf Prestige’s paddle design.
You should also use the PC Thrustmaster software to edit button assignments, which may take a little longer compared to other controls that allow you to reassign buttons on the fly.
We can ignore this aspect, but what we cannot ignore between the comments is the absence of wireless connectivity. Although it has a very resistant braided cable, if your preferences are wireless, you should rule out choosing this model.