There is no doubt that the Sony PlayStation 4 is a powerful console that can run high-fidelity video games.
The same can be said of its vast library of already-timeless classics such as God of War, Bloodborne, Uncharted 4, and Horizon Zero Dawn.
Your controller is how you interact with these game worlds, so having a great one can make the difference between a clutch kill and a crushing defeat.
In this article, we’ll be going through various products that are considered the best PS4 controllers in the market right now.
Whether you’re an aspiring pro player who wants the most effective controller or just a casual gamer looking to find something flashy, then this article should definitely help you out.
But first, we have to have a good background of what we should be getting.
What makes a good controller?
A lot should be considered if someone wants to find that perfect controller tailored to him/her.
First impressions always count in whatever we desire and yes, appearance is very important.
No one wants to purchase a tacky controller or something that was straight out of a confusing “modern fashion”.
Whether the controller is something flashy or something simple yet elegant, looks do matter.
Alongside the aesthetics is, of course, the ergonomics.
Ergonomics are the backbone of any product, especially when it is literally being held in your hands for hours at a time.
When someone says a controller has a bad layout, that is the result of bad ergonomic.
The controller’s grip, as well as its buttons being smooth and tactile, are other considerations.
It is no surprise that the longer-lasting the controller is, the higher the price.
The PS4 controller by default is $47 (formerly $60), with an average lifespan of 2-4 years depending on its usage; how rough you are on it, and the luck of the draw.
Any other PS4-compatible controller that costs less than the default price is most likely less sturdy than the default controller.
Any price higher than the stock DualShock 4 is generally guaranteed to last very long even into the next generation of PlayStation consoles.
Responsiveness and Latency
Many controllers can be played wirelessly but some players, particularly esports professionals, are hungry for more.
Low latency is the key to increasing the chance on winning any competitive multiplayer like Overwatch, Rainbow Six: Siege or even Fortnite.
Wireless controllers may be convenient, but wired controllers have lower latency.
Low latency is good because it means your inputs are registered faster.
While this is often only by fractions of a second, it can make a big difference for competitive gamers.
What about modded PS4 controllers?
On a side note, some players just want more modifications for their controllers.
Yes, there are 3rd party PS4 controllers which look cooler than the stock controller but there can be several issues with it.
Sony usually updates the firmware for the DualShock 4 and so there have been quite a number of incidents where players could not use the modded controllers anymore.
This is due to particular manufacturers (specifically ones that sell PS4 controllers that are cheaper than $47) not being able to provide updates, rendering the controllers obsolete.
Not all PS4-compatible controllers are supported by Sony.
There are only three officially licensed modified PS4 controllers besides the original DualShock 4: Nacon, Hori, and Razer.
Sony also provides various color palettes for the DualShock 4 and limited-edition releases too. If you’re not interested in those three particular brands, there is no need to worry.
Other brands are able to keep up with the firmware updates—Crazycontrollerz and Geniusmods are good examples of 3rd party brands that support their customers with up-to-date PS4 firmware.
Are Cheap Controllers Worth It?
The best part about cheap controllers is that it simply makes your wallet happier.
Cheap controllers mean cheap parts. That results in using a DualShock 4 controller made from low-grade materials that could break easily at anytime.
If you want to be safe, just go for the pricier one or purchase the stock DualShock 4 since that is tried and tested.
Any controller that’s higher than the standard price is just simply worth the bang for your buck.
Now let’s go over 5 of the best of the best that the PlayStation market has to offer. Take note that these controllers are in no particular order.
Top 5 Best PS4 Controllers
We should go over the original controller extensively so we can compare it to the rest of the controllers on the list:
Sony really learned a lot from their mistakes with the PS3’s DualShock 3.
The DualShock 4 controller is now (and still is) arguably the best console controller to date;
- Symmetrical analog sticks complemented by much-improved convex rubber tips, more tactile d-pads, smoother shoulder buttons and more ergonomic triggers.
- The face buttons are still the same with just some slight improvements on the pressing “feel”.
- Sony was aware enough to know that the Square, X, Circle, and Triangle buttons have always been responsive since the birth of the very first DualShock in 1997.
- Alongside the improved features are the additional Share and Options buttons, the better grip along the baseline and an additional jack for inserting any headset.
- But of course, one of the best features about the DualShock 4 is the built-in combination of the gyroscope and accelerometer.
- The gyroscope and accelerometer allow for great adjustments in motion sensitivity and fine-tuning camera movement, especially for competitive video games.
- Lastly we have the trusty touchpad—a fan favorite that serves as a multipurpose feature from browsing the PlayStation menu to specific actions in games.
All in all, the PS4’s stock controller is still good in its own right.
While it is an already good controller, the meticulous and critical PS4 player may find this tiresome and boring already. Maybe it’s due to the predictable lifespan or maybe the player just wants something more thrilling and aesthetically pleasing. Hence why we have a list of more exciting PS4 controllers.
If you’re a serious gamer who’s looking for the right controller to dominate any game, especially in competitive multiplayer, then the Razer Raiju is tailored just for you.
Razer has always been a powerhouse name in the gaming industry no matter whether it be console, PC or even mobile.
In fact, the Razer controller is quite unique compared to other controllers:
- it looks like a modded PS4 on the outside but has the feel of an Xbox One controller on the inside.
- It honestly looks like a hybrid of both, creating what could be the perfect PS4 controller.
- Not to mention the latency is very low due to its advanced wired connection; response time is just 0.5 seconds.
Everything about it is ergonomic:
- The overall shape of the controller, the distance between the face buttons, smooth d-pads, bouncy touchpad, and four additional mappable buttons for both shoulder buttons and its base.
- These additional buttons are what pro players love the most as they don’t have to move their fingers around too much, resulting in quicker responses in-game. It’s especially great for shooter and racing multiplayer games.
- The trigger and shoulder buttons are made from aircraft-grade aluminum, making them both lightweight and extremely responsive. They’re even adjustable too, making this controller tailored personally to the player.
- There’s also an additional control panel at the front for quick access to profiles and volume settings for chat and in-game.
- The analog sticks are a pair to behold as these are supported by top-of-the-line high-carbon steel, allowing for some of the smoothest and most responsive thumbsticks we’ve ever experienced on any controller.
- There is nothing more to say here since it’s just a really good controller for both competitive and casual players.
In short, if you have the budget and you have the grit of a true professional player, then this is the perfect PS4 controller for you. Nothing else comes close to this.
The Nacon Revolution Pro is a wired PS4 controller with a very low latency of half a second.
This makes it a favorite among pro players, especially in the competitive multiplayer scene.
This is a heavy recommendation for games that demand skills and quick response time such as Overwatch, Rainbow Six: Siege, Fortnite, and Rocket League.
It has the same basics of the DualShock 4 but with some enhanced twists:
- Asymmetrical analog sticks are tweaked with 46-degree amplitudes that allow for better accuracy in shooting games.
- An 8-way d-pad which is very beneficial for fighting game-savvy players.
- Behind the controller, there are four additional buttons: one for toggling two modes— “normal” and “rapid fire” (which is great for FPS games), an instant Profile button, and two buttons that act as conjoined paddles to map the face button so you don’t need to “claw” your hands on the face button.
- Unlike any other Elite controllers, its additional buttons on the underside are much more comfortable than the usual extended paddles. They feel very much like they’re really part of the controller rather than as separate tools for mapping face buttons.
- There have been multiple sightings of this controller in the Fighting Game Community for game tournaments such as Street Fighter V and Tekken 7.
- While the analog sticks may be fluid and responsive, the face buttons, however, do feel awkward due to how close they are placed together.
- If you have slippery thumbs, you might accidentally hit the Circle button whilst pressing the X button, although that wouldn’t be an issue at all for fighting game players.
- The buttons have a satisfying click when you press them.
- The controller also has a nice matte finish which makes it easier to grip onto even if you have sweaty palms.
Believe it or not, the price is actually very cheap for a pro controller. Other elite controllers are usually more than a hundred dollars so that makes the Nacon kind for your wallet as well as being highly functional for any gaming situation.
PS4 Elite controllers are abundant in the PlayStation market nowadays but if there to be an elite Elite controller that stands out from the rest, it’s Geniusmods’ craft.
A lot of other Elite controllers tend to be clunky and even awkward at times, making them feel overpriced but this one is worth every penny.
If you’re not familiar with Elite controllers, they follow the same DualShock 4 controller layout but with added features.
- The primary addition here is the paddles on the underside: adjustable triggers that you can map for the face buttons so you don’t have to “claw” or crunch your fingers on the buttons at the same time, especially in fighting games or any game that features QTEs.
- Another feature that Elite controllers have over standard ones are the addition of modes: some are made for shooter games whilst others for rhythm or fighting games. This particular model is made for FPS games, however.
- This Elite controller was designed mainly for FPS titles such as the Call of Duty series, the Battlefield series, and other known competitive games like Rainbow Six: Siege and Overwatch.
- The Geniusmods Elite controller has modes which you can toggle anytime: rapid-fire, akimbo, jumpshot, quickscope, autorun and so many more.
- Sure, it is slightly more expensive than the Razer Raiju but this is because of the assortment of flashy-colored tints from gold to chrome blue. If you’re the type of player that wants to show-off to others in a gaming tournament or in a live stream, this the type of eye candy that you want to display.
- The adjustable paddles are quite responsive and comfortable however the buttons and analog sticks do feel a bit stiff at first until you are able to wear it in some.
- The metal thumbsticks don’t help much too, especially if you suffer from sweaty thumbs which may be prone to slipping off the analog sticks. At least the grip is good.
Overall, it’s a really good controller especially if you’re into shooter games and you have the big budget. Luxurious gaming at its finest. Totally worth the money.
5. Crazycontrollerz Custom Soft Touch Controller – The most comfortable custom PS4 controller for casual players
If you’re not looking for a competitive edge and only want something cool, the Crazycontrollerz modded PS4 controller is the right choice for you.
- It’s a vibrant controller that feels very homey for any PS4 fan who wants more flare for their gaming set-up.
- You can choose from a wide assortment from lime green, bright red to a combination of black & gold.
- It doesn’t have the swanky paddles or additional buttons but they’re really aesthetically pleasing to look at. Not only do they look good but they feel good too.
- The grips have a very soft touch, providing maximum comfort for your hands especially during the sorts of long gaming sessions you might experience while playing God of War, Kingdom Hearts, The Last of Us, or Crash Bandicoot. The controller is water-absorbent too so you don’t need to worry if you have sweaty palms.
- Other than the appearance and soft touch, everything else feels like the original DualShock 4. The same d-pad, face buttons, analog sticks, shoulder and trigger buttons, and touchpad.
- Crazycontrollerz even has an extended warranty of 3 years and can be easily replaced if the controller malfunctions at some point.
This is not the type of controller for competitive players but it is definitely great for the ones who just want to sit back, relax and enjoy the game and the console for what they are.
Here are some honorable mentions for more best PS4 controllers:
Horipad FPS Plus – Great Xbox-style PS4 controller while on a budget. Great product if you can’t afford the Nacon but still want the competitive edge.
Hori Fighting Commander – Best PS4 controller for fighting games. Features a 6-button layout that plays like a mini arcade stick.
SADES Wireless Custom Controller – Similar to the PS4 Elite minus the hefty price. Includes interchangeable buttons and thumbsticks.
Five cool PS4 controllers, five of the best in the PlayStation market right now. It really boils down to your preference and desire:
- Do you want the best of the best to win every match? Go for the Razer Raiju.
- Can’t afford the Raiju but still want the competitive edge? The Nacon Evolution Pro is the best for you.
- Want to be the Ruler of FPS games? The Geniusmods PS4 Elite Controller is guaranteed to help you become that.
- Just want to add some color to your controller without any of those fancy additional triggers and paddles? Then Crazycontrollerz is the best fit for you.
- If you really don’t want anything more or less, then Sony’s original DualShock 4 is no contest.
Hopefully, this article helped in paving the way for you to see what the best PS4 controller is for you. Now go out there and start winning those games!