Which PS4 wireless controller is best?
Unboxing a PlayStation 4 console and connecting it to your monitor for the first time is exciting. There are plenty of single-player games that you can immediately sink your teeth into. But if you want to enjoy the on-screen entertainment with a friend, you’ll be disappointed when you realize there is only one controller in the box.
To play split-screen games, you must get a second controller. If you prefer the look and feel of third-party controllers over the original, then you might also want to invest in another wireless controller. For the best of both worlds, the dual connection (wireless and wired) Nacon Revolution Unlimited Pro Controller For PS4 is an excellent choice.
What to know before you buy a PS4 wireless controller
It doesn’t need to be an official Sony controller
You might think that you must use an official Sony controller with your PS4, but that isn’t the case. The wireless controller uses the universal Bluetooth connection, making it possible for third-party makers to develop their own controller versions. Many third-party companies add functions and abilities not found on the original wireless controller.
You can use it on a Windows computer
A wireless PS4 or Xbox controller can also connect to a Windows-based computer for PC gaming. Many games support a controller input, making it much easier to direct the on-screen action over a traditional keyboard and mouse. The setup process is relatively easy, as the Windows game controller tool handles the configuration.
Vibration and customization
The original PS4 controller can vibrate during specific actions in a game, but not all third-party controllers can do this. If this is a must-have feature for you, consider a controller that is capable of doing so. Customization might also be important to you, and there are controllers that let you change the sensitivity of the triggers or thumbsticks. Some also let you add paddles or have additional buttons at the rear.
What to look for in a quality PS4 wireless controller
Long battery life and easy charging
A wireless controller naturally has a built-in battery to keep it going, which must be charged through a USB cable. A good-quality PS4 controller has a battery life of a few hours and easily plugs into a USB cable or cradle for quick charging. Replacing the battery when reaching its end-of-life cycle isn’t as easy as with Xbox controllers.
Sports and action games can be heated. So, before your friend scores another touchdown against you, it’s a great idea to ensure that you have a sturdy grip on the controller. In a fit of frustration, the controller might go flying toward the television. A good-quality PS4 controller has textured handles and triggers, keeping the device where it belongs — and not wedged in the monitor.
It’s not always possible or practical to play video games or watch streaming services with the TV’s sound on. In some cases, your monitor might not have speakers for audio. To get around the problem, a good-quality controller has a 3.5-millimeter jack so that you can connect a wired headset directly to the console.
How much you can expect to spend on a PS4 wireless controller
The average price of a wireless PS4 controller largely depends on the manufacturer and the capabilities. The original controller costs $60-$70, but a customizable controller with additional functions can retail for $120-$450.
PS4 wireless controller FAQ
Can you customize the thumbstick heads?
A. Yes, but it depends if the controller is compatible with it. It’s not possible to swap out the heads on the original controller, but plenty of third-party devices allow for changing the shape or the textured feeling.
How many controllers can connect to a PS4?
A. There are very few games that support more than two controllers at a time, but you can connect up to four controllers simultaneously.
What’s the best PS4 wireless controller to buy?
Top PS4 wireless controller
What you need to know: This controller is optimized for esports games, as you can change the joystick heads and add weights for better grip, and it has four shortcut buttons on the rear.
What you’ll love: Communication through this controller is possible with a wired or wireless connection, and it has a built-in microphone and headphone volume controls. An LED light indicates which profile is active, and the battery provides around seven hours of gaming.
What you should consider: You can’t program macro buttons on the controller, but any face button is remappable to any triggers or back buttons.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top PS4 wireless controller for the money
What you need to know: The original PS4 wireless controller is still the best value, as it has everything you might need for gaming.
What you’ll love: Available in six colors, this authentic PS4 controller has all the buttons, thumbsticks and direction pad inputs you’d expect. It features a sharing button to upload screenshots to social media, and the touch pad has a built-in speaker.
What you should consider: This controller is only compatible with the PS5 if you are playing PS4 games on it.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: The main feature of this wireless controller is that the thumbsticks and direction pad pop out so that you can rearrange them on the controller.
What you’ll love: There are additional buttons and trigger stops on the rear, a PS Share button on the front and voice chat through a wired or wireless connection.
What you should consider: Although it has more buttons and longer battery life than other controllers, it comes at a much steeper price.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Charlie Fripp writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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