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The Best Controllers for PS4 in 2024

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NACON Controller Esports Revolution Unlimited Pro V3

For many gamers, the choice of which PS4 controller to use is already made for them, since the Sony DualShock 4 ships with the system. However, inevitably, these devices succumb to countless hours of use, prompting gamers to hunt for the best PS4 controller to replace them. While not as expensive as the PS5’s DualSense controller, the DualShock 4 is still a pricey purchase for a last-gen console. Fortunately, some third-party controllers offer the same level or better functionality than the official Sony peripheral at only a fraction of its price.



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How to Pick the Right PS4 Controller

Even if difficult to find in stock, PS4 gamers benefit from a selection of controllers that surpasses the number of choices that PS5 users have. When searching for an alternative to the DualShock 4, buyers should concern themselves with the following factors:



Ranging from $20 to several hundred dollars, there are first and third-party PS4 controllers that meet the needs of even the fussiest gamers.

The Best Controllers for PS4 in 2024

Third-party console accessories don’t always have the best reputation for craftsmanship, but Nacon’s products are an exception to the rule. Carrying a premium price, the Nacon Revolution Unlimited Pro V3 offers a larger size and more ergonomic shape than the official PS4 DualShock controller. Also, the Revolution Unlimited Pro V3 is far more customizable, with a PC app that allows users to create new profiles with different button mappings and settings, including dead zone sensitivity and vibration intensity.

Shipping with a Bluetooth USB receiver, the Revolution Unlimited Pro V3 is compatible with the PS4 and PC. If buyers want to avoid signal interference, Nacon also supplies them with a USB-C cable with a generous length. Battery life also gives gamers a slight boost compared to the DualShock 4, with up to seven hours of playtime.


This wireless controller’s customization is not limited to software configurations either. The analog sticks are interchangeable with concave and convex options. The RGB lighting around the right stick is also adjustable to suit the preferences of each gamer.

The Nacon Revolution Unlimited Pro V3 is a far more customizable alternative to the DualShock 4. Complete with a beefier rechargeable battery, it’s the ultimate PS4 controller for anything from sports to FPS titles.

The Nacon Wired Compact Controller emphasizes what really matters on a PlayStation controller with supersized triangle, circle, square, and X buttons. To compensate for the lack of a wireless connection, the controller has a cord that measures nearly 10 feet. There are also dual-vibration motors that feel powerful yet don’t create distracting noise.


This Nacon controller includes a headset jack for communicating during multiplayer matches. Also, the controller has an LED indicator on the front that changes color in the same way as the DualShock light bar. Unfortunately, the lack of a conventional light bar poses problems with PSVR compatibility. Regardless, the Nacon Wired Compact Controller is the best wired PS4 controller with a more ergonomic profile and easier-to-press face buttons.

The Terios Wireless PS4 Controller demonstrates that wireless controller alternatives to the Sony DualShock 4 can offer more features for a lower price. Some gamers think that Hall Effect analog sticks are only found on the most premium controllers, but this affordable Terios controller also showcases the technology. Relying on electrical currents and magnets instead of hardware constantly grinding, stick drift becomes a problem of the past. The Terios Wireless PS4 Controller is perfect for gamers who desire reliable and accurate analog stick movements but don’t have the budget for a pro-grade alternative.


Some other advantages of the Terios controller include additional buttons to activate the turbo function for repeating various commands and programmable L3 and R3 buttons. The turbo button option makes the controller shine as FPS gaming gear, especially when spamming the same action repeatedly becomes tiresome.

At first glance, the Terios Wireless PS4 controller looks similar to the official Sony controller but has a bulkier profile than the DualShock 4, which often draws complaints about its small stature. The added weight and substantial grips make it less likely to slide around one’s hands during critical gameplay moments. Its battery life is also significantly higher than that of DualShock 4, so gamers won’t have to wait as often to get back into the action.

Some users have reported increased wireless latency compared to Sony’s controller, but in general, the performance of the Terios controller is fairly consistent. Also, connecting this controller wirelessly to PCs is problematic, so gamers on multiple platforms will want to consider other options. Still, the Terios Wireless PS4 controller leads the pack of the best wireless PS4 controllers that are affordable competitors to the DualShock. Hall Effect analog sticks only add to its value and make this Terios peripheral one of the better bargains among all controllers.


The QRD Spark N5 is a rare, recently released wireless controller primarily intended for PS4 consoles. With this Spark N5, QRD takes full advantage of modern advancements with Hall Effect analog sticks and triggers. Not a common inclusion on mid-range PS4 controllers, the Spark N5 is more resistant to the stick drift that plagues the DualShock 4. This wireless controller is ideal for buyers who never want to replace a PS4 controller again. The Spark N5 also offers two remapabble back buttons and a more ergonomically friendly design than Sony’s stock peripheral.

Surprisingly versatile, the Spark N5 can wirelessly pair with the PS4, PC, and Android mobile devices without a USB dongle. As far as the PS4, gamers sacrifice nothing with the Spark N5 since it includes a touchpad, built-in speaker, and can power on the console, unlike other third-party devices. However, PS5 users can only use the controller with PS4 titles. Since the Spark N5 has Bluetooth connectivity, PC gamers can also use the controller, although some users have reported frequent disconnects. For gamers who feel more confident with a wired connection, QRD includes a USB cable with every purchase.


Another area where most PS4 controllers fall short is the lack of RGB lighting. On the Spark N5, gamers will encounter LED bulbs in various colors and patterns, highlighting its analog sticks and face buttons. With the lack of any software to customize these effects, the Spark N5 is not the most advanced RGB controller, but it’s an excellent addition at its reasonable price point.

With back buttons that don’t interfere with conventional grips, simple wireless connectivity, and attractive illumination, the QRD packs a ton of value into its Spark N5 controller.

Compatible with the PS5, the wireless PDP Victrix Pro BFG is both a future-proof and highly customizable controller for PS4 gamers. The controller is esports-oriented, stripping out some features of the DualShock 4 controller like vibration and haptic feedback, and making the device lighter than most high-end competitors. Instead, the modular PDP Victrix Pro BFG focuses on allowing gamers to change analog sticks and the d-pad with many swappable components included in the box.


For some PS4 gamers, the battery life of the official PlayStation controllers just isn’t nearly enough. Addressing these concerns, the PDP Victrix Pro BFG more than doubles the longevity of the DualShock 4. Unlike many wireless PS4 controllers, the Victrix Pro also works with the PS5, so it’s ready if gamers are ready to upgrade their consoles.

One of the most interesting customizations available for the PDP Victrix Pro BFG is the Fight Pad module, which features six microswitch buttons sure to please fans of Street Fighter or Tekken. The controller also has four remappable back buttons and triggers with adjustable sensitivity. Offering flawless wired or wireless performance, the PDP Victrix Pro BFG is the best controller for gamers who value responsive buttons and plentiful modular customization options.


For over ten years, SCUF Gaming has designed some of the most customizable controllers, helping the top esports competitors raise their game. The Impact Pro is a major investment for an aging console like the PS4, but gaming professionals have yet to abandon the system entirely. This wireless SCUF controller, in many ways, is a DualShock controller on steroids, maintaining most of the official device’s features. However, as the best candidate for gamers constantly tweaking their controllers, Impact Pro is modifiable so that each buyer can end up with a truly unique peripheral.

Unlike other third-party controllers, which are more compact versions of the DualShock, the 8.5-ounce Impact Pro is actually larger but with handles wrapped with performance-level grips. Some esports-worthy controllers tend to strip out standard features like vibration motors to reduce weight, but the Impact Pro reacts convincingly to explosions.


It would take pages to describe all the customization possible with this premium wireless controller, but the four detachable rear paddles are perhaps the most significant improvement over the DualShock. The paddles are remapabble to most standard PS4 controls, not with software, but by using SCUF’s unique Electro Magnetic Remapping system. By attaching a magnet to the back of the controller, gamers can quickly reassign paddle commands just by pressing and depressing the relevant buttons.

The Impact Pro features adjustable trigger sensitivity, which pays off in FPS games where mouse-click-like sensitivity is desirable. The SCUF Impact Pro is still available on the company’s website and has an impressive selection of designs as well as alternate thumbsticks and grips.

Surprisingly, some new PS4 controllers still occasionally appear for sale on the marketplace. The Nacon Revolution 5 Pro also targets PS5 and PC gamers but has a dedicated mode for PS4 compatibility. Competitive esports pros will find this wireless controller particularly appealing since it offers incredibly low wireless latency and a high level of customization.


The success of the Revolution 5 Pro largely depends on the demand for Hall Effect analog sticks and triggers. Buyers who profit from gaming at the highest levels will seek any advantage over their opponents. Since Hall Effect components utilize magnets and electrical currents, they are less prone to inaccurate inputs that result from physical hardware wearing down. Stick drift is a common complaint with PS4 and PS5 controllers, so the Revolution 5 Pro solves the issue with sticks that can also lock onto targets more precisely. However, budget-friendly controllers like the GameSir G7 SE for the Xbox now embrace Hall Effect technology, so Nacon’s controller needs more features to entice buyers.

Four remappable rear buttons help justify the high price of the Revolution 5 Pro. However, at least two of these buttons are near the fingers, so gamers may have to adjust their preferred grips. Regarding additional customization, few controllers can match what this controller brings to the most particular gamers. Nacon bundles a carrying case with the Revolution 5 Pro that includes an array of swappable analog stick covers and small weights that install on the reverse of the controller’s handles. Combined with modifiable profiles for FPS, racing, and fighting games, gamers can mold the Revolution 5 Pro into the perfect controller for their play styles.


Another complaint of PS4 gamers is that some less expensive third-party wireless controllers introduce added latency. This is not an issue with Nacon’s controller, even if buyers must plug an included USB RF dongle into a console. Game Rant’s Revolution 5 Pro review found that the device registered commands at a rate that most alternative controllers can not match.

Some disappointments with the Revolution 5 Pro’s lack of DualSense features are not as much of an issue for PS4 gamers. Rumble effects are supported with PS4 and PC titles, and this high-performance wireless controller is tempting for buyers who game on multiple platforms.

One positive aspect of buying a controller for an older game system is that just about every controller design that a gamer can imagine has become a reality. Gamers who can’t grip larger peripherals and prefer smaller mice and compact keyboards know how difficult such a search can be. With the Hori PS4 Mini Wired Gamepad, even children or gamers with the smallest hands are not ignored. The Hori Mini includes all the essential PS4 buttons, including a shrunken touchpad. However, with limited surface area to work with, there is no lightbar, vibration, motion controls, or headset jack on the bottom of the controller.


At a much smaller size than the DualShock 4, the Hori Mini is not just a slightly downsized version of a traditional controller. This form factor does away with traditional handles on the bottom of the device, instead relying on a surface that’s easy to grip for the youngest gamers. It also makes the controller more portable for taking on family trips. If a gamer isn’t a fan of the broken-up d-pad on the DualShock 4, Hori takes a different approach with a traditional one-piece unit that’s fairly easy for even larger fingers to operate. Hori didn’t compromise on the quality of the analog sticks and face buttons either, as both feel like they can withstand the abuse children often inflict on electronics.

The Hori Mini Wired Gamepad isn’t intended for larger hands, but if a gamer is searching for a lightweight, bare-bones device, they shouldn’t overlook this controller. The gamepad is also well-suited as a retro gaming accessory where the modern DualShock 4 features aren’t missed. Hori’s controller is rather pricey for a basic wired device, as asking prices at retailers have grown since the device first debuted. Even so, the Hori Mini Wired Gamepad is among the top-rated PS4 controllers for smaller gamers.


Competitive FPS gamers tend to look for peripherals that focus on performance rather than features like vibration that add to their weight. The Horipad FPS Plus is a lightweight wired controller with an asymmetrical thumbstick layout that boasts some impressive customization potential. This controller has noticeably bulky handles, allowing FPS fans to maintain a secure grip even during furious action.

On the bottom of the controller, gamers will find a button to adjust the sensitivity of the right thumbstick and a mode button to switch compatibility from the PS3 to PS4. Turbo and Assign buttons enable gamers to program rapid-fire commands and remap essential buttons. The Horipad FPS Plus also has short trigger buttons on its topside, making it possible to launch attacks faster than the competition. On the other hand, the R1 and L1 buttons are a bit disappointing and have a mushy feel when pressed.


Hori also claims that the Horipad FPS Plus was the first third-party PS4 controller with a clickable touchpad. Otherwise, as a bare-bones FPS controller, buyers won’t find a light bar or motion sensor controls. Regardless, the FPS Plus excels at registering inputs at a blistering rate without added latency, making it ideal for competitive gamers still thriving on the PS4.

The goal of the Hori Fighting Commander Octa is to shrink large arcade-style fight pads into a more practical controller form factor. This wired PS4 controller isn’t overly complex, but fighting game fans who prefer mashing buttons instead of pressing triggers will appreciate the two extra face buttons. The Fighting Commander Octa also has a toggle switch on its backside, which allows users to switch between PS5, PS4, and PC modes. Even better, Hori employs micro-switches on the face buttons that produce instant satisfying clicking responses to inputs like mechanical keyboard switches. On the downside, these micro-switches are not present on the rest of the controller, which may help to keep its costs reasonable.


The Hori Fighting Commander Octa is clearly designed with fighting games like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat in mind. Since character movement is more basic with these titles, the controller only has one analog stick along with a single d-pad with adjustable sensitivity. The analog stick is a precise 8-way gate design, making it easier to perform complicated attacks and combos. Also, rumble effects, which would quickly become tiresome during intense close combat, are absent. Even so, the Fighting Commander Octa is not completely useless in other game genres, and Hori copies much of the DualShock 4 functionality with a headset jack and touchpad.

The HORI companion app works on PCs and allows gamers to edit and store four-button layouts for fighting games that require slightly different control schemes. Even without a computer, users can reassign buttons and adjust d-pad sensitivity by pressing a combination of buttons on the controller.


One negative worth mentioning is this controller’s cable isn’t detachable and lacks the flexibility of a braided cord. Also, despite the use of high-quality button switches, the body of the controller feels rather cheap and fragile. Nevertheless, the Hori Fighting Commander Octa offers everything a fighting game fan would look for in a peripheral and should be the first choice among PS4 controllers for brawlers.

Is it still worth investing in a PS4 controller?

With each passing month, fewer PS4 games hit store shelves. Sony has yet to close the book on the PS4 entirely, but rumors continue to swirl about its end of life, with the PS5 now more easily found in stock. As a result, gamers preparing for a PS5 purchase may wonder if it’s wise to invest in PS4 peripherals like headsets and controllers. Many PS4 headsets are compatible with the PS5, but the situation is murkier when it comes to controllers. Fortunately, some wired and wireless PS4 controllers are also compatible with the PS5 and excel in these areas:


Wired vs. Wireless

If running a cord across a living or media room floor isn’t appealing, numerous top-tier and affordable wireless PS4 controllers exist. In particular, the Terios Wireless Controller is a great value with extra M1/M2 buttons and a turbo button to launch blistering fast attacks. In addition, it includes Hall Effect analog sticks, which promote more precise movements and reject stick drift.

It’s hard to top the Nacon Wired Compact Controller among reliable wired controllers, which includes a 10-foot USB cord and oversized face buttons. PS4 fighting game fanatics may benefit from a wired gamepad like the HORI Fighting Commander Octa that has responsive controls and makes button mashing less tiresome. Gamers who prefer the experience of an arcade console can opt for the Mayflash F500 Fighting Stick, which features eight hard-to-miss buttons and works with nearly every console.


Button Layout

Many of the controllers in this guide have additional rear paddles or topside buttons that enable quicker access to commands. There are two major styles of button layouts: the PlayStation style and the Xbox style. With the PlayStation-style layout, the analog sticks are aligned symmetrically. The buttons are also symmetrical with the D-pad on the left and the typical four PS buttons on the right. With the Xbox style, the analog sticks are not symmetrical as the left stick is where the D-pad would be, and vice versa. Both layouts offer advantages and disadvantages, which is why one is not preferred to the other. Additionally, with the customizable controllers available on the market, being stuck with one layout is a thing of the past.

Build Quality

Triumphing over some stiff competition, the SCUF Impact Pro is the ultimate example of stellar build quality in a PS4 controller. This wireless controller is built with premium materials worthy of its high price tag. In addition, the Instinct Pro has substantial grips, making the device easier to hold onto during intense gameplay. Of course, like all SCUF controllers, the Instinct Pro offers high customization potential with removable paddles and interchangeable thumbsticks.


Customization

Even if a PS4 gamer plans to invest in a PS5 at some point in the future, there are controllers compatible with both systems, like the PDP Victrix Pro BFG. A common caveat when using PS4 controllers with the PS5 is the inability to power on the console with just the controller itself. Even so, the incredible customization options of the modular PDP Victrix Pro BFG more than compensate for this annoyance.

Another impressive controller for gamers trying to build the perfect device is the Nacon Revolution 5 Pro. There are four remappable rear buttons, and users can also swap the thumbstick covers and d-pad with differently sized and shaped components. It’s one of the most expensive PS4-compatible controllers, but it attracts esports pros who demand the lowest wireless latency possible.

The Nacon Revolution Unlimited Pro V3 is GameRant’s favorite PS4 controller candidate, considering everything it offers. This Nacon controller caters to gamers who can’t decide whether a wireless or wired connection is preferable. The Revolution Unlimited Pro V3 is pricey, but buyers will appreciate its exceptional build quality and advanced button customization.


The PlayStation 4 is not going away anytime soon, with used consoles in excellent working condition sold regularly. If a buyer isn’t yet compelled to upgrade to a PS5, don’t hesitate to purchase one of the best PS4 controllers to enhance the gaming experience today.

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FAQ

Q: Is a third-party PS4 controller as reliable as an official Sony controller?

Reliability can vary depending on the brand and model of the third-party controller. Some third-party controllers are known for being just as reliable as official Sony controllers, while others may have more issues with connectivity or button responsiveness. It’s important to do your research and read reviews before purchasing a third-party controller.

Q: Will a third-party PS4 controller work with all games on the platform?

In most cases, a third-party PS4 controller should work with all games on the platform. However, it’s possible that some games may not be fully compatible with certain third-party controllers. It’s always a good idea to check the compatibility of a particular controller with the games you want to play before making a purchase.


Q: Are there any compatibility issues with using a third-party PS4 controller?

There may be some compatibility issues with using a third-party PS4 controller, particularly if the controller is not fully compatible with the console. It’s important to check the compatibility of a particular controller with your PS4 before purchasing it. Some third-party controllers may also have issues with certain games or features, such as motion control or vibration feedback.

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