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The demand for high-end console controllers was once filled exclusively by third-party companies like Scuf and Astro, but Microsoft jumped into the fray with its Xbox One Elite controller back in 2015 (with a hardware refresh in 2019’s Series 2). Professional gamers — and serious amateurs — flocked to these gamepads, which genuinely offered an advantage over the competition, thanks to paddles on the back and customizable sensitivity settings for analog sticks and triggers. Given the success of these controllers, it was surprising that Sony only dipped a toe into the same waters with a back-button attachment that slapped onto the PlayStation 4’s existing DualShock 4 controller. Beyond that, though, Sony left the fancy bells and whistles to others.
That all changes with the DualSense Edge, a high-end controller that comes directly from Sony. Launching Jan. 26 at $199.99, it offers many of the features that have made the Elite and other pro controllers so popular: programmable rear buttons and custom profiles, alongside adjustable triggers and analog sticks. But is Sony coming to the party too late?
The DualSense Edge feature set
If you’re already familiar with the PS5’s DualSense controller, you should know that the DualSense Edge comes with all the same benefits: the adaptive triggers, the haptic feedback, and the bizarre microphone/speaker setup that makes you wonder why your controller is talking to you. But there are several notable differences.
The DualSense Edge comes with back buttons in two styles (paddles or half-dome nubs). Despite the four included attachments, there are only two slots for back buttons, so you’ll have to decide which of the two styles you prefer. The paddles will be familiar to anyone who has used an Xbox Elite controller, resting neatly under your natural controller grip, letting you activate them with just a simple squeeze. While this seems convenient, I found myself — both with the Elite controller and with the Edge — accidentally activating the paddles during tense moments of clenching.
That’s why I’m thrilled at Sony’s inclusion of half-dome nubs. They lie just slightly out of reach, allowing you to maintain your natural grip while having two extra inputs accessible with your index or middle finger. They have a satisfying click when activated, and they made an intense fight with God of War Ragnarok’s Valkyrie Queen far easier, letting me keep my thumbs on the analog sticks while dodging and firing arrows with the back buttons.
That said, it’s hard to ignore the fact that the Xbox Elite Series 2 controller has four back button inputs to the DualSense Edge’s two. Two back buttons will probably suffice for the vast majority of players. But if you wanted to program all of the face buttons — or all of the D-pad inputs — to your back buttons, you simply couldn’t do that on the DualSense Edge.
Sony’s solution for this limited button set is the inclusion of function buttons located below each analog stick. Holding down a function button allows you to select a premade profile. Each profile lets you completely reassign all of the buttons on your controller, including the back buttons, and change the sensitivity and dead zones of the analog sticks.
The most obvious use case: Say you’re playing Spider-Man: Miles Morales, and you want to switch to Call of Duty: Warzone. Your ideal button mappings for each game might be dramatically different. These function buttons let you swap them in an instant — you just hold one down while hitting a face button to select a profile. It’s a very slick process, and the menus for creating new profiles are super intuitive. The Elite Series 2 controller does offer the same functionality, though it’s slightly clumsier there, requiring multiple taps to cycle through the four profiles.
Another feature where Sony essentially matches the Elite Series 2: trigger stops, which let you cut down on how much you need to pull the R2 and L2 triggers before they activate. Using this feature will disable the adaptive trigger functionality, but for serious players, that’s a small price to pay for increased responsiveness and diminished finger strain.
Time to replace the analog sticks?
There is one feature the DualSense Edge includes that the Elite Series 2 does not: the ability to fully replace both analog stick modules. In the era of analog stick drift, the life span of controllers is getting shorter. Sony seems to realize that you probably don’t want to pay for another full-priced DualSense Edge if one of your analog sticks starts acting funny, so the Edge allows you to slide out the entire thing and swap in a new one (sold separately for $19.99).
I feel extremely weird about this feature. On one hand, yeah, it’s great that you don’t have to junk the entire controller — or ship it back to Sony — if an analog stick acts up. On the other hand, this is kind of shouting from the rooftops that these (premium-priced) things are going to break. PS5 owners starting started seeing some DualSense drift issues pretty early in the console’s life cycle, and this functionality feels like Sony acknowledging that modern analog sticks will just fail as a matter of course. And not only that, when they do fail, you’ll have to pay Sony for the privilege of a quick fix, rather than being able to rely on the company having come up with a more durable design in the first place.
The Elite Series 2, the direct competitor to the DualSense Edge, has also had plenty of complaints regarding its durability, with failing bumpers being the most common problem. So I guess that if you’re looking for a first-party pro controller, you’re kinda damned if you do. It’s too early to say whether the DualSense Edge will suffer the same durability issues, which is to say: Maybe wait and see how first wave of controllers reacts to steady use.
What else is in the box?
In addition to everything mentioned above, the DualSense Edge comes with a fancy carrying case that keeps all the bits and bobs secure. Inside, there’s a braided USB cable for charging, a cable lock to prevent untimely unpluggings of your controller (presumably most useful in tournament settings), and a few different styles of analog sticks. If you happen to be one of the people who miss the half-dome analog sticks of the PlayStation era, good news: You’ve got two different heights to choose from in addition to the concave style that comes on all DualSense controllers. (Also: What’s wrong with you? Those analog sticks were horrible.) [Ed. note: No, they were not.]
The carrying case is a nice touch, especially since it has a Velcro door that lets you slide in your USB cable and charge the controller while it’s safe in its cocoon. It all feels very premium and high end, which, for the $200 you’re paying, it should.
What about the design?
Image: Sony Interactive Entertainment and Image: Sony Interactive Entertainment
It goes without saying that the look of the controller purely comes down to taste. I think the DualSense Edge looks... fine. I don’t think it’s ugly, but I do think it’s a downgrade from the standard DualSense controller, which feels more uniform. The Edge’s most glaring design feature is a patch of glossy plastic around the center of the controller. This is the removable section that grants access to the swappable analog stick modules. I’m not just sure it has the premium look and feel that Sony is generally known for. Given that it’s just a piece of plastic, it wouldn’t surprise me if Sony sold replacement plates in different colors and finishes like the company does for the PlayStation 5 — but it’s a drag that something fancier wasn’t included in the box to begin with.
While we’re talking about the design, Microsoft now allows you to fully customize the look of an Elite Series 2 controller, changing the color of the buttons, triggers, faceplate — you name it. Customized gamepads do come at a premium price ($10 above the DualSense Edge. if you buy all the accessories), but it’s a nice option that Sony is, at present, missing.
And that price?
The DualSense Edge comes in at $199.99 — half the cost of the digital-only PS5 model. That’s... pretty steep, though it’s not far off from Microsoft’s offering of the Elite Series 2, which is $179.99 (although sales frequently drop it down to around $150). I’m sure that professional streamers and esports athletes will have no problem spending the money and writing it off on their taxes. But for average folk, that a lot to shell out. Does it make playing PS5 games a nicer experience? Unquestionably. Does it give you an advantage to be able to, say, aim and jump at the same time in Fortnite thanks to the back buttons? Yes, it does.
That said, these days I’d be more comfortable buying a high-end premium controller if I knew it was going to last me at least five years. But until we get several hundred hours of gameplay with the DualSense Edge, we won’t really know what sort of life span this thing will have. Given that, it’s harder to make that long-term investment.
Also, again, it’s $200. And it’s not like you’re going to zoom up the leaderboards just because you’ve got two more inputs at your disposal. It’s the epitome of a nice-to-have — but if you play a ton of PS5 games, maybe that’s all you really need to justify it.
The DualSense Edge will be released Jan. 26. This review was conducted using a controller provided by Sony. Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links. You can find additional information about Polygon’s ethics policy here.
More buttons, more options
On the hardware side, players can attach either half-dome (rounded and short) or lever (skinny and long) back paddles to the device. These paddles sit close to where the player's middle or ring fingers rest and can be mapped to any other input on the DualSense Edge.
The PS5 DualSense Edge controller will be worth it to those who can make use of the competitive advantages it provides and who are willing to invest $200 in enhancing their gameplay in titles like Call of Duty, Fortnite, Apex Legends, and other shooters.Which DualSense controller is best? ›
Best High-End PS5 Controller
Sony's pro-level controller, the DualSense Edge, has a familiar design to the original DualSense, only it's packing loads of additional features that may just be worth the $200 splurge.
The $200 DualSense Edge Is a Great PS5 Controller.Does the DualSense Edge have adaptive triggers? ›
If you're already familiar with the PS5's DualSense controller, you should know that the DualSense Edge comes with all the same benefits: the adaptive triggers, the haptic feedback, and the bizarre microphone/speaker setup that makes you wonder why your controller is talking to you.What does the DualSense Edge controller do? ›
DualSense™ wireless controller features built in
Experience all the immersive features of the DualSense wireless controller, including haptic feedback, adaptive triggers, a built-in microphone, motion controls and more in supported titles.
The standard DualSense controller averages between five to eight hours of battery life in my experience – depending on the game you're playing – so it's disappointing to hear that the DualSense Edge, which costs $200, might not even hit those heights.Is it OK to leave DualSense on charging station? ›
Yes you can leave them on charger they are amber colored when charging, and then turn blue when charged. And yes you should be able to just unplug it without incident.Is the DualSense fragile? ›
Sadly, a PS5 controller teardown suggests DualSense drift was inevitable, as some components are prone to wear and tear. This isn't ideal if you want your DualSense to last.Which DualSense color is best? ›
1. Galactic Purple 💜 The Galactic Purple PS5 controller is my personal favorite – I mean, just look at it! Like the Starlight Blue and Nova Pink controllers, the Galactic Purple features an improved internal design.
Posted 1 month ago . Owned for 3 weeks when reviewed. I love the way this control feels in my hands. This is, in my opinion, the best controller out there as far as overall feel.
Immersive innovations aside, the DualSense feels like a controller built for convenience. Not only is it far more comfortable than the DualShock 4, Sony's PS5 offering even has a built-in microphone, a pleasingly solid D-pad and no longer ruins your game with a glare-emitting light.
The battery life of the original DualSense controller is around 12-15 hours depending on whether features like haptic feedback and the speaker are being used.What is better DualSense or DualShock? ›
Based on our early testing, the DualSense is shaping up to be a huge upgrade over the DualShock 4, thanks to its immersive haptic feedback and adaptive triggers that create gaming experiences that truly feel next-gen.How many DualSense controllers are there? ›
Please note, your controller can pair with only one PS5 console at a time. When you want to use your controller on another console, you'll need to pair it with that console. You can use up to 4 controllers at the same time.Will DualSense Edge have stick drift? ›
Not a full evolution of the PlayStation 5's original DualSense controller, sounds like.Is the DualSense Edge out? ›
The PS5 DualSense Edge release date is 26th January 2023. This is a global release date, so the PS5 Edge controller is scheduled to release in the UK early this year along with the rest of the world.How many back buttons on DualSense Edge? ›
2 Half Dome Back Buttons. 2 Lever Back Buttons. Connector Housing.What's new with the DualSense Edge? ›
The DualSense Edge will come with a braided USB-C cable that can lock into the controller to avoid accidental disconnects, which is great for competitive play in live scenarios. It'll also have three sets of thumbstick toppers for those who like to have different grips on their sticks.Is a PS5 Pro coming? ›
Back in May, Zuby_Tech offered a reasonable prediction (not a leak) of the PlayStation 5 hardware roadmap, with the PlayStation 5 Pro console with 5 nm or 4 nm processor appearing in November 2024 and a PlayStation 5 Slim with 5 nm chip coming in September 2023 (the current PS5 consoles feature a custom 7 nm chip from ...
The DualSense's biggest innovations are new haptic vibrations and rear triggers with variable tension, which can do everything from simulate walking on a sandy beach to let you know when your point guard is tired.Why does PS5 controller drain so fast? ›
Though cool upgrades to the controller, both Vibration and Adaptive Triggers appear to sap a lot of battery when they are frequently used. To disable vibration features, head to Settings > Accessories > Controllers > Vibration Intensity > Off.How long does PS5 DualSense battery last? ›
The Dualsense Edge offers only 5 to 10 hours per charge as opposed to the 12 to 15 hours of the original PS5 controller. This could be less concerning for pro and competitive gamers who prefer a wired connection over a wireless one.What happens if you unplug PS5 while it's on? ›
If you disconnect the AC power cord while the power indicator is lit or blinking, data may be lost or corrupted, or the console may be damaged.Can a PS5 controller be damaged if it's kept plugged in? ›
No, they are designed to be left on charge with no ill effects.Will Sony fix DualSense drift? ›
Update DualSense Controller Firmware
If the PS5 Controller Drift is due to a hardware issue, then Sony can fix it in the firmware. So, you have to update to the latest firmware. Connect the DualSense Controller to the PS5 Console. Go to “Settings” in your PS5 and then choose “Accessories”.
Storing Your Console Horizontally Might Be the Best Option
Whether standing your PS5 in the upright position is damaging to the PS5 or not has yet to be confirmed by Sony. But, if the solution to preventing this issue is simply laying the console down, it's probably worthwhile to just store it that way.
Verdict. For modern features, the PS5 DualSense is the best option, but for versatility and battery life, nothing is better than the Xbox Gamepad. However, it all comes down to preference and there is no clear winner here.Does DualSense get dirty? ›
It's an unfortunate matter of reality. There's almost no way to avoid it, your PS5 DualSense controller is going to get dirty. It doesn't matter how often you wash your hands; it will get dirty (much less dirty than if you don't, which— gross, but still).Does PS5 use a lot of electricity? ›
The latest version of the console appears to use approximately 201 watts, which was less than the 218 watts the original PS5 was measured at.
When powered off, but still plugged in, the PS5 consumes ~1.3W. The disc edition of the PS5 console has a 350W power rating (340W), and the maximum consumption recorded when playing games was 203W.Why is DualSense battery draining so fast? ›
It turns out that the controller has the all new haptic feedback, so it's much more different than the PS4's controller in this regard. My best advice is turn either turn it off or lower the vibration settings. Basically, the controller is using a lot more power to give you a better more vibration experience.Why is it called DualSense? ›
Its name derives from its use of two (dual) vibration motors (shock). These motors are housed within the handles of the DualShock controller, with the left one being larger and more powerful than the one on the right, so to allow for levels of vibration that vary.Which PS controller is better? ›
The DualShock 4 was, in our opinion, the best controller for most PS4 players. It provides many great features at a lower price point than many other controllers on the market. Although it may seem pricey, it is well worth the money spent when comparing with other controller options.Are new DualSense better? ›
New DualSense controllers have more powerful springs and new parts that might fix stick drift | GamesRadar+How do I find my lost PS5 controller? ›
Whenever you need to find the missing controller, simply open up the Tile app on your phone, select the Tile you want to locate (if you have multiple), and press the button to ring it. The Tile Sticker will then emit a loud ringing sound that you can follow to easily find your lost gaming devices in record time.Is there 2 types of PS5 controller? ›
Sony smartly announced an upgraded version of its PS5 controller in late August 2022, called the DualSense Edge. The upgraded pad offers some nice benefits compared to a regular DualSense, so if you're in the market for a new controller you'll likely want to know the difference between the two versions.What is the new PS5 controller called? ›
DualSense Edge™ Wireless Controller
Get an edge in gameplay with remappable buttons, tunable triggers and sticks, changeable stick caps, back buttons, and more. Built with high performance and personalization in mind, the controller also retains all the immersive features of the DualSense wireless controller.
Inside, there are a total of four back paddles (two sets of different lengths and designs) and four extra analog stick toppers (two short convex heads and two tall convex heads).Does DualSense Edge have back buttons? ›
The DualSense Edge will offer standard, high dome, or low dome stick caps, as well as half dome back buttons, and lever back buttons.
Another difference is that Scuf's controller has four back buttons, rather than two, for you to remap.Can you get paddles for PS5 controller? ›
For now, the only way to add back buttons to the PS5 controller is with third-party accessories. Alternatively, you can get your existing DualSense controller customized with rear paddles added. Otherwise, you'll just have to make do until Sony makes its own official back button attachment.How many hours does DualSense last? ›
The standard DualSense controller averages between five to eight hours of battery life in my experience – depending on the game you're playing – so it's disappointing to hear that the DualSense Edge, which costs $200, might not even hit those heights.Is a controller with paddles better? ›
SCUF paddles are widely recognized to improve a gamer's performance by increasing hand use and control during gameplay. The paddles offer improved hand movement when executing more advanced moves in game by providing increased dexterity for the gamer.How long does DualSense battery last? ›
The battery life of the original DualSense controller is around 12-15 hours depending on whether features like haptic feedback and the speaker are being used.Is the DualSense Edge out yet? ›
The Sony Dualsense Edge controller will be released on January 26, 2023. This is the first-ever premium gamepad made by the company, with fans eagerly awaiting its release.Can you plug a normal headset into a PS5 controller? ›
You can connect a headset to the PlayStation 5 in different ways. One way is to connect the headset via the 3.5mm audio jack on the controller. In total, you can choose from 5 options to connect your gaming headset to the PS5 console.Can you plug any headphones into PS5 controller? ›
If you play games at night but don't have access to a fancy headset, there's a way to output all PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4 audio through traditional headphones and earbuds using the DualSense and DualShock 4. All you need is a pair of earphones with a 3.5mm jack, and you're pretty much good to go.Can you use any cable for PS5 controller? ›
Try a Type-C to Type-C USB cable if you have one available. You may also use a charger that is compliant with the USB standard if you have one available. Please note, not all USB chargers will be capable of charging the DualSense wireless controller.