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The Best PS5 Controller Picks for Gamers in 2021 | Digital Trends


The DualSense wireless controller that arrives with your shiny new PS5 is by no means an inferior gaming product. The weighty new shape, the unique variable tension triggers, and the enhanced haptic vibrations all make it the controller to beat for PlayStation 5 gaming … but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other options out there, too. If you’re looking for an alternative and want your new controller to be something a little different, we have the best PS5 controllers you should take a look at! Let’s start with some favorite models that retain compatibility on the PS5.

Further reading

Important note: Sony has strict compatibility guidelines for the PS5 controller compatibility. That means that an official PS4 controller from a third party will work with the PS4 games that you play on your PS5 console, and Sony has assured players that fighting sticks and other accessories will be similarly supported. However, brand-new PS5 games are generally off-limits to PS4 controllers. If you want to play a new PS5 game, you may have to switch back to the PS5 controller. We’ll keep our list updated as alternative PS5 controllers start to come out, including some excellent options for customized DualSense controllers.

HexGaming Rival Premium Edition DualSense Controller

HexGaming starts with a basic DualSense PS5 controller and then upgrades into an e-sports-ready beast of a pro controller that’s superior in almost every way. The rear button paddles include remapping software that allows you to change them on the fly for each game, programming them with any other button activation you need. The top shoulder/trigger buttons have also been redesigned with a slimmer profile that allows for faster activation that may help gamers working on their reaction times. The controller also comes with “six-in-one” thumbsticks that allow you to adjust height, pick a thumbstick grip that feels more comfortable (and prevents slipping), and more.

Finally, HexGaming offers a wide variety of themes so you can pick a visual design that you like the most without sacrificing quality. It should also work with the DualSense charging station. The only real downside of this Rival Premium Edition controller is that it’s far more expensive than the original DualSense, so you will have to pay for what you get. It’s hands down one of the best PS5 controllers on the market though.

Razer Raiju Ultimate

The Razer Raiju Ultimate PlayStation controller.

The Raiju (which Razer faithfully updates with new firmware) is designed to be the ideal controller for more competitive games. It offers “mecha-tactile” action buttons, which is a fancy way of saying they’re designed to resist slipping when your fingers are sweaty (like towards the end of a tight battle royale match). There are also interchangeable thumbsticks and D-pads so you can switch styles between games or find the option that works best for you.

Razer’s software also allows you to program multi-function buttons for the most useful actions and fine-tune responses, including a hair-trigger mode specifically designed to support FPS games. Plus, the whole design looks great, with some signature RGB lighting that you can also tinker with to match your PS5 console or a fun PS5 accessory.

Nacon Esports Revolution Unlimited Pro V3

The Nacon Esports Revolution Unlimited Pro V3 controller front and back.

Nacon’s controller means business when it comes to thumbstick customization. The sticks are highly customizable, allowing you to adjust amplitude to exactly what suits the game you are playing, plus interchangeable heads to get exactly the feel that you want. You can also map buttons to specific actions and create several different profiles to switch between as needed. It supports both wired and wireless connections, depending on what you prefer and find the most reliable. The overall design is both comfortable and high-quality, making it a great pick for long sessions of serious gaming on the PS5 console.

Scuf Impact

The Scuf Impact controller front and back.

Scuf’s Impact controller has a bit more of a traditional shape and comes with a whole kit of customization options to get things just right. Along with the customizable controller faceplate, you get four removable paddles that fit into the back for some extra button mapping, electro-magnetic remapping options for easy swaps, adjustable hair trigger, quick shift trigger stops, and interchangeable thumbsticks to find the best options. It’s the perfect choice if you love tons of personalization and tweaking the controller to find just the right setup. It also supports both wired and wireless modes.

Aim Controllers Customized DualSense Controller

The Aim Controllers Customized DualSense Controller options screen.

Aim takes a different approach to customizing the PS5 DualSense controller: Their system allows you to pick each part of the controller and specify a different look so you get the precise appearance you want, right does to what each thumbstick looks like and the color of the touchpad. Each option gives at least a few primary colors to choose from, allowing gamers to tinker until they’ve replicated their favorite theme or invoked the color pattern of any character in media.

The advantage of this approach — in addition to the customization — is that it’s still very affordable since the changes are all visual. The downside is that, unlike the HexGaming optimization, the Aim Controller won’t actually change how the DualSense performs. The official DualSense controller is great, but the customization options here make it one of the best PS5 controllers. And it will still work perfectly with a default PS5 charging station.

Victrix PS4 Pro FS Arcade Fight Stick

The Victrix PS4 Pro FS Arcade Fight Stick.

If you’re a fighting game fan, you may have something more in mind for playing your favorite fighters, and things don’t get better than this Victrix fight stick. It offers a 5-millisecond response time and comfortable wrist slope that’s perfect for everything from Mortal Kombat to Soulcalibur. You get total customization options too, and we’re not just talking about software: This gaming fight stick was designed so you can open it up and make hardware updates or swaps as you prefer. It’s also made to be portable and includes a traveling kit if you feel like taking the fight on the road and finding a local tournament. Out of the best PS5 controllers, this one is our top choice for classic fighters.

Razer Raion Fightpad

The Razer Raion Fightpad controller.

Maybe you’re looking for a combination between a classic fight stick and a traditional gaming controller. Razer has you covered with the innovative Fightpad. This  PS5 controller moves all six buttons to the front for easy access (especially if you prefer the business pose of holding all your fingers in front for faster response) and has an eight-way D-pad designed for extra-precise inputs. The buttons use mechanical switches for excellent response and extended durability. You can also activate a competition mode that helps avoid mistaken inputs during the most rapid action.

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