Has HBO’s The Last of Us inspired you to play the PlayStation games(Opens in a new tab) that inspired the show? Whether you’re a newbie gamer looking to buy a PlayStation 5 or a seasoned pro looking for a few upgrades, you’re going to want the best add-ons possible. One of the most important ones? A controller.
Now is the best time to buy a PlayStation 5 controller
Just a few months ago, writing a roundup of the best PS5 controllers probably would’ve been pointless, on account of the coveted console being virtually inaccessible. You simply couldn’t get one(Opens in a new tab) unless you had a massive amount of luck on your side. Fortunately, now you can, sans headache.
It took over two years to see reliable stock of the new-gen console. It’s good timing: With the recent releases of flagship PlayStation 5 accessories like the PSVR2 and DualSense Edge(Opens in a new tab), and more PS5 exclusives coming in 2023, consoles are probably going to stay in high demand for the foreseeable future.
Why buy a controller when the PS5 already comes with one?
You don’t really need to buy another controller when you get your PlayStation 5. The DualSense controller that comes with the console is a solid option and supports all the most important PS5 features. But, if you want a controller that lets you do more — namely alternate key mapping — you’re better off upgrading. And hey, having an extra controller on hand is always a plus.
Not all brands are made equal
There are more options than ever for PlayStation 5 controllers, whether they’re first- or third-party. It’s a double-edged sword, though — a bigger selection also means that there are plenty of opportunities for illegitimate vendors to strike while the iron is hot. While sourcing for this roundup, I came across multiple retailers that gave me weird gut feelings as I tried to buy one of their PS5 controllers (including sites like AimControllers(Opens in a new tab) and HexGaming)(Opens in a new tab).
I wasn’t able to fully confirm that these sites were scammy, as I was never actually able to get my hands on one of their products, but they certainly gave off those vibes. In the case of AimControllers, my editor and I both became suspicious when we were asked for additional credit card and official identification info after placing an order for a controller, which we promptly canceled. With HexGaming, I couldn’t even get to a checkout page because the website is a hot mess.
This is all to say that you should be wary of third-party sites and make sure to do your research before purchasing from one. My recommendation is to only purchase a PS5 controller directly from Sony, or from a brand that has an official license to make controllers for the PS5 (like Razer(Opens in a new tab) and SCUF)(Opens in a new tab). If you buy from a seller that isn’t trusted by other consumers or officially licensed, you might just be getting a modded PlayStation controller, which most likely isn’t what you want.
What are the best PlayStation 5 controllers?
I’ve narrowed it down to six options, and they’re all great for different reasons. My personal favorite? The Razer Wolverine V2 Pro(Opens in a new tab). The convenient remapping process, comfort factor, impressive response times, and satisfying click on each button have made it my new go-to. Note that this recommendation is coming from someone who is OK with giving up the haptics and adaptive triggers that the PlayStation 5 has to offer. When I first got my PS5 I was enamored with those features, but after over two years of having one, they’ve worn off on me a bit and have gone from a necessity to a nice-to-have. If you’re new to the PS5, you might want to stick with either the DualSense(Opens in a new tab) or DualSense Edge(Opens in a new tab) for a while to really experience the magic.
I also tried out the popular SCUF Reflex Pro(Opens in a new tab) and PDP Victrix Pro BFG(Opens in a new tab), which are more niche but still worthwhile picks. No matter which one you end up deciding on, one thing is certainly true: There’s never been a more exciting time to be shopping for a PlayStation 5 controller.