Try to avoid the impulse to spend £50 on an official gaming pad if you’ve worn out your PlayStation 4 controller from all the button mashing and really need a replacement. There are many fantastic (and occasionally less expensive) options available. While buying a cheap, basic pad for multiplayer fun would almost surely benefit your pocketbook, more discerning gamers should seek beyond the DualShock 4; the growing array of professional-grade PlayStation 4 controllers is a much better option.
There are a number of worthwhile DualShock 4 competitors available for every segment of the market, and while some are more expensive than the PlayStation official pad, some come in at a lower price. Continue reading to learn about the top PS4 controllers available for between £30 and £150, as well as the crucial characteristics that set a professional pad from from a regular one.
How to pick the ideal PlayStation 4 controller for you
Existing PS4 controller production?
Since January 2021, the DualShock 4 controller has been out of production in Japan. The PlayStation 4 and its many peripherals are still for sale throughout the rest of the world, though, and that situation is unlikely to change until Sony can supply enough PlayStation 5 consoles. The only minor impediment to purchasing a DualShock 4 is that some high street merchants might not order the device in significant quantities (or indeed at all). If we can, we’ll make sure to direct you to a store that has DualShock 4 controllers on hand.
What justifies spending more money?
Even when they are wired, inexpensive pads are not as responsive as Sony’s certified wireless pad since many of them are really basic and employ low-quality materials. Large dead zones on thumbsticks and readily breakable components are also common. If those aren’t a big deal, there’s always the possibility that a PS4 firmware update could break your pad since manufacturers are unable to upgrade your pad to function with the PS4. Nobody wants to spend their hard-earned money on a controller that will be out of date in a month.
The top PlayStation 4 controllers available in 2023
The best-value PS4 controller is the Nacon Asymmetric wireless controller.
By just being slightly more expensive than Sony’s official DualShock 4 offering, this Nacon controller defies the trend. Although the simple design lacks the colorful lights and mappable inputs of its more expensive brothers, it is surprisingly sturdy and doesn’t feel cheap.
The rear triggers, which feel especially substantial when squeezed, are among the many beneficial features of the asymmetrical layout and huge buttons on Nacon’s excellent series. For up to seven hours of action, the USB Bluetooth receiver can be inserted into your PS4 or gaming PC and instantly linked with the controller. The joysticks may be a touch high, and the share and options buttons are fairly small, but for about £50, the strong construction and long-lasting battery life make up for these flaws. With a few features from the DualShock 4 removed, the Nacon Wired Compact is a powerful budget controller that offers a significant price save. You must be seated close enough to your console to plug in the 3m USB-A cable because it is not wireless. This may sound fairly restrictive, but it ensures that you won’t run out of battery at a key time. The integrated speaker, light bar, and SIXAXIS motion sensor are also absent, but since so few games make excellent use of those features, their absence isn’t a problem. Should I buy a wired or wireless controller?
When choosing a different PS4 controller, you have two choices: wired or wireless. Sony’s official DualShock 4 pad connects to the PS4 via low-power Bluetooth, while later official pads also support wired USB connections. The primary distinction between wired and wireless connections is latency, or how quickly your button presses and movements reach the PS4. This is why so many pro-level pads employ wired connections. Though it only adds a tiny amount of time, wired connections are faster and more dependable. In multiplayer games, this can still make a difference. Although wireless can be a little bit slower, it has the advantage of not being connected to your PS4.
Wireless Asymmetric Controller from Nacon
With the Asymmetric Wireless Controller, Nacon is back at it. a comfortable gamepad that gives PS4 (and PC) players the Xbox One controller experience. It is more substantial and well-made than the DualShock 4, which makes it more comfortable to hold for extended gaming sessions.
The Nacon Asymmetric Wireless Controller has offset analog sticks, precisely like the Xbox One pad, which gives away its unique selling point. We concluded that this was a better option than Sony’s custom of attaching symmetrical sticks to its official pads for people who struggle with dexterity or who simply like the offset design.
Gamepad Hori Mini Wired
For smaller hands, the Hori Mini Wired Gamepad is a suitable match. This controller will work well whether you find the standard PS4 gamepads to be too bulky or want a choice for your children. The Hori Mini Wired looks and feels appealingly vintage. The wired pad is around 40% smaller than the DualShock 4 and features a 10-foot cable. The grip is modest as a result but makes it perfect for portability. It works nicely for straightforward arcade games as well.
You don’t have a light bar, stereo headset connector, speaker, dual motors, or a motion sensor because this PS4 pad is so small. Consider it a more simplified DualShock 4 substitute. Because of this, some games won’t work with it, although fighting games or games with a more arcade vibe might benefit from its use.
There is no denying that the DualShock 4 is one of the greatest PS4 controllers available; it is among the highest-quality PS4 controllers available. But, it doesn’t always follow that it is the sole controller of exceptional quality. Due to their reputable reputation in gaming hardware and electronics, businesses like Razer, which is introducing the Raiju Ultimate Wireless controller, promise a high-quality product.