The Top 10 Best PS4 Controllers

how to connect ps4 controller

Both PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 started out slow thanks to higher price tags and fewer game releases at launch, but the PS4 remains one of the most popular gaming consoles available, especially considering the limited availability of Sony’s new PS5. Since the PlayStation 5 is backwards compatible with seemingly most of the PS4 library, and PS4 controllers will work for those games on a PS5 system, purchasing a new PS4 controller now is not a futile investment. It’s a confusing situation but one that Sony appears to be addressing in firmware updates; we hope this will lead to full PS4 controller support on the PS5.

Connect your PS4 Controller via USB

The simplest way to connect your controller to your Windows computer is to use a micro-USB cable. There are upsides of doing this. Once you connect it to your controller and your computer, you need no more further configuration. And the cable is easy to find — a regular micro-USB cable like the one used for modern smartphones will work.

In the meantime, there are a lot of controllers on the market that offer a new way to play, whether you’re upgrading from the stock DualShock4 controller to something more premium or grabbing a controller that caters to a specific type of game. Switching to a new input method can drastically change how a game feels—and playing through a different lens can be extremely fun. Want to relive the glory days of the arcades? Pick up a compatible fight stick and play Street Fighter V or even one of the many ports of classic titles. Want to feel the rumble of asphalt when drifting a tight turn in Gran Turismo Sport? There are steering wheel controllers for that. Navigating the world of gaming controllers can be daunting, so I’ve put together a guide on what to look for in a game controller followed by the 10 PS4-compatible controllers I recommend.

What to Look For

When buying a controller, it’s important to note what types of games you’ll use it for. If your tastes cover a wide variety, you’ll want something closer to the core DualShock 4, but high-level players of various genres may want a product perfectly tailored for victory. To maximize a game controller’s capabilities, consider features such as connection type (wired, wireless, Bluetooth) and compatibility (many PS4 controllers also work on PC, mobile, Switch, etc.). Higher-end controllers often have features like programmable buttons for fine-tuning button inputs, stick sensitivity, or the ability to adjust the dead zone, but these controllers can be expensive by comparison. There are also various USB controller adapters that can enable a wider range of compatibility, though these products usually take some extra finesse. Lastly, for those with specific needs, there are lots of resources for finding ways to play games. This list from Craig Hospital in Englewood, Colorado, includes a bunch of places to research accessible controllers, such as mouth-operated, voice-activated, and one-handed options.

How We Selected

Video game hardware has always fascinated me. Even at a young age, I searched for ways to enjoy games differently with various light guns for arcade shooters, unique pads for fighting games, and weird stuff like the Power Glove for NES. As an adult, I keep an eye out for new innovations in gaming input devices, and I usually snag oddities at secondhand shops. I write about all eras of games across all systems on my website foreverclassicgames, and my work has been published on sites such as GIGA Geek Magazine, Marooners’ Rock, and Twin Galaxies. I selected these 10 controllers based on my experience using a variety of controllers as well as my thoughts on what makes a good one. I also tapped expert opinions, such as top eSports media outlets and content creators, for some of the more unique items.

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