Regardless of your budget, you have plenty to choose from when it comes to buying a new PS4 controller. Other than the DualShock 4, there are a lot of worthy options, some of which are more expensive, while others are cheaper.
But, before you go on to buy a new PS4 controller, it’s best that you learn the most important factors to consider before buying one.
Below are 7 things that you should consider first before splurging — or cheaping out — on a new PS4 controller.
Do I Need a Wireless PS4 Controller?
More than all the bells and whistles is that you’re going to be choosing between a wired and wireless controller.
Originally, the official DualShock 4 pad is a wireless controller that utilizes a low-power Bluetooth solution to allow gamers to play without being tethered to their consoles. Later on, the option to play via a wired USB connection as added.
The main difference between wired and wireless is latency. Latency is the delay between the time you press your buttons and the moment it reaches your PS4. Wired controllers have very little delay if at all. On the other hand, wireless controllers are known for being slightly slower because of their higher latency. In competitive games, latency is a serious issue; a split-second delay could mean the difference between fragging someone and winning and losing. This is why many pro-level pads are wired., like our tournament-grade controllers, are wired.
Of course, if you’re only going to use it at home for casual gaming, your new PS4 controller might as well be wireless. The latency is often a non-issue in such cases and you can sit back and relax on your couch while playing. However, there are a couple of wireless pro-level pads on the market that are worth taking a look, such as our own line of tournament-grade controllers.
Is It Worth Paying a Premium For?
If you want nothing but a basic PS4 controller, then you don’t need to splurge. You can probably even find one that’s cheaper than the DualShock 4. But, if you want your new PS4 controller to be more durable with additional button configurations for better accessibility and improved performance, that’s going to cost extra.
For example, if you feel that your K/D ratio could improve, you can try getting a pro pad to see if it helps. Pro-pads are designed for peak performance. This includes replacing the default thumbsticks with their own that offers finer and smoother control, or swappable sticks of different heights so you can choose whichever suits you best.
Other additional features worth considering are extra buttons (usually found on the back of the controllers), triggers that can help improve shooting speeds in FPS games, and removal textured grips to make sure that the controller doesn’t slip from your hands during intense, sweaty gaming sessions.
Do I Want A Sony-Licensed Controller?
If you want your new PS4 controller to be officially licensed, your options will be pretty limited. There’s the default Sony DualShock, the Razer Raiju, and Nacon’s Revolution Pro. Sony has only officially licensed those three, nothing else.
Licensed PlayStation 4 pads often carry a premium price tag. The Raizer Raiju will set you back $145.99 (Amazon), while the Revolution Pro costs $98 (Amazon). But, although expensive, you rest assured that a PS4 firmware update will not suddenly render them useless, as the case usually is with other unlicensed pads.
You can minimize the chances of a firmware update messing with your new PS4 controller by buying from a reputable manufacturer, even if it is not licensed.
It’s also worth taking note that, regardless of what pad you buy, unless it is the DualShock 4, you won’t be able to turn on your PS4 using the Home button. This is a feature exclusive only to Sony’s official DualShock 4. However, because all of our controllers are basically just modified DualShock 4’s, you are getting the best of both worlds with the purchase — a default DualShock 4 with the features of a pro-pad controller.
How Much Should I Pay?
An original DualShock 4 controller will set you back around £49 for the standard black pad. Expect to pay additional £5 or more for other colour options and limited-edition variants. As for the cheaper pads, you can find one for as low as £20 (even lower if you really spend time searching), but expect to sacrifice build quality, wireless function, and reliability, among others. Finally, for pro-grade PS4 controllers, expect to pay at least £85 mark.
Available for only £69, the TCP Classic is the cheapest professional PS4 controller available in the market today. But, for gamers who want nothing but the best, we recommend the TCP Ultimate II, which sells for £115.
Is It Worth It To Spend More?
It’s easy to cheap out on a new PS4 controller. They are a dime-a-dozen on the market. Unfortunately, while they work, you can’t expect them to last.
Cheap PS4 controllers use low-quality parts and will easily break compared to more expensive pads, like Sony’s DualShock 4 controller. Common issues include dead zones on thumbsticks, slippery surfaces, mushy buttons, unresponsive when used without a USB wire, and components that break easily after just a few months of use.
The worst part of buying a low-quality PS4 controller is that there is a chance that a new PS4 firmware update could render it useless. There’s a chance that you’d end up with a dead weight of a controller just days after buying it.
Do I Need a Chipped or Modded PS4 Controller?
In general, we don’t recommend using or buying them, especially if you plan on competing.
In professional situations, the use of chipped or modded PS4 controllers is banned. Also, in general, their use is frowned upon by the community. This is because modded PS4 controllers offer major gameplay advantages over even pro pads. The most common modification is the addition of a “rapid-fire” chip that allows you to spam a button on your controller automatically with just a single press.
Of course, the choice is still up to you. If you really think it’s worth it, feel free to buy one. Otherwise, steer clear from chipped PS4 controllers.
Are Third-Party Controllers Universally Compatible?
The answer isn’t quite so simple. You see, not all third-party controllers are similar. Case in point, racing wheels made specifically for racing games. In such cases, these products work best, or rather, work only when used in specific games. Although technically you can use them in other games with a few tweaks, they are generally not worth the effort.
If you’re eying a particular model for your new PS4 controller, we recommend that you search if it’s compatible with all games first before buying.
Buy a New PS4 Controller Today
As you can see, buying a new PS4 controller isn’t as easy as going eenie, meenie, miny, moe. There is a lot of deliberation that goes into the purchase. Or at least, there should be.
If you decide to cheap out, your wallet will be able to breathe easier. At least, at the moment of purchase. But, remember, when it comes to buying a new PS4 controller, you get what you pay for. You should look beyond just saving a few quids and look for PS4 gaming pad that allows you to have fun and play to the best of your abilities.
Be sure to take a look at our products if you are looking for a pro-grade PlayStation 4 controller that retains all the key features of Sony’s DualShock 4.
What do you think is the biggest factor when it comes to choosing a new PS4 controller? Is it the price, the features, the design, or compatibility? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.