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Best PS4 controllers you can buy in 2021

Best PS4 controllers you can buy in 2020
(Image credit: Sony)

The PS4 is still a super popular console and finding the best PS4 controllers to go with it can give you the edge compared to just sticking with the same model that came with the console - although there are some fantastic color options for the trusty Dualshock too.

With tracking down PS5 stock being so difficult anyways, many of you might not be quite ready to say goodbye to the PlayStation 4 just yet. Have you really finished everything on our best PS4 games list? Exactly.

Maybe you’ve worn the rubber off your current PS4 controller’s thumbsticks, or have had enough of slipping off the triggers, or simply are seeking a better way to play like a pro. Whatever your reasoning, we’ve combed through all the possibilities to round up only the best PS4 controllers worth your consideration, as it's one of the most essential PS4 accessories.

Of course, most players will have become quite acquainted with Sony’s official Dualshock 4 controller in the years since PS4’s release, but just because it’s official doesn’t mean it’s ideal for, say, tournament play or professional Twitch streamers. The below list features a healthy mix of the finest PS4 controllers suited to all manner of purposes and occasions. What’s more, all are listed at the lowest available price. 

When weighing up which PS4 controller is best for you it’s worth bearing in mind its functionality, comfort, battery life, and overall design. Luckily, we’re about to cover all these factors in-depth in our breakdown of the best PS4 controllers you can buy.

Best PS4 Controllers

best ps4 controllers: dualshock 4

(Image credit: Sony)

1. Sony DualShock 4

The best PS4 controller for most players

Reasons to buy
+Classic design+Seamless connection+Ergonomic to hold
Reasons to avoid
-Symmetrical analogue sticks

It should go without saying, but one of the best PS4 controllers is actually the one you get right out of the box: the Dualshock 4. A faithful continuation of previous Dualshock controller designs, this fourth iteration also sprinkled in a couple of new features that have since become synonymous with the PS4 console itself. The central touchpad, for example, makes bringing up the map in most games a breeze, and sharing out captured screenshots and recordings can be done instantly thanks to the dedicated Share button that replaces the previous select button.

Design-wise, the Dualshock 4 controller also doesn’t disappoint. It’s beefy and rigid to cope with a fair amount of harsh button mashing, but equally slim enough that holding it never becomes uncomfortable. Typically, the Dualshock 4 will last for up to 8 hours following a full charge, which mightn’t be the most generous but is enough to see you through those extended play sessions. Picking up a Dualshock 4 controller brand new also means you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to patterns and color. Those not wanting to opt for standard Jet Black can pick from Wave Blue, Glacier White, and even Sunset Orange. There’s plenty of reasons to love the Dualshock 4, easily rendering it one of the best PS4 controllers. and yes, it'll work on the new PS5 as well, although only for PS4 games.

best ps4 controllers: Nacon Revolution Unlimited

(Image credit: Nacon)

The best wireless custom PS4 controller

Reasons to buy
+Highly customisable+A nice weight to it+True 8-way D-pad
Reasons to avoid
-Software takes time to learn

You can always rely on Nacon for great build quality, but in the Nacon Revolution Unlimited the third-party accessories specialist has outdone itself. What makes it one of the best PS4 controllers is its incredibly flexible functionality, which offers gamers the ability to do such things as play wired or wirelessly, tweak the controller’s joystick using the interchangeable heads provided, and map their preferred controls to no less than 4 configurable shortcut buttons. Add in a true 8-way D-pad and the Nacon Revolution Unlimited Pro PS4 controller is every professional eSports player’s dream.

The most notable way the Nacon Revolution Unlimited differs from what most PS4 players are used to is its analog stick placement. No longer are they situated directly apart from each other in symmetrical fashion, instead opting for the classic offset design you’d likely find when playing Xbox One. This is a massive boon for players that find this setup more natural to interact with. While not game-changing by any means, another nice touch is Nacon Revolution Unlimited’s inclusion of LED lighting indicators, which supplants the standard Dualshock 4’s lightbar to let players know the status of important in-game factors (like health) and easily notify you whenever power is low.

best ps4 controllers: Razer Raiju Tournament

The best programmable eSports PS4 controller

Reasons to buy
+Ergonomic design and premium feel+Tactile button feedback+Easy accompanying app
Reasons to avoid
-On the expensive side

PS4 players looking for a competitive edge should absolutely consider the Razer Raiju Tournament Edition controller, which pitches itself squarely as a premium eSports solution. Not only does it boast a nice weight and build quality to help relay that premium feel, but it also offers players a suite of programmable options thanks to the corresponding Razer app. Just simply sync the app to the controller via Bluetooth and away you go, able to tweak the function of each button however you see fit and even set the level of rumble on either side of the gamepad. In terms of the best PS4 controllers for sheer versatility, the Razer Raiju Tournament Edition certainly earns its place.

The Razer Raiju Tournament Edition succeeds from a pure design perspective too, again different from the traditional Dualshock 4 by featuring offset analog sticks and face buttons that deliver extremely tactile feedback. Still, the design also represents the best of both worlds, as evidenced by the split D-pad and emphasis on the central touchpad, which is bordered by RGB lighting to really add some pizzazz. Striking this balance between eSports equipped yet practical renders the Razer Raiju Tournament Edition as one of the best PS4 controllers around.

best ps4 controllers: Nacon Asymmetrical Wireless

(Image credit: Sony)

Best PS4 controller with asymmetrical thumbsticks

Reasons to buy
+Extremely comfortable+Elements of PS4 and Xbox One mixed+Asymmetrical sticks
Reasons to avoid
-Requires USB dongle

Other entries on this list may try and distance themselves from the classic Dualshock 4 design, but in its Asymmetrical Wireless Controller, Nacon has opted to keep things familiar – bar one notable exception. You see, in this design Nacon has affectionately recognized the appeal the Dualshock 4 offers so many players via its ergonomic design, with the only real major difference being that the gamepad’s analog sticks are, you guessed it, asymmetrical. This is particularly useful for those that find the traditional PS4 controller layout oddly off-putting. Certainly one to consider if you prefer the Xbox One controllers.

It makes our list of the best PS4 controllers largely because of how it fills this admittedly niche gap so well, all while still retaining the convenience that comes through wireless play and functionating almost identically to the traditional Dualshock 4. The Nacon Asymmetrical Wireless Controller might be a little plumber than its direct influence, but even that gives it a satisfying sense of heft any devout PS4 player will come to appreciate. It also helps that the controller features a price that’s competitive when compared to other third-party PS4 gamepad options.

Note: This controller is generally unavailable in the US.

best ps4 controllers: Thrustmaster eSwap Pro

(Image credit: Thrustmaster)

Best PS4 controller for fast customisation

Reasons to buy
+Simple and easy module swapping+Tactile button feedback+Great build quality
Reasons to avoid
-Unusual aesthetic design

Despite being primarily known for developing some of the best PC steering wheels around, Thrustmaster’s first true attempt at supplanting the Dualshock 4 controller is also one of the best. A lot of this is down to how it handles customization, which works by letting players swap out different button modules depending on their functional or aesthetic preferences. There’s also a suite of extra configurable buttons located on the eSwap Pro’s backplate – perfect for tournament players craving a competitive edge. There are four of them in total, and rather than opt for the traditional paddles you see with most eSports controllers, Thrustmaster’s take better resemble face buttons and are therefore harder to mistakenly press.

After tweaking around with the eSwap Pro’s modules enough to find your perfect layout, it’s easy and comfortable to settle in for extended play sessions. Button presses, for example, deliver a tactile feel and a satisfying sense of feedback as any eSports-centric controller should, while the textured grips on either side of the gamepad always ensure you can maintain a handle on things during the heat of competitive play. Better still, those grips, much like the analog sticks and D-pad, can be entirely switched out for an alternative option. Only the best PS4 controllers offer such flexibility, and the Thrustmaster eSwap Pro is one of them.

Whether you're playing on PS4 or one of the newer consoles, our best gaming TV guide is worth a look for sure. Don't overlook your audio experience either as we've got some great options in our best PS4 headset guide. 

Aaron Potter

Aaron is a freelance writer who appreciates a good video game story just as much as great visuals and gameplay. Having covered the subject for places like WIRED, Den of Geek, PLAY Magazine, NME, PC Gamer and more, he’s well equipped to discuss a range of topics and industry goings-on through in-depth features, developer interviews and thoughtful reviews. His favourite game ever is 2005’s TimeSplitters: Future Perfect, a madcap character shooter from the makers of GoldenEye 007 that he first played whilst on holiday in Butlin’s Minehead. Because who needs to have fun in the sun, anyway?