The best PS5 controller 2023: Find your Edge

DualSense Edge review image showing the controller next to the original DualSense in Nova Pink
(Image credit: Future / Duncan Robertson)

What's the best PS5 controller on the market? That question is about to get a lot more interesting, with Sony finally releasing its first ever homemade pro controller, the DualSense Edge. With that, comes a welcome expansion of third-party choices, too, as brands like Razer, Scuff, and Victrix all attempt to reinstate themselves as strong market competitors.

Even though there really haven't been many major third-party PS5 controllers until now, the controller market has never been better - especially when you consider some of the best PC controllers that are compatible with PS4 and PS5. Although you won't be able to use the best PS4 controllers to play PS5 games, you can still use them to play last-gen games. That means that there are plenty of multiplayer games you can gain a competitive edge in by using a PS4 pro controller to play on PS5.

Don't forget, either, that there are plenty of situational controllers that will work with the PS5. For example, Sony announced earlier this year that it was teaming with Backbone to bring its first ever officially licensed mobile controller to market. If you're looking to immerse yourself in a Gran Turismo game, there are a few steering wheels we could recommend, too.

We'll be updating our list below as we test the latest and greatest PS5 gamepads that release. Right now, we're in the process of reviewing the Victrix Pro BFG, and the Razer Wolverine V2 Pro, so we'll update this page as soon as we have verdicts on those. Regardless, either way you look at it, it's an exciting time to be shopping around for the best PS5 controllers.

The best PS5 controllers in 2023

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The best PS5 controller for most players

Specifications

Connection: Wireless / USB-C
Buttons: 15
Headset connection: 3.5mm
Cable length: 1m
Weight: 282g

Reasons to buy

+
Haptic feedback
+
Adaptive triggers
+
Weighty build
+
Mute button

Reasons to avoid

-
White colour gets murky over time
-
Isn't the most comfortable

The DualSense (opens in new tab) is the one PS5 accessory that's included with the console, but it's also one most of us will undoubtedly buy more than once. With the DualSense, games are more immersive when features like haptic feedback and adaptive triggers are adopted and incorporated into games' mechanics. Feel the textures of gravel in your fingers as you drive through streets, as well as the tension in the strings of your bow as you draw back an arrow. 

Of course, with these exciting new features likely comes a more expensive PS5 controller. The DualSense costs a little more than the PS4's DualShock, but not prohibitively so.

And now that more colours - Midnight Black, Cosmic Red, Starlight Blue, Nova pink, and Galactic Purple - have joined the party, there's a bit more choice to work with and to inject some jazz and personalisation into your setup.

Best PS5 controller for software and features

Specifications

Connection: Wireless / USB-C
Remappable buttons: 2
Buttons: 17
Headset connection: 3.5mm
Cable length: 3m
Weight: 300

Reasons to buy

+
A more premium-feeling DualSense
+
Ergonomic back buttons
+
Intuitive software integration
+
Good case

Reasons to avoid

-
Only two back buttons
-
Competitors offer more functionality for the same price
-
No real stick drift or battery life fix

The DualSense Edge is the first homemade pro controller from Sony, and it offers a number of quality of life updates over the original DualSense. Rounded corners at the bottom of the grips, as well as a heftier weight make it feel much more premium and ergonomic in the hands. Clever software integration means you can fine tune bespoke PS5 features like adaptive triggers and haptic feedback, and function buttons found under the control sticks help to change customisable profiles in a flash.

The two back button attachments are extremely comfortable, and work extremely well no matter how you map them. Unfortunately, there are only two of them, which means for a similar price you can get a third party controllers that offer fewer features and software integration, but a load more functionality. 

More importantly, the DualSense Edge has a shorter battery life than the original DualSense, and doesn't truly fix the widespread stick drift issues. Although entire stick modules can be replaced, we'd have an easier time recommending it if there were genuine fixes built in.

SCUF Reflex PS5 controller

(Image credit: Future/Rob Dwiar)
The best premium DualSense alternative

Specifications

Connection: Wireless / USB-C
Remappable buttons: 4
Buttons: 19
Headset connection: 3.5mm
Weight: 300g
:

Reasons to buy

+
Customisable back buttons
+
Good grip
+
A myriad of design options

Reasons to avoid

-
Pricey

If you're looking for a PS5 pro controller that's as close as it gets to the design of the DualSense, look no further than the Scuf Reflex. It's compatible with PS5 and PC, and presents an array of design options. It may be pricey, but it's established itself as a strong competitor to the DualSense, and it'll likely be the first point of comparison when the DualSense Edge arrives on the shelves. 

For starters, The Scuf Reflex already has the Edge beaten in terms of its back buttons. While the Sony option only gives players two additional buttons for a similar price, the Reflex gives you a total of 4 buttons that can be assigned to in-game functions. Moreover, it comes in a few different variants: the Reflex, the Reflex Pro, and the Reflex FPS. With all these options at your finger tips, you're bound to find a model which suits your hands, and one that will give you the competitive edge you're looking for without compromising on the design and feature set of the DualSense.

4. Sony DualShock 4

The best PS4 controller for most players

Specifications

Wireless: Yes
Powered By: Rechargeable Battery
Battery Life: 4-8 Hours

Reasons to buy

+
Classic design
+
Seamless connection
+
Ergonomic to hold

Reasons to avoid

-
Symmetrical analogue sticks

The DualSense has been praised by many as one of the strongest weapons the PS5 has. On the other hand, there are plenty of folks that miss the feel and design of the DualShock 4, and that's why we've included it on this list.

While it may only be usable for PS4 games on PS5, it's still an incredibly comfortable controller that's more than stood the test of time. What's more, it's available in a plethora of colours and designs, and if you're anything like us, you'll be sad to know that the small fortune you sunk into collecting as many colours as possible hasn't been advantageous when it comes to playing next-gen games. Either way, it's still one of the best ways to experience PS4 games for most players, and it's more than worthy of a place on this list.

Typically, the DualShock 4 will endure around 8 hours on a full charge, which still isn't bad, all things considered.

Best PS5 controller for fast customisation for PS4 games

Specifications

Wireless: No
Powered By: USB
Battery Life: N/A

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, we found that it’s easy and comfortable to settle in for extended play sessions. When testing it was great that 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.

Read more: Thrustmaster eSwap Pro

Nacon Revolution Unlimited PS4 controller

(Image credit: Nacon)
The best PS4 pro controller for PS5

Specifications

Wireless: Yes
Powered by: Rechargeable battery
battery life: 7 hours

Reasons to buy

+
Highly customisable and works for PC
+
Weighty build
+
8-way D-pad
+
Well-positioned back-buttons

Reasons to avoid

-
Headphone jack has reports of poor quality
-
Will only work for PS4 games

The Nacon Revolution Unlimited is one of few officially licensed PS4 pro controllers. While that means this recommendation has to come with the caveat that this controller will only work on the PS5 when you're playing PS4 games, it's still one of the absolute best pro controllers out there. The Revolution Unlimited also works on PC, and comes with Nacon's very thorough software that allows you to customise every aspect of your experience, down to the nifty ring LEDs around the right analog stick. 

You can create four custom profiles that will store on the controller itself, meaning switching between games is nice and easy. More importantly, it has four back buttons to make use of, that are positioned extremely well as you grip the weighty gamepad that will feel nice and familiar to those who prefer an Xbox controller's shape. 

One slight issue to look out for, which we've had experience of, and have seen widely reported on player forums, is that the audio port inside the controller itself has a few issues. We can't be sure what the exact issue is with the innards of the controller, but if you use a wired headset that plugs straight into the controller itself, your friends may experience some poor mic audio quality. Overall though, this is a fantastic controller to go for, and it has some staying power thanks to its validity on PC too.

The best PS5 mobile controller for iPhone users

Specifications

Wireless: Yes
Powered by: Phone battery
Battery life: N/A

Reasons to buy

+
Compatible with almost every iPhone
+
Official Sony backing
+
Nice design

Reasons to avoid

-
Only for iPhone users

The Backbone One was already a well established mobile controller for iPhone before Sony gave it official backing. With its black, Xbox GamePass-focused version that was released at the end of 2020, people knew it was a strong option to go for. However, now the fun comes to Remote Play fans on PlayStation with this officially licensed, asymmetrical controller. Just keep in mind that it's annoyingly only available for iPhones.

Straight away, it's easy to see the same design language as the PS5 and the DualSense, meaning it'll  easily slot into your current PlayStation ecosystem. In terms of features here, you get a low latency connection, pass-through charging, and a 3.5mm headphone jack for a headset. So long as you're an Apple user, it will house almost any iPhone, including the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Max.

Remote play is surprisingly easy, and much better than you may think, so long as you have the data or Wi-Fi connection to handle it. While it is possible to take a DualSense on the go, having a bespoke controller for the phone itself will make the experience feel much more organic. If you want an iPhone controller to do the trick on your commute, this is your best bet for PS5.

The best PS5 controller that's a racing wheel

Specifications

Rotation: 900°
Buttons: 25
Pedals: 3
Adjustable Pedals: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Powerful force feedback
+
Premium build quality and design
+
Strong support from a range of titles

Reasons to avoid

-
Stiff braking pedal
-
Occasional issues recentering
-
Poor grip for pedal base on hard floors

With a massive selection of additional features, easy to reach button placement, and excellent force feedback there's plenty to love about the Thrustmaster T248. It's the brand's latest flagship setup, geared towards PC and PlayStation devices (an Xbox model is on its way), and performed incredibly well in our testing. 

The spec sheet speaks for itself here, with dual-encoder controls, magnetic paddle gear changers and an LED telemetry display which can be used in a number of ways by titles like F1. There's plenty of room for customization in here. The brake pedal can be configured to four different pressure modes, and we did find some a little too stiff for regular play. You're also getting 25 remappable buttons and the LED display in the centre can be configured to show you a range of stats in supporting games, from race position to lap time to gear number. 

All in all, the sense of realism created by the powerful motor and resistance settings in the Thrustmaster T248 invigorates the whole experience. While some of the fancier features are still to be picked up by some titles there's plenty to dive into here, and this is by no means a cheap option, racing fans will certainly feel a step up if they upgrade.

Read more: Thrustmaster T248 review

Best PS5 controller: FAQs

Which PS5 controller is best?

To begin with, we'd say that the DualSense is one of the best ways to experience PS5 games. A lot of games, especially first-party ones, are designed with the DualSense's bespoke features in mind, so it's got to be one of the best controllers for the console out there. Besides that, we can recommend the Scuf Reflex range as solid alternatives. We'll soon be testing more models for the PS5 specifically, but there are also a myriad of great PS4 controllers that will work on PS5 if you play a lot of last-gen games.

What PS5 controllers to pros use?

If we had to guess, pro players who are looking for a competitive edge for their streams or tournaments are likely using a controller like the Scuf Reflex, Reflex Pro, or Reflex FPS, since they have back buttons that allow for extra in-game functions than a typical DualSense will. If they're playing last gen games on PS5, they could also be using a PS4 pro controller, like the Nacon Revolution Unlimited, Razer Raiju, or Thrustmaster eSwap Pro.

What colour of PS5 controller is best?

There really is no accounting for taste. After cries for a black version of the Ps5 and DualSense, there are likely many folks who would say that the sleek, classy design of the controller is accentuated by the Midnight Black colour, although it really comes down to preference. The DualSense comes in Nova Pink, Original White, Cosmic Red, Starlight Blue, Galactic Purple, Grey Camouflage, and in a limited edition God of War Ragnarok design.


While you're at it, why not kit out more of your set-up with the best PS5 accessories? alternatively, get a noteworthy upgrade with one of the best TVs for PS5 and Xbox Series X.

Duncan Robertson
Hardware Editor

Ever since playing Journey at the age of 15, I’ve been desperate to cover video games for a living. After graduating from Edinburgh Napier University with a degree in Journalism, I contributed to the Scottish Games Network and completed an Editorial Internship over at Expert Reviews. Besides that, I’ve been managing my own YouTube channel and Podcast for the last 7 years. It’s been a long road, but all that experience somehow landed me a dream job covering gaming hardware. I’m a self-confessing PlayStation fanboy, but my experience covering the larger business and developer side of the whole industry has given me a strong knowledge of all platforms. When I’m not testing out every peripheral I can get my hands on, I’m probably either playing tennis or dissecting game design for an upcoming video essay. Now, I better stop myself here before I get talking about my favourite games like HUNT: Showdown, Dishonored, and Towerfall Ascension.
Location: UK Remote

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