PlayStation blog posted a detailed look at the DualSense controller. The new gamepad combines haptic feedback and adaptive triggers in a slightly larger, heavier design.
It’s a sleek-looking unit with a repositioned light bar and textured grip formed from tiny, almost indistinguishable PS face button symbols. It also features a new create button instead of the DualShock 4’s share button.
When it comes to gamepads, rumble has been around for decades. It’s been a feature that brings big game moments into your hands through your controller’s vibration. But that’s all it has been: a shake when an explosion happens, or you get punched.
DualSense takes a different approach, with adaptive triggers that add resistance to simulate tension and other physical feedback. The result is a more precise, detailed way of feeling what your game is telling you to do.
It’s an immersive step forward for gaming and a key component of Sony’s vision for the future of PlayStation. The company has taken enormous strides in visual and audio immersion with its PS5 console, from 3D audio that puts you right inside the world to ray tracing that makes lighting look more realistic. The DualSense’s adaptive triggers and haptic feedback are another great addition to that vision. They could be better. They can be distracting, drain the battery, and only work when the controller is in use. But they show that even a little nuance can make a big difference in your gameplay.
The haptic feedback in the DualSense is far more sophisticated than the blunt rumble that’s been a staple of the PS5 dualsense controller since the early days of 3D console gaming. Rather than significant, brash vibrations when an explosion or a punch is delivered to your character on screen, the new controller’s haptics offer a wide variety of more precise reverberations that simulate a game’s world. From the trickle of water droplets pitter-pattering across your palms to the resistance felt when pulling back on a bowstring, the haptics in the DualSense provides a wealth of sensory stimulation that enhances immersion in an incredibly tactile way.
One of the most intriguing innovations in the DualSense is in its L2 and R2 triggers. The controller’s engineers prioritized haptics when designing it, and the result is adaptive triggers that vibrate and feel a player’s input based on their character’s grip on equipment like a steering wheel or a shotgun.
It’s yet to be determined whether these unique features will be a hit with gamers, but they’re a great example of how the PS5 uses next-generation tech to create a more immersive experience for players. From frictionless in-game loading to ray tracing that makes the lighting look more organic, the PS5 makes players feel as immersed as possible when playing their favorite video games.
When discussing next-generation gaming hardware, the emphasis is often on ramping up graphics to make games look more accurate (which also requires a new TV). But the DualSense controller takes a different approach to immersion, focusing on improving how you interact with your game.
For starters, the Pro version of the controller adds a set of removable back paddles. These can be remapped for additional buttons or offer special performance upgrades like a Rapid Fire mode to improve shooting in popular shooter and battle royale titles.
There are even more customization options on the software side. A settings menu lets you adjust the intensity and dead zone of analog inputs to suit your playstyle. For instance, you can set the trigger button to register a press with more force than usual or tweak the touchpad’s position on the pad so that your index finger falls closer to the center.
Third-party gear maker is going further with its PS5 controller customization tool. It’s an Xbox Design Lab-like tool that lets you create your ideal controller. That includes swapping out the adaptive triggers for “instant” ones that register pressure more quickly. You can also tweak the thumbsticks from domed to concave and change how the touchpad orients itself on the face of the controller.
The PlayStation 5’s DualSense controller is impressive and has clever features that can elevate your gaming experience. However, its battery life could be better. It often runs out of juice, leaving you scrambling for a charging cable. You can employ several strategies to extend the DualSense controller’s battery life.
First, set the controller’s brightness settings to a lower level. It will save a significant amount of power. Also, mute the microphone whenever possible, as it siphons power away from the battery. Finally, try using a wireless headset instead of a wired one, as this will further reduce the drain on your battery.
Another significant power drain is the haptic feedback used by both the DualSense and the DualSense Edge. The actuators in these controllers can rumble with every hit on an opponent or drag your car off the track, and that rumble can eat up quite a bit of power on longer gaming sessions. You can mitigate this issue by lowering the haptic feedback intensity in the controller’s settings menu.
Another tip is to make sure the controller’s auto-shutoff feature is activated. It will cause the controller to turn off automatically after a certain period of inactivity, which can help conserve battery. You can choose from settings that let the controller turn off after 10 minutes, 30 minutes, 60 minutes, or never.