TL;DR – These are the Best PS5 Controllers:
1. DualSense Controller
Some current and older consoles have launched with a variety of first- and third-party gamepads to choose from. The new features of the PS5 DualSense controller are a bit more advanced, though, which means third-party controller manufacturers are lagging a bit behind integrating the needed tech for features like next-gen haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. So this is going to be your go-to for most games.
Luckily, it’s an excellent gamepad. While a bit on the small side, the amount of feedback you get from the triggers and internal motors makes it one of the most responsive, immersively tactile controllers ever. The sticks feel pretty nice, too. I’ve even gone out of my way to get it running on some of my favorite PC games, though sadly there aren’t drivers to support some of the more advanced features just yet.
2. PlayStation 5 Media Remote
You’ve had a tough day, your brain is too fried to drift super cars or battle templars, and what you really want is to be able to get your favorite show streaming in as few button presses as possible. This media remote is here for you, like a tiny plastic friend who wants to help you relax without asking you a bunch of questions or forcing you to navigate fiddly menus.
It’s pretty small, which means I’ll probably need to set mine up in a holster or something so I don’t drop it down the back of the couch and lose it forever. And the buttons aren’t programmable, which would have been nice. But you probably don’t want to be fumbling through an instruction manual to figure out how to set up a macro to play the next episode of Evangelion when you crash on the couch, anyway.
3. Thrustmaster T300 RS GT Racing Wheel
Just like with the gamepads, we’re still waiting on racing wheels that include the PS5’s unique feedback and resistance features. Until then, a lot of wheels that are PS4 compatible will also work with your PS5 games, and this is one of the best featuring full 1080-degree rotation. The T300 RS GT is durable and has a nice, modern, sweat-resistant wheel for those white knuckle corners. The three heavy duty metal pedals can really take a beating.
There’s no detached stick for shifting, but the wheel-mounted shifting pedals are durable and responsive. It also works great on PC. It’s not as luxurious as, say, Logitech’s leather-finished G29, but I find the rubberized grips on this wheel to be a bit more functional and easy to clean.
4. Victrix Pro Arcade FS Arcade Fight Stick
A lot of my friends who are big into the fighting game scene still swear by the fact that certain games must be played on an old school, fight stick. And given how thoroughly they tend to kick my ass all the way across the arena, I’m not inclined to disagree. For PS5, I’m a fan of the Victrix Pro for all my flailing around trying to do a specific combo and then doing a completely different one on accident.
This thing is stylish as hell with a matte black exterior and clean, simple face buttons that fit well with the overall aesthetics of the PS5. It doesn’t have that classic, colorful, arcade look, and the stick itself is a bit small. But it can hold up to my manic, demon-like button mashing, and has the responsive feel you need in the heat of a tense round of Mortal Kombat 11 or the upcoming Guilty Gear Strive.
5. Thrustmaster T-Flight HOTAS 4
There isn’t a lot of use for a full HOTAS setup with the PS5’s currently limited catalogue. But especially with Sony pushing PSVR, that might change at any time. So if you want a stick you can use with your PC now that will be PS5 compatible when the time comes, the Thrustmaster T-Flight will have your six.
This is a one-piece controller, which is ideal for console play, and it has a very modern, streamlined look that will fit in right next to your new soaring tower of postmodern pixel-pumping. The switches and buttons on both the stick and throttle are raised and shaped in such a way that you can easily find them without looking down, which can be trickier on other sticks like Logitech’s where all of the buttons kind of feel the same. It also has PS and Share buttons built right into the base, which those made-for-PC sticks usually don’t.
6. DualSense Charging Station
I wish I had bought a charging station for my PS4. The shape of the DualShock 4 was such that if you set it down for a long time on a hard surface with the USB charge cord plugged in, it could actually bend and damage the charging port and more or less brick the controller. This happened to me twice! So I don’t plan to repeat the mistake with my PS5, and neither should you.
This official one from Sony nestles two DualSense pads in a sturdy, streamlined little trough that uses the same shapes and colors as the console itself, so it blends right in. If you happened to pick up an extra DualSense like I did, partly so I could try it out on PC and partly to sate my craving for new hardware while the consoles were still out of stock everywhere, you can even enjoy uninterrupted gaming by hot-swapping one controller in while the other is charging.
Leana Hafer is an avid PC gamer. Talk action-RPGs, strategy games, and more with her on Twitter at @TilFolkvang.