Top Pick for
Overall PS4 controller
Finder's team evaluated dozens of PS4 controllers to figure out which options are the best for everything from beating foes in fighting games to tearing up the track in racing simulators. We sifted through heaps of product pages and read plenty of user reviews to help you choose your next controller with confidence.
The PS4 was the most popular console of the last generation, and part of its success is owed to its fantastic controller. The DUALSHOCK 4 wireless gamepad is super comfortable, and with plenty of innovative features like built-in speakers, it's the best overall PS4 controller.
When you're using a controller for hours at a time, you're going to want it to perform while making your hands feel at home. Luckily, the DUALSHOCK 4 does just that. If you've used PlayStation gear your whole life, the controller will feel super familiar to you since its design is simply another iteration of the much-loved gamepads that came before it. Everything is easily accessible without reaching too far with your fingers, and nothing is blocking your hands from comfortably resting on the grips.
There are more built-in features on the DUALSHOCK 4 than you'll find with most controllers. It's got your standard features like wireless connectivity and a headphone jack, but it's also got speakers and a touchpad. Sony was trying to innovate in the gamepad space with these moves, but the trackpad in particular just isn't a feature that caught on in the industry. Some games support it, but there are also plenty of titles that entirely ignore its existence.
Unlike Xbox controllers, the DUALSHOCK 4 controller doesn't have removable batteries. While that means you'll go through fewer AA batteries than with an Xbox, your controller will turn into e-waste unless you can be bothered replacing the battery when it starts to fail.
The default PS4 controller is pretty popular, with the DUALSHOCK 4 bringing in a rating of 4.5 out of 5 from more than 21,000 reviews on Google. Buyers loved its overall design and comfort in the hand, but others weren't thrilled with its almost $100 asking price.
Brand new DUALSHOCK 4 controllers aren't exactly cheap, but Nacon has the solution. The Wired Compact Controller sports a solid design and costs more than $30 less than the default gamepad, making it the best PS4 controller for anyone looking to save a few bucks.
It's not identical to the DUALSHOCK 4 controller from Sony, but the Wired Compact Controller will look and feel familiar to anyone who's been gaming on PlayStation consoles for a while. There's the distinctive trackpad right up the top, sitting next to the same share and options buttons as you'd find on any other PS4 controller. It's even got strikingly similar symmetrical joysticks. The major difference between the two gamepads is the Nacon's more solid, bulkier design. Even with all of that, it still costs only $59.00, a whole $30.95 cheaper than Sony's standard controller.
A lot is missing from the Compact Wired Controller that might make it less appealing for some gamers. You'll be missing out on Sony's motion controls, and like we mentioned in our full review of the controller, that could make playing some games a little more challenging. Nacon also chucked out the lightbar and speakers found on the DUALSHOCK 4, but their absence isn't exactly going to ruin any games.
If wires really aren't your thing, this controller won't be either. There's no way to connect Nacon's budget gamepad to your console other than via its permanently attached USB cable. At least it's a decently lengthy wire at 3 metres.
Despite being a cheaper alternative to the official Sony controller, Nacon's Compact Wired Controller is still a well-reviewed device. It boasts a 4.3 out of 5 rating from more than 1,500 reviews on Google, with gamers complimenting it for its solid build and great controls. Some took issue that it couldn't turn the console on from afar.
For pros, a stellar controller is more than just something to play games with; it's an essential part of their toolkit. SCUF built its Impact FPS with competitive play in mind, and with its top-notch customisation and a design that closely resembles the PS4's default controller, it's easily the best PS4 controller for pros.
Like many other professional gaming products, the Impact FPS has plenty of customisation options that allow you to configure it to suit you best. There are 4 reprogrammable toggles on the back and you can even custom order your controller with your favourite designs, joysticks and grips.
If you were expecting a revolutionary new design for your ludicrously expensive controller, you'd be mistaken. The Impact FPS looks almost identical to the standard DUALSHOCK 4, particularly in its overall shape. Still, there are some minor differences. It's slightly bigger and it sports a refined grip to help you keep a hold on the controller even in the most intense moments.
While the Impact FPS sounds like a fantastic controller, it has a ludicrously high price tag to account for its features. You can buy the gamepad directly from SCUF for €259.99, or approximately AUD$405, which is more than 4 times more expensive than the DUALSHOCK 4 controller. Unless you're serious about your gaming, you're better off with Sony's default option.
Due to the more niche nature of the controller, there are unfortunately far fewer user reviews for the Impact FPS. If you're interested in picking up this pricey controller, it might be worth reading or watching a couple of reviews to determine if it's suited for you.
The DUALSHOCK 4 has many features most kids will probably never use, so you might get better value for your money from Hori's Wired Mini Gamepad. Its miniature design means young ones won't struggle to hold it, and with a long USB cable for easy connectivity, it's the best PS4 controller for kids.
The Wired Mini Gamepad is made for your small kids since it's roughly 40% smaller than the standard DUALSHOCK 4 that comes with the PS4. That's not to say it's only for smaller people as many reviewers mentioned it felt comfortable to use even as adults.
Since it's designed primarily for kids, the gamepad dropped a whole bunch of features you'd usually find on these sorts of controllers. There's no motion controls, no trackpad and no vibration either. There's also no 3.5mm headphone jack, but all of these omissions probably won't bother your young ones. You, on the other hand, might miss having the ability to hop in a party chat with mates.
The Wired Mini Gamepad, as the name suggests, connects to your PS4 via a cable. That means there's no wireless connectivity here, but at least the wire is 3 metres long, so you've got plenty of room to move around.
Even though it's much smaller than your average controller, the Hori Wired Mini Gamepad is one of the highest-rated products on this list with its 4.5 out of 5 rating from more than 60 reviews on Google. Buyers appreciated the controller's lightweight and compact build, but others would've liked to see more features included (such as a 3.5mm headphone jack).
Many will fiercely argue that Microsoft did a better job of its controller design than Sony, and if you're one of those people, Nacon's Revolution Unlimited Pro Controller is for you. Boasting a super customisable design with asymmetrical joysticks and the ability to swap between using a wire to playing wirelessly, it's the best Xbox-style PS4 controller.
The Revolution Unlimited Pro is far from standard, with plenty of options allowing you to customise it exactly how you want. Like several other controllers on the market, it's got programmable buttons on the back and even has swappable thumbsticks. You can even fine-tune it down to the right weight for your playstyle, with hidden doors sliding open on the back of the controller that allows you to add or remove tiny weights.
While all of that customisation is great, you'll need a computer handy to reprogram the controller. Nacon's software can be installed from its website and is compatible with devices running Windows and macOS. Once your computer is up and running with the app, you'll be able to remap all of the buttons, change how the vibration motors work and more.
If you're the sort of gamer who prefers to use a wireless controller, you can easily use the Revolution Unlimited Pro Controller without a cord attached. But if you like the feel of that direct link to your console, the gamepad also lets you use it in a wired mode. The choice is yours.
All those features come at a steep price point, with Nacon asking buyers for $249 for the controller. It's not as pricey as some options, but it's still heaps more expensive than the standard PS4 controller.
Nacon's Xbox-style gamepad earned good feedback from buyers, earning a 3.7 out of 5 rating from more than 600 reviews. Many users loved the controller's in-depth customisation options, but some experienced issues with its durability.
A standard controller doesn't do racing games any justice. Logitech's G29, on the other hand, turns your run-of-the-mill racing game into an immersive simulator. With its remarkable build quality and overall feel, and its included pedals, there's no doubt that the G29 is the best racing wheel for any PS4 user.
Everything about the G29 feels premium, from the leather-wrapped wheel to the metal finish on the shift paddles. Nothing feels flimsy or poorly made, and instead it feels ready to take on the 24 Hours of Le Mans and all the physical strain that would come with it. I've been using my G920 (the Xbox version of this wheel) for years now, and it still looks like it did the day I unboxed it.
Unlike many racing wheels on the market, the G29 comes with pedals in the box. That's one less thing you have to think about buying on top of the wheel itself, although you will need to splash a little more cash if you want a separate gear shifter as well.
Logitech uses gears on the G29 to simulate how driving down the Nordschleife or racing at Laguna Seca would feel if it weren't just a part of a racing game. That's typical for consumer-grade wheels, with most using either a gear or belt system. Unfortunately, it's not quite as accurate (or fun) as more advanced systems that use a direct drive system instead. Still, the G29 is way more affordable than systems designed for sim racers.
The G29 isn't Logitech's newest racing wheel. The G923 is the new kid on the block, and it's strikingly similar to what we already had. The new wheel does have the new TrueForce force feedback system, but it also costs significantly more at a price point of $599. With that in mind, the G29 is still the better buy if you're focused on getting the best bang for your buck.
Logitech's racing wheels are among the most loved in the business, with customers awarding the controller with a 4.6 out of 5 rating from more than 3,900 reviews on Google. Buyers loved the wheel's powerful force feedback and overall durability, but some weren't thrilled with the feel of the pedals.
If you're on a quest to take your fighting game skills to the next level, GameSir's C2 Universal Arcade Fightstick is a fantastic option that's worth a look. With its reliable componentry and cross-platform compatibility, it's the best fightstick for the PS4.
Fightsticks can take a beating, particularly with how competitive fighting games can get and how much those buttons are mashed. Luckily the C2 is one well-built machine, with a solid base plate that holds everything together and premium Japanese componentry made by the reputable brand Sanwa Denshi.
Portable is the last word that comes to mind when you look at the C2. The fightstick takes up a serious amount of physical space, measuring in at 40cmx25cm, and is another 16cm thick on top of that. That's not going to be super comfy on your lap, and that's before you consider that it weighs 3.5 kilograms as well.
The C2 sets itself apart from the rest with cross-platform compatibility. This fightstick can connect to everything from a PS4 to the Nintendo Switch. Still, while it can work with almost every modern game console, it's not a seamless process. You need to have access to a DUALSHOCK 4 controller to connect the gamepad to the PS4, which isn't ideal. PC and Nintendo Switch users don't run into these problems, but at least those on Xbox will understand your pain.
Buyers seem to be pretty happy with their C2 Arcade Fightsticks, with the gamepad bringing home an average rating of 3.8 out of 5 from more than 100 reviews on Amazon. Users praised the fightstick for its build quality and ease of use across multiple consoles. There were very few complaints about the device other than that some units seemed to have quality issues.
Getting a controller to suit your style can be a challenge, but Thrustmaster's eSwap Wired Pro Controller is a breeze to customise in basically any way you want. With physical and software adjustability options available in the one well-made shell, it's the best customisable controller for the PS4.
The eSwap Pro is super well built, with a beefy footprint that feels more similar to an Xbox controller than the much smaller DUALSHOCK 4. You'll feel how solid the controller is the first time you pick it up since it weighs a hefty 300 grams.
Thrustmaster gives you the freedom to adjust almost every little detail about how the controller works. It's easy to change controller sensitivity, the intensity of its vibration motors, and you can even fully remap the controller if you feel like it. Unfortunately, you'll need a Windows device to access the Trustmapper software.
The eSwap Pro takes customisation beyond key remapping, with users able to swap in and out joystick modules, triggers and more. There used to be heaps of different colour options for people to choose from, and while that adds even more to the uniqueness and customisation of each controller, these are obscenely hard to find in Australia.
While the eSwap Pro offers much more than a standard controller, its asking price is far too steep. At $199, the controller costs more than two times the amount of Sony's DUALSHOCK 4 controller. That asking price is even worse when you consider the gamepad isn't wireless.
Gamers who already have the eSwap Pro were happy with their purchase, with more than 600 customers on Amazon awarding the controller with an average rating of 3.8 out of 5. Users loved the controller's overall feel, particularly with its triggers, but many seemed to experience the dreaded stick drift (the same sort that plagued the Nintendo Switch) after a few months of intense usage.
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