The Dual Sense is a premium controller with features like adaptive triggers that aren’t available on the standard PlayStation 4 controller. It also feels great and helps prevent hand strain.
Unlike the generic rumble packs used for decades, the DualSense uses actuators to deliver nuanced haptic feedback. In a playroom, for example, you feel your robot’s every footstep as it crosses a varied terrain.
Immersive Haptic Feedback
The Dual Sense Controller’s big selling point is advanced haptic feedback, a more subtle form of vibration than the dull rumble that has powered console gaming controllers for 23 years (and the rumble paks that preceded them). It’s not just a single vibration or jolt but a range of tactile sensations that reflect your actions and the environments around you.
The most obvious example is a playroom, the 3D platformer that comes pre-installed on every PS5 and showcases various technologies. Here, the PS5 dualsense controller adaptive triggers let you feel the roughness of the rope as you pull it, and the resistance varies depending on the environment. You can also feel the scraping as your character skates across the ice and the blow of wind in the desert.
Other games are starting to take advantage of this technology, too. In the case of Spider-Man, the haptics provides directional feedback for nearby environmental clues and help players orient themselves. This immerses the experience and allows players to immerse themselves in the game’s world. It’s also an effective way to highlight things that need players’ attention, such as a glowing red light on a nearby enemy or the need to recharge an energy meter.
Dynamic Adaptive Triggers
Adaptive triggers allow the L2 and R2 buttons to feel different depending on what is happening in a game. For example, if you are firing weapons in-game, the triggers can feel like there is more resistance or bumps along the way, making it more realistic. This small detail makes a big difference and adds to the immersion of a game.
This is just one of many new features that make the DualSense a game-changer. But, while the adaptive triggers and haptic feedback are impressive, it still needs to be made clear how much of an impact they will have on gamers in the long run. After all, most games don’t seem to build around them, so it will take some time for them to catch on.
Until then, most people will probably use the PS5’s default settings for these features and will only notice them when playing games that utilize them. That said, a playroom is an excellent example of how they can work and provides a fun experience for anyone that wants to try them out.
To get started with these features, you must plug the controller into your PC via USB. Once connected, you can open the Playroom app and select a character to start playing. You can also set your preferred sensitivity and adjust the haptic feedback intensity from here.
From an ergonomic standpoint, the DualSense Edge is a significant step up from its predecessor. The textured grip is much more comfortable, even after sweat-inducing multiplayer sessions. But the considerable improvements are under the hood, with adaptive triggers and haptic feedback bringing new depth to video games.
These features have yet to have the opportunity to blossom in the wild fully, but they promise to be compelling additions. For example, adaptive triggers let players feel what pulling the string on a bow or holding an empty gun is like. It’s hard to put a price on that level of immersion.
Another convenience feature that could prove handy is connecting a USB cable to the controller and transferring settings to a PC. This will likely be a popular option for modders, and it eliminates the need to rely on a drained battery for a firmware update during an intense game session.
I also liked that you can quickly turn off the controller by pressing the PS button. Oddly, this feature doesn’t appear in the Settings menu, but it’s welcome when you need to save your batteries during a long gaming session. It’s a minor thing that makes a difference for the average player.
Using the PS5’s accessories settings menu, gamers can modify their controller’s input curves surprisingly granularly. This means they can fine-tune how their analog sticks and trigger buttons react to input, which is excellent for players who want more responsive or precise control.
Similarly, they can adjust how quickly the light bar changes color and how the front paddles react to the input. This is a feature most other high-end gamepads don’t offer, and it’s an excellent way to make the controller feel more like your own.
Sony has already released several new DualSense designs since the console’s launch, and many of these are now available to buy. The Midnight Black is a solid black pad perfect for those used to a uniform look, while the Cosmic Red offers more color and flare.
Players can swap out the black removable faceplates to customize colors and designs. This is a popular customization option for gamers, especially professional streamers and tournament players, as it allows them to match their equipment to their gaming style better. For example, a sniper may want a high-dome cap on their left thumbstick to improve precision and accuracy, while a close-range combatant might benefit from a shorter one.