Are Customizable Game Controllers Worth It?

Microsoft and Sony You have pretty standard consoles, and it’s usually quite affordable to buy extras. However, both companies offer versions that let you swap joysticks and add additional inputs. It is also much more expensive. So before you cash out, let’s take a look at why you want cash.

The two controllers we’re looking at here are Sony’s DualSense Edge controller for PlayStation 5 and Microsoft’s Elite Controller Series 2 for Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One. Both offer very similar features intended to improve your gameplay, so we’ll check them out together.

However, there is one major difference between the two: Sony sells the DualSense Edge controller in a $200 bundle that comes with spare paddles and an extra thumb stick. Microsoft offers a similar package for $180, but you can also buy the basic suite for $130. Third parties also sell the extra bits, and in theory you could even 3D print your own, but it’s worth bearing in mind that for PlayStation owners the full package is the only option.

Interchangeable joysticks give you precise control

One of the most useful features of these controllers is the ability to swap individual joysticks. You may have noticed that with standard controls it is not easy to hit the exact target. In fact, many console games that require specific aiming offer some form of aim assist to help compensate for this. But there are ways to improve your aim manually.

Both consoles offer the option to swap out standard joysticks for longer replacements. This may not seem like a big deal, but it’s not just for convenience. A longer stick means your thumb is off center of the joystick unit. This, in turn, means that it takes more physical motions with your thumb to translate into the same level of motion, and thus a greater margin of error when you’re trying to aim for a small target. They both also have an adjustable tightness setting in the joysticks themselves to add more resistance, giving you more precision.

This is obviously very useful for games where aiming is a critical skill. Online shooters from Call of duty to Fortnite You generally rely on hitting your targets before they can hit you. And while aim assist can help you, it also gets you a little too far. If you find yourself struggling to get your hit points in the same neighborhood as your enemies, this can be a huge help.

On a somewhat more subjective note, the tops for these joysticks also come in different shapes and textures. Microsoft and Sony both offer bundles that include sticks with rounded or indented surfaces, which can affect your thumb’s grip on the sticks. This is up to your comfort level, but it’s nice to have the option.

Trigger resistance means faster reactions

The trigger buttons on the PlayStation controllers — L2 and R2 — are what Sony calls “adaptive triggers,” which tell the game how hard to press the buttons and can even adjust resistance on the fly. This makes for some really interesting interactions, like pulling back farther on the bow or feeling resistance while opening a cage in the game.

However, the downside to this feature is that there is a fair amount of travel time between starting to press the button and pressing it completely. If you play more competitive games, fantasy sensitivity may not matter, but being able to pull the trigger as fast as you can does. So both consoles offer switches to adjust the travel distance of the actuator.


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