Whether you’re an aspiring pro-gamer or just a budget conscious hobbyist, you have a slew of options when it comes to Playstation 4 controllers.
1. Razer Raiju/Raiju Ultimate
The king of computer peripherals has released the first true professional controller for the PS4, dubbed the Raiju. The Razer Raiju is massive, evoking the design of Microsoft’s Xbox One Elite controller. Razer’s controller is ultimately made for performance over customization. To this end it offers a number of handy features that could give players a slight edge over the competition. One such feature is the trigger buttons located on the underside of the controller. Their placement is meant to feel more natural, particularly when playing first person shooter games. Additionally the Raiju features shortcut buttons sandwiched between the two handles. This is useful as it lets you change settings you would normally have to jump into the menu to access.
Also available is the Raiju Ultimate controller. This is a more streamlined controller compared to the original. However, the biggest difference is that the Ultimate offers Bluetooth wireless connectivity, whereas the original is strictly a wired controller. This is a nice feature; however, wireless connectivity also results in lag, which means pro players probably won’t be interested. Overall, the Raiju series from Razer are good but have a steep asking price for the average gamer.
2. Nacon Revolution Pro
One of the more common complaints about the DualShock 4 controller, especially those with larger hands, is that it is uncomfortable to hold. The Nacon Revolution Pro eliminates this concern by taking design cues from the Xbox One controller. In addition to being physically larger, the Revolution Pro also swaps the placement of the D-pad and the left analog stick, mimicking the Xbox One controller layout. This gives the player easier access to the D-pad when using the thumbstick; however, it may take some getting used to if you’re a DualShock fan.
In addition to these obvious design changes, the Revolution Pro also features a few extra buttons on the backside of the controller. Any of the face or shoulder buttons can be remapped to these, allowing players quick access to them without having to take their thumbs off the analog sticks. This enables quicker reaction times and a more comfortable playing experience. While the Nacon Revolution Pro performs well and has excellent build quality, there are a few downsides. The Revolution Pro is a wired controller. Wired controllers don’t suffer from lag; however, having the option to go wireless would’ve been welcome. Furthermore, the controller cannot be used with your PC.
3. Hori Fighting Commander
Designed specifically for 2D fighting games, the Hori Fighting Commander is reminiscent of controllers of the 16-32 bit era of home consoles. The first thing you’ll notice is that the Hori Fighting Commander does away with the analog sticks. This is due to the fact that many fighting game connoisseurs don’t use them at all, preferring the directional pad. In addition to the lack of analog sticks, the button layout on the Hori Fighting Commander features six face buttons, instead of the standard four. By moving the R1 and L1 buttons to the face of the controller, they are more easily accessible when playing fighting games that utilize those buttons, most notably the “Street Fighter” series.
In addition to the six-button layout, the Fighting Commander features a turbo button and a toggle switch that allows the D-pad to emulate either the left or right analog stick. Furthermore, the Fighting Commander has given L3 and R3 their own dedicated buttons situated on the shoulders. Also available is the Fighting Commander Pro, which features a slightly redesigned body. The biggest advantage of the Fighting Commander 4 is that it has a rotatable D-pad. Users can tilt the D-pad on a 10-30 degree angle, allowing for greater customization over the feel of the pad. The biggest downside to the Fighting Commander series is the fact that there are no analog sticks, limiting its compatibility. As a result, the Fighting Commander is only going to appeal to hardcore fighting game fans.
4. SCUF Impact
If you want customization options, the Impact series of PS4 controllers by SCUF have customization in spades. Customers are able to use the SCUF website to not only tweak the cosmetics of their controller but also choose from different thumbsticks, face buttons, D-pads and much more, like removing the vibration motor to make the controller lighter. Also included are four paddle buttons on the rear of the controller that can be remapped any way the user chooses. For example, a player can remap the face buttons to the rear paddle buttons, allowing the player to never have to remove his or her thumbs from the thumbsticks.
The SCUF Impact controller is also slightly larger than the standard DualShock 4, making it more ergonomic. It also comes with interchangeable thumbsticks of varying height and design. This isn’t entirely unique; however, they can be changed in seconds using the SCUF Ring & Lock System. In addition, the Impact also features adjustable hair triggers. This enables the user to set shallower activation points on the shoulder buttons, allowing for quicker execution of button presses. Furthermore, the SCUF Impact includes trigger extenders, allowing the shoulder buttons to be more easily accessible. Finally, the Impact also gives the option of wired or wireless functionality, so no more lag complaints. The SCUF Impact is a controller that allows a high level of customization, making it ideal for a variety of different game types and play styles.
5. Hori Mini Wired
Nowadays, it seems as though most video games are aimed squarely at the adult market. However, there are plenty of games available on the PS4 that are kid-friendly. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the DualShock 4 controller. For young children, the DualShock 4 is simply too large for their tiny child hands. Luckily, the Hori Mini Wired controller is the perfect alternative, coming in at about 40% smaller than the DualShock 4. It is also considerably lighter; however, there have been a few minor sacrifices.
As if the name didn’t give it away, the Hori Mini Wired controller is not wireless. In addition, it doesn’t have any motion sensors or a light bar. Furthermore, it omits the vibration motor and the headphone jack. This limits compatibility with some games (e.g. those that require motion control); however, for the majority of games these omissions won’t be an issue. In addition, the Hori Mini does away with the touchpad, which is more problematic. However, Hori has included a touchpad button that, when pressed, allows the analog stick to act as the touchpad. Overall, the Hori Mini is great for younger children and other players with smaller hands.
Which 3rd party PS4 controller is your favorite? Is there another controller you feel should be added to the list? Let us know in the comments!