Plus, a behind-the-scenes look at the controller’s design story.
Playing is believing when it comes to the DualSense Edge wireless controller for PlayStation 5. I had the opportunity to go hands-on with the ultra-customizable, high-performance controller, trying out multiple interchangeable pieces, on-console controller setting options, and tested everything out across a variety of games. The key takeaway — regardless of your overall experience with customizable controllers designed for precision play, the DualSense Edge controller experience combines premium construction with intuitive user options.
For a closer look at what inspired the controller’s form factor and customization options, we sat down with the minds who helped design it. Here’s a behind-the-scenes glimpse into how the first-ever, highly customizable controller developed by PlayStation was created:
The DualSense Edge controller comes with a sleek and sturdy shell-like case to keep your controller and its accessories safe and organized. One nice touch is the removable flap where the included braided USB charging cable can fit, allowing you to charge the controller while nestled within its case.
Familiar form factor
The controller feels immediately familiar since PlayStation engineers set out to match the original DualSense controller’s shape and size. Close inspection of the DualSense Edge controller reveals subtle examples of its premium build quality, such as increased surface area for the grippy white plastic around the handles and extra texture on the touchpad and triggers.
Adjustable trigger length
Players can adjust the length of the triggers with built-in switches for both R2 and L2 buttons. This makes on-the-fly customization easy, without needing to adjust any controller profile settings. One example from my time included jumping from God of War Ragnarök, where I wanted full range of the R2 button, to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, where clicking into a shorter trigger length helped me shoot faster.
Switchable stick caps
The DualSense Edge controller features three sets of stick caps that make quick customization easy. The two standard caps the same as the DualSense controller’s snappy sticks, while the sets of high and low dome caps offer a satisfying concave feel. I appreciated being able to swap in a high dome cap on the right analog stick, which provided a greater degree of finesse when taking aim in Call of Duty or Apex Legends.
Back button versatility
The DualSense Edge controller also features optional back buttons. The lever back buttons offer a longer, flatter form factor that’s quick to activate. The half dome back buttons feature a low profile and precise feel. They open up new options for button configurations, and once I acclimated to the new inputs I felt like a nimble powerhouse. One example includes…
God of War Ragnarök
Assigning the dodge button to the left back button and Kratos’ Leviathan Axe retrieval/elemental attack charging to the right back button let me keep my thumb on the right stick and control the camera during every moment of combat. I reduced the length of the left trigger to speed up aiming ranged attacks but kept the right trigger at default to feel the adaptive triggers’ immersive magic during melee combat. The result was so satisfying I’m already planning my second playthrough of Santa Monica Studio’s stunning sequel after the DualSense Edge controller launches.
Customizable controller profiles
The options for optimizing your playstyle extend beyond the accessories and trigger adjustments to customizable controller profiles. A slick tutorial automatically pops up when you first plug your controller into the PS5 console. Some of the robust additional options include:
- Up to 3 profiles stored on the controller itself
- Custom button assignments (e.g. to set up an FPS profile, driving profile, action-game profile, etc.)
- Stick sensitivity and deadzone tuning
- Trigger deadzone tuning
- Vibration intensity
- Trigger effect intensity
Preset profiles for stick sensitivity
Diverse preset profiles for adjusting stick sensitivity offer a gentle onramp for players who may not want to dive into the deep end of customization out of the gate. Here’s what the system settings described (subject to change):
- Quick – The amount of registered input accelerates as you tilt the stick. Good for making quick movements. Gain the upper hand by quickly aiming in fast-paced shooters.
- Precise – Minimum input is registered when you tilt the stick. Good for making precise movements. Fans of shooting games may find the ability to aim slowly and accurately helpful.
- Steady – Registered input is limited even if you tilt the stick far. Enables smooth and stable movement. Ideal for when you need to move smoothly in action games.
- Digital – Tilting the stick even slightly will register nearly maximum input. Functions like the direction buttons on the controller. Get instant input reaction for your fighting and action games
- Dynamic – Registered input is limited when you tilt the stick slightly or far but accelerates in the middle range. Enables versatile gameplay in shooting games where you may need to aim carefully but also turn quickly
These two buttons are positioned below the thumb sticks, providing easy access for a DualSense Edge controller-specific menu that pops up whenever pressed, whether in game or in system menus. These buttons make it easy to snap between profiles, adjust headset volume, game/party chat audio balance, and more. The option to quickly jump directly into the controller profile menu after a couple quick button presses is crucial, allowing you to make quick adjustments without disrupting gameplay. The experience reminded me of jumping into edit weapon loadouts while waiting to respawn in Call of Duty. Speaking of…
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II
The function buttons stood out when hopping into a Modern Warfare II match. I immediately realized I had the controller profile still set up for God of War Ragnarök, but thanks to the on-controller trigger switches I quickly adjusted them to a shorter length for snappier aiming and shooting. Following that, I used the function buttons to quickly swap to a profile I set up using the “Quick” preset as a base. I assigned jump to the left back button and crouch/slide to the right back button, letting me smoothly control my movement across the map while keeping my thumbs poised for a firefight. I also swapped the high dome cap in for the right analog stick, providing a greater degree of control while taking aim.
Heading into my hands-on experience with the DualSense Edge controller, I expected to be impressed by top-quality engineering and cool physical controller customization options. What surprised me was the intuitive on-console tutorial and frictionless menu navigation thanks to the function buttons. Whether you’re a competitive player looking for every edge, or simply interested in maximizing your gameplay options in your favorite games, the DualSense Edge controller is poised to deliver when it releases January 26, 2023.
Get it directly from PlayStation at direct.playstation.com
In the US, UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg, the DualSense Edge wireless controller is available for pre-order only through direct.playstation.com (while supplies last). The DualSense Edge wireless controller will be offered at other participating retailers starting February 23, 2023.