What are the best PS4 controllers in 2023? While the PS5 was released back in 2020, there are still plenty of gamers who prefer to use the previous generation’s PlayStation, after all, the majority of new games are still released for the platform. If you’ve had the same PS4 setup since 2013, there’s a good chance you may need a new controller.
Of course, you could read our list of the best PS5 controllers, but you’ll find some newer models there that won’t work on the PS4. That’s why we’ve made this list. Even the best gaming console will suffer if you’ve not got the right controller, and we’re here to make sure that you do.
The best PS4 controllers are:
- Sony DualShock 4 – best overall
- Nacon Revolution Unlimited – best for competitive play
- Razer Raiju Tournament Edition – best third-party choice
- Thrustmaster T150 RS Racing Wheel – best for racing games
- Buertt Replacement PS4 Controller – budget choice
- Hori Fighting Commander OCTA – best for fighting games
1. Sony DualShock 4
The best PlayStation 4 controller overall.
Sony DualShock 4 specs:
|Wired/Wireless||Bluetooth or USB-A to B Cable|
|Battery life||4 – 8 hours|
- Comfortable, iconic design
- Official Sony product
- Battery life could be longer
- Limited PS5 compatibility
This is the latest iteration of the official Sony PS4 controller, and for the majority of gamers, this is your best choice. It’s lightweight and fits comfortably in your hands while you play, with a gyroscope that can detect motion for use in particular games. Its battery lasts between 4-8 hours, which is admittedly a little low, but you can easily charge it back up by plugging it into the console, so it’s not much of an issue.
Meanwhile, if you love playing multiplayer games with your friends, you’ll be pleased to hear that it has a built-in microphone and speaker, to make communication with your teammates that much easier. Of course, it’s no substitute for one of the best PS4 headsets, but it’s useful to have. It’s also a very reliable controller, fit for years of use (if you look after it), despite the lower price compared to many entries in this list, and can be used on PC, if you prefer to play with a controller instead of a mouse and keyboard.
If you think you might get a PS5 soon, you’ll be able to keep using this controller when you do – although only when playing PS4 games (which may be a bit disappointing). Nonetheless, when looking at the PS4 exclusively, you can’t do much better than the DualShock 4. It’s not heinously expensive and was created by Sony itself, so you know it’s well optimized for the task.
2. Nacon Revolution Unlimited
The best PS4 controller for competitive play.
Nacon Revolution Unlimited specs:
|Customizable buttons||Dual customizable sticks and interchangeable stick heads|
|Wired/Wireless||Bluetooth or USB-C Cable|
|Battery life||up to 7.5 hours|
- LED indicators
- Adjustable sticks
- Battery life could be longer
Though it looks a bit like one of the best Xbox controllers, this is another official PlayStation 4 controller. With interchangeable joystick heads, you can adjust this controller until you get it to feel and play in the way that is most comfortable for you.
This controller can be played both wired or wirelessly. We will say though that with a battery life of 7.5 hours, it does run out of power a bit more quickly than a lot of other controllers. That being said, it’s a great option for customization, allowing you to pick the right sticks, allowing you to get the right feel. It’s particularly useful in the best FPS games, allowing you to fine-tune your experience.
It has its own headset jack, which will be good for anyone who wants to be able to speak with their team during some squad-based fun, and you’ve got a smart LED light letting you know, at a glance, how the battery is doing, whether you’re muted or not, and which profile you’re using. It’s a very fancy piece of work (going beyond what many gamers will need) but if you play online a lot, or are into the competitive scene, this is one to look at.
3. Razer Raiju Tournament Edition
The best third-party PS4 controller.
Razer Raiju Tournament Edition specs:
|Customizable buttons||Four remappable buttons|
|Battery life||19 hours|
- Four remappable buttons
- Loads of customization
- Occasional connection issues
The Razer Raiju Tournament Edition is a great third-party controller. In addition to four extra re-mappable buttons which you can use however you see fit, you can also adjust sensitivity options too.
Everyone is built differently, and the best PS4 controller is never going to be a one-size-fits-all situation. The Razer Raiju Tournament Edition gives you enough customization options to make it suit you, your hands, and your style of play. Of course, a controller with as many options as that is going to be on the more expensive end of the spectrum, but you very much get what you pay for here.
It even has various modes that you can switch between. Its Hair Trigger Mode reduces the travel distance between the two main triggers, which enables quick-firing action to give you a competitive edge – of course, if you don’t like the sound of that, you can have it function the same as a regular PS4 controller. Either way, this controller has a lot to offer.
Admittedly, we did experience some connection issues when using the controller, and the sticks aren’t as great as we had hoped from such an expensive controller. But if you can accept some minor gripes, it’s an excellent PS4 controller that gives you plenty of customization.
4. Thrustmaster T150 RS Racing Wheel
The best for racing games.
Thrustmaster T150 RS Racing Wheel specs:
- Fantastic wheel and pedals
- Force feedback helps immersion
- Not compatible with all racing games
The Thrustmaster T150 RS Racing Wheel is ideal, not only for Need for Speed games, but also for F1 22, Gran Turismo 7, DiRT 4, and many of the other best racing games. If you’ve not played any of these with a proper racing wheel before, then you’ve no idea of the deeper levels of control and immersion that you’ve been missing out on.
It comes with foot pedals and an LED display and is the official racing simulator for the PlayStation family. With 1080-degree force feedback on the wheel, and adjustable feedback to reflect whether or not you’re on a bumpy road, are breaking, or bumping into something, it does a lot to make you feel like you’re in a car.
Of course, a fancy racing wheel like this is going to cost you a lot, and there are a lot of games that it won’t work with – including some driving games. We recommend checking the Thrustmaster website before making a purchase, just to ensure that the game you want to use it for is compatible.
5. Buertt Replacement PS4 Controller
The best budget option.
Buertt Replacement PS4 Controller specs:
|Battery life||10 hours|
- Very cheap
- Looks similar to DualShock
- Connection troubles
- Lacks the DualShock microphone
The Buertt Replacement PS4 Controller (as you can probably tell from the name) has been specifically designed to be a quick and easy replacement. This thing is exceptionally cheap and looks very similar to the official PS4 controller, which is nice for anybody who wants something as close as possible to the real thing.
Impressively, it even boasts a 10-hour battery life, which means that it can last just a little bit longer than the actual DualShock controller. So what’s the catch?
Well, some users have reported connectivity troubles, something we’ve also had in testing, and it can be very difficult to get it to connect to your console. This may be a frustrating experience if you have to go through it every time you want to play – though it should be noted that this is not a universal problem and other users have connected without issue.
It also lacks the DualShock’s microphone, which is a small gripe that may matter to a small group of players. So, if you find yourself using the controller’s microphone often, you may be better off purchasing the offical PlayStation 4 DualShock instead.
6. Hori Fighting Commander OCTA
The best for fighting games.
Hori Fighting Commander OCTA specs:
|Customizable buttons||Adjustable D-pad sensitivity|
- Fighting-friendly button configuration
- Adjustable sensitivity
- No wireless play
- Shell feels a little weak
The excellent Hori Fighting Commander OCTA is a PS4 controller that’s been built with the best fighting games in mind. Its button configuration is ideal for getting those combos efficiently, with R1 and R2 buttons added alongside the usual triangle, circle, square, and cross.
It also offers an adjustable D-pad, alongside a short throw analog stick. If you play competitively, or online, this is going to make things much easier for you. There are even further customization options that you can access with the companion app.
This is another controller that you can use with both PS4 and PS5, so that’s good to keep in mind if you’re likely to upgrade anytime soon. But even if you’re a PS4 loyalist, this is an official Sony controller, with button configurations designed for fighting games, plus a handy headset jack for online communications, so there’s a lot to love here.
How we chose the best PS4 controllers
When choosing the products for inclusion on this list, we considered all of the following criteria:
- Pricing: Some of these are very expensive, while others are notably cheaper. We wanted to include options to accommodate readers with every budget.
- Remappable buttons: Does it have remappable buttons? If so, how many? Where are they? The extent to which you can customize your button configurations will have a big impact on your experience with the game
- Battery life: If you’re after a wireless controller, you’ll want something with good battery life. The official DualShock controller manages around 7 hours, which is lower than some other controllers, but a good yardstick to keep in mind – all the controllers on this list manage to do that at least.
- Wired vs Wireless: Some prefer the infinite power of wired controllers, while others prefer the freedom of a wireless option. We were sure to cover both options on this list.
Read our how we test page to learn more about our selection process. If you still have any lingering questions, read our FAQs below:
What is the best PS4 controller model?
Overall, the best PS4 controller for most players will be the DualShock 4. Simple and reliable in almost every case, the DualShock 4 is just a great controller that feels great to use. However, for those who focus on competitive games, and want something a bit pricier, the Nacon Revolution Unlimited is a great choice.
Do PS4 controllers work on the PS5?
Yes, albeit in a very limited way. You’ll only be able to play PS4 games, meaning none of those new PS5 games you bought will be playable with the DualShock 4. Fortunately, any PS5 purchase comes with a DualSense, or you can purchase a DualSense separately.
Do PS5 controllers work on PS4?
Yes, but only if you use a Bluetooth adapter, they can’t connect natively. As they are relatively expensive and have features that will not work on the PS4, we would not recommend them as one of the best PS4 controllers.
Are Sony PlayStation 4 controllers good?
Yes, the standard Sony controllers are pretty great. There are certain ways in which other models have outdone them though, or certain unique features you will only find elsewhere, so we included several other choices here too.
Are there fake PlayStation 4 controllers?
Yes, though you have nothing to worry about with the recommendations on this list. Some manufacturers have made cheap copies of the official Sony models and tried to pass them off as the real thing, but so long as you’re shopping from reputable retailers, you shouldn’t have to worry about this.
If you’re thinking of buying a console, you might want to read our PS4 vs PS5 guide for details on all the differences between the consoles. Meanwhile, our guide on how to use a VPN on PS4 or PS5 will give you a step-by-step process to protecting your privacy on the console.