DualSense Edge Review | Wirecutter

DualSense Edge Review | Wirecutter

Last week I sat down to squeeze in a quick Overwatch 2 match, as I usually do before bed, but this time I was playing with Sony’s new DualSense Edge controller. When I looked up, two hours had flown by—and all because this $200 controller, which goes on sale January 26, is such a blast to use. Does anyone actually need Sony’s first “pro” controller for the PlayStation 5? No. But after using it to play some of my favorite PS5 games, I have to admit that I love it.

The DualSense Edge expands on the standard DualSense that comes in the PS5 box, with features such as extra buttons that attach to the rear, thumbstick and trigger sensitivity adjustments, and remappable button profiles. The new controller comes with three sets of thumbstick caps, each with different heights, two types of removable rear triggers, a braided USB-A to USB-C cable, and a cable lock to keep your controller from detaching during a wired connection. The DualSense Edge is nearly identical in size and feel to the standard PS5 controller. But its grips are slightly more textured—though still too subtle to help much with slip resistance—and it’s a little heavier (by about 55 grams). Also, on the front there are two built-in function buttons, which allow you to conveniently switch between control scheme profiles or adjust headset and chat volume.

After unboxing the DualSense Edge, I popped on a couple of the included rear paddles, which took all of 10 seconds to attach. Next, I created a couple of custom profiles for The Witcher 3 and Overwatch 2 in the PS5’s Settings menu, where I assigned controls to the rear buttons, such as functions previously mapped to the R3 or D-pad buttons. In The Witcher 3, I often take a hit as soon as I take my thumb off the joystick to access my potions on the D-pad. But the DualSense Edge’s profile feature allowed me to press the back buttons on the controller with my middle fingers instead, rather than having to jump up to the D-pad to use these items. In Overwatch 2, I assigned one of these rear buttons to the interact menu (another D-pad function) and the other to the melee action, for quicker strikes.

The DualSense controller and the DualSense Edge shown together.
The DualSense controller (top) is nearly identical to the DualSense Edge controller (bottom) in size and feel. Photo: Haley Perry

This enhanced functionality instantly had me hooked. When I jumped into Overwatch 2, I planned to play a quick match or two to get a feel for the controller. I ended up playing for a couple of hours because of how much better I found I was playing and how much fun I was having. When I first used the PS5’s standard DualSense controller, I had a tough time adjusting to how far the L2 and R2 triggers traveled, and I had to learn to use lighter taps to shoot faster in-game. But the DualSense Edge features switches for each trigger that introduces stops; these switches let the triggers register presses with less squeezing, solving one of my biggest problems. I can pull the DualSense Edge’s triggers more quickly and with less effort, which lets me shoot enemies faster than before. As someone with generally weak wrists and fingers, this adjustment also took some of the strain out of the repetitive trigger pulls.

I felt like a better Overwatch player with the DualSense Edge in my hands. I also dedicate enough time to shooters to notice small hardware changes that impact my performance. But most people shouldn’t expect a pro controller to elevate their skills all that much. Companies market premium upgrades that will give you a “competitive advantage,” but small adjustments like trigger and thumbstick sensitivity aren’t what separate a pro player from an amateur.

Similarly, if you play games where you often wish you could perform certain actions faster or where the controls are set in stone, remapping your own layout can enhance your experience. But remappable controls are useful only if you take the time to learn how to use them. It can be tricky to retrain yourself to use buttons on the back of the controller if you’re not used to having them, and you’ll need to take the time to configure profiles that make sense for you (Wirecutter editor Arthur Gies actually removes the rear paddles on the similar Xbox Elite Controller).

The DualSense Edge comes with one set of half-dome rear buttons, one set of lever-shaped rear buttons, two extra sets of thumbstick caps (in addition to the caps attached to the controller), and a cable lock. Photo: Haley Perry

If the PlayStation 5 is where you spend most of your time gaming, and you have the budget for a premium accessory, the DualSense Edge is nice to have. But it has a significantly smaller battery than the regular DualSense controller, and when we tested its battery life, it lost about two-thirds of its charge in only three and a half hours. And if you want a pro controller to play games on your PC, you’re better off spending the money on Xbox’s less-expensive option, the Elite Wireless Series 2. Although PlayStation controllers have a slimmer shape that’s usually better suited for smaller hands, the Xbox Elite Series 2’s buttons feel more tactile and precise when pressed, the triggers feel lighter to tap, and the grips are fully rubberized (the DualSense Edge controller is only slightly texturized on the back of the grips, and it doesn’t offer as much slip resistance). The Elite Series 2 also has four back paddles, rather than the two on the rear of the Edge, and the majority of PC games offer button layouts that are compatible with the Xbox controller by default.

The DualSense Edge does offer one major feature the Elite doesn’t: repairability. The new controller gives you the option to replace stick modules if issues with stick drift arise. If you frequently wear out your controllers and plan to have your PS5 for a long time, these replaceable modules could be useful, and swapping them out might end up costing you less than a few brand-new controllers will. But we can’t speak to the overall longevity of the DualSense Edge, and the controller is too new for us to find significant reports of other issues. Reports of longevity issues (video) have long plagued the DualSense controllers, and both generations of Xbox Elite controllers have suffered from long-term reliability problems. Sony offers only a one-year warranty for the Edge.

At more than double the cost of a new DualSense controller, the Edge is a tough sell, and for most people, it probably doesn’t make a lot of sense. If I had $200 to spend on a new gaming accessory, I don’t know that the DualSense Edge would be my first choice. Instead, I might spring for the equally priced Switch Lite or a great gaming headset. But PlayStation enthusiasts will probably love the DualSense Edge, and now that I’ve used it, I’ll be sad to let it go.

This article was edited by Arthur Gies and Caitlin McGarry.

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