Best PS4 controllers 2019: the top options for smarter gaming

Best PS4 controller
Image credit: Sony

When it comes to PS4 controllers, we can sometimes assume there’s only one option out there: Sony’s own DualShock 4

However, despite the official controller being a dynamic and powerful gamepad, there are plenty of other choices out there if you're wanting to enhance your gameplay experience (or simply make it a bit more comfortable).

We’ve put together this list of the best PS4 controllers on the market for everyone from the casual gamer to a budding pro - and even some options for those that just want a bit of nostalgia, rather than a desperation for the right weight, motion control and sharing access.

We've rounded up the best controllers that we've tried and reviewed for our list - but also added in a couple of others below that caught our eye to give you a bit more variety and choice in the matter.

(If you're looking to upgrade the power of your console, then make sure you check out our best PS4 Pro deals page - and if you just want something better to play, then our best PS4 games list is, well, just perfect for your needs.)

Many are officially licensed by Sony, so you'll know they're designed to work well, but all the options on this list are ones we'd happily chuck underneath our gaming setup.

Best PS4 controllers

Sony DualShock 4 Wireless Controller (Image credit: Sony)

1. Sony DualShock 4 Wireless Controller

The original

Great look and feel
Built-in speaker
Highly sensitive motion sensors
At times feels a little too light
Track pad has deficiencies

While we did say there are plenty of options out there that aren’t the DualShock 4, it would be hard to create a list of the best PS4 controllers without pointing out it's still the top option. 

The DualShock 4 is perfect for its purpose: sleek, small and wireless. Not to mention the built in speaker, varying light bar colors, touch pad and motion detection that enhance your gameplay experience. 

It’s also extremely simply to attach a gaming headset or headphones to the controller (unlike with the Xbox One controller). However battery life can be a pain, with the controller holding charge for around four to eight hours. 

We find it’s best to have two and always keep one charging or to invest in a charging dock so you can charge both at once (when you’re not playing of course).

We find the DualShock is a great PS4 controller for someone who just simply wants to get on with playing and isn’t fussed about bells and whistles. If you want to spice up its classic black color, then the controller comes in plenty of other colors and designs. 

Check out our full DualShock 4 controller review.

Nacon Revolution Unlimited Pro Controller (Image credit: Nacon)

Nacon Revolution Unlimited Pro Controller (Image credit: Nacon)

2. Nacon Revolution Unlimited Pro Controller

Customization for the serious gamer

Truly ergonomic
Plentiful customization options
High-quality build
Button mapping not obvious
Can't amend profiles on PS4

If you are a PS4 player, but prefer the design of the Xbox One controller, then the Nacon Revolution Unlimited Pro Controller might be a better fit for you. Like the Vantage Controller, the Revolution Pro is built for gamers (more specifically esports) with a directional pad that can move eight ways - instead of four - alongside four shortcut buttons. 

However, it’s not quite as complicated to operate as the Vantage, nor is it as expensive.

If you want a PS4 controller with a few extra bells and whistles, but not an overwhelming amount, and prefer a chunkier controller that is a bit more resilient then the Nacon Revolution Unlimited Pro Controller could be for you. 

Check out our full Nacon Revolution Unlimited Pro Controller review.

SCUF Vantage Controller (Image credit: SCUF)

SCUF Vantage Controller (Image credit: SCUF)

3. SCUF Vantage Controller

A mostly advantageous (and expensive) modular PS4 controller

Feels great to hold
Modular elements work well
Audio touchpad adds convenience
Customizable aesthetics
Analog sticks can become stuck
Cross d-pad is too rigid
Dicey R1 and L1
Sax buttons can be difficult to press

If you want your PS4 controller to have a bit more bite, and are more specific about your controller’s performance then the SCUF Vantage Controller could be for you. 

Built with gamers in mind, this fully customizable PS4 controller boasts enhanced grip, remappable paddles on the back, side action buttons and an audio touch bar. 

In other words, there are more buttons to give you control over gameplay, allowing you to specifically map controls to the extra buttons and not have to jump back in forth (in issue in some games more than others).

Essentially the Vantage controller is built so you can play more comfortably for longer but unless you know how to optimize its abilities then its maybe it's best to stick to a more straightforward PS4 controller. 

Especially because the Vantage Controller is much more expensive than your average DualShock 4.

Check out our full SCUF Vantage Controller review.

Razer Raiju Ultimate Wireless PS4 Controller (Image credit: Razer)

Razer Raiju Ultimate Wireless PS4 Controller (Image credit: Razer)

4. Razer Raiju Ultimate Wireless PS4 Controller

Go ultimate

Incredibly sturdy and durable
Responsive mechanical buttons
Reliable wired connectivity
Chroma lighting integration
Annoying latency
D-pad options feel cheap
Limited availability

The Razer Raiju Ultimate Wireless PS4 Controller might be the last we've tested, but it's certainly not the least. Once again this PS4 controller is more suited to seasoned gamers and pros, allowing advanced customization via the Razer mobile app - that includes remapping and adjusting sensitivity. 

If that’s not enough customization for you, you can also make use of interchangeable thumbsticks, the built-in quick control panel, and Hair Trigger Mode - allowing you to be more trigger-happy than ever before.

Much like the other pro controllers on this list, the Raiju Ultimate is chunkier than the DualShock making it more suitable for those who prefer the Xbox One controller style. 

The Raiju Ultimate is a fantastic PS4 controller, but it’s not exactly cheap. Make sure you will make use of advanced customizations before investing - but if you harness the controller's capabilities then you’ll find your gameplay experience all that much smoother.

Check out our full Razer Raiju Ultimate review.

Best PS4 controllers

Mini Wired Gamepad (Image credit: Sony)

5. Mini Wired Gamepad

It's not exactly a DualShock – but it's cheaper

40% smaller than the DualShock 4
Great for kids
Limited amount of games it is compatible with

Looking for a PS4 controller for a young person in your house? Hori’s Mini Wired Gamepad is one we've found that would be a good ‘first PS4 controller' for kids. 

The Mini Wired looks like a retro controller, boasting easier grip, plug-n-play with 10ft cable (no pulling the console off the stand) and it’s 40% smaller than the DualShock 4. 

However, there is no light bar, stereo headset jack, speaker, dual motors, or motion sensor - it’s a much more streamlined version of the DualShock 4.

According to Sony, the Mini Wired Gamepad is compatible with “most” PS4 games. We’re reading that as the less complicated ones, so don’t fire up Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and expect the controller to be able to hack it - not that children should be playing it anyway.

The Mini Wired Gamepad is $30 (around £23/AU$38) from Sony affiliated retailers.

Best PS4 controllers

Yamei Wireless Bluetooth Controller for PlayStation 4  (Image credit: Amazon)

6. Yamei Wireless Bluetooth Controller for PlayStation 4

The cheaper option

Cheaper than the DualShock 4
Straightforward to use
A bit chunkier than the DualShock 4
No headphone jack
A bit chunkier than the DualShock 4

PS4 controllers can be quite pricey, but there are some cheaper options out there that may not be as glitzy but will certainly do the job. One of these we've seen is the Yamei Wireless Bluetooth Controller for PlayStation 4, which looks like a mix between and Xbox One and PS4 controller.

While the Yamei isn’t endorsed by Sony, it offers similar vibrations and lighting - but there is no headphone jack or touchpad.

The Yamei is a reliable PS4 controller for those who simply want to play and aren’t concerned about branding or extras... and maybe even for a pre-teen who is learning to control their anger when it comes to games and natural rage-filled fling that can come with the experience?  

Just don’t expect the same smoothness as you would with other PS4 controllers on this list.