PS5 controllers on PC - your experience?

Dec 5, 2023
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I have been a dedicated Xbox controller user since the original 360 wired controller (still have it, still works too!). I currently have the Elite v2 for quite some time and I love it. I plug it in, i use a very simple software suite to customize and it just works in every game that allows you to use a controller... but MS... PLEASE PUT A GYRO IN IT! Over the years I feel like Sony has invested much more into controller development, but it seems like 75% of the Dualsense features don't even work with PC, and if they do - its in a very small subset of games or through the use of additional 3rd party emulation software, or I have to add every single game into my steam library and use the Steam controller configurator (again, an emulator). It just seems like such a bloated process.

So before I make the jump to a PS5 controller....how exactly is using a dualsense controller on PC these days? I know that DSX is doing some great things in this space; but again - it all just seems so cumbersome to make 3rd party software adjustments, the also have to make adjustments in game.
 
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I have used a PS5 controller on PC since they dropped and they are better than xbox's imo.

First off, PS5 controllers have haptic feedback that works with games on PC, esp. sony games. Second, a full charge of a ps5 controller seems to last a lot longer than a charged battery in an xbox one, i also dont have to worry about having that with a ps5 since it charges through its usb c slot.

The middle surface responds well and helps making surfing the web from the couch easier.

I would use DS4 Tool as well, but it does have some hiccups to it, but its the best PS5 controller emulator out there bar none.

PS5 controllers also work well with steam. In steam you can activate controllers to be recognized by its input, whether its an xbox, playstation, 3rd party or nintendo. You can customize and select options like if you want the buttons to look like playstations and not xboxs. Just make sure the DS4 tool isnt reading your controller when your in game on steam or else it will act like 2 controllers are set up (if you turn on dual-sense controller emulation in steam)
 
Dec 5, 2023
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I made the jump yesterday!

Picked up a Midnight Black DualShock,

The standard Xbox Series X controller feels like cheaper plastic in comparison, but i do prefer the surface on the Series X controller. The DS seems a bit more slippery in my hands after a long session. But I can say without any doubt that after some effort to initially get it set up correctly in DSX, and get familiar with Steam configurator. This controller makes the Xbox offerings look downright primitive - I also have an elite and I will confess, the build quality and battery life on that thing are very impressive. and I very much enjoy the adjustable throw triggers. Its a tank and feels very premium, but it shows that Microsoft has grown stagnant as far as their 1st party controller line goes even there top of the line offering, only adds paddles - thats it. Its the same controller they have been using since X360 with really only cosmetic and connectivity changes. They need to innovate because Playstation has me impressed. Took a minute to get used to the symmetrical sticks.. kept reaching down for dpad lol

Its only been a few hours but I can easily tell that once I get accustomed to the technique and find the right combination of settings... this whole gryo assisted aim thing is an absolute game changer, it is not a fad, and KBM players should be worried.... I mean, my gosh, this has been around since the PS4 days? Why hasn't everyone adopted compatibility with this by now? it should be a standard setting, Its just so superior to traditional controller aiming.

The dilemma:
DSX Free offers more granular control of the PS5 specific features, but lacks any sort of way to force enable the gyro in a game that does not support it, and requires HIDhide to remove the hardware controller's visibility and only show the emulated controller to the system. I had double inputs when not using HIDhide.

Steam configurator is much more robust, and can force gyro and flick into any game, but lacks any PS5 controller specific features.


My solution:
  • get DSX free version and set it to no emulation mode - set up all adaptive triggers, leds, etc...
  • since there is no emulation from DSX; Windows sees it as a plain old hardware DS5, in this mode it only works with games that have native DS5 support since its not pretending to be XB - only passing the raw controller input to the OS
  • Steam also detects the controller as a DualSense with no emulator sitting between.
  • Enabled steam controller support and now I have the best of both worlds... all the adaptive triggers, polling rate overclock, and fully programmable LED's etc offered by DSX Free and all the benefits of Steam configurator (which has to have THE MOST robust controller settings available for adjustment than ANYONE) without paying a dime for any software tools
The big advantage to using Steam is that all settings related to gyro are much more robust than the support you find in game. And my favorite part? every single game uses the same controller mapping tools, has the same settings available to adjust for each game, its just so uniform vs how the in game settings will name the same feature something different from the next guy, some offer flick stick while others don't, some wont let you invert the gyro, you get it... this setup pretty much guarantees gyro, stick flick, layer shifts, macros, shortcuts, adaptive triggers, granular LED controls. All features work in all games added to your Steam library, even if they don't have native support, or if they are on a different launcher.

My first big boy console I purchased was an original 1st gen Xbox (had almost every early console as a kid at one point in time or another, but never bought them myself.) followed by the X360. I loved that original wired controller for 360 and still have it in my controller museum, and it still works perfectly with no stick drift - I just stuck with what I knew I liked and was comfortable with all these years. I have never owned a PS controller until today (except for when I had the PS2, but i dont think those were PC compatible?).... I have to say I don't think I'll go back... the only thing missing here is back paddles, but you do have the 4 touchpad quadrants, as well as the center click\tap. So that technically is 5 additional buttons\functions available to you over the standard Series X controller.

if you have been thinking of giving a PS4 or PS5 controller a try for PC gaming, I absolutely recommend you try one, use this setup method and play for 2 weeks, you will laugh at the idea of picking up an Xbox controller ever again.

edit: added some detail
 
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