Which official Sony PS4 controller should you buy?
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Firstly, lets clear something up here…
All DS4 controllers work with all PS4 consoles
The original DualShock 4 (CUH-ZCT1): Showing its age
The original DS4, which carries part number CUH-ZCT1, came with the original ‘fat’ PS4 consoles. It’s still available to buy standalone, though perhaps only until stocks run out.
This is the standard on which newer DS4s are based, and it features:
- The usual array of PlayStation controls, namely two analogue sticks, a D-pad, four face buttons, Start and PS buttons, two shoulder buttons and two triggers
- A clickable touchpad, similar to the trackpad on a laptop
- A Share button, which is used to start streaming your gameplay online
- A lightbar, which is used for tracking in PSVR games and which you can’t turn off
Pros: the best PlayStation controller yet
Well, it’s widely regarded as a great evolution for PlayStation controllers. Many players say it’s much comfier that the PS3 controller, has great triggers, and has better sticks than DS3.
Cons: sticks are easily damaged
There are two major complaints with the original DS4. The first is the lightbar: you can’t turn it off, which can be distracting, and it wears down the DS4 battery quickly. The second is arguably more serious – many gamers have reported that the rubber on the controller’s analogue sticks is poor quality, and often starts to wear away after only a few weeks’ play. That’s a pretty serious quality concern, and a good reason to consider the newer version of the DS4 instead.
The original DS4 is available in jet black, steel black, gold, crystal (transparent), and silver.
Slim/Pro DualShock 4 (CUH-ZCT2): More reliable, more colours
With the slim PS4 and PS4 Pro, which both launched in 2016, Sony also created a new version of the official DS4 controller. It has product number CUH-ZCT2.
How different is it? Looks-wise, it’s largely identical. The only changes are:
- The lightbar has been moved from the top-side of the controller, to just about the touchpad
- Wired communication/control via USB is now supported
Battery life is the same as before.
Pros: wired for less lag, no more crumbly sticks
There are two good reasons to go for this new version of the DS4. Firstly, there’s much less chance that the rubber on the analogue sticks will break down – that issue seems to have been resolved. And second, if you play shooters or fighting games that benefit from lag-free input, the new wired USB connection could give you an advantage.
If you have a slim PS4 or a Pro, this new controller will also match the one that came with your controller.
Cons: the lightbar is even more in your face
The bad news is that you still can’t turn off the lightbar. And in its new position above the touchpad, it could be even more distracting during play.
More colour options
The newer official DS4 also has a wide range of colour options. Choose from jet black, magma red, wave blue, green camouflage, gold, silver, and glacier white.
These are the cheapest prices on some of the most popular DualShock 4 v2 colours: