Compatible With: DualShock 4 Controller
Price: $49 RRP
Estimated Time With Gear: 25 hours
What Is It?: The DUALSHOCK®4 Back Button Attachment is designed to deliver more versatility and performance when gaming, while maintaining the comfort and feel of the DUALSHOCK®4 wireless controller you’ve come to love.
One of the biggest changes in gaming hardware this generation hasn’t been with the console boxes themselves, or the GPU’s inside your PC builds, it’s been with the controllers. The Xbox One Elite Controller was a massive success and open a world of options to gamers that had never considered them before, however, Sony has yet to follow suit with their own ‘Elite’ controller as much as PlayStation owners may wish they would. Instead, they’ve leant their license out to third-parties, got a kick-back of the sales and watched other companies play around with various systems and controllers.
The PS Back Button released on the 14th of February and I spoilt myself to a little Valentines Day present. I’ve been using it a lot since then and think it’s a solid bit of kit. However, do note that my review is based on an understanding of why people want an ‘Elite Controller’, but having spent little time with one, and I certainly don’t own one myself just yet.
The PS Back Button plugs directly into the bottom of your Dualshock 4 controller and eloquently adds two more buttons at the back of your device. These two buttons can be configured to any of the buttons and triggers on your controller, although the face-buttons in most cases make the most sense.
I’ve spent the majority of the time testing the PS Back Button while playing Apex Legends and have assigned one button to Triangle and the other to Circle. This allows me to crouch/slide/change weapon without needing to take my fingers off the thumbsticks at all, and it was a proven gamechanger for my Apex Legends playing in short-time.
Other quick examples: Kingdom Hearts 3’s casting, Sekiro’s dodging, COD’s melee/sprint, Gran Turismo gear changes. There are many games that will get great use out of this, it’s just up to you to map the buttons.
Whatever you’re using the buttons for, they feel great and responsive. These aren’t triggers, they’re more like tiny mouse clicks on the back of your controller. But they feel nice and thanks to the way the button grooves itself into the controller your finger will rest nicely in the nooks comfortably.
Do note that they are only mappable to one button, so you can’t set one to trigger two buttons for the easier casting of ultimates or dodging and attacking. I’m fine with this as I think that’s approaching unfair advantages in games.
The PS Back Button features three customizable profiles and although setting them up is very easy, however, there could have been slight improvements for an overall better experience.
For a start, you have to turn the controller around and touch the base to light up the OLED screen to adjust profiles and button mappings. It’s easy to set up a profile: hold down the button for 2-seconds, click each button to cycle the choices and map what you’d like and then lock it in. It takes less than 30-seconds to get the PS Back Button going straight outta the box. But why the OLED screen needed to be on the back I’m not sure. There’s enough room on the front where it fits onto the bottom of the controller to put a small screen that would be suitable and allow you to check profiles holding the controller normally. Also mapping the device physically is fine, but if you accidentally click past one of the 16-mappable buttons you’ll have to press the button 16 more times to cycle back around to it, which can be tedious.
I have noticed zero change in how long my DualShock’s battery life is lasting with the PS Back Button in use. I’m sure it’s using slightly more power, but if you’re the biggest worry is the OLED screen draining it – don’t, it only lights up for 2 seconds while in use and goes blank afterwards.
The PS Back Button is made out of plastic and does add a slight amount of weight to your controller, but not enough to make it uncomfortable. Although, the added bulk means that when you plug a headset into the bottom now it’ll protrude out further and can be slightly annoying if you’re used to holding the controller somewhere closer to your body like I am. The PS5 controller is supposed to be heavier, or so we hear, and this attachment might be a sign of what’s to be included on that controller, which would be nice as I’m a big fan of this attachment.