Do you have a PlayStation 4, but your controllers are old and not as sensitive as before? Would you like to purchase additional joypads so that you can play with your friends? The price of an original Dual Shock is high, but how about trying a 3rd party PS4 controller? These are usually more affordable, and the experience provided could be the same or even better than with the original.
In this article, we are looking for the best PS4 Pro controller designed by a third-party manufacturer. We included detailed reviews of top-five picks below, as well as an explanation of how we picked the products to add to the list. Start reading now to find the most suitable gaming controller for your needs!
- CHENGDAO PS4 Controller Wireless 2020 is our top pick in this category. The manufacturer releases an updated release for 2020 with upgraded sensitivity and impressive accuracy. The battery will last for hours, and you can choose from three attractive designs.
- If you are looking for a unique PS4 Pro controller, give a chance to HORI PS4 Mini Wired Gamepad. The product is 40% smaller than the original Dual Shock, and it provides an easy grip and ergonomic design. The gamepad is officially approved by Sony.
- Finally, professionals should consider the eXtremeRate Dawn Programable Remap Kit for PS4 Controller. It allows transferring your existing Dual Shock into a whole new controller with a unique design and four added programmable back buttons.
Who Should Get This?
Here is why you might need to find the best gaming controller for PS4 out there:
- Your current controllers are not reliable anymore – whether some buttons are broken, or the joystick loses connection, it might be time for a replacement.
- You need more controllers to play with friends – Sony PlayStation 4 is an excellent way to have a lot of fun with friends, family, and partners.
- You don’t want to spend a lot of money on the original – the Dual Shock controller is expensive, but third-party manufacturers have more affordable alternatives.
- You want to try something different – whether you are looking for an upgraded sensitivity, unique design, or a different controller size and layout, you will find a suitable product on the PS4 joypad market.
How We Picked the Best 3rd-Party PS4 Controllers?
It is time to explain how we picked the best 3rd party PS4 controller alternatives to Dual Shock. These are the factors we considered in the process.
Size and Appearance
The first thing you want to consider is the size and the design of your controller. Some manufacturers went with the safe formula of replicating the Dual Shock design. Others didn’t hesitate to experiment and offer something new by reducing or expanding the size of the controller.
The appearance can also vary, and users can pick between classic single-color designs and unique patterns. It is a matter of your preference, so make sure to go with a choice you like.
The button layout is critical if you are used to the original PlayStation 4 controller. The alternatives usually keep the same layout and offer analog sticks, D-pad, and action buttons in the same locations. The positions of additional buttons, such as Share and Options, might vary depending on the product.
Some manufacturers even resort to providing remapping kits that add extra buttons to the existing controller. That can be suitable for professional players and those looking to take the gaming experience to the next level.
The battery life of PS4 controller alternatives could be anywhere from two to six hours. For optimal playing experience, the gamepad should last for at least four hours on a single charge.
Apart from the duration on a single charge, consider the time required for charging. Additionally, the standby time is usually longer than the active time, which is another parameter that can help when choosing a gamepad.
Other Features to Consider
- A charging cable – do you get a USB charging cable with the product?
- Coverage – if the controller is wireless, what is the range in which it performs optimally?
- Wired or wireless – some gamepads might require connecting them to the console by using a cable to play.
- Price – the idea is that the cost is lower than the original, but the primary concern is to confirm you get plenty of bang for the buck.
Best 3rd-Party PS4 (Pro) Controllers: Our Picks in 2020
We picked this device as the best PS4 controller made by a third-party manufacturer. CHENGDAO did an amazing job and put in maximum effort to get every aspect right. The first thing you notice is the unique appearance with several modern patterns to choose from.
Once you start using this PS4 Pro controller, you will love how sensitive and accurate it is. It will feel like you are using the original Dual Shock, and you can use the product for both slow and high-paced games. The Share and Options button is below the touchscreen panel, but that doesn’t affect the overall experience. The cover range is excellent, and you can connect headsets via the integrated 3.5mm port available.
At a Glance:
- Compatible with both PS4 and PC
- A cover range of up to 30 feet (10 meters)
- USB cable included
- Attractive designs – each of the three designs is unique, and the manufacturer put in great effort to impress the players.
- Excellent sensitivity – even though it is made by a third-party manufacturer, this controller features a level of sensitivity that matches the one provided on Dual Shock.
- An impressive accuracy of analog sticks – the analog sticks have been upgraded in 2020 for additional accuracy.
- A durable battery – the battery can last up to five hours of playing time on a full charge, and it only takes two hours to charge.
- The action buttons don’t have the actual shapes on them – that might be inconvenient for beginners who still don’t know the button positions by heart.
- No standard colors – all designs featured are unique patterns, but if you might be disappointed if you are looking for a classic appearance.
Hori didn’t hesitate to offer an innovative design, and this might be the best cheap 3rd party PS4 controller we tried. The product is almost double as small as the original Dual Shock, which is impressive. That makes it a great choice for children and those who have small hands.
All the buttons are there, and they are positioned well. You can reach each button with no problems. Please note that this is a wired gamepad, but it comes with a long cord.
The crucial thing to pinpoint is that Sony licensed the controller. That means the company confirmed this product is compatible with their console, and you can acquire it without worrying about compatibility.
At a Glance:
- Colors: Red, black
- A wired controller
- A compact-sized gamepad
- Officially licensed by Sony
- An affordable price tag – the manufacturer put a budget-friendly cost tag on the product to make it affordable for everyone.
- A compact-sized controller – it is 40% smaller than the original PlayStation 4 joypad.
- The grip is surprisingly easy – although it is different than Dual Shock, the grip is easy and non-slippery.
- A long cable provided – the product comes with a ten-feet cable, which should allow you to find the optimal position easily.
- It is wired – the gamepad is not wireless, which means that it requires connecting a cable to the console to play.
- It takes a while to get used to it – since it has a compact design different than the original, it might feel a bit odd at first.
eXtremeRate offers something completely different to alternative PS4 controllers. The company designed a product that can turn your existing controller into a professional joystick. The instructions are easy, and pretty much anyone can install this solution over their PlayStation 4 joypad.
The kit adds four back buttons that are programmable. You can add a maximum of 15 buttons to these options, which improves the entire gaming experience. It can also give you the required competitive edge over fellow players during tournaments and competitions. The product is compatible only with Gen 2 controller, and it is available in eight different styles and designs.
At a Glance:
- Colors: Brushed silver, chameleon purple-blue, chameleon green purple, cash money dollar, wooden grain, textured white, soft-touch white, textured blue
- Maximum 15 buttons to assign to the back buttons
- Gen 2 PlayStation 4 controller compatibility
- Remapping is a convenient addition – thanks to the remapping feature, it is easy to tailor the controller to your preference.
- Easy to put together – although it might seem complicated at first, the instructions are straightforward, and setting up the controller is simple.
- Suitable for serious players and professionals – the product can take your gaming experience to the next level.
- A wide range of colors and designs available – you can easily find a style that fits your preference.
- Not suitable for those with big fingers and hands – the buttons are nearby, and you might press multiple buttons at the same time.
- Not for casual gamers – this might not be the most suitable controller for those looking to pick the controller and play games.
Etpark didn’t experiment a lot with their third-party PS4 controller. As a result, the design is ergonomic and similar to Dual Shock. All the expected buttons and ports are there and in the expected positions.
The action buttons are completely black, but if you know the position of buttons on the original PlayStation 4 controller, that shouldn’t be a problem. The light bar is available for emitting different lights to recognize players.
The battery life is adequate, and the charging time is three hours. You will get a USB cable, which can charge the joypad even while the console is in standby mode.
At a Glance:
- Up to 4 hours of working time
- USB cable included
- Made of durable plastic
- Optimal working time – since it is a third-party PS4 controller, the working time of four hours and standby time of up to nine hours is adequate.
- The mini light bar is a nice touch – similar to the original controllers; it is capable of displaying different colors to mark players.
- Reliable connection with the console – the controller ensures that the connection is maintained at all times to deliver an optimal gaming experience.
- All the ports and buttons are there – from the charging to 3.5mm headset port to sharing and options buttons, you will find them all here.
- Not a great fit for fast-paced games – due to some limitations in stick sensitivity, the product might not be the best choice for first-shooter and similar games.
- The buttons on top might fall off after a while – it seems that L1, L2, R1, and R2 aren’t that durable, and might end up falling off after several months.
PlayStation 4 users often face a problem with their third-party controllers becoming slippery after a while of using them. That won’t happen with ORDA Wireless Gamepad, which is why we placed it among the PS4 controller alternatives worth considering.
The product is made of high-quality materials, and it replicates the design of the original controller. The manufacturer included an 800mAh battery, and its durability is not impressive. However, you will receive a USB charger cable, and you can also place the unit on a dock for fast charging.
All the expected features are there, including a touch control panel that is very sensitive and a very precise D-pad. The sticks are durable, but they might feel a bit stiff at first, while the main four buttons are designed in different colors.
At a Glance:
- Colors: Blue, red
- 33 feet wireless distance
- USB cable included
- A generous wireless distance – the product can work at more than 30 feet away from the base, which is impressive.
- Available in two attractive colors – you can pick between matching red and blue with the default black color.
- A non-slippery design and sweat resistance – the product is resistant to sweating and slipping even when using it for a long time.
- The integrated stereo jack and speaker – these can help to connect headphones or improve the playing experience.
- The analog sticks are a bit stiff at the beginning – the analog sticks might require some time to loosen up and provide optimal movement.
- Battery life could be better – the battery drains considerably quicker than on the original PS4 controller.
Useful Tips & Resources
All PS4 controllers have limited battery life, and they need recharging after several hours of playing. You can use various tricks to extend their battery life. Those include reducing volume and brightness on your controller and even disabling vibration. Check out this page to learn more tips about extending the life of your joystick.
Sony PlayStation 4 is a powerful console with outstanding graphics and thousands of games to play. The device allows users to control many aspects of console performance. That is why you should be familiar with setup tips and tricks. Those include how to extend the battery life of a controller, but also how to keep the system and games updated.
The best gaming controller for PS4 is the one that suits the requirements of a particular user. Casual players looking to pick up a controller and play won’t require the same features as advanced users, so it is important to choose based on your preference.
The advantage of third-party PlayStation 4 controllers is that they often offer a lower price than the original while providing the same playing experience. As long as you choose carefully and pick a high-quality product, you will be delighted with the PS4 Pro controller selected!