I am a long-time PlayStation player and was thrilled to receive the DualSense Edge controller. Each generation of PlayStation has a unique set of features and benefits that the controller offers. The DualSense Edge is cool, but asking people to spend 200 bucks on a controller when they don’t see immediate benefits is difficult.
After five generations of PlayStation consoles, we’ve had controllers with rumble, motion sensing, built-in microphones, haptic feedback, and adaptive triggers. The one area that Sony rarely ventures into is the world of premium controllers, but it’s changing that with the DualSense Edge. This new design offers players the option to tailor the controller to their specific game. DualSense Edge adds new buttons, customizations, and options to the controller. All of these are shown in trailers and on product pages. What can’t be seen in the videos is the full range of features available to the controller and how precise you can make it work.
Connecting the DualSense Edge opens a new menu section in the PS5 Settings section. This allows you to customize the inputs. There are many tools to adjust button layouts. These include disabling and doubling up button inputs, switching almost any input with another input, adjusting dead zones, sensitivities, etc. An onscreen image mirrors inputs and gives you an easy-to understand visual representation of what’s happening on the controller. It was easy to make small or large adjustments and instantly understand the impact on my game. The menus have been carefully designed to make sure players are fully aware of what they are doing and how they affect their game.
The DualSense Edge can store three customizable and one standard profile on the controller itself, giving you access to them no matter where you are – even if you connect to a different PS5. You can swap profiles mid-game by pressing both the Fn (new function) and the face buttons. I love the fact that you can map different control strategies to multiple profiles for the exact same game. This is especially useful when there are a number of weapons. Imagine how I could create separate profiles to use my short-range weapon and long-range weapon in Apex Legends or other FPS games. It makes me happy to go back and play with swapping profiles depending on what I need during a match.
This could also make a great feature for people who are looking for a simpler PS5 controller. One way to configure the controller is to flip the inputs, swapping the D-pad and face button. DualSense users who have trouble with it will be able to use the Edge. I didn’t get to perfect my settings during my demo, but it left me intrigued about how to configure mine for all the games I play when it’s released.
You can save up 30 controller profiles per PS5 account. Then, you can use them to slot into the three customizable inputs however you like. To adjust profiles, press Fn + Options. This will immediately take you to DualSense Settings. You can then return to your game by repeating this command. This feature will be very useful for people who need to adjust their settings quickly and fine tune them. Being able to instantly swap the sensitivity of my controller based on whatever weapon I end up with likely won’t match the precision of a mouse and keyboard on a PC, but it definitely has the potential to help shrink the gap.
The Fn button and D pad commands can be used to adjust chat levels on a Pulse3D headset. This is great for when you are playing with friends and need to lower the volume to drown out the footsteps from enemies.
Let’s now move on to the actual stuff we’ve seen in trailers and images.
DualSense Edge features a new touchpad with a repeating pattern of face buttons. The DualSense Edge’s textured grips are a nice improvement on the existing DualSense. Though it’s slightly heavier than the baseline controller, it’s balanced quite well; most of the weight has been moved to its center so it’s hardly noticeable. The new Fn buttons beneath the analog sticks are easily accessible without obstructing your standard inputs and give quick customization I’ve never had before in a controller.
Its new back button options are the most attractive feature. These new options will be the most attractive for anyone considering the DualSense Edge upgrade. For those who prefer to change the mapping of their buttons between games, it will be a great advantage to have additional inputs available in alternative locations. Each controller comes with two pairs back buttons, a half-dome, and magnetically attachable levers. These buttons are simple to connect and strong enough to be used in various button-mashing situations. For Gran Turismo 7, the levers are more convenient, but I found the half dome to be more practical for games like Apex or God of War: Ragnarok.
You can adjust the maximum pull range by using the switches located next to the triggers. This greatly reduced the time it took to fire. The new UI also allows you to modify the dead zones. You can fine-tune how long it takes to recognize your input by fine tuning the settings. FPS games will likely see a decrease of the maximum pull distance. Racing games, on the other hand, will appreciate a wider range of adjustment when using the triggers to accelerate or brake. DualSense Edge allows users to set their own settings, which is what makes it so unique. One game I wasn’t able to test but am intrigued to revisit is Returnal, since it’s my favorite so far that utilizes haptic feedback and the adaptive triggers.
The caps can be easily removed and replaced, but they are not easy enough to come off in regular use. To remove the analog sticks, slide a button to pull off the cover. Next, lift the lever closest to the stick to be removed. This feature is extremely useful as my controller started to drift over the past months. Though I’m hoping it won’t happen, it’s much more attractive to my wallet to spend a small amount on a replacement stick module than needing to replace an entire new controller should one of the sticks ever begin to drift.
Last but not least, a long braided cord with a lock that can be detached to prevent accidental detaching. This cable can be easily threaded through a case to charge the controller, and it can also be used to attach the charger to the controller. Connecting the controller to the PS5 via the charge cable and lock will also allow you to disable the PS button, which should be a welcome addition for fighting fans who’ll no longer have to worry about accidentally hitting it and disrupting their matches.
After spending time with Sony’s DualSense Edge for a while, I realized that my initial concerns about spending more money on a premium controller are now mostly gone. It’s a very well-designed controller with a lot of potential for people who want to customize their controls from top to bottom. It’s still quite expensive at 200 dollars. That’s more than the digital-only PS5 and may keep the average user away from being an early adopter. Still, it’s poised to be special for those who want a premium controller for their PS5. The DualSense Edge will be released on January 26th, 2023, for $200 USD (£210, $340 AUD).
Jada Griffin, IGN’s community lead, is Jada Griffin. If she’s not engaging with users here, chances are she’s developing her own games, maxing the Luck stat in her favorite games, or challenging her D&D players with Intense combat or masterful puzzles. Follow her Twitter @Jada_Rina.