PS5 controller features, including haptic feedback, adaptive triggers for 'DualShock 5' explained

All the details we currently know about the new PS5 controller.

The PS5 or, to use its full title, the PlayStation 5 will be arriving around Christmas 2020 and with it comes a new PS5 controller.

The name of this new controller is yet to be confirmed, but, going by Sony's history when it comes to names, we have a feeling that it might be called the DualShock 5.

Like the PS5 specs and upcoming PS5 games, on this page you'll find everything we know about the upcoming PS5 controller - the DualShock 5 if you will.

On this page:

Haptic feedback, adaptive triggers and other confirmed PS5 controller features explained

We first learned about the features of the upcoming PS5 controller from an interview Mark Cerny gave with Wired.

During that interview, Cerny explained that the controller would have the following features:

ps5_dualshock1
The Wired report suggests the PS5 controller 'looks an awful lot like the PS4's DualShock 4' (picture) in the prototype stage.
  • Adaptive triggers will offer levels of resistance while gaming. Examples of this in action include the tension when pulling a bow string before firing an arrow and being able to differentiate between the feel of a machine gun and a shotgun.
  • Improved haptic feedback, i.e. improved rumble, will offer "astonishing effects" according to Wired, allowing you to feel the effects of different surfaces, whether it's resistance or simply a "bouncy sensation."
  • It's heavier than the DualShock 4, thanks to the inclusion of haptics and a higher capacity battery, which doesn't necessarily mean a longer battery life - it could be there to support the new, more intensive, features. Though, according to product manager Toshi Aoki, it should be lighter than the current Xbox controller "with batteries in it."
  • The DualShock 5's appearance is yet to be revealed, but the prototype seen by Wired is "an unlabeled matte-black doohickey that looks an awful lot like the PS4's DualShock 4." This does suggest that the majority of changes to the controller are features based, not cosmetic.

Other possibly confirmed PS5 controller features we know so far

Sony filed a DualShock design patent in November 2019, which was discovered by VentureBeat.

This patent not only gave us an idea about what the controller might look like, which is, unsurprisingly, very much like the DualShock 4, but it also revealed a number of planned changes to the DualShock design.

PlayStation_Controller_no_light_bar
PS5_Controller_Patent
Credit to VentureBeat.

These changes in the patent include:

  • An in-built microphone, which will be located at the bottom of the DualShock 5's touchpad.
  • Larger trigger buttons - presumably to help support the new adaptive features.
  • A USB Type-C port that was previously confirmed by Mark Cerny during an interview with Wired. This port is most commonly used for modern (Android) smartphones and is also used by the Nintendo Switch.
  • The apparent removal of the lightbar. The lightbar, as VentureBeat explained, is often used to track the DualShock in a number of PSVR games. Its permanent removal or modification means that the PlayStation VR tech could change.

With the PlayStation 5 on its way, we’ve written guides on everything we currently know about PS5 specs, the PS5 controller and upcoming PS5 games you’ll be able to play. Until then, for existing PS4 owners, find out the PlayStation Plus games for this month.


What don't we know about the PS5 controller so far

To begin with, we don't actually know the name of the PS5 controller yet. There's a large chance that it will be called the DualShock 5, especially considering that Sony is keeping the PlayStation title for the console, but they could surprise us.

The question of forward compatibility, using DualShock 4 controllers with the PS5, is yet to be answered as well.

Hopefully both of these questions will be answered closer to the PS5 release date.

What we do know is that it appears to be highly unlikely that the PS5 controller will have a touchscreen, as demonstrated in the tweet below.

The latest Wired interview with Mark Cerny doesn't rule this option out, but since it does go into great depth about what the controller actually is, then the omission of a touchscreen does suggest that it won't be included.

If you want to know more about the PS5, then check out our pages on the PS5 specs and upcoming PS5 games.

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About the author

Lottie Lynn

Lottie Lynn

Guides Writer

Lottie Lynn is Eurogamer's guides writer. She likes exploring new games and still has nightmares about the moon from Majora's Mask.

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