Playstation 4 DualShock 4 Controller - Specs & Design

The DualShock 4
While controllers over the life of the PlayStation brand have generally been the same on the outside, Sony has made some DAMN good changes to this iteration of it's controller both inside and out.

The Dualshock Hardware

The DualShock 4 displays the same general layout and buttons as past DualShock controllers, but now the controller offers additional features along with new buttons. The most obvious change is the inclusion of a wide touchpad where the Select and Start button were; those buttons are now replaced with an Options button instead. Sony has mentioned that the touchpad can respond to up to two fingers at a time, which expands the number of possibilities for input to those like you would see on a smartphone.

In addition, the DualShock 4 sports a 3.5-mm headphone jack that supports surround sound along with both an accelerometer and a gyroscope, both reported to be better than what is currently included in the DualShock 3 and Vita. The two rumble motors now have varying strength, a change from the DualShock 3 where rumble was either active or not.

This creates a heightened sense of realism in all PlayStation 4 games. The DualShock 4 also includes a built-in speaker, meaning that sounds from the game can play through the controller instead of your normal speakers.

Atop the device is a light bar that can pick up and detect movement, making the controller something like a mixture between a DualShock and a PlayStation Move. According to Sony, the light bar can display one of several different LED colors to relay information; for example, if a player is low on health and may die in the game, the light bar may relay this information with the appropriate color.

This mixes up the usual methods most games use, such as tinting the screen red as the player loses health, although that's still used most of the time.

The light bar will also light up corresponding to the player's controller: blue, red, pink and green corresponding to player one through four, respectively. Additional features the light bar offers include the ability to track players. This is used most commonly in PlayStation VR games, for example.

One minor but welcome addition is the new analog sticks that sport ridges to keep your thumbs in place, a change from the DualShock 3's rounded off sticks. Sony has also improved the L2 and R2 buttons, making the buttons more comfortable and reducing "accidental button presses" during movies or Netflix.

The DualShock 4 has also replaced the DualShock 3's analog buttons with digital buttons, claiming that "developers were ignoring" the feature. The trade-off is that the DualShock 4 has decreased latency over the DualShock 3.

In addition to replacing the analog buttons, Sony has also given the directional pad a small makeover: the pad is larger with more angular buttons, providing a better grip over the DualShock 3's directional pad and increased accuracy in games.

In-Depth Specifications

Thanks to Amazon, we have detailed specs of the DualShock 4! These specs outline the basic features we already knew about, such as the buttons and ports, to even obscure details such as the size of the controller and the weight.

We've added a table below for your viewing pleasure:

DualShock 4 Specs
External Dimensions 162mm x 52mm x 98mm
Weight Approx. 210g
Buttons PS button, SHARE button, OPTIONS button, Directional buttons (Up/Down/Left/Right), Action buttons (Triangle, Circle, Cross, Square), R1/L1/R2/L2/R3/L3, Right stick, Left stick, Touch Pad Button
Touch Pad 2 Point Touch Pad, Click Mechanism, Capacitive Type
Motion Sensor Six-axis motion sensing system (three-axis gyroscope, three-axis accelerometer)
Bluetooth Bluetooth® Ver2.1+EDR
Ports USB (Micro B), Extention Port, Stereo Headset Jack
Additional Features Light Bar, Vibration, Built-in Mono Speaker


These are the current color options for the Dualshock 4:

  • Jet Black
  • Glacier White
  • Urban Camoflage
  • Wave Blue
  • Magma Red
  • Gold
  • Silver
  • Steel Black
  • Crystal (in white, blue, and red transluscent designs coming in September 2017)

DualShock 4 colors: Magma Red and Wave Blue.

What About an Elite Controller?

While Microsoft has its own first-party elite controller, PlayStation hasn't done anything beyond the classic Dualshock 4. Even so, they did work with two major gaming accessory companies to design some very fancy controllers for e-sports players.

The results came up with the Nacon Revolution and the Razer Raiju. Check out an image of them below:

Razer Raiju and Nacon Revolution

Both of these controllers were designed with Sony closely monitoring the progress. The Nacon Revolution came up at a retail price of $115, while the Razer Raiju will set you back $130.

Here are the specs for the Nacon controller:

  • 4 Extra buttons (switches on the back)
  • 8-way directional-pad
  • Two internal comparments with 6 weights to customize your balance
  • PC companion app for customizing buttons
  • Four profiles for both macros and sensitivity
  • Raised thumbsticks with increased articulation

Next up are the Raiju's specs:

  • 4 Extra buttons (2 bumpers and 2 detachable triggers)
  • 4-button control panel
  • Two profiles for macros, programmable as you're playing
  • Hard shell carrying case
  • Rubberized grips on thumsticks and handles
  • Trigger-stop switches and hair trigger modes
  • PC compatible

The biggest benefit of these pro-level controllers, are the programmable buttons that let you get your inputs in faster and more efficiently. Depending on how you customize them, you can make actions happen without ever taking your fingers off the thumbsticks.

When you boil it down, neither of these are going to replace the Dualshock 4 in the mainstream market, but they will offer customization for those looking to beef up their game.

The Razer option is more comfortable overall and feels more natural, but the Nacon controller has a lot more customization options if you have the time to sink into it.

In either case, pro-level gamers or very serious competitive ones will find a lot to love about these two options. In the end though, the Dualshock 4 reigns supreme!

Let's explore a few more features our favorite controller offers.

Unqiue Dualshock 4 Features

Sharing is Caring
The biggest change to the DualShock 4 is quite likely the biggest change to the PlayStation itself: the sharing button / feature. Much has been said about the sharing feature of the PlayStation 4 and the DualShock 4 is where the magic happens. By pressing the share button on the DualShock 4, you'll come face-to-face with a variety of options enabling you to connect with the PlayStation 4 community at large.

PS4 Controller

At its most basic, the Dualshock Share button enables you to upload both images and video not only to your PlayStation 4 profile but also to a social networking service, such as Facebook. To take a screenshot using the Share button, simply hold the Share button down for a few seconds and you'll take a picture of whatever is happening on screen.

The Share button doesn't just stop with pictures and videos – it will enable you to watch a friend play a game on his own PlayStation 4 and even take control of the game for him, using your DualShock 4 to conquer a particularly tough part for him. This is a unique feature called Share Play.

Windows And Mac Compatibility
President of Worldwide Studios for Sony Computer Entertainment Shuhei Yoshida has once again taken to Twitter to confirm another new feature of the DualShock 4: native Windows support.

By default, a Windows PC recognizes an Xbox 360 controller and allows you to use it with a variety of PC games. Unfortunately, the DualShock 3 lacks Windows compatibility by default, requiring third party software to use, a feature the DualShock 4 looks to correct.

Whether this means Windows will recognize the DualShock 4 as an actual DualShock 4 or just a variation of the Xbox 360 controller remains to be seen. Yoshida stated that more information would be forthcoming in the coming weeks in the lead up to the PS4 launch.

Sony has also revealed that the DualShock 4 will now be fully compatible with Mac's OS X as well.

PS3 Compatibility

A July 2014 PS3 firmware update now lets you use DualShock 4 controller on your PlayStation 3! Keep in mind that if you sync the controller to your PS3, you will need to resync it to your PS4.

Unfortunately, the rumble and motion sensors of the DualShock 4 will not work when it's used on the PS3.

Extended Battery Life

One of the major complaints about the DualShock 4 has been its weak battery life, with the controller needing to be charged every six to eight hours. Third-party manufacturer Nyko has come up with the solution to this in the form of the "Power Pak."

This device connects to the controller through the Micro USB port and claims to double the battery life of the DualShock 4! Nyko claims the Power Pak is lightweight and does not cause any issues when holding the controller. The Power Pak is available for $19.99 at all video game retailers.

Leading the Revolution
With this design, the DualShock 4 provides familiarity for veteran PlayStation gamers but enough new features that show Sony's dedication to innovation.

Sony has taken the criticisms about the DualShock 3 and not only improved it but added features that most gamers didn't even think they needed, like a new directional pad or improved motors. All of the PlayStation 4's new features seemingly begin with the DualShock 4, the natural evolution to a tried and true design.

For up-to-the minute DualShock 4 news, check this page often! The staff at PS4 Experts will ensure that you'll be the first to know about any breaking news.

DualShock 4 Controller X-Ray

Update by - Joshua Phillips
Insert Date: 4/30/2013

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i think that every thing is amazing and i cant wait until it comes out i love it ecspecialy the controuller but i hope they show us the consul soon


I have been playing Playstation for a few generations now, and every generation seems to have gotten better. PS3 is an excellent system for sure - rumble, wireless, sixaxis, rechargeable, pressure sensitive buttons (especially love the L2 R2 triggers), L3 R3... just lots of good leaps in gaming. Few simple things needed to sell me on the next one - simple but serious things... Seriously, you need to look at making the controller more comfortable - and I'm talking the standard controller not some second rate knock off. I'm tired of gripping this tiny piece of hard plastic. C'mon already - make room for all my fingers. Make it just a bit bigger - you do know adults are mostly playing this right? After all - the most popular games are mature rating - you know this. Also, put some comfortable grip on the thing - matter of fact, turn the whole controller into a had grip. Who do you think is playing this? Robots? Maybe that's the idea huh? Move the L2 R2, or the L1 R1 apart more - that way we can have fingers on both triggers. I'm not saying make an Xbox controller - i'm saying, take a page from there book and make something more comfortable. A touch pad, a light, a "share" button (whatever that means) headphone jack. Fine, whatever. sounds neat. A few new buttons is a definite must - but they could just be plane old buttons, or switches on the back like you did for the sensitivity switch COD controller. Every1 is soooo obsessed with "touch pad" this or "touch screen that" blaaa. The dual shock 3 is an absolute triumph as far as a leap from dual shock 2 - just make it more comfortable and you got a win. Ignore the comfort factor, and pursue some lame touch pad that I will barely use - and I'm jumping ship from playstation. Just saying... 1 more thing, make it easier to message people while gaming otherwise you're wasting my time. Just yesterday my PS3 got the "YLOD" - not even kidding. I'm seriously up in the air about what my next console will be. SIDE NOTE PS to activision (if you care): COD black ops 2 SUUUUUCKS! SERIOUSLY! WHY IS THERE CHEATING? THIS SHOULD BE YOUR TOP CONCERN OTHERWISE COMPETING IS POINTLESS!!! WHY IS THERE SO MUCH LAGGING? WHY IS THERE SO MANY GLITCHES? IF IT'S TREYARCHS FAULT... SCREW THEM TOO - IM DONE BUYING YOUR HALF COMPLETED, DLC DEPENDENT GARBAGE. I miss the old days of N64, when you knew what you were getting. Hey, I still got mine - AND IT STILL WORKS LIKE A CHARM LOLOLOLOLOLOL Better bring it, Sony! Better bring it. Here is a bit of marketing advice - on the house from yours truly... Allow PS3 gamers the ability to "trade up" there system to PS4 - this will ensure your customer base stays with you, hence more PS4 sales, and a quicker return on investment. As you can already tell from just this thread, many new PS3 owners out there - that's not to mention (I am though) me, and pretty much every one of my PS friends who are refusing to purchase the new system. Don't bull s*** a bull s***er, the economy is going DOOOOWWWWWN, and there isn't some miracle that will convince me PS4 is the answer.

Ok, so I've taken a harder

Ok, so I've taken a harder look at the specs and a few other videos about the controller - this guy doesn't do the controller justice in this short clip. It DOES look more comfortable (bigger), it DOES appear to have a more comfortable surface on the back side. These were my main concerns. I'm hesitant to judge the touch pad - we'll see about it's functionality. There are several things I do like about it, the concave thumb sticks, the D-Pad, the R2 L2 DO seem to be farther apart, and I like the overall look of the thing. Also, I like the standby mode idea. I don't take back anything I said before, but after some thought - I give the controller a pass - Sony, you may proceed. IXI-SLAYTON-IXI

Cry about it.

Cry about it.

Dualshock 4

As original p.s. fan i got an xbox cuz a buddy of mine was a hardcore xbox fan. but im thinking about getting a ps4 after doing some research i love the xbox controllers is the dualshock4 larger than dualshock3

Xbox Controllers vs the PS Controllerss

It all depends how well your hands has been adjusted for one thing for a long time Like i have been a Playstation owner and my hands were used to a PS Controller same thing for a Xbox owner But if i Playstation Controller move to a Xbox one it will take some time for it to get adjusted and then after sometime I would be able to decide which one is better PS controller or Xbox one


Awesome :D

battery life

how long will the battery last

battery life

it will last 13 hours of gameplay

I like it.also a comment before you buy an xbox

I like alot of the new features, although i think it shouldnt look as much like the ps2 and ps3 control, but same button layout, design, hard to explain, but that iisnt reall important anyway, and its just my opinion, i tihnk alot of people would prefer it not to look differnt, also i dont think it should be more like xbox control, becuase ps3 fans have gotten used to the old control feel, be a shame to ruin that, and ps3 focuses more on the ps likers thenthe xbox likers, then arent copyrighters you know, its just how you get used to a control, doesnt mean the whole world feels confort more with the xbox control. Also the box one does everything it can to grab money of you, not worth it, i dont see no reason that somebody would prefer an xbox one, example one of the features, i dont know what it charges mooney for, for what you are doing, but it senses people in the room, and pets, the more people, and pets there are in the room, the more it chages you money, strongely recommened youwait untill ps4 comes out, patience is better then being ripped off. (if here are spelling mistakes and no spaces where there should be, its becuase i got a new keyboard, sorry XD)


I am very angry at the fact that Sony did not change the USB controller cable. My controller is NOT a CELL phone. The tiny slot in the controller for the cord is TERRIBLE. Sony, please change this. Please. I absolutely can't stand this idea. It is damn near impossible to play my PS3 and charge the controller at the same time. The tiny cell-phone charger always slips out or moves. PLEASE CONNECT THE CONTROLLER..... F*CK YOU!!!

You have a dodgy controller

All 3 of my controllers and all 8 of my friends' controllers don't have this problem

i concur, i love that it's

i concur, i love that it's the micro b usb now, besides having a whole basket of them from everything else, i have one that has a particularly firm double-hook apparatus on it just try a couple more cords, that single one you have is a dud

mine is fine as well

I can sit on my couch and use my phone charger to to charge my controller without having to stop playing...and anyone with a clue knows a wall charger with charge faster thank usb so there you go

DualShock 4 is sick!

Way better than PS2! I did not buy PS3... I don't know which one is better DualShock 3 or DualShock 4, but it is really sick! Feeling sooo right and weight!

just to let u guys know

the left joystick rubber is coming off on both of my controllers.