PS5 Controller Vs Xbox Controller: Which Is Better For PC Gaming?
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PS5 Controller Vs Xbox Controller: Which Is Better For PC Gaming?

May 24, 2023

The PS5 DualSense and the Xbox Wireless Controller are both great for their respective consoles. But, which one is better for PC?

A next-gen console needs a next-gen controller

With the launch of Sony's next-gen console, the developers decided that the controller needed to be next-gen too. With that in mind, the PlayStation 5 launched with the DualSense controller. It comes with revolutionary features like Adaptive Triggers and Haptic Feedback. Sony first party games have taken full advantage of these new aspects of the controller.

Why fix what isn't broken?

Xbox's current-gen controller for the Series X|S. While it is not as feature filled as its Sony counterpart, it is still as reliable and long-lasting as its previous iterations. The latest version of the Xbox Wireless Controller comes with a slightly more ergonomic shape and a dedicated Share button.

The PlayStation 5's DualSense and the latest Xbox Wireless Controller are the best versions from their respective lines till date. The former has brought new technological featured that aim to make your gaming experience more immersive, while the latter doubled down on its reliability, button layout, and ergonomic shape.

RELATED: Xbox Series X Vs. Xbox Series S

However, while each of them perform admirably on their own consoles, what about on the great equalizer - PC? There are a plethora of controllers you can use to play PC games, but the two big ones from Sony and Microsoft are among the best. If you're wondering which of the two to use for your PC gaming needs, we've made a detailed comparison to help you make your choice.

The first, and most obvious, difference between the controllers is the button and thumbstick layout. While you don't really have much of a choice on consoles, you can truly choose your preferred controller button layout on PC. While the overall controller shape for each are unique, they both feel pretty comfortable to hold for extended periods. In this case it really depends on your grip and the size of your palms.

The DualSense and Xbox controllers have both stuck to their traditional button layout format, with the former sticking with the side-by-side thumbsticks, and the latter swapping the positions of the left thumbstick and d-pad. While there is no "correct" way for this, the Xbox button layout is usually found to be the preferable of the two, thanks to the distance between the thumbsticks. However, long-time PlayStation fans will find the traditional setup suited better to their muscle memory.

Here's where the differences between the two are glaring. If you're using either controller in wired mode with your PC, there really isn't much of a difference - the DualSense requires a USB-C wire, while the Xbox controller requires a Micro-USB wire. Both are easily available online or at any hardware store.

However, if you choose to use them in wireless mode, you'll notice the difference in convenience. The DualSense will need to be put to charge after its charge has been drained, making it unusable in wireless mode for some time, However, the Xbox controller relies on AA batteries, meaning, if it's out of charge, you can simply swap them out and continue playing.

The AA batteries open up a whole bunch of possibilities, though. You can keep an extra pair of rechargeable batteries ready for when you need them, so you don't have to keep buying batteries. You can even buy a third-party battery pack that will last you a really long time. It's the one feature that the Xbox controllers have always had over the PlayStation ones.

The Xbox controller wins out heavily in this department, due to Sony's unfortunate decision of entering late into the PC market. Many older PC games that feature controller support don't have prompts specific to PlayStation buttons. Even if you attach a PlayStation controller, in this case the Dual Sense, these older games might still show you the prompts for the Xbox controller.

Additionally, while there are a few PC games - mostly ports of Sony first party games - that support the DualSense's Haptic Feedback and Adaptive Triggers features, most do not. This unfortunately negates the biggest advantage that the DualSense has over the Xbox controller.

In the end, despite all the fancy new features, it all boils down to which controller you are most comfortable with, based on the button layout and shape. Many of us are too used to the PlayStation format, and might find the Xbox layer too different to get used to, and vice-versa.

However, we must consider that the DualSense costs almost $20 more than the Xbox controller. While it's plain to see why from a console perspective, we can't in all honesty recommend it over the Xbox controller for PC, due to the fact that its biggest features are negated on most PC games. If you already have it, that's great, but make sure you consider all the above points if you plan to buy a controller specifically for your PC.

Both have their pros and cons. The DualSense has a bunch of features that work only with a few PC games, while the Xbox controller has better battery and UI integration.

The PS5 DualSense's Haptic Feedback and Adaptive Triggers work very well on a few games that are compatible with it.

If you already have the controller, it's definitely worth it. However, buying it separately is a big investment, so make sure you research which games all its features are compatible with.

NEXT: DualSense Vs. DualSense Edge: Which Should You Buy?

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Vaspaan Dastoor is a News Editor for TheGamer. Previously worked at IGN India and constantly tries to get people to make time for an LOTR marathon. He can be found giving hot takes for cold responses at @DastoorVaspaan