When Sony announced they were releasing a DualShock 4 controller attachment that would add two extra buttons to the controller, I initially wrote it off. Mainly due to the market already flooded with controllers that had this feature built-in such as those from Astro or Scuf. However, once I had some hands-on time with one, the appeal of this less expensive adapter was clear and I came away impressed with what Sony has come up with.
The installation is a snap, literally. All you have to do is line up the microphone jack with the DualShock 4 controller, apply some pressure to lock it into place. Once it’s attached, it fits snug with no wiggling at all. It’s a very firm connection and it looks natural. The only thing that would have it look even more natural is if it matched the DualShock 4 controller colors. As expected it does add some extra weight to the controller, but that’s barely noticeable. The attachment is sturdier than it looks and applying pressure to attach or to remove the unit won’t damage it.
Programming the attachment is a lot simpler than I initially thought it would be. There’s no extra software to install and the button mapping process is self-contained. All you need to do is press the OLED screen for a few seconds and you’ll be presented with a button assignment for each button. To set the desired command, you just tap the corresponding button and then tap the screen again once you’re ready to program it. You’re able to program up to three different profiles by pressing the screen then double-tapping it to switch to another profile. This also lets you change profiles on the fly.
There are 16 assignments to choose from in total:
- L1, L2, L3, R1, R2, R3
- D-Pad: Up, Down, Left, Right
- Buttons: Triangle, Square, Circle, X (Cross)
- Options button
- No Assignment
Sadly, you aren’t able to assign the share button, which would have been nice to quickly save screenshots or footage. You also aren’t able to combine multiple button assignments to just one button, which would have been nice. The buttons do require you to put some effort into pressing them, so you don’t accidentally press them. They also release audible click sound when you are operating them, so you know that they’re doing their job.
Getting used to the attachment will take some time. I was constantly trying to press the flat surface of the controller instead of gripping the trigger section. After about 20 minutes or so it started to become more natural.
I’ve used this on several games, including Gran Turismo Sport, Destiny 2, Call of Duty, Horizon Zero Dawn, Nioh and a couple of fighters on the PlayStation 4. As well as many games on my PC, as I tend to use my DualShock 4 for PC games. The attachment worked great in each game, including the PC games. This includes the native DualShock 4 support in Steam, as well as using DS4Windows. I found it extremely useful for shifting gears in my racing games or assigning one of the buttons for a reload and grenade tossing button. Honestly, I can’t use my DualShock 4 without this now.
The device doesn’t have a power source, instead, it draws power from the DualShock 4 controller. Which are already notorious for its low battery life compared to other gaming controllers. After using this for several hours, the power draw doesn’t seem to be that much. Though I’ve so used to swapping my controllers and having one ready to swap out during gaming sessions. this wasn’t a concern for me.
Though I wonder if placing an OLED screen where it is was a good idea. If a controller is dropped with the attachment connected, that screen is hitting the floor first. I’ve seen more than my fair share of DualShock 4 controllers dropped onto the floor. I’m not sure if the screen can survive under that sort of punishment. Not that I’m eager to test that out for myself.
Other than that, Sony has nailed it with this little device. I would have liked to have seen it priced a little cheaper, say $20 – $25, as opposed to $30. Even still, with the addition of two extra buttons and its ease of usage, the device is worth the price of admission. Plus you won’t need to shell out $100 or more to add a few extra buttons.
The DualShock 4 Back Button Attachment retails for $29.99 and will officially be released on January 23, 2020. Our review was conducted on a unit that was purchased ahead of the official release date.
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DualShock 4 Back Button Attachment Review
The DualShock 4 Back Button Attachment is a clever way to add two extra buttons to existing DualShock 4 controllers. For just $30, gamers can pick up this device to enhance their gaming and it works well despite being extremely simple. The only question here is what took Sony so long to release this.
- Feels comfortable when attached to a DualShock 4
- Works with Steam and DS4Windows
- Cheaper than a Scuf or Astro controller
- Able to save up to three profiles
- Unable to map share button
- Not sure if a glass touchscreen at the bottom was a smart design