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Reverse-analog PS4 controller alternatives

BlackTron

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So to start with a little bit about me, I absolutely hate the Dual Shock design. I almost entirely skipped PS2 because they didn't update it. On PS3, I tried my best with various third party controllers, but it became a nightmare as every controller either lacked some critical feature or broke. Even when I found a pretty solid one I liked, I bought a replacement when the sticks got wonky, and the replacement developed bad triggers. All the while, I was getting older and finding it really frigging easy to plug a 360 controller into my PC and give Sony the finger. I HATE THIS CONTROLLER.

The DS4 is a huge improvement. I can't use the original Dual Shock design for anything but choosing a show on Netflix -the DS4 I can suffer for a 20 minute gaming session before my hands cramp up. So while a nice improvement in that I can stand to use it for more than 15 seconds, that's still not good enough. But, it would be fine if it had asymmetric sticks (the original DS would be bad no matter where the sticks are).

So, having had this problem since um, PS2, maybe it's time I man up and admit I need some help. I've been through several third party PS4 controllers trying to find the right one. The Hori Onyx controller looks okay, but in real life the shape is awkward to hold, it has no lightbar, the triggers feel bad and it can't wake the console remotely. I tried one from PIKTEK that again looks just like a 360 controller, but in real life the handles have these flat edges that hurt after a while (like they took a 360 controller and cut off the edge of the sides, strange choice). The latest is this controller from CIPON that is really great in every way except for garbage control sticks that are spotty registering diagonals.

While there are tons of third party controllers out there, I just can't find one that flat out replaces a DS4. No matter what I buy, I will always have to give up and go back to the DS4, and my hands hate me. I've seen the stuff from Nacon, but for all that money, I won't even get something I can use in VR to play Astrobot.

I've hardly played Star Wars Squadrons on my PSVR since it came out because I still don't have a controller that can do VR with a light bar, that's reverse analog, and it's a legit online dogfighting game not some casual platformer. I got all the gold medals in Rogue Squadron I and II -not the type of dude who won't notice some play in his joysticks, if you will. I'm just about to give up altogether but I thought I'd ask GAF if anyone has any experience or recommendations on a good reverse analog PS4 gamepad because I'm at my wits end sitting on a big pile of PS4 games that deserve a decent play experience.
 

BlackTron

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Why not just get one of these and then use a real xbox controller?


Even supports Dualsense now (Has gyro/rumble wired, but only gyro wireless so far) if thats an improvement for you over the dualshock.

Thanks, but I knew there would be about 120850968549068 replies that didn't pick up from my post that I want an actual full replacement for the DS4, where's the touch pad, light bar etc?
 

Kuranghi

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Thanks, but I knew there would be about 120850968549068 replies that didn't pick up from my post that I want an actual full replacement for the DS4, where's the touch pad, light bar etc?

Soz bro, you need to make your own custom controller. I would think 3rd parties must not be putting those things in because they aren't allowed by Sony or it would reduce their margins too much if they did.
 
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BlackTron

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Soz bro, you need to make your own custom controller. I would think 3rd parties must not be putting those things in because they aren't allowed by Sony or it would reduce their margins too much if they did.

I just bought a controller that was perfect in EVERY way, except for bad sticks, for only $25. Yes, it had the light bar and touch pad too. Meanwhile I can get a Nacon controller for $140 with good ergonomics (seemingly, haven't tried it), but no light bar.
 

FeldMonster

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I don't have any experience with them myself, but I had my eyes on either the Pictek or the Oubang options, if I ever got a Playstation 4, but you already stated that you aren't happy with the Pictek. And you stated that you don't like the Nacon either.

Pictek

Oubang

Nacon

I think with the latest Brooks Adaptor you can achieve most functionality, such as the TouchPad button, on an Xbox controller
 
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Alphagear

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Hori Onyx is a great alternative. Slighty cheaper than a new DS4 too.



Lol just realised you mentioned the Hori Onyx.
 
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Alphagear

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Theres the Astro C40 gaming controller which can be optimised.



Problem with it is the cost. Costs the same as a Nintendo switch lite.


The Razer Raiju is another option. Costs over 100 pounds here in the UK

 
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Miles708

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I have no experience with third party controllers but possibly your problem is the controller shape?
I mean, given that you can't change the left analog position (but it's still waaay better than the trainwreck that was the dual shock 3), maybe you could use some grip?

Something like this :

Maybe it'll change your holding just enough to make it comfortable for longer sessions.

If not, you could always consider attaching a blue led on an Xbox controller with glue.
 

BlackTron

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I have no experience with third party controllers but possibly your problem is the controller shape?

The handles on the DS4 solved this already, I said in the OP that it would be fine IF the control stick wasn't in the wrong place. Sorry but the symmetrical sticks is an instant killing flaw (yes, the DS5 was DOA to me).

My problem was very clearly described in the OP. I appreciate all the responses but I think maybe one person read my post first lol.

I've heard less crazy ideas than attaching an LED, lord knows I've done more than that to play games lol, but at this point if I can't simply pick up a controller that just works I can't be bothered.

I will probably keep playing PS4 by juggling 4 different controllers depending on the situation, always suffering through a different problem on each one of them lol.
 

FranXico

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The handles on the DS4 solved this already, I said in the OP that it would be fine IF the control stick wasn't in the wrong place. Sorry but the symmetrical sticks is an instant killing flaw (yes, the DS5 was DOA to me).
Looks you're the one who conditioned himself to only like one thing.

For the thousandth time, RELATIVE STICK PLACEMENT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ERGONOMICS. You can have symmetric or asymmetric sticks in controllers that sit equally comfortable in your hands.

Break free from that mindset that makes you wish your left thumb was longer. Your hands are symmetric, so they are compatible with more ergonomic designs than you think.
 
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BlackTron

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Looks you're the one who conditioned himself to only like one thing.

For the thousandth time, RELATIVE STICK PLACEMENT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ERGONOMICS. You can have symmetric or asymmetric sticks in controllers that sit equally comfortable in your hands.

Break free from that mindset that makes you wish your left thumb was longer. Your hands are symmetric, so they are compatible with more ergonomic designs than you think.

"You are wrong, I know how ergonomics really work, so despite what you may think about your own experience, in my infinite wisdom on the other side of the internet, I know better than you. Just remember, next time your hand cramps up, remind it that I said ergonomics don't work that way, and you'll be all set!"

This post is total trash. I have an opinion and it's that the DS4 doesn't work for me. If you don't like it, the problem is you sweetie. The way your bad assertion on ergonomics is delivered is so condescending that I won't dignify it with a response -which I am tempted to give because it's so excruciatingly ridiculous.

If you loved Dual Shock designs and hated an Xbox controller, I would disagree with you but I would at least respect the fact that you're a different human being with a different body and a different preference. Imagine ordering vanilla, and getting grief because you don't want chocolate, extolling all the wondrous benefits and knowledge on chocolate, how its flavenoids extend your life, how for the THOUSANDTH TIME it's scientifically proven to make you feel happy--!! Bitch I want vanilla, get over it. Don't be embarassing.

The worst part is, despite hating these controllers I keep picking them up again anyway trying to deal with it, see if I can ignore it, adjust to it etc, to play a new game. Because I am not in denial and used them for hundreds of hours, I know what my opinion is on them. Yet I still have to listen to people tell me what I've "conditioned myself to do" like you're my mom or psychiatrist.

So anyway, this thread is about reverse-analog full alternatives to the Dual Shock 4, not about which setup is better, or really literally anything else in the known universe other than DS4 alternatives, THANK YOU.
 
Oct 23, 2016
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This is a crazy idea but have you considered opening a ds4 and modify it?
The 'hard' part would be the dpad, L1 and L2 connections.
As for the controller case, you could make a modified one with a 3D printer.
It's a lot of work but you can't stand the ds4 so it would be worth it.
 

Kimahri

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It's a mystery how PlayStation got so big with their shit controllers. I remember when the first PS came out, and I first picked up the controller going "wtf is this shit?!".

It didn't feel like something you were actually supposed to hold in your hands.
 

Closer

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Huh. I need coffee.

I got basically the same problem as OP and just accepted that I need to either brute force my way playing PS games or just go with a fighting stick. As I'm playing fighting games mainly these days, I'm pretty set. I feel your pain OP.
 
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Jun 15, 2019
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How the fuck are you holding the DS4 that it still causes your hands to cramp up in 20 minutes? What the fuck is wrong with your hands?
 

BlackTron

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I'll try again, maybe I'll post correctly this time: did you try this?


I don't know about its durability or specs, but looks like an Xbox layout with light bar, which is what you should be after, right?

I was really close to ordering that controller months ago, but if you look in the reviews it's clear that the control sticks aren't very good, which is something I've come to expect at controllers at this price point. When looking at reviews for these things, after a while you will notice that most of the positive reviews are totally useless, people who rate it simply based on the fact that it connected successfully, looks cool and only cost 20 bucks. Hand it to their ten-year-old and say "he loves it!", you really need to look deeper for reviews with a critical eye (positive or negative). I have seen several times someone upping their review to 5 stars for customer service, even though their complaint with the controller stands after being sent a new one ("the sticks still aren't good, but better than my last one!")

My latest try is this one: https://www.amazon.com/Controller-R...089GGJHGD/ref=cm_cr_srp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

It's REALLY good, other than the poor sticks. I guess it would be great if I had to play an RPG or something, a game where you don't need precise aim but will need to hold a controller for MANY hours. But I'm amassing a pile of cheap controllers that are good for like one specific purpose while falling back on the DS4 when I need to do real skilled gaming with an analog stick, which is the profile of most games I'm going to PS4 for. Last night I played through the last level of Rachet & Clank with this gamepad, it was good enough, but when I got to the final boss I found I needed to switch to the DS4 lol. I then started a new Challenge Mode game in fast speed mode, which is REALLY fun, but the idea of trying to do it with anything but DS4 is a joke.

Believe it or not, I prefer the DS4 for dpad games. Now when the dpad is in the lower position, it doesn't bother me as much as the stick, because it's a press instead of a stretching action, but it's a nice subtle buff to have it in the primary spot, and it's better than the 360 or (gasp) current Nintendo dpads. I have chosen to get some 2D games on PS for this reason, like Valfaris. It's a bizzaro mismatch because I have a PS for big robust 3D games and Switch is well suited for small 2D titles, but the controllers have a role reversal where Switch is better for 3D and PS for 2D lol.
 

Miles708

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I was really close to ordering that controller months ago, but if you look in the reviews it's clear that the control sticks aren't very good, which is something I've come to expect at controllers at this price point. When looking at reviews for these things, after a while you will notice that most of the positive reviews are totally useless, people who rate it simply based on the fact that it connected successfully, looks cool and only cost 20 bucks. Hand it to their ten-year-old and say "he loves it!", you really need to look deeper for reviews with a critical eye (positive or negative). I have seen several times someone upping their review to 5 stars for customer service, even though their complaint with the controller stands after being sent a new one ("the sticks still aren't good, but better than my last one!")

My latest try is this one: https://www.amazon.com/Controller-R...089GGJHGD/ref=cm_cr_srp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

It's REALLY good, other than the poor sticks. I guess it would be great if I had to play an RPG or something, a game where you don't need precise aim but will need to hold a controller for MANY hours. But I'm amassing a pile of cheap controllers that are good for like one specific purpose while falling back on the DS4 when I need to do real skilled gaming with an analog stick, which is the profile of most games I'm going to PS4 for. Last night I played through the last level of Rachet & Clank with this gamepad, it was good enough, but when I got to the final boss I found I needed to switch to the DS4 lol. I then started a new Challenge Mode game in fast speed mode, which is REALLY fun, but the idea of trying to do it with anything but DS4 is a joke.

Believe it or not, I prefer the DS4 for dpad games. Now when the dpad is in the lower position, it doesn't bother me as much as the stick, because it's a press instead of a stretching action, but it's a nice subtle buff to have it in the primary spot, and it's better than the 360 or (gasp) current Nintendo dpads. I have chosen to get some 2D games on PS for this reason, like Valfaris. It's a bizzaro mismatch because I have a PS for big robust 3D games and Switch is well suited for small 2D titles, but the controllers have a role reversal where Switch is better for 3D and PS for 2D lol.

Dammit man I don't have your problems but now I feel you so much :messenger_grinning_squinting:
Yeah I usually avoid third party controllers because the very few I've used have always been crap. It's a market I don't really understand, maybe manufacturers are just happy to make a quick buck at the expense of their brand image? I don't really get it.
 

BlackTron

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How the fuck are you holding the DS4 that it still causes your hands to cramp up in 20 minutes? What the fuck is wrong with your hands?

Because I don't like the control stick in the lower position. To help everyone understand better, I also had a quip with the Wii U Pro Controller because the face buttons were on the bottom (not as bad as the left stick being on bottom, but still a quip). I consider the top face of the controller "primary" and the lower areas "secondary". In most games, you will have your left thumb on the left stick, and your right thumb on the face buttons, most of the time, so a reverse analog setup means both your thumbs spend most time on the top face of the controller. Side note, this makes the WiiU Pro my weapon of choice for a twin-stick shooter -both sticks are primary.

Stretching my thumbs down to select an item with the dpad or move the camera is fine. Keeping my thumb permanently stretched down on the left stick for all movement in a many-hours game doesn't work for me. Never has, never will, sorry guys.

All the DS4 needs is to swap the left stick and dpad and I'd love it. The shape of the controller is just fine, just as I LOVE the shape of the U Pro despite my quips with it as well. The classic DS design/PS3 controller though, hard no. Just terrible, the only game that motivated me to use one was Symphony of the Night.
 
Jun 15, 2019
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Because I don't like the control stick in the lower position. To help everyone understand better, I also had a quip with the Wii U Pro Controller because the face buttons were on the bottom (not as bad as the left stick being on bottom, but still a quip). I consider the top face of the controller "primary" and the lower areas "secondary". In most games, you will have your left thumb on the left stick, and your right thumb on the face buttons, most of the time, so a reverse analog setup means both your thumbs spend most time on the top face of the controller. Side note, this makes the WiiU Pro my weapon of choice for a twin-stick shooter -both sticks are primary.

Stretching my thumbs down to select an item with the dpad or move the camera is fine. Keeping my thumb permanently stretched down on the left stick for all movement in a many-hours game doesn't work for me. Never has, never will, sorry guys.

All the DS4 needs is to swap the left stick and dpad and I'd love it. The shape of the controller is just fine, just as I LOVE the shape of the U Pro despite my quips with it as well. The classic DS design/PS3 controller though, hard no. Just terrible, the only game that motivated me to use one was Symphony of the Night.
Fair enough I suppose...although I still think there might be something wrong with your hands. I've personally never had any preference either way. About the only controller I ever felt was unpleasant to use was the WiiU gamepad...I don't know...something about it...the sticks felt loosy goosy and something about the shape and heft of it made moving between the dpad / face buttons and the sticks just...uncomfortable.
 

wvnative

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There's a multitude of adapters that let you use an xbox controller although games with gyro/touchpad controls will be unplayable, although they're exceedingly rare

Cronusmax, titanone, brooke converter etc
 

sainraja

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I can switch between all gaming controllers that are out right now without any issue and adjust pretty quickly to each of them so unfortunately I cannot relate there. Currently, I switch between the PS5/XSX often, playing Destiny 2 on both. I feel bad that you haven't been able to adjust to it by now and other controllers haven't met your needs 100%.
I prefer the way the button presses feel on the PS4 controller (I can't tell if the PS5 is the same or not; PS4's just feel, less click-y, best way I can think of describing what I mean, lol.)

The only controllers that I wasn't a big fan of are (still adjusted to them quickly):
  1. Dreamcast controller
  2. Xbox 360 controller (d-pad and the weird battery compartment placement)
I was going to add N64 controller to the above list but I didn't play N64 enough to have any real issues with it or any issues I recall right now, just the shape of the controller seemed odd to me.

I think you'll just have to choose your compromises with the options that are available to you in third party controllers and perhaps just do without touch/light bar.
 
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BlackTron

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Fair enough I suppose...although I still think there might be something wrong with your hands. I've personally never had any preference either way. About the only controller I ever felt was unpleasant to use was the WiiU gamepad...I don't know...something about it...the sticks felt loosy goosy and something about the shape and heft of it made moving between the dpad / face buttons and the sticks just...uncomfortable.

I didn't like the Wii U Gamepad either, extremely un-ergonomic. When I played this version of BOTW, my hands would have hated me if I used the Gamepad the whole time. 20 minutes, and I'm done. A massive game like BOTW? Forget it. So I spent most of my time on the pro controller, and switched back when I needed motion control or whatever. This is exactly what I am currently doing on Playstation, juggling between long-term session comfort and the functions needed in the controller.

Regardless, some people swear by the gamepad, even saying it's their favorite controller ever -maybe the same people who liked the original giant Xbox controllers?

I suppose that those people would want to tell you that there is something wrong with your hands because you are different from them, right?

See, if someone were to tell me they LOVE the gamepad, by reaction isn't "something is wrong with you", my reaction is "Oh, you're different than me". A great example is the original Dual Shock whose design I assume was influenced greatly by Sony being a Japanese company, designing for themselves (hands that run smaller than average).

I do not now think that something is "wrong with" the hands of Japan's entire population lol.
 

BlackTron

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I can switch between all gaming controllers that are out right now without any issue and adjust pretty quickly to each of them so unfortunately I cannot relate there. Currently, I switch between the PS5/XSX often, playing Destiny 2 on both. I feel bad that you haven't been able to adjust to it by now and other controllers haven't met your needs 100%.
I prefer the way the button presses feel on the PS4 controller (I can't tell if the PS5 is the same or not; PS4's just feel, less click-y, best way I can think of describing what I mean, lol.)

The only controllers that I wasn't a big fan of are (still adjusted to them quickly):
  1. Dreamcast controller
  2. Xbox 360 controller (d-pad and the weird battery compartment placement)
I was going to add N64 controller to the above list but I didn't play N64 enough to have any real issues with it or any issues I recall right now, just the shape of the controller seemed odd to me.

I think you'll just have to choose your compromises with the options that are available to you in third party controllers and perhaps just do without touch/light bar.

I have used many game controllers with no issue, going all the way back to NES. Including Dreamcast, N64, and even wackier ones like Virtual Boy. I also love m/kb. Sony is the only gaming company whose controllers I don't like. It used to be three problems -bad handle shape, bad shoulder button design and the left stick in the wrong place. Now, my only problem is the left stick is in the wrong place.

Now you could take ANY other controller, even an all-time favorite like Gamecube or 360, and swap the d-pad and control stick positions, it would instantly be a flawed bad controller to me despite their strengths in so many other areas, I simply don't like the control stick there. And anyone who says moving such things around "doesn't matter to ergonomics" is a shitty armchair know-it-all without a clue.

Anyway yeah, I've pretty much resigned myself, I will power through any PSVR games or exclusives with the DS4 most of the time, and keep as much other gaming as possible on Switch and PC when I have the option. But let me tell you, switching from DS4 to a Nintendo Pro or Xbox controller feels like switching from heavy work boots to light as air sneakers with memory foam, it's an instant and natural difference that's hard to ignore.
 
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sainraja

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I have used many game controllers with no issue, going all the way back to NES. Including Dreamcast, N64, and even wackier ones like Virtual Boy. I also love m/kb. Sony is the only gaming company whose controllers I don't like. It used to be three problems -bad handle shape, bad shoulder button design and the left stick in the wrong place. Now, my only problem is the left stick is in the wrong place.

Now you could take ANY other controller, even an all-time favorite like Gamecube or 360, and swap the d-pad and control stick positions, it would instantly be a flawed bad controller to me despite their strengths in so many other areas, I simply don't like the control stick there. And anyone who says moving such things around "doesn't matter to ergonomics" is a shitty armchair know-it-all without a clue.

Anyway yeah, I've pretty much resigned myself, I will power through any PSVR games or exclusives with the DS4 most of the time, and keep as much other gaming as possible on Switch and PC when I have the option. But let me tell you, switching from DS4 to a Nintendo Pro or Xbox controller feels like switching from heavy work boots to light as air sneakers with memory foam, it's an instant and natural difference that's hard to ignore.
I can see, based on your comments, specific to you, why it's not working for you but personally for me, it really hasn't been an issue switching between PS4 to Xbox One controller and now PS5 to Xbox Seres X controller (although I use the Elite 2 with the Series X most of the time.) I find them all comfortable and honestly can't relate when people point out flaws in them because I don't have the same issue.

I mean, there was a time I kinda stepped away from gaming as much as I use to. I picked back up with Breath of the Wild (amazing game) and I use the Nintendo Pro controller. Then it was Destiny 2 on the PS4 and later I switched to playing that on the Xbox One X. I was also playing Ghost (which I've finished, also amazing!). For me, all systems have pretty good controllers now.
 
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